There I was....
“Flying my Warhawk over Guadalcanal.” He made motions like he was flying.
“All of a sudden I see tracers passing me on the left and the right.” He looks both ways quickly.
“Then I see where they are coming from,” he points in front and above him, “Six zeroes closing in on me and my wing man.”
Those listening did so patiently, they all knew the stories were usually fairly short. And although they had heard the story before, they were never the same twice, getting more elaborate and entertaining every telling. Well, all except one. He is a young man, earnest and full of enthusiasm and the energy to match. He has difficulty sitting still through the stories. He hears many mistakes and used to make an effort to correct the mistakes. But every time he tried he was silently yet firmly put into his place. Afterwards he was told to keep quiet and sit still and look interested. He fought very hard to sit still and keep quiet, the looking interested part was nearly impossible.
“My wingman broke left and I broke right and we both wheeled around to let the Japs pass between us.”
“As they flew by, we got in behind them and opened up with our guns.”
“Rat, tat, tat, tat, tat BOOM!”
He threw his head back with the boom. He was beginning to get a crazed look in his eyes, and drool just a little bit.
“My wingman sent another Jap to what ever Gods they believe in, and I lined up on another. I have him in my sights, Rat, tat, tat, tat, Damn.”
“The yellow bastard was hit, I knew that for a fact, but he pitched over and got away.”
“I saw another Zero coming at me head to head, guns blazing.”
His eyes went wide as he looked straight ahead, a little more drool had collected at the corner of his mouth.
“I fired, rat, tat, tat, tat, BOOM! The Jap exploded and right behind him another Jap flew into the debris and instantly began to cartwheel out of control.”
“I looked over my shoulder to see if I could find my wingman.”
He looked around, craning his neck all around.
“There he was, he had just splashed another Jap, but he had another running up his tail. His plane began to smoke.”
“I headed over to him, and got in behind the yellow bastard who shot him up, rat, tat ,tat, tat. There was lots of smoke but the plane just leveled off and flew straight. I knew I got the bastard, and he wasn’t making any moves to get away. So I flew past the Jap, he was sitting upright with his head leaning at an odd angle to the side, with alot of blood all over the shattered cockpit.”
The man gave a large smile, “Good!”
“I flew past and toward my wingman, I saw one Zero heading off. I thought of chasing, but I needed to find out about my wingman.”
“The canopy of his plane was gone, and he was trying to bail out, but he was caught on something. Finally he was free, and he bailed out, just as his Warhawk began to let out alot of smoke. As he fell away, the Warhawk shuttered, was enveloped in smoke and then pitched over, straight at the ocean.”
“My wingman was safely under silk and was floating down. I circled him at a distance, to make sure he made it down alright, while at the same time keeping an eye out for Japs. I didn’t know how many were still out there. I had gotten three, and I saw my wingman get one, that left two.”
“Low close to the water I saw a Jap. The bastard was going to shoot up my wingman!”
“No you don’t” I yelled as I dove at him, “Die you bastard!”
“Guns blazing, he climbed to return fire. Tracers filled the air, and I saw rounds hitting the Zero, but I felt my Warhawk shake from being hit also. I kept firing, and so did he.”
“All of a sudden, Click!”
The man was silent and still, eyes wide.
“Out of ammo! DAMN IT!”
The crazed look increased, his eyes were glazed over, and the drool at the side of his mouth was turning frothy.
“I’ll ram the bastard!”
“But just then, my plane gave one last shudder, the engine quit, and it pitched over, right at the ocean.”
“Well, nothing for it. I pulled the canopy release, and jumped into the air.”
“The bastard Jap, strafed me! I couldn’t believe it! He missed on his first pass, and wheeled throught the air to get another shot.”
The man was patting his chest as if he was looking for something.
“My .45! Good ol’ Smith and Wesson!”
He made a gun with his hand, his index finger extended and his thumb sticking up, pointed out in front of him.
“Here he came, I lined him up, ajusting for distance and wind, carefully I lined up the shot.”
He held this position for a few seconds until it was obvious that his arm was getting tired.
“BOOM! I fired.”
“Again and again I fired, until the slide locked back.”
His eyes were wide again, and there was an impressive amount of froth all around his mouth.
“With great satisfaction, the Jap flew past me, smoke pouring from the engine! Woo Hoo! I yelled.”
“Die you BASTARD!”
“The Zero climbed and rolled over, and headed straight at me!”
“The plane dove straight at me, and hit me. And I died, the end.”
Taking out a handkerchief from his pocket, he wiped his mouth, stood up, and as he walked away, he patted a man on the shoulder.