Too much beer

Discussion in 'Stories' started by barney, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. barney

    barney Member

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    My father-in-law was a humble man. I never knew him to brag or lie. He and his wife are now deceased as well as their two children. The parents died of complications of getting old and the two daughters of complications of diabetes.

    My father-in-law served in the army in WWII as an engineer, a task he described as consisting of mostly truck driving. He was a member of the army unit that relieved the marines on Guadalcanal during the time ownership of that island was being contested.

    He told of the voyage to reach Guadalcanal but I'll skip over that to the first night that they were there. As they slept the unit next to them started screaming “Air Raid” causing them to run outside and jump into slit trenches. Since the slit trenches had water in them they all got wet and muddy. The guys who made the alarm, once they stopped laughing, admitted they had only been there two days and the same prank had been pulled on them the previous night.

    Well, I happened to ask where they were camped and he said, “At the end of the runway.” This didn't seem like a very safe place to me and so I asked him if they ever had any planes crash off the end of the runway. He replied, “Yeah, a torpedo bomber went overhead and crashed into the trees behind us one day.”

    So, I asked if he knew the cause of the accident and he said, “Too much beer.” I was completely confused by his answer and so he said, “How else are you going to get beer cold?”

    Since then I have read another story of this sort (beer cans in wing ammo racks) and have also read of how some brewers were producing beer for men serving overseas, both in bottles and in cans. These men were in the tropics where it was miserable hot and anything cold would have seemed a godsend. Is this a true story? Could flying beer to cool it have been a common practice?
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Yes it was.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Certainly was. Also, on at least one occasion in the ETO, drop tanks were filled with ice cream mix, and flown to altitude to freeze it. Can't remember for certain, but I think this was with the 4th FG, 8th USAAF.
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Ive heard that some units in the SW Pacific would wrap gasoline soaked rags around the beer bottles and would fly to altitude. As the gas evaporated, it would speed the cooling. Don't know if it was true though.
     
  5. barney

    barney Member

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    Ice cream in drop tanks - a new definition of milk run.

    Thanks for the replies. Like I said, I never knew my father-in-law to lie but on the other hand I know that scuttlebutt becomes intense in stressful situations.

    The local airport has one or more war birds on display about once a year and I attend when I can. On one of those occasions I decided to try my 'too much beer' story out on a WWII vet who had come in with the planes. He had served in the Pacific. These poor guys have to listen patiently while dorks (meaning me) ramble on. Well, with a grin, he furnished the “too much beer?” punchline. Before I could continue our conversation someone else had his attention and people were lining up. Anyway, I found his reply almost as intriguing as the original story.
     
  6. barney

    barney Member

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    Here's a quote from a Corsair site concerning the making of ice cream.

    One unusual store carried by the Corsair was an ice-cream factory. Late in the war one squadron in the Palaus found the action slow, and to stave off boredom the ground crews rigged 19-liter (5 US gallon) cans with a wind-driven spinner connected to a mixing rotor, and hooked up one under each wing of an F4U. A pilot would take the aircraft up to high altitude for a given period of time and then come back to base with the ice cream.
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    :lol: That's awesome!
     
  8. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    It was a fairly common practice for "ferry" missions to come back with every available orifice loaded with beer, Scotch, whiskey, or whatever else the pilot could get his hands on. Essentially, a squadron would be due a couple of new replacement planes. The appropriate number of pilots would be detailed to go back to ____ to pick them up (Australia, New Zeland, some other staging island). He would take a collection from the other pilots, and requests, and would try to buy/beg/steal/trade anything to get as much alcoholic beverage as possible. Flying at altitude would most certainly cool down the beverages. Usually, after some time in the squadron had passed, everyone knew who the best scroungers were, they would be the ones detailed to "go pick up the new planes". Read one story about two pilots returning back to base, loaded to the gills with beer, who were jumped by a couple of Japanese fighters. They had to scramble for the deck and lose them, since they had zero ammunition on board. Also read/heard one somewhere (can't remember sources, so can't verifiy authenticity, but I seem to remember it attached to Boyington) where a pilot would bring a couple of cans/bottles on flights with him, and after returning, would have an ice-cold beer at hand. He produced results, though, so command "overlooked" this habit.
     
  9. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Interesting guys. I had heard stories of this but it's still intriguing.:thumbright:
     
  10. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    The guys in Ferry Command in many cases were bootleggers , load up in Bahamas or Barbados fly the stuff overseas I blieve there was even a method of loading B24 as to fool British Customs
     
  11. jipi

    jipi Member

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    I heard a similar story with a german fighter.
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    :lol: That's so cool!
     
  13. Violator

    Violator Member

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    I think Barney's father in law may very well have been telling the truth! Check out these shots. Unfortunately I don't remember where I found them, the story behind them, or who gets credit for the photos.
     

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  14. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I believe that was 126 wing RCAF that was ferrying beer over channel post DDay
     
  15. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    This is a new story to me. Thanks
     
  16. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    I met Greg Boyington one time, he was busy regailing a couple of kids with the story from his book, where-in he had been wounded in the foot and had to fly home up-side down shooting down Japanese planes on his way. Said it was a question of running out of bullets or blood. He was an entertainer extrordinair, and never turned down a good tale. I would not be suprised if it were true, but either way, Pappy would have "owned" it!
     
  17. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Hey I may throw a couple kegs under my Mk.5!!!!!!
     
  18. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    #18 meatloaf109, Apr 21, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
    Outstanding idea! wish I would have thought of it.
    As far as the title of this thread goes...
    I just want to offer this thought,
    There is no such thing as too much beer, sex or good food, after you are done, (for the moment,) a good sleep, and at it again!
    And there I sat; fat, dumb, and happy!
     
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