Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I've not blogged many postings lately. I guess you could say I just haven't been in the mood much, plus I've been doing other things. Another thing that sort of cramps my style to blogging is storing my photos and gifs for this blog on photobucket. It worked fine when I started using it, but has since become more of a pain to use. So with this posting I'm trying a different method to go about the photo references.

At any rate, one of the things that I've been doing lately is reading the above book, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, which was given to me for Christmas by my sister. It's nonfiction about Louis Zamperini, a bombardier that was in WWII. His crew flew the B-24 Liberator bombers, which by his accounts were hard planes to fly. I've had this interest in WWII probably from listening to my Dad's tales of his experiences in the war. He was drafted in the army, and was sent over to fight in the Invasion of Italy. He never had anything good to say about the experience and I'm sure it couldn't help but influence his thinking on a lot of things in life from politics to war figures, like General Patton, whom he hated.

At any rate, I could relate to Zamerini's tales of flying the B-24, and telling how they were hard to fly. Having been a railroad engineer, different trains have a different feel when running them as well. All trains are made up differently each day, so you might have a short train of about six to ten cars, which is easy as pie, generally speaking to handle, whereas a longer train of around fifty to one hundred carloads gets a bit trickier. You also have to consider the factors of the make-up of the train. A train handles differently with car loads on the rear of the train as opposed to being equally distributed throughout the train. But there are also defective cars with defective drawbars for example, which also complicate the problem.

At any rate, I could understand Zamperini's comments on how these particular bombers were hard to handle generally due to the design of the aircraft or other problems that might occur while in flight like getting hit by flack, engine failures, trying to get the plane to take off within a limited space, etc. At any rate, I won't give much away about the book other than to say, it's an excellent book of survival and bravery because on one mission his bomber goes down while on a mission, and crashes in the ocean, eventually getting captured and sent to a Japanese prisoner of war camp. The book is harrowing and bleak at times, but amazing that Lieutenant Zamperini never gives up hope for survival. One of the other amazing things about the book is that Louis Zamperini was born on January 26, 1917 to Italian immigrants, and is still alive today at age 95. If you feel you want to read a good book, I can't recommend this one high enough.