OAKLEY M. SMITH, JR. (1924 - 2005)
(CNAC 1946? - 1949)
(Hump Flights = XXX)
left to right
unknown, Oakley Smith, unknown and unknown
Probably Flying Tiger Airline plane in the background
On the left is Oakley Smith - 2001 Flying Tiger Line Reunion
(Photo Courtesy of the FTL Web Site Manager Mike Howe)
May 8, 2001
(The following story from Oakley Smith takes place during Christmas 1948.)
Well we were taking supplies to Tu Yu-ming who was surrounded by the Reds about 150 miles northwest of Nanking when we got hit by a few bullets. There was a low broken cloud cover over the drop area so I had to make four or five passes to let the kickers hit the drop zone when they shoved the load out the open cargo door. Howard Littlefield was my copilot and I don't remember who the radio operator was. Anyway, about the third pass we took a round through the instrument panel just to the right of the autopilot shut off valve. A fleck of paint from the panel hit the radio operator just below his left eye so he started to bleed and was terrified. Really, it was only a very minor cut and not deep so after putting a little cold water on it we went on to continue dropping the rest of the load. I had just bought a nice pair of brown shoes but when the bullet came through the panel it also cut the hydraulic line to the autopilot valve that was disconnected anyway (we didn't use autopilots on C-46's) so the fluid ruined my right shoe.
After we returned to Nanking, Littlefield resigned. Len Parish and Littlefield flew the plane with 27 bullet holes back to Shanghai for repairs. I got the plane that Len brought to Nanking along with his crew to continue dropping supplies the next morning.
That's about it Tom. No big deal. Best Regards, Oakley"
(NOTE: Oakley and his wife Joan spend their winters in Palm Springs and their summer's in Alaska.)
May 15, 2005
Oakley Smith passed away Monday, April 18, 2005. Funeral services were held on Monday, April 25th at 10:30 A.M. at the San Jacinto Cemetery in Hemet, California.
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