"Alone, Unarmed and Unafraid"
The motto was "Alone, Unarmed and Unafraid" . It's about 2AM and a crew from my Squadron, the 12 TR.. are working a target just below the Yalu.. the B-29s, (Big Brother) had just dropped a lot of 500 pounders and Charlie was not all that happy. So the RB-26 crew is getting some flak and doing evasive maneuvers. The Douglas RB-26s had a glass nose, like a hot house so the Nose Nav could see out. (Thats the position I flew). So now for the fun part.. they take a hit direct center on the nose and the entire glass nose is blown away. The Nav-bombardier is in shock, still alive with blood and guts all over him, and the air blast at 230 knots is tremendous.
He comes too and realizes he is hit and hurting bad, it is pitch dark, so he has little visabilty, but he finally gets back on interphone and tells the pilot his situation and describes his injuries, blood gut, etc. The pilot of course is calling Mayday and is heading back South to recover at Kimpo, the nearest base. Its about an hour flight, so the Nose Nav decides to write his final love letter to wife and family, with the Rear Nav, doing the writing for him. The guy is in pain and suffering, moaning and carrying on.. who wouldn't be? As they get closer to Kimpo, they have the Flight Surgeon on line talking to him and he is telling him to try to keep his intestines wet. So he tries to dump the urine relief container on his stomach and it of course sprays all over the nose and back thru the crawlway and all over the pilot.
They finally get the bomber back across the DMV and the Pilot makes a good landing. Fire trucks, Ambulance and Recovery crew standing bye. Pilot pulls of main runway onto nearest taxiway and everyone converges on the cripple bomber. The Firemen were the first to get to the Nose compartment from the outside. There is confusion, laughter and everyone is relieved to find the Navigator, injured to extent that he had survived a direct goose hit. Yes, there were blood, guts and also feathers all over the nose comparment (plus urine). Earlier I said there was blood, guts and etc. So now you know what etc. was.
Fortunately, the Nose Nav miraculously was not serious injured and was back flying combat in a few days. So now you know that not only were the North Koreans after us, but they had trained geese trying to take us down, also. That goose nearly took off the front end of the airplane.. the Nose Nav was lucky he survived it. He immediately picked up a nickname.. "Goosey".. and we really razzed him a lot..A
Geese can weight up to 25 pounds and are defenitely a hazard to flying, as we all know from the recent incident in NY where a damn good pilot put his bird down safely in the Hudson river (Jan 15, 2009).
Edgar Allen Poe could have made this more interesting, but I did the best I could.