VISIT FROM WWII AVIATOR

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Ben Dover
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VISIT FROM WWII AVIATOR

Post by Ben Dover » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:50 pm

We had a distinguished WWII Veteran visit my American Legion Post Wednesday night. Sgt Fulcher is 98 and flew two tours of duty as a B-17 Waist Gunner. His first tour was 35 missions in the 15th AF and another voluntary tour of 35 missions in the 8th AF with the 91st Bomb Group.
He is now wheelchair bound and feeling his age, it made his day to share a little WWII experience and photos.
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Wolfman
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Re: VISIT FROM WWII AVIATOR

Post by Wolfman » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:21 am

What a coincidence.
I went to a surprise birthday party for a friends wife last Saturday night. Young lady turned 60.
When I got there her 90+ year old father was there. Turned out he was a B-17 navigator in WWII.
Max is in pretty good shape for 90+. Walked with a walker but got around on his own. His mind is still pretty sharp.
We ended up in a corner talking. Until the party got going and the daughter intervened. :? Guess it was her party.
I would definitely like to get with him again. In a more private setting . 8)
Mike Wolford
CJ-2A
VEP GPW
Comm./Inst. SEL
AOPA ( 43 yrs)
EAA ( 43 yrs)
4th Inf. Div. - 2nd Armor Div. - CIB

Wolfman
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Re: VISIT FROM WWII AVIATOR

Post by Wolfman » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:25 am

Lt. Col. Doversberger RET. (RIP)
When I first met him, he was just a local neighborhood farmer that I did work for.
He was a quiet man. Never saw him get excited and always soft spoken.
I knew he was a pilot and owned a Champ.
What I didn't find out until later, he was a B-17 Command pilot in WWII.
He came over one day and wanted to know if I was busy and had time to go fly with him. He didn't have to ask twice. I am never so busy to not go flying. That was the first time. There were several more. On the way to the airport that first day, in his pick up truck, we had time to chat. That is when I found out, after knowing him for several years, he was a B-17 pilot.
After the first ground trip to the airport he flew out of, I suggested we could fly my plane from my home base to his airport and get in his plane and go fly some more, then fly back in my plane. That was a big hit and the way we did it for the rest of our flights together.
Gene was an excellent pilot. Everything was spot on. He did one of the meanest spins I ever rode through. 3 tight turns and out. And if he didn't come out exactly on heading at the end of the 3rd turn, we did it again, in the opposite direction. I was glad when he got it right the first time, and he did most of the time.
What I found out later was, Gene was having some health issues and couldn't pass his physical anymore. I was tail dragger rated and his safety pilot in case something went wrong. I was also his ticket to staying in the air. I had no problem with that. I felt privileged to be flying with him, even tough I was pilot in command. On paper.
On our last flight, I noticed Gene had a slight limp but didn't think too much about it. He didn't say anything. Everything went normal until Gene was landing at his home base. On touch down, he was still side ways. He had slipped in, in a slight crosswind and didn't straighten up for the touch down. Not like him. ???
As we were pushing his plane back into the hanger he commented, That light stroke I had must have effected me more than I thought. :shock:
That was our last flight.
I will always remember Gene coming through the shop door with a big grin on his face and asking, " Are you busy ?? "
It was a pleasure to know him and fly with him.
Rest in peace Lt. Col.
Mike Wolford
CJ-2A
VEP GPW
Comm./Inst. SEL
AOPA ( 43 yrs)
EAA ( 43 yrs)
4th Inf. Div. - 2nd Armor Div. - CIB

Wolfman
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Re: VISIT FROM WWII AVIATOR

Post by Wolfman » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:56 am

Every body get a grip.
I screwed up !!! :oops:
Lt. Com. Gene Doversberger did not fly a B-17. He was the command pilot and flew a C-47.
I was talking to his son and another close friend over the weekend and was enlightened to the ways of my error.
Gene flew paratroopers and supplies out of North Africa to Sicily at the beginning of the war.
Later he was transferred to England, where he participated in the invasion of Normandy and Market Garden. ( A bridge too far ). Again flying a C-47 carrying troops and supplies. Later he flew High Ranking officers around.
The part about he and I flying together is right.
May have got confused because another customer and good friend, Ed Schweitzer (RIP), was in England during WWII but in supply and parts acquisition, which included locating parts for fighters and Bombers, Including B-17s.
At the end of the war, Ed was offered a ride in a B-17 to fly over Europe, by one of the flight crews he located parts for, which included a flight over Berlin. He accepted.
Sorry for the screw up, but got it right now !!
I hate it when I do that, but feel better now. :)
Mike Wolford
CJ-2A
VEP GPW
Comm./Inst. SEL
AOPA ( 43 yrs)
EAA ( 43 yrs)
4th Inf. Div. - 2nd Armor Div. - CIB

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