Carlo has a excellent article on Bucket lists. He was ready for a New Year’s Day publication. I’ve held it up because I wanted to find the perfect photos for the article. Soon, I promise, Carl – this week.
To pass the time, here’s a quick, very short story.
It’s January 3, 2015. Carlo and I have just logged 4.5 flying hours. We have been flying a wonderful group of aviation and flight simulator enthusiasts – former student pilots, current student pilots, future student pilots, R/C flyers, scale model builders, photographers, Facebook friends, fathers and sons. Carlo and I are just using up fuel now, enjoying quiet time together in the sunset sky over Woodland Airpark. We are happy-tired.
The hat I am wearing has been with me for 10 years. I got it at the 2005 Hiller airshow at San Carlos airport in California.
I lost that hat four days ago. I misplaced it after flying with an old friend last December 30. We are both Presidents of the only two flying clubs in the country.
The hat recalls a P-51C Mustang fighter airplane named "Berlin Express" flown by Bill Overstreet, an American World War II pilot. Overstreet was a squadron mate of Chuck Yeager, who broke the sound barrier as a test pilot after the war. Overstreet named his airplane "Berlin Express" because his 357th Fighter Group regularly flew to Berlin as fighter escort for B-17 bomber missions, deep into wartime Germany.
Overstreet flew in a dogfight over France in early 1944 against a Messerschmitt Bf-109. The German pilot flew directly over occupied Paris so that the German gun batteries could shoot Overstreet’s Mustang off the Messerschmitt’s tail.
His engine already hit and damaged, the German flew under the Eiffel tower in a desperate attempt to evade Overstreet. Overstreet followed under the Eiffel tower, kept firing, and won the duel.
Exactly a year ago, on January 3, 2014, Bill Overstreet, the pilot of Berlin Express, passed away. He was 92 years old.
Today, January 3, 2015, another pilot found and returned my ‘Berlin Express’ hat to me.
I should stop losing things.
Posted from Manila
03 January, 2015
William Overstreet’s obituaries: