HOMER E. ANDERSON, JR. (1918 - 2004)
(CNAC 1944 - 1945)
(Captain - ???)
(Hump Flights - 100+)
In the 1943-45 log book of Don McBride, Homer listed his job as "MECH." and his address as:
Homer E. Anderson, Jr.
221 W. Franklin
Homer "Andy" Anderson
(Photo Courtesy of Jim Dalby)
2000 -- From Jim Dalby:
"Homer's airplane caught fire in January 1945 and he had to bail out over Burma. All survived. He was with us 1944 to 1945. He flew for me in Venezuela in 1950. He was very much married with several children at that time. I have not heard of his whereabouts since Venezuela."
From Gene Banning's list of 8/31/00:
"... survived crew bail-out plane 105 over Salween Valley; O2 mask caught fire, 2/16/45."
January 14, 2001
From Homer "Andy" Anderson
"Dear Tom Moore:
Thank you for phoning this evening. It brought back many of the important-to-me memories.
I and my wife and 2 year son, my oldest, Ed - lived in an apartment with another man and his wife in the town of Calcutta, India. We had 8 servants. Each did a certain thing, only. Due to their caste system, as an example, the kitmagar (sp?) or launderer was an "untouchable" and did the washing which no one else did. As a further example, the nurse-girl for the young son, would take off his diaper and just drop it on the floor where she took it off, and he would do the honors of washing it, as she wasn't allowed to do it. I remember too, that we had to lock-up the sugar cabinet in the kitchen, as the cook went home, every evening. The "head bearer" was in charge of all the other servants, and gave our orders to them.
My wife, sometime years later, (we had 9 children) said to me: "Where are all those servants, when I need them?!"
The time I spent there, was my "R&R" about 10 days (+ or -), per month. We pilots received $10 Gold (American Money) for each of the 1st 60 hours of flying and 10 rupees (Indian money), for each of the next 10 hours, then $10.00 "Gold" (per hour) for any of the following hours. I forget how many hours of flying the "Hump" was required each month.
From Calcutta to Dinjan we called it "Up Country", and Dinjan to Calcutta was reffered to as "Down Country". Dinjan is located in the upper-part of the Assam Valley.
Erik Shilling, who wrote the book "Destiny", and his wife, Kitty, were friends of ours. Kitty also worked at CNAC as the ground "Link" - (Blind Flying) - Trainer, for the pilots. Eric and his wife joined CNAC after the "AVG" disbanded. He had painted most of the tiger-faces on the nose of their P-40's, I understand.
The reason that I went to fly with CNAC in the 1st place: My wife, and little son and I were visiting my parents, as I was between jobs. They lived in NYC (Manhattan) at 34th and Park. We were sitting on the porch (25 stories up from the 34th Street). My stepfather and I had some sort of argument there, and he called me an "SOB" or a "Little s---" and then I went down with my wife to get our car and drove to the Chrysler Bldg and signed-on to go to CNAC by a James (I think) Roosevelt, the CNAC (recruiter?). I told my wife to find a parking place, as I could not. She was frightened, and yelled at me that she had never drived in NYC, and I told her I had never, either, and got out of the car in the middle of the street in front of the Chrysler Bldg. and I went on up to see Roosevelt about going with CNAC. I went to CNAC and my wife and child, then, remained behind in Liberty, MO. I did not send for my family until the following year (I think that the War in the Orient was over by then.)
Bill Odom. One time we were about to get into our planes (C-47), and leave Kunming and return to our base at Dinjan. Bill beckoned me over to his plane, as he wanted to show me something. I complied with his request, and he began sticking his thumb through the ailerons and elevators of his plane to show me how rotten and old the fabric was.
Well, he was fired "on the spot", and Sharp (?) sent another "Jefe"-pilot to fly that plane back to base. I think that pilot that was sent was "Terry" of the "Terry and The Pirates" of comic strip fame, of an even earlier time. I remember that comic-strip.
