Two Zeros for Barbara Ann

George Chandler grew up in Wichita and enlisted as a fighter pilot before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He piloted P-38 fighter planes over the Pacific Ocean, out of air bases on Guadalcanal, and earned the title of “Ace” for shooting down five enemy planes.
Following is an excerpt from a story Chandler told about a chance encounter he had in 1950: 
“So, one day I was new here in Pratt and I was at the country club getting acquainted with people and met this young guy that was my age sitting across the table and everybody was talking about the war, because it was just not very long ago. 

So I said to him, ‘What were you doing during the war?’ ”
“ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘I was an infantryman,’ and he said, ‘my first combat was going ashore at Empress Augusta Bay at Bougainville Island on Nov. 8.’

“And my ears stood up because it was Nov. 8 when we had the big fight over the beach. And so I said, ‘Well tell me about that.’

“ ‘And he said, ‘Well, we were all standing on deck – the deck was just solid with men carrying their equipment to go down the rope netting on the side of the boat.’

“And he said, ‘Up above I saw these two dive bombers head straight down for us. And I knew if they put a 500-pound bomb into that deck full of men, they’d kill us all. And there was another ship just like us.’

“And he said, ‘I just knew we were all done. And then I saw this P-38 come down like a bat out of hell and shot them both down.’

“And he said, ‘God, I was so thankful.’

“He said, ‘I’d sure like to meet that guy and shake his hand and say thank you.’

“And I stood up and put my hand out and said, ‘I was the guy who was flying that P-38.’ ”

 

Giclee on Canvas:
$185 - 12 x 18
$375 - 20 x 30
$500 - 28 x 72
$750 - 40 x 60
Call 800-731-0060
Return to the Grinnell Page Return to Aviation Art Return to the Main Menu