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War Stories

Landing Light Story

Allen B. "KC" Allcock

Bill Holmes was part of my Maintence crew before he became a crew chief in the Cobra section. He was a very dependable mechanic and crew chief.

I had not remembered that Cobra "Wretched Mildred" was named after his grandmother, but I did remember that "Ohio Express" was Jim Kirker's ship. Also Gary Schmidt was a part of Cobra maintenance for a short time before becoming Crew Chief.

When Bill Holmes was still working in maintenance, he received a rather bad burn on his back, and I am thinking it was more to his right lower shoulder blade area.

We had converted an aircraft landing light into a spot light to use to see what we were doing on the aircraft outside on the pad away from the hanger lighting. I believe we would power the lamps from a running APU. Anyway, those lights get hot!!

It was a rainy, cold night, and we had a slick that needed attention. So we rigged up our "portable" light and Bill was part of the crew doing the work. Being wet and chilled, Bill felt the warmth of the spot light, and had backed toward the light to get some of that heat to relieve the chill. All at once, you could hear a little "sizzle" sound and he gave out a "yelp" and jumped forward. We looked at his back, and a circular hole was burned through his shirt, and a burn on his back. He apparently had accidentally backed too close to the "landing light lamp" and touched it. I know the burn blistered up badly, but I can't remember if it left some scaring.?

I knew Bill hailed from out west. I had thought it was Wyoming, and at one time I did some name searching for him in that state. I am glad to be informed that it is now Idaho I might look for his his name. In my slide show, Bill is featured on Pic. # 49 and " 57

Allen B. Allcock

"Sgt. K.C."

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