Captain Kingsley and Lieutenant Duncan after the Fiume mission - (submitted by Magnus Kimura, 399th Sqn)
"It's alright, see you at debriefing," Captain Kingsley said to the crew of the Princess Lilikoi who had taken their seats in their jeep that was taking them from the hard stand to S-2 for debriefing.
"Sure, King," Lieutenant Siegel replied and the jeep drove off, but there was one more crew member left behind. He was still in the nose of the Princess Lilikoi, and Captain Kingsley waited for him outside and he wasn't happy. For the fourth mission in a row his bombardier, Lieutenant Duncan, had missed the target completely. Over the last six missions, the bombardier had hit the target only once and had the worst record in the group. Lieutenant Duncan slowly slides out of the front hatch under the nose and walks to Captain Kingsley. He puts on his cap. "Captain."
"Nat, you know what's coming."
"Your record is the worst in the group. The men don't trust you anymore."
"I know, King," Lieutenant Duncan admitted.
"Nor do I. We can't have you on the crew any longer. Yesterday, I gave you one more chance, but you didn't show any improvement at all today. You need some R and R. I want you to go to the Infirmary after debriefing and talk to the Medical Officer. That's an order, Nat." After a moment of silence, Frank spoke up again. "Come on, I'll walk with you to debriefing."
NEW 399th CO NEEDED - (co-submitted by Mike Lam & Magnus Kimura, 399th Sqn)
Captain Frank Kingsley raps on the door marked "COMMANDING OFFICER". Upon hearing 'Enter', Kingsley opens the door, walks smartly up to the man sitting at the desk and stands at attention.
"Captain Kingsley reporting as ordered, sir," Kingsley said while giving a salute.
Kingsley holds the salute until Colonel Lamb looks up and returns his salute. "At ease, Frank. Sit down, have a seat," Colonel Lamb offers.
Kingsley pulls out and sits in the empty seat in front of him. "Thank you, sir."
"Frank, you're probably wondering what I wanted to see you about. Well, I want you to know that you've done a good job as the acting CO leading the 399th since Captain Fell was lost last week."
"Thank you, Colonel."
"Now, I've been
waiting for that promised replacement and I just got word that we're not getting
him. So now I need to find a new CO for the 399th. You're
next-in-line, so do you feel you're up for the responsibilities and do you want
the job or do I have
to look elsewhere?"
This was not a surprise to Captain Kingsley, but the news were unexpected. He was sure that that the replacement for Captain Fell would come, but now Colonel Lamb had just said that the replacement would not arrive. Not long before he knocked on the door to his Commanding Officer he landed Princess Lilikoi after the mission to Fiume, and he was exhausted, but it didn't take long for Captain Kingsley to reply.
"Yes, sir, I'm up for the responsibilities. Please tell me more," Frank said as he leaned back in his chair and listened carefully to Colonel Lamb's words, fighting to stay awake. All he wanted to do now was to get a shower and rest after the mission and get a good nights sleep. Colonel Lamb explained that he wanted to take care of the promotion and medal requests that had been back logged since Captain Fell was shot down. Kingsley sat quietly until the Colonel was finished. "Yes, sir, I understand. I'll do my best." Standing up, he spoke up. "Colonel, before I leave, may I have a word."
"Yes, Frank, what is it?"
"It's about Lieutenant Duncan. You know that he has the worst record in the group. I speak for the whole crew. We don't want him on our crew."
"Hmm, do you feel that strongly about the man?" the Colonel asked.
"Yes, sir, I do. He isn't able to perform his duties any longer. Bringing him on a plane full of bombs is a waste and he risks our lives for nothing. I recommend that he is taken off duty and an examination by the Medical Officer. I sent him over there right after debriefing. I need a replacement right away, someone who can live up the responsibilities of a squadron lead bombardier. Lieutenant Duncan is good, and I'd like to have him on my crew, but after these last 6 missions, I don't know, I don't want him up there in his condition now. If he could get some R and R for a few days, perhaps hell get better? I am waiting for the Medical Officer's report. Is there a bombardier in the Pool who can replace Lieutenant Duncan?"
After thinking over Kingsley's request, Colonel Lamb decided to trust in his new CO's judgment. "All right, we're a little short of bombardiers but Tim Fell's old bombardier Tony Segovia is being released from the infirmary. You can have him. If you don't have any more requests, go get some chow, Frank."
"No, sir, and thank you, sir." Captain Kingsley salutes the Colonel and exits the office.
AFTER THE FIUME MISSION AT THE BASE HOSPITAL - (submitted by Bob Hamel, 316th Sqn)
“Nurse, has that Sergeant over on the left bunk stopped muttering since you stitched him up?”
“No doctor,” Nurse Sally Thorns said sadly, he keeps saying over and over, I knew it.
“I’ll have a talk with Captain Griffin, perhaps a few of his guys could come over and cheer him up?”
Nurse Thorns whispered to the doctor, “I would ask Captain Griffin to check his station, something about a dropped rabbit's foot.”
“Ah,” said the doctor. “These boys are really superstitious and perhaps he feels he got hurt because he was without his talisman, I’ll certainly ask Captain Griffin to check on that.”