From: Tucson, AZ
I was checking out the aircraft losses just now and noticed that for those aircraft models that have lost relatively few aircraft compared
to the carnage that's going on, most of their losses are entirely OPS losses. I've been setting their range on the 'normal' range setting
except for those squadrons that are using drop tanks and the Mavis doesn't use drop tanks yet it's OPS losses are growing each day.
Maybe I'm driving the pilots too hard. Asking for too much from them. It's not like the hard part is over with and they can slack off some.
I guess OPS losses are just what happens when you use them in the war. A pilot can have a bad day and ooops another plane has
it's gear wiped out by a hard landing. That usually totals the plane except for the spare parts.
I saw a Cessna 172, early model, painted in USAF colors, parked at Bien Hoa's large airfield off in the corner with the rest of the aircraft
skeletons. They had obviously been stripping spare parts off of it and out of it and there were no tires and no wheels on the landing
gear, it was resting on the bare metal of the landing gear struts. I don't remember seeing a birds nest in the engine bay but I wouldn't
be surprised to hear there was one. The paint job was fading and peeling in spots and nobody ever paid these planes any attention
anymore besides people like me, off work can't sleep, looking around the parts of the base the Japs used to own. There's still Jap
mines in old minefields around the base. They are marked and so on and there's usually an effort to blow up another of the old Jap
mines from week to week as a training class for the EOD folks. The kind of class you don't mind doing twice.
Did you ever suddenly realize that you're dead and nobody is telling you?