Z SQUARE 7, A B-29 TRUE STORY

The C. Douglas Caffey Collection Of Poetry

Home
The Z Square 7 Crew
Z Square 7 Crew Families
Z Square 7 Crew Cemeteries.
Missing Air Crew Report
Z Square 7 Crew Military Funeral
Memorial Lt Eugene M. Thomas Jr (Marion, Al)
Memorial Lt Francis X. Glacken (Cambridge, MA)
Memorial Lt Norman B. Bassett (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY)
Marcia Bassett McGrattan
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Memorial Sgt George P. Demers (Lynn, MA)
Peter & Lillian Demers/Charlotte (Demers) Fiasconaro
Memorial Sgt Louis A. Dorio (Clarksville, VA)
HIRE OUR VETERANS!
POW-MIA-KIA Ceremony
500th Bomb Group, 73rd Wing Honor Roll
Bill Mauldin With Willie And Joe
Father John McBride
S/Sgt Kenneth O. Eslick with Photo Album
Sgt Jesse S. Klein. 41-13180
Frank Farr & Merseburg, Germany
"Lili Marlene" The Song!
"Lili Marlene" The B-17
"Lily Marlene" The B-24
"Lili Marlene" The B-24
Ivan Fail Introduction and "Long Before The Guns And Tanks."
Ivan Fail's "Tribute to the Queen"
American Battle Monuments Commission - Cemeteries
American Battle Monuments Commission - Memorials
NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MEMORIAL
THE MARINE CORPS WAR MEMORIAL (IWO JIMA )
KOREAN WAR VETERANS MEMORIAL
VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL
M/Sgt Roy P. Benavidez, Vietnam Medal Of Honor
Frank Farr Poetry "November 2, 1944", "Old Men And The War", " Merseburg"
Some Pictures of World War 2
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Pages Introduction
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Crew Index
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 1
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 2
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 3
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 4
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 5
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 6
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 7
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 8
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 9
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 10
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 11
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 12
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 13
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 14
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 15
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 16
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 17
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 18
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 19
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 20
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 21
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 22
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 23
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 24
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page 25
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B29 Superfortress
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B26 Marauder
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B25 Mitchell
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B24 Liberator
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - B17 Flying Fortress
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C87 Liberator Express
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - PBM-5 Mariner
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - A20 Havoc Attack Bomber
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - C47 Transport
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - P61 Black Widow
Zachary Taylor Nat'l Cemetery Memorial Page - A26 Invader
GIVE OUR VETERANS JOBS!!
Ivan Fail's "The Tuskegee Airmen"
Airmen Medal Of Honor Memorial
Memorial Page #1
Memorial Page #2
Memorial Page #3
Memorial Page #4
Memorial Page #5
Memorial Page #6
The Navajo Code Talkers & Native American Medals Of Honor
Ivan Fail's "D Day, The Normandy Invasion"
B-29 Crew Positions & Specifications
About The Book
C. Clayton Thompson Bookseller
Ivan Fail's "When The Mustangs Came"
Contacts
Ivan Fail "The Eighteen Wheeler's Hymn"
Awards
Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building with photo album
Ivan Fail's "Against All Odds - Mission Complete"
Ford Tolbert by Sallyann
Ford Tolbert Pictures
A Tribute to Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Lt Raymond "Hap" Halloran
Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC, The Black Sheep Squadron
Lt Halloran Eulogy for Colonel Boyington
Omori POW Camp
Ivan Fail's "A Salute To Lt. Holguin"/ "Shoo Shoo Baby"
Great Bend, Kansas B-29 Memorial
General Lemay's biography including a B-29 nose art photo album
THE GENERAL AND MRS CURTIS LEMAY FOUNDATION
March 9 and 10, 1945 Over Tokyo
Lt "Hap" Halloran on March 10, 1945
General Earl Johnson
General Earl Johnson Biography
313th Bomb Wing Mining Missions
Lt Robert Copeland, copilot, Z Square 8
Pyote Bomber Base With A Photo Album
History of "Diamond Lil" With A Photo Album
History of "FIFI" With A Photo Album
"Hap" Halloran induction Combat Airman Hall of Fame
Blackie Blackburn with a photo album
Hap's Memorable Flight On FIFI
C. Douglas Caffey, A WW2 Veteran, Book Of Poetry
C. Douglas Caffey Collection Of Poetry
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C. Douglas Caffey on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
C. Douglas Caffey With More on PTSD
C. Douglas Caffey Memorial Day Flying The Flag
C. Douglas Caffey Saying Goodbye To America
OUR VETERANS NEED WORK!
Pearl Harbor with Photo Album
The Pacific Theater
Battle of Saipan, Mariana Islands
Saipan Medals of Honor
Battle of Tinian, Mariana Islands
Tinian Medals of Honor
Battle of Guam, Mariana Islands
Guam Medals of Honor
Battle of Iwo Jima
Iwo Jima Medals of Honor
Cpl Ira Hayes, USMC
Battle of Okinawa
Okinawa Medals of Honor
Japanese Surrender
Navy Ships At Surrender Ceremonies
Ivan Fail's "The Saga Of The Superfortress"
Ivan Fail's "The Silent Sentries"
Last Page

