Monday, July 29, 2013
Back to the Pacific war
As I've mentioned before, I'm helping a WW11 air force veteran write his memoirs of the Pacific war around 1944-45. His first name is Jule and he lives in Santa Monica. Jule, at 89, rides his bike to Venice beach nearly every Sunday and our little group of film people would see him there by himself.
After a few years, he began to join us and when I told him I wrote a book, Emperor of Mars, he became interested in writing, so much that he asked me to help him. For the last 2 months Jule (first name) wrote and I put his material in a more readable form.
But last Saturday, Jule and I drove out to Camarillo, a city north of Los Angeles, about 40 miles away. There we found an air museum and two cargo airplanes from the war - both were flown by Jule.
He flew cargo planes to the Philippines and finally into Tokyo itself at the end of the war. His unit was nicknamed the Tokyo Trolley.
The two cargo planes we saw in Camarillo, were the C47 and C37, both pictured here. It was quite a moment as Jule stepped into each of the planes that were so crucial to the combat. He explained almost everything to me, some of it having been forgotten but now fresh in his mind.
Then we drove to Santa Paula, about 25 miles away where we met two of his flyer friends. Santa Paula has a tiny airport, no tower at all. There we found a P-22 instructor airplane
that was Jule's training, two open cockpits. Again his memories flowed, telling me stories about himself and others whom he flew with.
All in all, a heck of a day for memories. Now I will get back to editing and hoping also to do a small documentary on the subject.