Re: Wallace Kerr - Baxter Slaughter
Date: April 01, 2010 06:59PM
You mention Cherry Point. I worked at the Beafort, N.C. airport for ex-Marine enlisted pilot, Maj. Dick Rodd, then a "fish spotter" in his Citobra. 99'r pilot wife June Rodd had worked in Hollywood painting Mary Martin's flying strings out of the film. She dated and was to marry English star Leslie Howard. She came to work one morning and the girls showed June the frontpage news: Leslie had eloped with some starlette. I told June that U.S. intelligence knew his WWII tour aircraft was to be shot-down by the enemy but could not stop it, less it reveal it's sources. June shed not a tear. Then I worked for senior United 737 pilot Cregg Willis there.
I was told Piedmont once had seasonal flights to that airport when there was a greyhound race track at Beaufort. I think Southern Pines was PI's other "season only" airport? Can anyone elaborate on PI's time at the Beafort airport, if true? Who were the agents there, if any?
This is before cell phones, security fences, etc. Alone I did everything but keep the books: I refueled from a gas station style pump, cut all the airport grass (whew, the snakes; it was once a potatoe field), etc. A chauffeured Cadilac for three hours sat near to the tiny terminal and ramp, the chaufeuree in it too. Finally, mad, he came inside.
"Mind if I use the payphone (olden times, then)?" "Heads are going to roll!" I thought perhaps I'd done something wrong, and needed to call the boss. "Did I do something wrong?" "No, my executive aircraft pilot was supposed to land here at "Bew-ford" (Beaufort) three hours ago." Me: "Well maybe he did?" He: "He hasn't, I've been sitting watching that ramp for three hours; heads-are-going-to-roll". Me: "Sir, I mean he may have already landed at Bew-fort, this is Bow-fort (Beaufort)". He: "Bew-fort, Bowfort, what's the difference!" Me: "About 300 miles!" Funny look on the guys now more perplexed than angry, face. "Let me call the Bew-fort airport". I gave Bew-fort the tail number; "Yeh, he arrived here three hours ago, the pilot's paceing, looking for some big-shot". I said put him on the wire, and called Mr. Heads-will-roll Big-shot.
On the payphone:"WHERE AM I? In Bew-fort...I mean, Bow-fort". Typical management: he didn't "roll" his own head.