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Some Came Not Back

Have You Heard Of The B-29

To Bob Copeland

My Wildflower And Me

Homesick For Heaven

The Dreams Of Yesterday

Another 4th Of July

Three Generations

Graveyard At The Bottom Of The Sea

I Saw Liberty Crying

Old Memories

Yesterday When I Was Young

I Saw An Old Veteran

The Walnut Experience

Marines Are Special

A Pilot's Prayer

An Old Flag Will Do

Where Have They Gone?

A Fork In The Road

Skinny Dippin'

Flying Backwards

No Night There

Fun Stuff

The Old Home Place

Standing On The Edge Of Today

All Is Quiet On Iwo Jima

Sixty-Two years Of PTSD

Are You Down Today

A Good Day To Ride

Lasix

How Do You Say "I Love You"

Motorcycling

On Wings Of Gold

She Said "I Do" ...and did!

If You Walk In My Shoes

Brevity Of Life

Lord, I Saw What You Did

Bald-Headed Rooster And One-Eyed Hen

Bones In The Sand

I Remember Him Well.

Christmas Of Forty-Four

A 20s Child

Short Poems

The Way I Feel Today

Another 4th Of July

One More Day In The Sun

Seasons

My Chair

Friends

Wild Canadian Geese

Yesterday When I Was Young

The Best Days Are Gone

A Spider In Eider

That Day......

Of Windows And Books

Weeds And Seeds

Untitled

All Is Quiet On Iwo Jima

The Minds Of Old WWII Vets

The Backroads

Yesterday When I was Young (No. 2)

Day Is Done

Friendship Dies Upon The Vine

Buckskin Joe

Triumphing On A Tiger

Scars Left By A Friend

Standing On The Edge Of Today

A Woman's Love

Going Home

Before The Roses Bloom Again

Graveyard At The Bottom Of The Sea

A '34 Ford Victoria

The Moving Years

The Passing Of Time

Tomorrow

When I Was A Boy

When I was One And Twenty

Take Time For Tomorrow

An Extramarital Affair

The Moving Years

A PERSONAL NOTE

TO MY FRIENDS:
 
    God has laid something on my mind and heart that I believe He wants me to share with you.  This has been  a year or two in the making and now that God is leading, I must share this with you for His glory.
 
    If I could, I'd eliminate all personal pronouns, for I do not wish to be arrogant, however I don't know how to eliminate them due the personal nature of this discourse, which is a cousin to, what is known, as The Minor Key.
 
    The TITLE:
WHO IS C. DOUGLAS CAFFEY?
 
    My life, physically, began on November 10,1926 in Grenada County, State of
Mississippi.  Spiritually, it began when, at age 13, I had an encounter with the God of the universe.  In a cow pasture, I walked out one day, looked up into the heavens and said to God. "God, I think I'm missing something in my life which is of great importance. Would you show me what it is?"
 
    God did show me in a very personal manner that I needed to be saved.  After the preaching of an old minister's sermon from Isaiah, I surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ and was gloriously born again. Before my baptism I still remember saying; "Lord enable me to live in such a manner that when you call, I'll be able to hear."
 
