I had the great and good fortune to discover and befriend members of my father’s B-17 crew from WWII. One gentleman in particular, Eddie Linnum, and I became close. Through him I received a remarkable gift; that of learning about my dad’s exploits as a bombardier as well as his relationships with these remarkable men from his 34 missions aboard the good ship ‘Miss Behavin.’ The experience of learning about aspects of my dad I didn’t know as well as receiving the treasure of Eddie’s friendship were priceless.
I’m in the midst of writing a memoir about dad and growing up in Cottage Grove, Or., all juxtaposed with his war-time efforts and coming full circle again by discovering an unknown side to him through his crew. One dear gent, Walt Fleming, who was a turret gunner (and apparently whose life dad saved during one harrowing mission) told me after initially contacting him that I could consider myself in good standing as ‘a member of our crew.’ So the current working title of the memoir is A Member of the Crew.
I adapted a piece from ‘Crew’ that was published last year in a wonderful layout by Flight Journal Magazine. I offer it here as both a tribute to Eddie and Dad & the rest of the crew, but also to show you that sometimes you start out writing one thing and you find yourself writing something else. And it’s usually best to give into where the writing wants to go.