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Legacy Of:

Norman  W.  Nutt

 

Personal Legacy
One of my most 'fun' flights in a B-24 occurred on May 7, 1945 when I flew the first "Trolley Run" at wars' end. This was a sightseeing trip of Western Europe to show ground personnel the destruction that resulted from all the Allied bombing.

We loaded up old "Glory Bee" with nine 'ground-pounders' [non-flying personnel] and took off and flew very loose formation for our tour of Western Europe. It was one long, low level buzz job. My crewman Jangl writes of seeing dogs running around farmhouses, fistfights at a railroad station in Belgium, hundreds of flags flying from homes, flying down the Ruhr Valley between, but lower than, the mountains, seeing ships that had been sunk, bridges destroyed, Cologne Cathedral, cattle running about crazily, saw the now silent 'flak' guns - unbelievable utter destruction.

We flew according to the earth's' contour. I always thought that bomber pilots were frustrated fighter pilots at heart, and this flight gave me an opportunity to fly like one. This was the first of several "Trolley Runs" and I'm sure they became better organized and more disciplined on later flights.

On May 30, 1945 we took off in "Glory Bee", our B-24, for the flight home. I think the overall strategy was to get us over in the Pacific and bring that conflict to a speedy close.

We left Shipdham with Col. Snavely [Group CO] waving us good-bye. First stop was Valley which was a very beautiful and hospitable place. The weather was marginal, but we took off for Meeks Field, Iceland; a most desolate, windy, barren rock bound island. We stayed overnight, but were very anxious to leave this Godforsaken place. We left Iceland June 1st and headed for the next stop, Greenland, where we made a most interesting landing at the airfield called Bluie West 1. We had to approach the field from the ocean, fly up a narrow canyon to the one runway at the dead end of the canyon -no room for a second chance at this landing. The runway started where the water ended and was uphill, ending at the base of a big rock mountain. We took off from Greenland the next day, roaring downhill on the runway and heading right for the water; one of the more interesting airfields!

On the afternoon of June 2, 1945 we landed at Bradley Field, Windsor locks, Connecticut. First, we kissed the ground and then were treated by the Red Cross girls to a tall glass of cold milk -something we hadn't enjoyed since leaving the US some months ago. Our English hosts had treated us handsomely during our overseas 'adventure', but there's no place like home!

One sad remembrance of the journey home was the loss of Jack Ketchum [of the 66th] and his entire crew. Their plane hit a mountain in Scotland in bad weather. The crash site wasn't found until much later.

We were all given leave to visit our homes. In our eagerness we didn't realize that we [the crew] wouldn't meet again. The war in the Pacific was drawing to a bloody conclusion and the need for bomber crews no longer existed.
 
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Last modified: 01/26/14