Interrogation: “Last Roll Call” Excerpt

25:  Interrogation

After one particularly rough mission, I got a little carried away with the shots. I always took mine and Jack’s because he didn’t drink. Michael wasn’t feeling too well that day so he let me have his. Somebody else offered me another, and I happily threw that one down too. Before I had time to take anybody up on another offer, Dwight took me by the arm and told me I had had enough. He led me out to the truck waiting to take us to interrogation. When we arrived and started climbing out, he pointed his finger at me and said, “Don’t you say a damn word.”

The Last Roll Call written by Kenneth Tucker and Wanda Tucker Goodwin.

Combat Mission #1: “Last Roll Call” Excerpt

32:  Combat Mission #1

The day finally arrived, November 19, 1944, the first of my 35 required combat missions. If that wasn’t stressful enough, I learned that first-combat missions were never flown with your own crew; instead you flew with an experienced crew. I understood the logic, but it sure was a strange and scary feeling to board that Fortress and prepare for the mission with a bunch of strangers.

The Last Roll Call written by Kenneth Tucker and Wanda Tucker Goodwin.

Shot Down: “Last Roll Call” Excerpt

33:  Shot Down

As the plane slowed down, we noticed a small crowd had gathered. When we came to a stop, some members of the greeting party moved closer. We were all pretty anxious to get out of that plane, so I quickly opened the door. As long as I live, I will never forget those three women who were standing so close to the door they were actually blocking our exit. They were so scary, my first instinct was to slam the door shut and grab my pistol. Each one of the women was about the size and shape of a refrigerator. Their uniforms looked like they were made out of those olive drab GI blankets. On their caps was the prominent Communist red star. Each one had a bandolier of ammunition with a sub-machine gun slung over their shoulders. Boy, they were mean looking, with no expression on their faces whatsoever. They just stood there, glaring at us, until Dunigan came forward and attempted to get them to back up so we could get out. He wasn’t having much luck, and I was beginning to think that maybe we should have ditched in the Adriatic.

The Last Roll Call written by Kenneth Tucker and Wanda Tucker Goodwin.