I may have sent this to Budd before, but the mention of Clay Tice and his P-38s making the first landing in the Japanese home islands prompts me to send the link again. http://www.aerofiles.com/tice.html is Clay Tice’s “The Very Unofficial Surrender of Japan”. This includes his official report and the unofficial report of how events transpired for his P-38 to be the first US airplane to land in Japan, receive the sword surrendered by the military commander who met them, and impress the mayor and other locals with his first and second takeoff maneuvers.
There is much talk about the difficulty of egress through escape hatches of hydroplanes and side windows of light planes, but Clay Tice entered the P-38 cockpit through the side windows for his second takeoff try. Do you remember Steve Martin’s “Let’s get small” shtick? When you have to, you can! Amazing story!
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Amazing story is right! Thanks for the link. BD