February 25, 1922 - September 18, 2006
Capt. Calvert ("Lowell") Williams, scored the first victory
Here's a Lowell story sent in by Robert J. Currie:
Lowell’s First Mission
About 20 years ago, somewhere on the way to Oshkosh in Citabria 975 and Decathlon 2CA and after about two margaritas, Lowell regaled Emmy, Karyn Dawes, and I with this story of his first mission, probably 1942.
While drinking coffee in the briefing room before his first mission, one of the veterans leaned over to him and said “Easy on the coffee, chap”! Lowell asked why, and the guy just smiled and said “You’ll see”. Lowell went on to explain that pilots were given three pieces of information only for navigation – distance to target, magnetic course to target, and average wind. That was it, and most pilots wrote them on their hand, since that’s all the information they were given. There were no electronic navaids, just basic dead-reckoning and pilotage. The missions averaged about five flight hours.
After takeoff in his P-51 Mustang and at a bitterly cold cruising altitude of 20 to 30 thousand feet, Lowell had to pee, so he set up his relief tube and went. Later in the mission, he did so again, but it didn’t work – the relief tube was frozen shut. He said for the rest of the mission, all he could think about was taking a piss (apparently, it was an easy mission). I guess many of the other pilots had the same problem, because when they returned to base, pilots were landing in all directions at once on the grassy field. They jumped out, dropped their insulated leather drawers, and peed long and hard on their tires. Lowell was doing the same when he looked up and saw dozens of high school girls along the fence line about 100 feet away, giggling with glee at all the American fighter pilots peeing on their tires.
Lowell said that was the last time he drank coffee before a mission.
Above photo taken June 5, 1994, in Easton, Maryland,
This is MM's Waco number 1 (of 2), delivered in 1993. Lowell really enjoyed that biplane!