AT SATIN DOLL'S HARDSTAND BEFORE MISSION 48 - (submitted by Mike Munday, 316th Sqn)



    “Alright fellas, listen up.” Capt. J.P. McConnell called to his crew as they gathered near the nose of the Satin Doll. “We’re the lead ship on this one.  That means that everybody’s going to be dropping on us.  PJ, no pressure here, but you have to get the bombs on target, solid.  If you don’t have a good line, then we’ll just have to come back and do it again.  And I for damn sure don’t want to do that.  Everybody keep your eyes peeled for the Krauts.  They’ll be gunning for us extra hard today ’cause we’re leadin’. PeeWee, keep an eye on the formation and if they get ragged, tell Henry and he’ll get ’em to tighten up.  Wally, double and triple check you plots.  I don’t want to go traipsin’ around Yugoslavia in circles looking for the target, and I sure as hell don’t want to get lost coming back over all that water.”  In a  more mellow tone he continued, “Guys, I know that we’ve been through a lot together, most of have been together since Walla Walla, and I know that you’ll all do well.  It’s just that this time all eyes are on us.  Not just the rest of the group but Jerry too.  So look sharp, stay sharp, and we’ll get through this one fine.”


    “Hey, Cap.  You oughta do a Gillette commercial!” came an anonymous voice from the cluster of men gathered, breaking the tension and causing everybody, McConnell included, to break up laughing. “Billy Boy”, McConnell shot back, “you don’t even shave yet, whaddyou know about Gillette?” Morris added to the razzing of the ball gunner.


    “Yeah, Hey Billy Boy, didn’t you learn how to read from Burma shave signs?” The jibes and banter continued as the young men climbed into the aircraft, waiting for the order to start engines.