MARCH 18, 1946


I was just going thru the pilots on your web and ran on to McCracken. I diffinately remenber the day he was lost in plane 139 on 3/18/46. I remenber this cause it's the day I thought I was going to buy the farm -- the worst trip I had over there -- I left Chungking for Peiking and ran into ice at 6000 and figured I could get above it to my 12,000 cruise altitude --- but no way -- at 10,000 I try high blower, but it didn't work and I'm still building clear ice - fast! Every pilot knows the story that when one thing goes against you, everything follows. Couldn't keep ice off wings --- started loosing altitude -- couldn't use more power cause prop de-icing wasn't coming off blades equally and making engines shake like they were ready break out off their mounts. Ice tore off wire antennas and built up on loop housing to where it seemed to go out. I knew I was about an hour out so I made a 180 to head back -- loosing altitude steadily -- no df so just held compass heading and prayed I didn't get off course to high stuff. I finally picked up Chungking df and homed in -- broke out at 4000 with about 14 inches of ice on windshield.

There were only three flights that went out of Chungking that morning. McCracken and another pilot (can't remember who that was) were both headed to Shanghai and I was headed to Pieking. The other pilot and I returned, but McCracken was never located.

I searched for his wreckage on flights I had over that route 3/20/46 and 3/21/46, but as far as I know it was never found.

Arnold (Schilperoot)

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