    God guided my life in such a manner that , by His grace, He protected me in very many ways.  It was His doing, not mine, for the flesh wanted to do what most everybody was doing.  I attempted to tell my friends about Jesus and what He had done in my 13th year.
 
    These personal pronouns just keep on appearing, but this message is not about me; it is about God and what he has done and is still doing, in and through my life.
These days, of which we speak, were during the Depression of the late 30's and all through the 40's.
 
    I have already spoken about many of the times that God spared my life, from swimming at the Deep Hole, to being thrown out of a moving truck on a gravel road, landing on my head, wrecking a new Ford car when eleven years old, also on a gravel road . . . the car being totaled, thrown from a Farmall Tractor when plowing a "new ground" as an under-ground stump caused the steel wheels, in front of the tractor do spin quickly, thus making the steel steering wheel to break my right arm, and throwing me in front of a "Bush & Bog" disc with scalloped blades two feet in diameter, and the tractor still moving.  With the left arm I grabbed the 'draw bar' as the Farmall began to circle in on itself.  Those of you who have driven a steel-wheeled tractor, know of which I speak.  The large disc had almost gotten both legs but miraculously, I pulled my body back upon the 'draw bar' and was able to stop the moving tractor.  Can you imagine a worse death than to be cut to pieces by such a monstrous two-gang disc.  I can't.  By the way,
I finished plowing that acre of 'new ground' before I took the tractor back to the shed.  We didn't go to the doctor back in those days.  My dad put my arm in a sling until it healed.
 
    These events occurred before graduation from high school.  What I am saying is that God saw me through the days of my youth keeping me from being killed, for I had many opportunities to leave this planet.
 
    This is about God and His dealing with me.  It is not about me. You see, I believed that The Lord God would take care of me, for I trusted Him.
 
    There was no reason whatsoever, that the senior class elected me as president, and voted 'most-likely to succeed'.  No reason that I became the class Valedictorian.  Not at all.  It was God's doing in preparing me for the future for His glory.
 
    World War II began for the USA and, of course, all of the boys after graduation wanted to fight for our country, including myself.  My heart and mind were set on becoming a pilot in the Army Air Corps, a fighter pilot, particularly in the P-51 Mustang.  But how could I do that when I had no money for the two years of college, which was required?  I was just a poor country boy who had surrendered to Jesus for salvation.  I knew only one person in our vicinity who had a college education. 
 
    But God knows the end from the beginning, and so He allowed me to learn that if I could meet the requirements, the Army Air Corps would send me to college, in uniform, with those brown shoes, in the Army Specialized Training Program to get two years of college in just one year.  Wouldn't you know, He saw to it that I did indeed meet the requirements, for He already had made me Valedictorian of my senior class.  That was His doing, not mine.
 
    So off to Davidson College with 215 other boys from the South where we went through two years of college in one year; first Davidson College then North Georgia Military College.
 
    At Davidson College, North Carolina, the "men" were separated into three groups which were called N-10, N-20, and B-60.  I was called in to the office of the B-60 Group, which Group had the highest training, and were to be fighter pilots.
They said that my academic achievements were such that I qualified for the B-60 Program, however, they noted that I did not have high school Chemistry and would have to be placed in the next lower Group, N-20.  In country schools during the Depression, there were "Physics Schools" and also "Chemistry Schools"; not both due to costs.  My high school was a "Physics School". My recourse to the folks at Davidson College was that I wanted to be placed in the B-60 Group and would teach myself Chemistry.  Their reply was that I'd be taking college Chemistry.  I told them to allow me to teach myself basic Chemistry and if I didn't make an "A" or "B" on the first unit test, then I'd agree to go to the next lower Group.  They agreed . . . do you believe that God can change the minds of college professors in such matters?  I did and I do!  On the first unit exam I missed only one question and had an "A" , and that in college Chemistry!  God allowed that to happen.  It was not my doing.  Please see God's work here, not the work of Doug Caffey.  This writing is about God's doing, not mine!
 
