Things you shouldn’t do
…early in the morning, before finishing your first cup of coffee, with a cat on your lap. And one of those things is to answer a comment on your blog about your stories!
A very kind gentleman wrote to me to express his appreciation for my novels, and to tell me a little about his father. I’m saying “gentleman” and “father” because the mistake I made was, somehow, to erase his comment! So instead of replying directly to him, I’m writing this post.
I guess I’m saying I should know better than to try and do too many things at once, especially early (-ish) in the morning.
There may even be some way to resurrect that comment, but I think I’m just going to have to own up to my mistake, say mea culpa, and move on with what I wanted to say, which was thank you.
What’s your name, pal? Stan, or Sam? Maybe you can tell I’m not too happy with myself. I read about your dad, who was with the 49th Fighter Group in the SW Pacific. He wanted to fly, like so many youngsters of his generation, and only poor eyesight kept him out of the cockpit. But he still followed his dream; if he couldn’t fly himself, he could keep ’em flying.
I understand the modern USAF has a saying, “No Air Power without Ground Power.” Imagine this guy standing under a hot sun. It’s the tropics, so that sun shines down from directly above, and New Guinea? Guys who were in Vietnam might compare notes with guys who served in New Guinea for which theater qualified as “Boonies Numbah Ten Thou.” Further, bad chow, no fresh meat, fruit, milk, or vegetables, for months on end. Some accounts even say the medical staff of the 5th Air Force worried about scurvy. That’s how bad the situation was from a supply standpoint.
My commenter also mentioned his father was at Dobodura. “Dobo” has an interesting place in the history of the theater. Before the Japanese landing at Buna (July 1942) the Allies scouted the north coast of Papua New Guinea near Buna for a forward landing field. The region between Dobodura and Popondetta was selected, but in the event building an airfield at Dobodura had to wait until the Australian Army could push the Japanese back over the Owen Stanley Mountains to their start line at Buna and Gona.
My commenter’s father was there for that. How I wish I could have spoken to him!
In the event the man in question continued to serve our country until finally retiring from the reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel. That’s pretty awesome.
So, pal, I hope you read this, because I really want to know your name, and maybe we could exchange emails and you could tell me a little more about your father? I have an ulterior motive, after all. He was there in the time frame I’m writing for book six in my series, Shoestring’s End. I’m not a historian, but I try to keep my fiction as true to history as I can.
Some people would say I need all the help I can get. Hope you see this and respond, but anyway, thank you, and my thanks to your father for his service.