A True Long Shot
By Ralph Hall, Tail Gunner, 601st Squadron
The following story ties in with my previous story [Parachutes are not only for Jumping] about the nurses use of my parachute. About 30 years after the war my wife and I went to an 8th Air Force Reunion in Houston, Texas. This is before the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association started to hold their own reunions.
On the final night at the parting banquet held for the 1200 attending, we were seated by the groups attending. As we old timers usually do we were trading stories. The question came up how many missions each person flew. My answer was that I was shot down on my 29th mission on the 10th of January 1945 and never finished. I was wounded in the hip and went down in Eindhoven, Holland. I did not know the others at the table but the date and location rang a bell with one at the table. He went down the same day and place. He started saying that was a bad place they left you when they scattered. I didn't know much as I had been given a couple of shots of morphine and was on cloud nine. After his remarks I said that you seem to know more about me and the occasion than I do, who are you? His answer was that he was the one that came back with the Canadians in the lorry and picked me up. His answer was the shock of my life and I started to cry. It was Harold Stallings who was on the pick up crew and he saved my life. After that we were very close until he passed away.
What a shock after all that time the guy that rescued me was across the table. Without him I might never have made it. That's a long shot don't you think?
- McCarty's Crew - 601st Squadron - 1943
- Parachutes are not only for Jumping
- How Our Radio Operator Received a DFC by Ralph Hall, Tail Gunner
- Roll Call of the McCarty Crew - 1943 to 2005
Personal History Information
- Veteran: Ralph Hall
- Tail Gunner, 601st Squadron
- Date of Personal History: March 2003
- Author: Ralph Hall
- Submitted to 398th Web Pages by: Wally Blackwell