Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran Tribute

This picture we found in my Uncle Leigh Hansen's house after he died in December 2007 at age 94. He was my dad's younger brother. He was a farmer in the 1930s and 1940s, and when the war started he tried to get a deferment as a farmer and the only son of his aged parents, but they were going to draft him anyway. He went an enlisted in the Army Air Corps in hopes to be with my dad, but they never even got close to each other during the war. Leigh was kind of small about 5 foot 8 and slender so they sent him to Arizona for training as a tail gunner in a B-17. As a farm boy he did good with the guns, but the last part of the training was a flight in the B-17, and as soon as they took off Leigh got air sick and stayed that way till they landed. The Army Air Corps decided he would never be a tail gunner and so they retrained him as an air craft mechanic and he worked on the engines of the B-17, B-24 and at the end the B-29s. Below is a picture of him (in the front) working on an engine. After becoming a mechanic he was sent to Panama and spent the whole WWII there. They were sure the Germans or Japanese would bomb the Panama Canal or the ships using it, so the US sent the bombers to patrol looking for submarines. We know now they never did attack the canal and maybe my Uncle Leigh helped to stop that from happening.

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