Thursday, March 24th -Frenchie’s Report

Chris Le Fave, co-pilot/observer, writes this about today’s  flight…

“ As of day 2 we made it to Pecos TX where we will sit out the 35 MPH winds until Friday.  85 degrees and very friendly.  We have internet acess today but we may not have anymore as we go east.

66 years ago today  this airplane (02766) was on a transport ship being ferried back to Hawaii after serving for two months on Iwo Jima under the command of 1st Lt. Thomas P. Rozga.  Tom is the man we are going to see in Florida.  It is an honor to take this plane to her pilot!

Today we made it to Cochise Arizona on our first leg and had to land short on the runway because the USAF Academy cadets were towing and flying gliders in the middle of the runway.  No Problem.  We did get there too early and no one was there to give us fuel.  After a few minutes, the nice lady who runs the pumps got dressed and came out of her trailer to unlock the fuel. At her side was her small white airport dog that decided that while we were getting pictures, he would pee on the right landing gear.  Holy water….I guess?

Next leg, I flew to West Texas airport, East of El Paso.  We were greeted by the welcoming commitee of locals that just happened to be at the picnic benches and enjoyed seeing the plane.  After fueling and grabbing two homemade sandwiches from the airport fridge, we headed to Pecos.  We have had a good tailwind the whole way.The longest stretch without fuel was the West Texas to Pecos and we had no problem with plenty in reserve.West Texas Welcoming Committee watches L5 taxi

Upon arrival in Pecos, we were greeted by the 3 airport “Porchdogs” a golden, a black lab and a mutt.  They did not pee on the airplane  once Mike and I fed them our leftovers, They agreed to guard the plane til morning.  We will try and push through the rest of Texas Friday if we can.

We are switching off Pilot/Copilot as we have both decided that 1.5 hours in the back is about all your butt can handle.  Picture this though.  In WWII, The intial squadron of VMO-4 flew from Quantico VA to Miramar, CA in the same airplanes.  The poor enlisted man in the back had to be in the back the whole 3,000 miles.  Ouch!  We owe alot to these guys.

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