U.S. Marine Colonel Howard A. “Rudy” York (Ret.) was aboard the U.S.S. West Virginia on Dec. 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy. The ship sank, but he survived to fight another day, eventually serving as a fighter squadron commander. In 1944, while serving on Roi-Namur Island in the South Pacific, York was joined for two weeks by Charles Lindbergh. The two got to know each other fairly well.
❝One night after dinner he spent an hour telling me about his flight to Paris. Another night he spent an hour telling me about the kidnapping of his son.”
While having his hair cut at Kirby’s in Sequim, York recounted this story:
“Lindbergh flew with me for two weeks. He was a colonel in the Army Reserve. As a civilian he was investigating the Corsair for Chance Vought (founder of the Vought Corporation, which manufactures airplanes).
He took off on a Corsair with a 2,000-pound bomb centerline and a 1,000-pound bomb on each wing rack. It was a single-engine fighter. He took off from a coral runway in the tropics.
He got off in 2,300 feet, which was almost unbelievable. I know that because I measured it. I had estimated it would take 2,700 feet.
It wasn’t skill. Any a..hole could have done it. It was guts.
No one had ever flown with a weight like that before.❞
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