I want to remember my Uncle this day whom I never met.
He was killed 76 years ago today around 7:30 AM along with his instructor on his final check flight in a navy PBJ (B-25).
His name was 2nd Lt Phillip G Ruhe 19 years old and his Instructor was 1st Lt Samuel Failor 21 Years old.
At the time one of the items on the test was react to one engine out.
Also at that time it was relatively unknown or not instructed that the PBJ can only fly safely on one engine
at 145 MPH. Below that speed and its gets uncontrollable.
My uncle and his instructor were not the only ones killed this way before they changed the test requirement and raised the altitude and speed. Basically if you were in a B-25 on take off... that lost an engine... you were dead.
The navy found that the throttle controls on the destroyed PBJ set to one engine off and the rudders set to compensate for one engine off. They ruled it not their fault and not the fault of anyone in the Naval Service. Seems like that was a cover their butt statement. Others had died the same way.
Uncle phil was a star athelete in high school. He was a very good quaterback on the football team. He had an indian motorcycle. He like shooting and drafting. He had a fiance Janice.
I was able to get his Marine Corps records through golden arrow. Eventually I'l get his Navy Records.
The MArine Corps told my Grandfather that his Son did not leave a beneficiary for the $10.000 life insurance. He had to fight the Corps legally to get the money which uncle Sam finallt doled out at $500.00 per year to my Grandfather.
When I got the Golden arrow files.... One of the first pages was a handwritten statement on the bottom of a beneficiary form
leaving his Money to his Dad. Theres pages in there of my grandfather writing the Corps and letter back saying he did not leave a beneficiary. The day he was buried.. Some planes from Glenview Naval Air station flew over the funural in a missing man formation.
George Bush wasnt the only kid flying aircraft.
He was sworn in to the Navy at Soldiers field in Chicago in 1942 with hundreds of others that day.
He died a Marine Pilot Dec 6 1943.
You cant give any more than your limbs or your entire life to this country. They gave up everything.
And they were really really young.
RIP Lt Ruhe And Lt Failor.