Trumbull – Dear Fugitives From the Home Fireside (4) – Ced’s Return Flight – Arriving at Chagrin Falls, Ohio – January, 1946

Finally I spotted one between two high ridges, and having no choice I skittered down in and landed. I learned it was “Roulette” (appropriate name under the circumstances) and was no longer an approved airport. Having no idea where Roulette was I got out my map and had the fellow show me. It some 15 miles south of the N.Y. border and about 35 miles north of where I should have been flying. I had misjudged the wind and so set out again in a better direction, and just before dark I arrived at Oil City, Pa. — A mere 345 miles from Monroe and still 12 miles north of what should have been my flight path. I must have flown over 400 miles. The next day the weather reports were OK and I set off again in a happy frame of mind which soon became not so happy being squelched by some more of those “light” snow squalls. I did keep pretty close watch of the route and remain quite on course until I approached Cleveland. There the squally became so thick I decided to make a landing even if I had to land in the field. Not seeing an airport at the next village not seeing an airport at the next village I passed over, and a good field appearing at the edge of town, the little Taylor craft soon bounced over the deep snow covered field and again rested on the good Earth. I remained at a farmhouse across the road and learned that the Chagrin Falls airport was a scant 3 miles from there. More later.

Ced also includes a more or less intimate and personal account of conditions at the Woodley airfield which I will not quote. He says his work on Tuesdays and Thursdays starts at 4:30 AM, and Sunday, Monday, Wednesday at 7 AM. Saturday is his day off.

O.K. Ced, will be glad to do what we can for Leonard and Marian but from all reports housing conditions all over the East are terrible and returning servicemen are said to be living in tents in Central Park. The auto situation is a little better, BUT we will of course do the best we can. The enclosed snapshots were all Lad was able to get — no movies. Your suggestion about Mother’s picture is a good one. That is going to see what he can get from those old movies — the bum ones I took when we first got the camera. The miniature on the stand by my bed schoolgirl picture of your mother before we were married and is not as you remember her.

Next week maybe they’ll be something from Dave.    Ta-ta.    DAD

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

On Monday, we’ll jump back in time to 1942 when Lad and Dan are just going through their Army training. The War has just begun.

Judy Guion

Advertisements

Trumbull – Dear Fugitives From the Home Fireside (3) – Ced’s Return Flight – Second Problem – January, 1946

All went comparatively well and so I came into the mountainous regions of the Alleghenies. Here, somehow, I missed my landmarks and was soon in a quandary as to where Wilkes-Barre, I first intended gas stop, might lie. After a brief but fruitless search in the vicinity of where I thought it should be, I determined to go on to Williamsport, as my guess was sufficient, and I didn’t see the use of using it all up in one spot looking for W-B. I flew for some time and I thought I had my bearings established again, but after a little bit I began to wonder, and as the visibility was getting poorer all the time, I determined to turn in a southerly direction sure of intersecting the Susquehanna River somewhere before getting to Williamsport. Well, that I did at a point about 2 miles northeast of Sunbury although I didn’t know where I was until I flew over Sunbury and saw the name on the roof of the hangar. I was about 20 miles south of 15 miles east of Williamsport. I was glad to see an airport and wasted no time landing on the sod runway. I had the ship gassed, checked the weather and found there were local light snow falls do. As this was not a bad report I went down to the end of the runway and took off. A cub took off right behind me with the two mechanics who had gassed my plane. They were going up for a little practice. We were hardly off the runway when the snows came, and BROTHER, it wasn’t exactly “light” snow. I circled around to get above the bank of the river and figured I’d break out of it soon, but after five minutes flying it became so thick I could barely see the ground they turned back onto the river and headed for Sunbury. By that time I was between the riverbanks and couldn’t see either one half the time. By guests and by golly I finally got back

Page 3    1/13/46

field and landed. Weather reports had changed and now the prediction was for an all-day snow. Resignedly, I sat and talked to the men the field and at noon I went into town and grabbed a lunch. As soon as I sat down to eat the snow tapered off and by the time I had finished it had stopped completely. Not waiting for my ride back to the airport I set out on the run and was cranking up and took off, still hoping to make Norwalk by nightfall. Flying over mountainous country was low ceiling and scattered snow flurries is rather uncertain business, and when the wind is changing direction as it was that day, it is really a nuisance. Landmarks are few — always seem to look the same as at least 10 others, and to make a long story short, it wasn’t long before I was once again in a quandary. The trouble was that my compass correction was incorrect for the wind, which had shifted, and as a result I flew In NW in relation to the ground instead of due W, which it should have been. At one time there was a particularly heavy snow flurry and for about three minutes I never saw thing but the windshield and the side windows outlined in white. That was a hell of a long three minutes. Also, the snow had blocked off the vent on the reserve tank and when I pulled the valve, no gas ran into the maintaining. There I was with probably an hour’s gas at the most, not sure where I was, not positive that I had over half an hour’s gas, and over the mountains, and snow flurries. Well, I kept a weather eye peeled, and each time I passed over a community I searched the surrounding countryside for an airport.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of Ced’s travails so far, and the end of this letter.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Fugitives From the Home Fireside (2) – Ced’s Return Flight – First Problem – January, 1946

 

“What the hell” is correct, Danny, old son, the bother is all in your own mind. It wouldn’t be much fun if we couldn’t feel we were being useful to someone, it’s about the only way we at home can gratify the urge to help, and it’s particularly pleasing to know it really is a worthwhile service. This week I shall try to get off to you some of the layette items. And thanks for the photos of Paulette. Enclosed, in return, some snaps Lad took of Ced and his plane,

Page 2    1/13/46

print which, incidentally, Lad graciously worked until 3 o’clock this morning so that I might send them off to you in today’s mail.

And that quite properly brings us to the other long letter I received this week from Ced. He mentions the fact that Leonard and Marian Hopkins are leaving Anchorage on Jan. 15th for a trip to the East, with the possibility of their calling at Trumbull. As to his (Ced’s) return flight, he says: “Presumably you are curious to hear details of the plane trip up here. I made no notes, took very few pictures and all that I have to go on is a rather vivid memory of the high points of the trip. On this letter item I am toying with the idea of perhaps trying a fling at an article or story. Perhaps nothing will come of it but we shall see. The rough details I should now narrate for your edification only. I left Monroe Airport on Dec. 10 amid a show of field “buzzing” in a farewell salute to members of the family who had turned out to bid me Godspeed and to give Lad an opportunity to take some movies. (I trust he got some good ones). Having climbed to about 1000 feet I faced the nose the ship to the West in the gray dawn of an overcast day, and visit myself with instruments, maps, etc., likely to be needed at the start of a long cross-country trip. This activity I failed to know for quite an extended. The course of my craft over the terra firma below and soon I realized I had lost sight of familiar landmarks. I compass had swung far around to the north and east and so I tried to make corrections. The next thing I knew I was winging serenely westward across the Housatonic at Stevenson Dam, and that, dear family, is why you heard my engine for such a long interval. Actually I made a big circle to the east while I was lining up my maps. Well, my embarrassment and chagrin somewhat soothed by again coming on course I settled down to a more alert contemplation of the ground under me and was presently passing over Bethel, Lake Mahopac and points west, and that, by the way did include West Point.

I’ll be posting the rest of this letter throughout the week.

Judy Guion