"Were there dangers? Flying is risky. It’s always risky. We had a saying that…there were old pilots and there were bold pilots, so you have to be careful. They says, there were never any old, bold pilots. If you’re too bold, you never get old.
We lost people. Flying…flying is risky. I think the Air Force will tell you that they lost a lot of people in training who never went to combat. See…when you are running an airplane, there are many, many things have to go right all the time, and you only need one or two of ’em to go wrong, and you pay a big price for the mistake you make. Flying is not an easy job.
I started out—I wanted to be a pilot, and I did pretty good. They have primary training, then you have basic training, and you have advanced training. I got through the first two, and in advanced training, I was about ten days from graduation and I…wasn’t quite good enough, and I think I was the last one in my class to get washed out, so I didn’t quite make it. So after that, I went to bombardier school, but it was a lot of fun, I learned a lot.
My pilot class was a class called 44B, that means in 1944, I think it was the second class would have been my class, if things had gone right, I would have graduated in February of 1944, but I didn’t, so I went to bombardier school, and I graduated in December as a bombardier for Midland, Texas."