Join Date: Mar 2006
The Last Mission
The Last Mission
At the VFW hall on Veterans Day it was announced that a very special guest would be making his appearance to receive a commemorative plaque, and to address the vets. It turned out to be ol “Pops” Brannigan, a famous renowned pilot who flew fighters in WWI, and had flown 1 Mission as pilot of a B24 Bomber in WWII, in which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for taking his battered shot up ship to its target in Germany’ and bringing it back, without losing any crew members, and in the process they scored 15 kills on enemy fighters. Brannigan was a Flight Line Coordinator at the US Army Aircorp base in England in 1944, and was considered too old to be a Bomber Pilot, so one afternoon he stowed away on a Bomber, when the regular pilot came down sick, and by the time the Brass found out what he did, it was too late to call him back, because they were on strict radio silence, and he was well over the English Channel. Brannigan knew it could mean a court marshal when he got back, but he wanted one more crack at the Krouts. Instead of getting busted by the Aircorp, he became a hero and got a medal.
Pops Brannigan had a reputation of being a hard drinking, hard fighting guy that never backed down, and as he walked out on stage to the podium, even at the age of 84, he still had that old defiant swagger to his step, and it was quickly apparent he still had his old drinking problem too, because he was blitzed out of his skull, and was slurring his words.
The Master of Ceremony ask him to relate the story about his famous flight in 1944, well he got up to the part where they had just crossed the English channel, and then he started in describing when things started going bad:
We was flying along and suddenly all hell broke loose, the inboard port engine burst into flames, as a German Fokker came zooming in out of the sun, narrowly missing colliding with us, the tail gunner was screaming in my ear phones that five more Fokkers were closing fast at nine o’clock high, and about that time both side gunners chimed in with excited high pitched voices, that each one had several more Fokkers converging on them fast, the bullets were ripping through the fuselage so bad, that you couldn’t hold up a piece of notebook paper up, without getting holes punched through it, I put the ship into a dive to try to blow the engine fire out that was bound to explode any second, and~ (the MC interrupted Him) Pops excuse me for interrupting, but I think you’re a bit confused, you have your wars mixed up, A Fokker was a German WWI fighter biplane, and they didn’t exist in WWII.
Ol Pops Brannigan looked over at him through red bloodshot eyes’, and said:
“That’s right son, these Fokkers were Messerschmitt 109s“.
Texan by birth, Independent by choice, Christian by faith,
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