I worked with a guy from Beckley, WV. His father was a lineman for the power company there. He said every 2-3 years the power company had to re-string one or more of the high-tension power lines hanging across the New River Gorge, a couple miles from the famous bridge. There is an Air Force base somewhere nearby, and the pilots would fly along the gorge for practice. Everyone at the power company knew the lines were being damaged by planes that flew under them while flying through the gorge. On this occasion, the head of the power company called the base commander and wanted the Air Force to pay his substantial costs for re-stringing the line over the gorge. The base commander replied "My men are under standing orders to not fly under those power lines. We're not responsible for the damage." The two agreed to meet at the bank of the gorge to review the damaged power line. While they were standing there, with the commander denying that his pilots flew under the lines, a plane from the base flew through the gorge and under the remaining power lines. Talk about the wrong place at the wrong time...
Very Cool stories Mark, I shared with you my Uncle flew P51's in China Campaign and flew with Donald Lopez, One of Yeagers school mates at Cal Tech after the war. In Donald's book, Into the Teeth of the tiger, he mentions my uncle numerous times. Long story short, He went on to be deputy director Air and space museum. Gave me a behinds the scenes tour and told me a story about when Yeager visited and asked to bring the X1 down form its perch in the lobby. Sorry , Chuck can't do that but I can put you up in it with a cherry picker. Yeager sat in it for an hour reminiscing about breaking th espied of sound. Said he had not been in the X1 since the day he broke the sound barrier. They were pretty cool gentleman for sure. Donald was an Ace and his first kill was clipping wings with a Japanese zero. Zero went down , he survived. Gave me a picture of my uncle when. he crash landed his P40 called Lucy Bowels. He had disentary a lot in the war. Go figure.
Eagle127 wrote: The capper to end a terrible year.....The last of a breed...Breaks my heart...But what an adventure !!!! For the first time in a long time I feel like hanging old Glory at half staff...Yeager gone at 97....I'm glad he passed before the death of the nation he knew and loved.
Mark, many years ago (late 70's, early 80's), when we lived in Clear Lake Texas, all of the NASA astronauts hung out at a dive bar in Seabrook. Mirabelles was a real dump, way worse than just a hole in the wall, but that's where NASA crews gathered when they weren't training. It was always roudy as hell, as those guys partied like it was their last day on earth.
I'll never forget being there one Saturday night when it was the normal loud and crazy. Suddenly, the crowd went quiet. Chuck Yeager had walked in. Astronauts whose names are part of our history paid their respects to Yeager, one by one, and the rest of us just looked on in awe.
After a minute or two of erie quiet, Yeager loudly proclaimed, "let's get the damn party going".
He was, in all respects, nothing less than a God at NASA. All of the bar's walls were covered with photos of individual astronauts and mission crews, but a large portrait of Yeager hung behind the bar, all by itself, to show Mirabelles respect for Yeager.
Friday night 1978 Luke AFB,,Lead man ask if anyone would like to come in tomorrow morning to recover an aircraft that would not be covered by transit alert...Groans fill the room,,then he says it's a P-51...My hand shoots up,,Sure ! The next morning it taxis in,,the engine shuts down , I chock it ,place the fire bottle and ground it. What a beautiful site parked amongst a squadron of F-15's. The canopy slides back..I position myself [Senior Airman] at the trailing edge of the wing. The pilot gets out facing forward removes his helmet and turns around,,,In total disbelief I snap to attention , salute and uncontrollably say the words,,,,Check Yeager !! He smiles and says,,Yes I am !! Good morning Airman,,,and shakes my hand..Where is a good place to get some chow ? A limo staff car pulls up and I'm standing there staring at Glamorous Glennis in the morning Sun. Priceless. I found out he was there for the filming of the David Carradine movie [Cloud Dancer] ...It remains crisp in my mind to this day.
The capper to end a terrible year.....The last of a breed...Breaks my heart...But what an adventure !!!! For the first time in a long time I feel like hanging old Glory at half staff...Yeager gone at 97....I'm glad he passed before the death of the nation he knew and loved.