ADVANCED FLYING SCHOOL
After two months at Arkansas we were moved to Moultrie, Georgia for advanced flying school. Here the weather was much warmer, with balmy days. It was a much more improved atmosphere than Arkansas.
Since we were now more or less committed to graduate there was much less tension, and we were treated with a much greater amount of respect by the ground officers and ground crews.
The airplane that we flew was the North American Texan, the AT6. This was again a tandem two‑seater with retractable landing gear, a controllable pitch propeller, and a 560‑horsepower engine. It was fully acrobatic with a relatively thick wing which made it very maneuverable, but fairly slow for such a large engine. The landing gear was narrow which made each landing exciting.
When in basic flying school I had a close friend who decided that he wanted to become a fighter pilot. I, on the other hand, had decided that I wanted to fly a bomber. We argued about the merits of our choices for about a month, each trying to talk the other into his choice so that we could stay together during the next phase of our training. This would be either multi‑engine advanced flying school for the future bomber pilots or single‑engine advanced flying school for the future fighter pilots. We were allowed to make a choice by a closed ballot, and if we were proficient in acrobatic maneuvers we would be given our choice, and if not then we would be assigned to bomber school. Of course most of the students chose fighter school, but there was a greater need for bomber pilots since first of all there were more bombers than fighter aircraft and secondly each bomber had two pilots.
Now my friend was a very agreeable fellow and of course so was I. Because of that we decided to surprise each other by checking our ballot for what the other one wanted, feeling that we would then stay together. We kept our choice secret to surprise each other until the assignments were posted, and that's how I became a fighter pilot and he became a bomber pilot. His name is Nick Sidovar, and I hope that if he is still alive that he has forgiven me and that perhaps I will some day meet up with him again.
One of the stories about Nick was about what happened during our pre‑flight days at Maxwell Field on one of the rare nights when we were allowed to leave the base and go into town. We decided to visit the local Woolworth store to buy some sundries, but mainly to be able to speak to the female clerks, since we missed female companionship and had not been away from the base for over a month.
We did meet two very suitable young ladies, who since they were living together, invited us to accompany them home after they finished working that night. Nick was older and more experienced than I was, and he suggested that he could brief me on what to do in order for me to spend a more interesting night. I told him that I could handle myself and refused any advice from him. During the night we were in adjoining rooms and I therefore knew that he had a much more intensive and interesting night than I did. When we were on our way back to the base the next day, I decided to ask him about his obvious ability for conquest. He told me that aside from being more attractive to the opposite sex than I was, he would tell them that he was a homosexual, and that would become a challenge for the girl to see if she could cure him. It also gave her ego a boost if she could succeed in seducing him. He told me that it always worked, which he proved to me on another occasion.
There is an addendum to this story that I feel obliged to relate. The reason that I was not successful that night was due to a couple of incidents. The first was that the individual whom I went to bed with was in no shape to engage in the activity that I had in mind. It seems that nature had played a trick on me. The second reason was that later in the evening two more females arrived with their dates, two other aviation cadets. They sat around and talked for a while and the cadets left. One of the females climbed into bed with me and my date and went to sleep. The other female who was extremely attractive went into another bedroom by herself.
Sometime during the night I decided to go to the bathroom. There was another door to the bathroom and after I had completed my mission I decided to see what was behind the other door. I opened it carefully, but apparently not careful enough. I found myself in the bedroom of the other female. She was in bed reading and when she saw me she motioned to me and invited me in. I was embarrassed and so I quickly shut the door and went back to my original bed with the two girls and went to sleep.
In the morning we all awakened at about the same time and I quickly dressed. All the girls were now in the room with me and my friend Nick. He was all wrapped around his date both physically and emotionally. I was ready to leave when the very attractive girl from the other room came over to me and whispered to me that she was sorry that I had not accepted her invitation to join her in bed last night. I explained that I thought that she was motioning for me to leave. She said that I had misunderstood, and that she had been motioning for me to join her. She said that the offer was still in effect, and took my hand and began to lead me to her bedroom.
Just then there was a pounding on the apartment door. It was the landlord, and he was very upset about having two men in the apartment. He ordered us to leave, and the girls began arguing with him. He said that if we didn't leave immediately that he would call the police.
Nick and I decided that it would be a good idea to stay out of trouble and to leave. We told the girls that we would be back the following weekend, but that never happened, and I don't remember the reason.
Anyhow, back to advanced flying school.
Again we were to work very hard with little time off, but with no complaints because we were all enjoying the flying. We also were becoming quite conceited about our new skills and found that anyone who was not a pilot was not in our league. I was now twenty years old and I must admit that it was a very good year. I knew that I was on my way to combat and that I might not reach my next birthday, but I put those feelings in the back of my head and enjoyed these days and months thoroughly.
One of the secretaries at the base invited me to visit her in town when I had a day off. One Saturday I did have the day off and decided to go into town to visit her. She lived in a rented room in a home that belonged to a young couple. The husband was a ground officer at the base.
When I arrived at the house, the wife of the officer was home alone. She told me that my friend was away for the day and that her husband was on duty at the base for the day. She was wearing a very thin negligee and it was very evident that she had a beautiful body under the negligee. She asked me to sit down and join her for either a cocktail or coffee. I refused both and she allowed the negligee to partially open and sat down inviting me to do the same. I was getting very nervous since I was an aviation cadet and her husband was an officer. She detected my discomfort and suggested that I might be more comfortable if I removed my tie.
The next day was Sunday and we were invited to put on an air show for the townspeople. We flew tight formations and did some relatively low altitude acrobatics and made a lot of noise. I was thrilled to be part of the show and enjoyed every bit of it.
Oh yes, if you were wondering about what happened, I did not remove my tie, excused myself, and returned to the base. Please forgive me for not making the story more interesting, but in the interest of honesty I must tell the truth.
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