    When our training was over at Davidson and North Georgia Colleges, Uncle Sam saw the War coming to an end in Germany and thereby "washed-out" our entire 216 men, before we received Lieutenant's gold bars and Silver Wings of Greenhorn pilots.  I was the first in my squadron to solo and get my shirt-tale cut off and tacked to the bulletin board!.  I learned to fly under the capable hands of a man, a civilian, who trained many Army Air Corps Cadets.  He was Kurt Wetzel, who had been Test Pilot for Piper Aircraft Company. He is the only man I knew who could fly a J-3 Piper at hanger height up side down over the runway without losing a foot of altitude!  What a pilot he was.  He was demanding in his teaching men to fly, but he was the best.
 
Now, that our pilot training was over, due to our being terminated ("washed out")
instead of Cadets, we were all PFC's with one stripe on our sleeves.  Instead of being saluted by PFC's we were the PFC's saluting green-horn second Lieutenants.
 
Now, how does one see the hand of God in such a humbling experience?  Let me now quote O. Hallerby.
 
"Every time Jesus sees that there is a possibility of giving us more than we know how to ask, He does so, and in order to do so He often has to deal with us in ways which are past finding out."  If you haven't learned that, perhaps you will learn it before you are on 'the other side of the grass'. I pray so!
 
    So, here we were with our ambitions left empty by the action of the "powers that be in the Army Air Corps."
 
    Each of us were sent to specialized military schools for technical training still in the Army Air Corps of WWII.  In my case I ended at Lowry Field, Denver, to learn all about photography, in cluding being a Camera Tech, Lab Tech, and an Aerial Photographer.  That's how I ended up in the 509th Composite Bomb Group,
58th Wing, Air Photo Unit, 20th AF in the Pacific.  I didn't see God's hand in all this change until much later in life.  God doesn't begin something in your life, then just turns you loose.  No, He has promised never to leave us or forsake us.  I know that to be true.  Remember this writing is about God, and His doing, not that of a humble country boy known as C. Douglas Caffey.
 
Why did I become disabled in the Pacific?  God knows and cares. His plan never changes, though we may change.
 
    Let me tell you of a change which I did not understand at the time before going overseas.  I had met a beautiful and precious girl from Clovis, NM, when I was stationed at Roswell Army Air Base, Roswell, NM.  She was the joy of my young life.  We fell in love while going through Carlsbad Caverns, Carlsbad, NM, with her mother present.  We dated as often as we could and became engaged to marry after WWII. I will not write her name so that she may be identified.  I must say, at this point, that our love was not sexual, but the kind of love that permeates the heart and soul.  What a beautiful soul she was and my love for her was very real.
 
    After going to the Pacific we wrote letters daily, though some days I would not get a letter but might get several in one day.  Those were the days when military men could send letters just by writing the word "FREE" where the stamp used to be.
 
    Time keeps on moving and it was in the Pacific that I heard Chaplain Chester H. Pelt preach one Sunday on doing God's will.  I remember very well the closing hymn, "Where He Leads Me, I will Follow", and it was then and there that God called me into Christian service, and it was there that I surrendered again to Him.
If you recall, it was right before my baptism that I prayed and asked God to allow me to live in such a manner that when He called, I could hear His voice and do His bidding.  It is a long, long way from The Walnut Baptist Church in the Delta of Mississippi to Kwajalein Atoll in the deep blue Pacific, but to God it is just the wink of an eye!
 
    I wrote my fiancee that I had surrendered to The Lord to serve him, perhaps as a pastor, or in whatever place He chose to put me.  Her reply was that she'd have to think about being a "preacher's wife".  Our letters went back and forth for weeks and finally she told me that if I were going to be a missionary or a preacher, she didn't think that she could be my wife.
 
    Now that's where the "rubber meets the road" as we used to say.  What a test that was, yet I knew what my answer would be.  I wrote and told her that if she had made up her mind, that we should write one more letter, declaring our love, and agree to never write or call again.  That's the way we parted. Neither of us ever wrote again,
 
    I see God's hand in that decision now and did even then.  She was not the wife God wanted me to have.  I see that plainly now, for God gave me a wife whom I love dearly and who is all the woman I ever wanted.  Helen has given me two wonderful children and has been all that a wife can be. In October we will have been married sixty years and we are still in love and best friends beside. Isn't God good?  Neither of us has never "known" another person and were married when she was 25 days away from her 20th birthday and I was 25 days and two weeks away from my 24th birthday.  I told her I was going to write a book, entitled, "I Married a Teenager."
 
