Aviation Nona Hengen Palouse Pilot

ISBN 13: 9781604141504

Palouse Pilot

 
9781604141504: Palouse Pilot

The second edition of Palouse Pilot is dedicated to Sara R. Hill Rohwer Bobbie Our Georgia Peach October 6, 1916 September 12, 2008. Palouse Pilot is a story of both adventure and romance. Just months before shipping out to Corsica in 1944, Scotty met his lifelong sweetheart in Greenville, South Carolina. He first saw her on the dance floor of the American Legion USO canteen and when she spoke My name is Bobbie Hill, he was smitten. Their romance blossomed against the backdrop of WWII. Fifty-three love letters later, at the completion of his military service, Scotty sent a train ticket to the spunky Georgia redhead. Alone and undaunted, Bobbie headed west to an airbase in Santa Anna, California with one suitcase in hand. It didn t take her long to accept Scotty s marriage proposal and agree to be married in a small wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada. She would trade in her hometown of Homer, Georgia and the comfort of white magnolias for the unknown golden wheat farms of Eastern Washington. It was there that Bobbie would create a lifetime of cherished memories with her husband, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends. Over the next 60 years, our white magnolia gal carved a life in the Palouse country, becoming a golden wheat gal. She was a beautiful, unique blend of the red-hills of Georgia and the rolling farmlands of the Palouse.

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From the Back Cover:

This account, written by Dr. Nona Hengen, the talented historian and artist from Spangle, Washington, describes the experiences of a farm youth, also from the Spangle area, during World War II. The story is based on the diary of Scotty Rowher. For each of his 67 missions, im­mediately after each attack, he listed on a single page the crew members’ names, the results of the bombing, and the consequences to the crew and the planes. Of special additional interest is the evolution of his personal feelings in the course of the campaign. His squadron, the 486th, was a component of the 340th Bomb Group, 57th Wing of the 12th Air Force. The mission of the group, based in Corsica, was to attack the retreating Germans in northern Italy and to support the Allied landings in southern France. In striking their targets, because of tactical constraints and the limitations of their B-25s, it was usually necessary to bomb from a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet. On their approach to the target they were able to take evasive action. But during the final 30 seconds they had to form a tight box formation of six planes each and fly straight and level at constant speed until bomb release. It was in this period when the flak was intensive and accurate that the losses were greatest because the Germans had sufficient time to range in on the formation with their guns and to effectively engage the bombers. The experiences and dedication of Scotty are a reflection of the quality of the millions of young people, both in the military as well as those on the home front, who were successful in turning back the threat to Western civilization posed by the enemies. Of course, critical elements of the support were provided by their wives or husbands, their fiancées, and families. This wonderful book by Dr. Nona Hengen will serve to remind all of us of our debt to that generation. It was my good fortune to spend my early days in Spangle, where I was born and went through high school. It was there that I met Scotty and his family. Later at Washington State College, we overlapped for two years before I moved on to graduate school in Berkeley. After five years in the Navy doing experimental work in ordnance, I returned to the West Coast and on reunions in Spangle we renewed our earlier association. It was at one of these meetings that Bobbie and Scotty invited Mary Kay and me to attend the 50th anniversary of the formation of Scotty’s Group in South Carolina. It was an honor we quickly accepted. It was at this meeting that Scotty mentioned his diary and said he had it with him. That evening I read it through and was tremendously impressed with its succinctness and completeness in describing the events. It seemed to me that this document should be made a part of history. On meeting some of his crew members and discussing the thought of publishing the diary together with other sources of information, we concluded a qualified historian could generate a significant contribu­tion to the literature of World War II. Such a person lived in our own community, Dr. Nona Hengen, whom we hoped would be willing to undertake the task. Dr. Gerald W. Johnson, Adjunct Professor Political Science University of California, San Diego Publisher’s Note: Dr. Gerald W. Johnson served in the U.S. Navy, WWII, 1941-46 and in Korea, 19951-53. He was appointed chairman of the Military Liaison Committee to the Atomic Energy Commission and Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Affairs, 1961-63, by President Kennedy. He served as Director of Navy Laboratories, Viet Nam, 1967-68, and as Personal Representative of the Secretary of Defense to SALT II and the Nuclear Test Ban Negotiations, 1977-79.

About the Author:

Nona Hengen was born and raised in Palouse country in eastern Washington. Her educational background includes a masters in History from the University of Colorado and a PhD from Indiana University in Education. She is a former classroom and television teacher, university professor and administrator, careers from which she gravitated toward the full-time pursuit of art and writing.She maintains a studio set against a backdrop of Palouse hills on the eastern Washington farm purchased in 1913 by her grandparents.

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