Somewhere along the line, someone told me (maybe he did) that Bill had fixed-up a B-26 and phoned Reynolds of the 1st Ball Point Pen fame, and told Reynolds of a moutain in China (Tibet?), which was higher than Mt. Everest. Sir Hilary had just climbed Mt. Everest, I think. (At that point, I suppose that Bill asked him if he'd like to go along, as a publicity-stunt.)
Well, they went and were interned in China, as they, yet, were at war. The ending of the War, I guess. Anyway, as I remember, Reynolds escaped. Bill had convinced the Chinese that he must give his plane a D.I. (Daily Inspection). Running the engines-up so at least the oil in the engine would circulate there. He did it on the taxi-strip each day. One time, on that taxi-strip, he zoomed-off and flew to Japan.
The next, and final time that I heard fo him, he had killed himself going around a pylon at the "Cleveland Air Races". He was flying Jacqueline Cochran's "Cut-off-Wings" Mustang plane, and had cut the Pylon-turn too tight and flew it into the ground, killing himself. (He was no Aerobatic Pilot.) She had been a WAC pilot in Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), while I was in England. At that juncture, the Cleveland Air Races were "no more".
Dear Tom Moore:
Here is another incident, as I remember, re-Bob Anderson. He and I were in ATA at the same time. I remember him swiming in the Atlantic Ocean, in Miami Beach, when I was courting my wife, in 1941. Here's more about Bob. One day, I was sitting in the front yard, of the "tea plantation Go Down", where we lived (slept and ate), writing a letter to my wife. This was before we moved from that abode to the "Go Down", (multiple sleeping-apartment project), later-on, but still flying out of the Dinjan Airport.
Anyway, back of that "tea-plantation" building, two "wags" (pronounced wahgs, Indian "coolies" or lower class of laborers), came walking toward me, one wag behind the other, carrying a horizontal pole of about 6 feet in length, resting on each of the "wags" shoulder, with a long (about 6 ft.) Cobra snake wrapped around the pole (dead of course).
Well. I got the snake (it probably cost me money). I took it inside the building and on upstairs, where guys that had flown the night before, were still sleeping, on their usual individual cot with an individual mosquito netting hung down from the top of each. I coiled the snake on the floor, close to Bob's bed and I went back downstairs to my letter-writing. Whe he awakened (and, probably, took off the mosqito-netting) and slung his feet over to the floor, to put his shoes on, he saw the snake, and took out his pistol and shot at it with several shots, some of the bullets went through the floor to the community-dinning room, below (on the 1st floor). I am happy that there was no person there, and was shot!! It was, in the end, very comical to me (not to Bob, of course), and not to several others, either.
(George "Robbie") Robertson was in ATA before CNAC and maybe he went there before I did. But this time (that I was aware of) he was about to start-up a Spitfire plane to ferry somewhere, but he fell out of the cockpit, really drunk!!
Another incident, is when he was on the beach of Miami Beach, Florida where I courted my wife after I returned from ATA. Robertson had just been swimming in the Atlantic Ocean (I suppose) and, probably, I had been swimming with him, as we were friends. But the following, you might think as comical, I do. He had a front tooth, of the two there in front, which was completely gold! But the part that really tickled me was that he had a tattoo (on his left breast, of a clown's face). The nose of the clown was the teat. And when it got cold, like from the Atlantic Ocean, the nose of the clown, there, hardned and stuck-out!
Another incident: He had married a girl named Margo in India. She had been the mistress of a British Officer there (during Bob's Hump days). They got married, and returned to the USA, and moved into a motel (which is neither here nor there), but her picture was on the cover of "Life Magazine", and I do not remember why. The last I heard of him was that he ran a freight-airline to South America out of an airport, in Miami. At that time, it was known as the 20th-Street-Airport. I got my instrument rating there, a long time, earlier.
As I remember indicents, I shall write it down at once and advise you later." (Thanks Andy - Tom)
Click here to see the first of many more letters from Andy. Thanks Andy.
Click here to see the second letter from Andy.
December 10, 2004
We lost Homer to Lung cancer at age 83 on Oct. 29th (2004). All of his 9 children were at his bedside when he left us. He was flown to Salt Lake City then Provo, Utah, for burial next to his beloved wife, Marilyn.
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