I would love more howling commando hijinks!
oh, how to pick just one…
well, here’s a story about a plane. one steve did not actually jump out of.
a rare tale indeed.
if youve ever been in the military–any branch, really–you’d know that everyone in every branch thinks their branch is best. this is not a new thing, and it was certainly going strong during wwii. mostly it just meant that if a bunch of marines wandered into an army bar there would be a fight, but honestly it was all in good fun, just a way to blow off steam.
so of course there was a friendly rivalry between us howlies and the pilots we hung around with. most of the pilots and crews we knew were transport guys, not bombers, but we got around more than most units and wound up spending a few weeks stationed near the 97th bombardment group. the 97th was made of b-17s, these huge bomber planes called flying fortresses–and they earned the name, those birds were basically the tanks of the sky. they ran a 10 man crew, and we got friendly with the spectacular idiots of the Pistol Packin Mama. as you can tell from the name of their plane, the were exactly the kind of guys who would get along with a group of people called the Howling Commandoes.
but rivalries being what they were, pranks happened.
the pistol packers fired the opening salvo. merrifield, Mama’s copilot, was probably the mastermind behind it; he was a good tempered guy who never passed on a pun. which was why for the first prank, the pistol packers stole all our underwear. haha, commandoes.
such an affront could not stand. we put shoe polish on the rims of their headsets, and they came off mission with black rings on the sides of their faces. they hid dead fish in our barracks. we salted their coffees.
the usual nonsense.
but then we came back one night to discover that every one of our footlockers had been painted with ‘EAT IT.’
and that, my friends, sparked a whole new wave of stupidity.
morita was the genius behind our retaliation. during wwii, VD was a major concern, and condoms were widely available for any soldier who wanted or needed them. each of us went separately and got as many as we could get our hands on. steve’s face was red enough he couldve been used to flag down a plane. the quartermasters probably thought us howlies were about to host the biggest orgy camp had ever seen, but by the time each of us had contributed to the stash, we had some 300-odd condoms.
so that night we went and broke into the airfield. we were highly skilled troops, it wasnt that hard. gabe mumbled something about using our skills for evil, but soon enough we had found the Pistol Packin Mama, all glorious 104 feet of her.
she’d taken a few hits on their last run, and was awaiting maintenance before she went up again. luckily for us, the repair crews were a little swamped, and it would be a few days before they got to her. so we climbed aboard and set to work.
anything we could fit a condom over got wrapped. joysticks, armrests, controls–all of it got covered in latex. the remaining 250 condoms we inflated. theres nothing more manly than a bunch of soldiers sitting around in a bomber blowing up condoms. and after about four hours of macho dick balloon making, we were near ready pass out from lack of oxygen. but we’d also managed to about half-fill the Mama with condom balloons.
our work done, we sneaked back to the barracks and fell asleep.
as i understand it, merrifeld realized he’d forgotten a lucky picture of his girl inside the Mama, and went back to pick it up. he opened the hatch and a rain of condoms descended on him, which attracted attention from pretty much everyone else nearby. the pistol packers got crap about it from everyone for weeks. eventually, they came to us and declared truce. as a gesture of good faith, steve offered to do some nose art for them.
so steve painted the Pistol Packin Mama. and how a man who cant ask for condoms without his face turning the color of a stoplight can paint a larger than life half naked lady on a plane calm as you like, i will never understand.