Review of chapter "Chapter 20: Home" from DieselDriver
I really liked this story a lot. The writing is good, could use a little better proofreading. Now, the bad part. There is just no way in hell anyone could ever think a PT-17 was a hotter plane than a Staggerwing Beechcraft. The Stearman PT-17 had a top speed around 100 mph maybe a little more, cruised at about 80, didn't even come with a cooling cowl around the engine. The Staggerwing on the other hand was the fastest airplane in the U.S. when it came out. It was fully enclosed and fully streamlined. It also came out much later than the PT-17. Progress was very fast in those days. There were some problems with the P-38 capabilities as described too but I'll chalk those up to parallel universes differences. While I was reading it I couldn't help thinking about the role it played in Europe which was cut short by problems of various kinds like compression in a dive that would freeze the controls due to shock waves forming over the control surfaces, and problems with the turbo chargers. They were finally, about 1943, replaced with either P-47's or P-51's. I had to laugh though when I thought about Buffy in the cockpit of a P-47 had she been assigned to try and fly one. A large person is a tight fit in a P-38, but definitely not in a P-47. She'd have gotten lost inside there. However the P-38 was every bit as rugged as it was portrayed here. I've seen pictures of them returning and the battle damage they survived sometime was amazing. Like the one returning from a strafing mission with a 6' long chunk of telephone pole imbedded in the wing or the one that survived a head on collision with a BF-109. Oh yeah, early on the plane known mostly as ME-109 was in reality a BF-109. Only towards the end of the war was the designation changed. Chalk this one up to parallel universes as well.
Interesting that they ferried the P-38's across. That only happened a few times. 6 of them and one B-17 belly landed in Greenland due to getting lost and running out of fuel. Everyone survived and were rescued. One of the P-38's is currently recovered, rebuilt and is flying as "Glacier Girl". That's an interesting story of it's own.
Anyone who'd be interested in the story of some of these planes should look up and read "The Fork Tailed Devil" by Martin Caiden. He also wrote a biography of a P-47 pilot, Robert S. Johnson, who I would have loved to have met but didn't get that priviledge. Johnson was in the early part of the war flying some of the first P-47's in combat. Early on, he had a lot of trouble getting seperated from his group. He was actually voted most likely to be shot down by his own squadron mates. He proved them wrong. 11 months after arriving in England, he was returned to the states to promote the services and be a poster child for the Army Air Corp. Oh yeah, another parallel universe thing... Here it was the AAC, not the Army Air Force. Anyway, the reason they sent him back... He was the European Theater LEADING Ace with 28 confirmed kills, only 2 of which were not single engine fighters. Others later surpassed his numbers. Some of those died. Richard Bong had 40 kills in the pacific arena and Capt. McGuire had 38. Bong was killed test flying an F-80 and McGuire was killed when he stalled his P-38 to close to the ground trying to avoid getting in front of a landing plane with a wounded pilot.
Good information on Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_P-38_Lightning
Excellent picture of the guns and how concentrated their firepower would be a little ways down the page.
As you may have guess, I am quite the airplane nut. I've read about them and have flown models from the time I was about 8 till now and I'm getting old. The people who fought for our freedoms are dieing off and it's only a matter of a few more years and the last of the WW2 vets will be gone. My dad worked on several of the planes in the story and flew in the B-17 as the flight engineer and top turret gunner. Went for a swim in the North Sea but was rescued. Ok, I'm getting maudlin. I'll stop now.
First rule of slayers is "don't die" but the zeroth rule of life is, everybody dies sooner or later.
I really liked how you ended the story though, that was great. I really enjoyed the whole story and I look forward to reading more of your work.
Thank you for posting it
Chris in CA
Review By [DieselDriver
] • Date [13 Jan 13] • Not Rated