I was glad indeed to pay this bet.
While I was a crew chief on Okinawa, I was assigned to a new crew and struck up an especial friend ship with the turrett gunner. while the crews waited for the signal to take off we we enjoyed some most interesting conversations, during one of which he mentioned that he thought the war would be over by Christmas, I laughed (it was alread July) and he offered to bet $10, (nearly a hundred in today's money) and I happily accepted. To my horror, two days latter my assigned plane was shot down off the coast of Japan.
The war ended a few months later and while extremely pleased, I mourned the fact that if my crew had lasted a few more days they, too , would have made it back home.
A few weeks after the war ended , I was back from the mess hall when a heavy hand clapped me on the shoulder--Where is my $10?. I spun around and was astounded to see my gunner-friend. He stated the plane had been ditched in the ocean and the crew picked up by a submarine. They stood some watches while cruising around to pick up other air crews, and were finally taken to Guam where they helped to make a "movie short" for a bond drive, and then were flown back to base at Yontan, Okinawa. Paying off that bet "made my day". In the May "Sun Setters" some months ago, I read an article about the U.S.S. Blackfishwhich cruised around after air attacks picking up airman. Sure enough, they had picked up my crew including gunner Ted Q. Wilson.