Patriotic Principles and Quaker Testimonies
Dad was tight-lipped about the war years and only occasionally referenced his having been “stationed in Guam.” In sorting through my Dad’s papers to write his obituary in August 2013, I discovered his certificate for Distinguished Service as a Navigator in nine successful air flights, 1943-1945, to drop bombs on Japan during World War II. I stared hard at the aged photograph of the young crew in uniform, standing proud in front of their Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Renown for its ability to fly higher and faster than Japanese planes, the B-29 four-engine propeller-driven heavy bomber was one of the largest aircraft of its day, with very advanced features such as a pressurized cabin, an electronic fire-control system, and remote-controlled machine-gun turrets. My fears were relieved when further research assured me that Dad had not been on the flights that dropped either Fat Man or Little Boy – codenames for atomic bombs detonated over Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
On Patriotism (January 2014)