Friday, January 21, 2011

Introducing: The Clip of the Day

The Miner crew. Pilot Reg Miner is in the front row, second from the right.
This is, after all, an oral history blog, so beginning today, and hopefully every day, but knowing me more likely every couple of days, I'll be posting a "Clip of the Day" from my vast audio archives.

How vast are they? They're so vast, the Hubble Space Telescope would need glasses to find them. Would you believe they're so vast that six of them would fit on the head of a pin? At any rate, I have a lot of them.

Today's clip is from an interview with Reg Miner. Reg, who lives in the scenic Finger Lakes area of New York State, was the first stop on my Kassel Mission interviewing trip in 1999. I first learned the story of the Kassel Mission earlier that year when I took a trip to Germany to visit the village of Heimboldshausen, where a tragic incident involving the 712th Tank Battalion took place. But more of that anon. While there, I met the German historian Walter Hassenpflug, who has been instrumental in preserving the history of the Kassel Mission, on which 35 B-24s apparently flew off  course, lost their fighter escort, and were ambushed, by most estimates, by somewhere between 100 and 150 German fighter planes.

Miner's B-24 was shot down, and he became a prisoner of war. However, on a mission before Kassel, he encountered what he considered a more stressful situation, even though, thanks to his skill as a pilot, he managed to crash-land his plane in a field, with only one injury to a crew member.

Without further ado:

Reg Miner on crash-landing his B-24

Reg Miner in 1999

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