Don't forget that this writing is about God, not C. Douglas Caffey. If I could, I'd rid this treatise of all personal pronouns which refer to C. Douglas Caffey, but I am so bound to this earth by that gravity which language and vocabulary requires those personal pronouns.  It is about God and what He has done in and through this life which belongs to Him.
 
    I have told you of times in my youth when I could have lost my life, but God
preserved me in spite of myself. There have been time as a young man that death knocked on my door, as in your case as well.
 
    I love flying a small plane, which I used to do.  Of course I know that I still can but being almost 84 years old with PTSD and other imperfections, no one in his right mind would lease a plane to me.  There have been some close calls, before we were married, when flying found me in trouble.  I have never been timid when it comes to physical challenges.  I told you about flying a Piper Cub backwards in an e-mail a few weeks ago, so we'll close that door for now.  What I didn't tell you was about the day I wanted to give a thrill to some folks picking cotton in the vicinity of Greenville, SC.  I cut the engine, came over the trees pretending to land in a corn field adjacent to where the cotton-pickers were.  At cornstalk height I flew with the engine just idling, it wan then that the trees ahead of me just seemed to be speeding towards me!  Now, what to do?  I realized that I was about to get the "thrill" which could have easily turned into my death. Quick as a flash, I gave full throttle and held her straight and level until I had maximum power, then pulled the stick back into my gut (as we used to say) until the plane was just above the tree tops, and again attempted to fly straight and level, with the plane barely flying and mushing downward into the tops of the trees.  Did I get on my knees and pray.
"Lord, I pray that this hasn't happened"?  Not so!  I just prayed as I fought with the plane to gain altitude, my prayer being "Lord, get me out of this mess and I'll never do it again."  Now, I'd bet that most of you reading this account have prayed that prayer yourself, maybe several times. If you haven't prayed that prayer you may be a perfect Christian, or not a Christian at all!  My only perfection is in Jesus Christ who saved my poor soul as a poor country boy in Mississippi many years ago.
 
    There are more flying accounts when death knocked on my door, when the fault was not my own, but something wrong with the plane itself. Oh yes, I still remember that day when my friend Ned Whelchel and I were flying in a small plane.  It was his first flight.  He never knew that the reason we kept losing altitude was that the engine was malfunctioning.  He never said a word about the pine trees getting closer and closer to the aircraft, as I directed the plane back to a landing where I had leased the plane in a small town in Georgia.  He's gone now, and I never told him that we were in trouble.  He stayed outside when I went in to pay for the plane lease.  It was then that the folks behind the counter heard that I almost had to ride the pine trees down with their plane.  "Don't dare lease this plane until you find the engine trouble", I said.  Do you believe God can see that a believer gets the plane back to the air-field without riding the pine trees down?
I believe that He can orchestrate that event, and I also believe that I could, by His grace, ride the pine trees down without being killed.  Life is about God and His orchestration in our lives, right?
 
    Now, the days before us in our country are unknown by us, but not by God.  Whatever the days are before us, we need to know that God is still on the throne and that this world is His.  He will do what He has said.  Our part is to trust Him and believe that He hasn't changed.  Read Malachi . . . "... I am God and I change not."  He will renovate this old EARTH  into a NEW Earth and it is here that believers will dwell forever in a perfect environment with perfect bodies like unto His glorious body.  I look forward to that day.
 
    You will note that I use the term "God" frequently in this discourse.  We are to give God The Father the glory through His Only Begotten Son, who is Jesus Christ, as He gave The Father all the glory Himself.  Jesus is God in the flesh and without His shed blood, no man can see the Father.  He said, "I and the Father are One, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.  The Holy Spirit is the other Self of Jesus. We shall understand the Trinity when we are translated from this world into the world which is yet to come.  That world will be this present Earth that God will make anew.  Jesus came to do the will of the Father, which He always did.  I thank God for His blessing of eternal life and for His promises which He will never retract.  God is good! Always good!

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C. Douglas Caffey

jonn316@comcast.net

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