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I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas

My Dad was a B-17 Bomber pilot during WWII. 


He grew up in the small Utah town of Mapleton.  This is the same town where I was raised.  Mapleton was at the base of Maple Mountain. We got lots of snow. (I'm convinced, that the snow was deeper when I was young). Sleigh riding was a big winter pass-time for my Dad while he was growing up.  He made sure we had the same fun!  


We would go up Maple Mountain and sled for hours and hours. The hill we used was about a mile long.  We'd sleigh down and Dad would pick us up on the old bus and take us back to the top! With frozen toes and frosty eyelashes, we were full of the thrill of sledding in the brisk winter mountain air!


On of my favorite Christmas memories comes from a combination of my sledding experiences and Bing Crosby's song, 'I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas'!  It happened when my Dad was a young man of just 20 years old. 


(Told in my Dad's own words:)


I could tell you one of my most memorable, most homesick moments during the war.  On Christmas Eve, 1944, we had a night training mission which had an overcast sky...a solid overcast sky we flew right through. Using our instruments to fly, we finally came out on top.  


When we got on top of the cloud cover, it was just as flat as the top of this desk.  I never saw anything like it before, or since.  We also had a full moon!


The NCO (Non-commissioned officer) said, "Hey, let's go sleigh riding!"  We sat that B-17 down on the deck of that cloud cover, stirred it up with our propellers, and slid along at 150-160 miles an hour...sleigh riding!


The radio operator called us on the intercom, and said, "Hey, turn to channel such-n-such."  We turned to the radio channel he said, and there was Bing Crosby, singing 'I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas'.  Ahh, that was the most homesick moment for me. And I mean, that was really something for me. It was quite an experience.  You can't reproduce that at all.


(Note: The B-17 Bomber weighs 54,000 lbs, is 74 feet long and has a wingspan of 103 feet...that's one big sled!)


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14 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, that is SO cool! Thank you for sharing such an awesome story. Your dad sounds like an amazing man. :-)

    ~Blessings and Hugs,
    Rosann

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  2. There's nothing like precious memories!!!

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  3. I feel so bad for soldiers away during the holidays. I know it has to be rough.

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  4. that nearly made me cry. good grief, i am such a wuss this time of year! LOL

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  5. That is a really great story! Thank you for sharing.

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  6. What a great story!!
    I love White Christmas too, that movie is a must this time of year :) Precious memories, lovely story to share!

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  7. Becky Jane, I loved this story! My husband is a former private pilot, and he'll get such a kick out of it. Isn't Bing Crosby's voice the best!?

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  8. My Dad didn't talk a lot about the war. He was one of the first people sent in after a battle. After he died, my brother in law told me what he had to do and it make me sad to know why he didn't talk about it. I am sure he was just sick at heart seeing all the devastation left behind and knowing many of the boys who died.

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  9. Wow your dad was an hero! WWII vets were so brave! Yes snow is deeper when we were younger:)

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  10. I'm gonna leave you an award on my blog...you don't have to do what it "requires"....I just wanted you to know how much I love and appreciate you!!!

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  11. Beautiful and precious memories. I do remember snow being deeper and having more snow days than we do now.

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  12. Oh what a cool story! That is a very big sled indeed, hehe!

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  13. That must have been so much fun. It's so special that you build memories like those to keep forever. Awesome post :)

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