By Ben Vinson
Read or Download Flight: The Story of Virgil Richardson, A Tuskegee Airman in Mexico PDF
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Additional resources for Flight: The Story of Virgil Richardson, A Tuskegee Airman in Mexico
1 It was amazing to me to see how quickly soldiers could rise in rank once they were stationed there. A private could jump to being a sergeant within the blink of an eye! The first sergeant in our platoon was probably one of those. His name was Daniels, but we called him “Dirty Red” because he had reddish skin and a liver mark on his face. He had originally gone into the army during World War I to become a cavalryman, but shortly after joining he discovered that he had hay fever. He ended up becoming a chauffeur for the colonels who were stationed at Fort Huachuka.
So I turned around again and flew for what seemed like another two hours. Something was definitely wrong. I had no idea which way the wind was blowing and I was also losing altitude. I decided to take the plane all the way down to 1,000 feet so that I could at least follow a train or car to some small town in Alabama. Sure enough, I saw a postage stamp sized light and went in closer. It turned out to be a small airport. I dipped lower and began “dragging the field”—that is, I began maneuvering to see if there were any telephone poles or power lines in my way.
We certainly made an impression on the women, dressed up as we were in our cadet uniforms, our officer’s blouses, and brown shoes. We sashayed down the aisles as if we were royalty! The prettiest girls you could imagine were there to serve us. ” She was simply gorgeous, but, unfortunately, every guy that she liked ended up “washing out,” which meant that they had to give up their officer’s uniform and return to the army to become a mechanic or a private. Most men washed out while training on the PT trainer (the biplanes we used up to 8,000 feet), which we dubbed the Maytag Washing Machine.
Flight: The Story of Virgil Richardson, A Tuskegee Airman in Mexico by Ben Vinson