Dive Bombers and Other Birds

Tudor Richards, USNR

prev next

Well, along towards Christmas time the situation improved with the word that every one was to get some leave either over Christmas or over New Years. Though it meant getting a little less time off, I chose the first leave because of invitations to Christmas Eve dinner at the Charlie McGeeHees and Christmas Daydinner at the Schefflins. Christmas dinners Asked to bring along two friends for each, I got “Dave” Kersting and “Hap” Longstaff, and at both parties we were treated like kings and enjoyed ourselves and our turkey immensely. A trip up the bald dome of Stone Mt., made possible by Dave’s ancient Chevrolet, gave us a good look at the countryside on “Boxing Day.” Shortleaf (?) pines and red soil were predominant almost everywhere, and I found some more two new birds new birds—brown-headed nuthatches and a Carolina wren.

A rather unusual adventure unusual adventure occurred on our return to the base that night. Having missed a turn somewhere but not being sure just where, we stopped to inquire at the first house that still had lights on on the first floor. I happened to be the one to get out and knock on the front door. A man’s voice said, “Come in,” so I started to open the door, when all of a sudden it was yanked open from the other side, and a large figure emerged muttering a curse, and before I could even open my mouth, had slugged me in the face and slammed the door. My friends were piling out of the car in the mean time but I persuaded them, humiliating as it seemed, that discretion, especially as the man might have been going after a gun, was the better part of valor, and so we beat a hasty retreat eventually finding the base. I’ve always wondered who if anyone that man thought I was, though if he had hit me elsewhere than on the cheek I might have done more than wondered.

We left N.A.S. Atlanta early in January, and our only regrets were that we had seen so little of the city, glimpses of which had made it seem more than pleasant. As for the base, I don’t believe I ever passed a code test there, though it’s fair to say we were given more chances to do so towards the end of our stay.