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This is a picture of 1LT Richard Scruggs, Army Air Corps B-25 pilot, my father and I miss him dearly. His bomber was shot up over Rabaul on a strafing mission, an enemy twin 25MM canon caught him on the break and knocked the L engine off it's mount and wounded the tail gunner. With no hydraulics, an engine on fire and no electric systems there was even worse news......the 4 VT fuze 250 pound fragmentation bombs set to explode at 100'AGL. Luckily the fire bottles put the fire out on the feathered L engine but they were at 1000 feet and losing altitude at 50'/minute. There was no way to open the bomb doors, however the Crew Chief and injured Tail Gunner used the ratchet tool and got the doors open. Dad tried to drop the bombs using the emergency manual trip but the shackles were not budging and they were down to 700 feet and losing 100'/minute due to the extra drag. Dad ordered the crew to bail out and they all said no way. After loosening the shackles, the turret gunner and waist gunner kicked the bombs free while the Bombardier and wounded tail gunner got rid of all the 50's, ammo, C-rations and everything else that wasn't bolted down. Their emergency landing field was the old dirt Japanese runway on Guadalcanal and that's where they headed. Half way back to GC, the turret gunner reported 4 bogies at 6 O'clock and coming fast. They all held their breath and then the turret gunned yelled out Corsairs Corsairs! They had a Marine escort who led them straight to GC, using chalk boards for commo. Dad put the crippled Mitchell down with no gear and no flaps and was greeted by a huge contingent of mechanics and soldiers who cheered the crew as they egressed. That's when this picture was taken and someone noticed Dad had been bleeding from his Left ear. The AA explosion had broken his ear drum and he didn't even notice. He spent the night in the 48th Station Hospital and his nurse was a 1LT Anna Dybing from Wild Rose ND.....my mother.....but that's another story. Dad was awarded the DFC, note his sidearm.....a Remington M1911A1. Regards, Rick.
 

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sakorick, that is one great story/tribute to your Dad. Since you write that you miss him dearly, I can only surmise that he has passed away by now. Thank God for heroes such as your Dad in our nation's history and I hope that you and your family are having a very good Memorial Day. My Dad served in the Navy in WWII. I lost him in August 2009 and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him. Take care and thanks again for the post. It is what this special day is all about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My mother was also a hero. She spent 30 straight months most of it on GC. She worked the 12 hour night shift in the surgical ward for 30 months, 24/7. Those women nurses were a special breed.
 

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sakorick,

Thank God for Heroes like your parents.
 

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I'd love to read the whole story of your parents experience in WWII, including how they stayed in contact after meeting on Guadalcanal. I can only assume he was sent back to his squadron as soon as feasible.

What impresses me most about my grandparents (the WWII generation) is that they just did what needed doing, selflessly. But they kept their humor and joy for life, despite the hardships and loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They stayed in contact all right! It was love at first sight. They were married on Dec 15, 1944 in the post chapel on Guadalcanal. They finally managed a 3 day honeymoon on New Zealand in March of 1945. I was born in Portland, Oregon on Dec 29th, 1945. Mother once she had a confirmed pregnancy was dismissed from the Army in June of 1945. I essentially was responsible for getting mom out of the hell hole 3 months early and she thanked me often. Dad was a career Air Force officer and retired in 1964 as a LTC. I was a career Army Aviator and my brother was a Naval Aviator for 6 years then retired from Delta. All airmen in my family. Regards, Rick.
 

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