The Great Walleye Caper

The 61st Troop Carrier Squadron in Bemidji



Dear Jerry,

During the recent Biloxi reunion a Firebird News Service reporter confronted me in the overbearing manner so typical of today's, "talking heads," connected to that disreputable profession. I'm sure you recall the unpleasant event to which I refer. During the ensuing verbal exchange with the reporter he alluded to an incident , which allegedly happened during our C-130 ski-bird training on Minnesota's frozen lakes almost forty years ago. He then asked for my comments. I responded to his query by bluntly dismissing the question and added, " I know nothing about the incident." The reporter expressed disbelief with my answer and scurried off to more productive news sources elsewhere. I put the aborted interview out of my mind and rejoined our mutual friends for an evening of fun and fellowship. But, since departing Biloxi, the reporter's question kept bugging me and I decided to give it some serious attention.

Soon after we returned home El Nino started its rampage in our fair state. Because of the torrential rains, flooding, tornadoes and other severe weather phenomena associated with the storms we were essentially confined to our home. In fact, the storm wreaked so much havoc that I personally elevated it from El Nino status to El Teno category. This was now an ideal time to spend in the privacy of my study. A time just to think about the reporter's question and to reminisce about the thousands of hours spent in the beautiful world of flight.

As you know, Jerry, I try to prepare carefully for future events and the planned seclusion in my study required such attention. First, I stacked several hours of Beethoven and DeBussey recordings on the CD player. Then I mixed a generous helping of my favorite potion and settled into my ever-waiting recliner. I clicked on the delightful music and in a moment of gratitude and satisfaction, gave thanks for this beautiful life we temporarily share on the good Earth. Then I turned to the task at hand- the resolution of the reporter's question. I decided that the best course of action would be mentally to reconstruct the events of our Bemidji days including the flight thereto from Sewart AFB.

As I relaxed in my chair ruminating about our training program in Minnesota, the combination of the music, the Chivas and the rain tapping its rhythmic beat on the windows produced their magical effect. Soon I found myself soaring into the heavens at the flight controls of my ever faithful companion C-130, Tail number 57-0495.


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