Topic: "Queen of Memphis"
Frodo turned the rearview mirror on his motorcar so that he was unable to see behind him. "Why did you do that, Mr. Frodo?," asked Sam. "Because I do not care to ever lay eyes upon that place again," said Frodo as they entered onto the Interstate Highway heading East, away from Memphis.
Robert Hanson was the radio operator on a B-17 that flew 25 combat missions over Germany and Occupied France. He was the last surviving member of the crew that flew a plane known as the "Memphis Belle." At age 85, Mr. Hanson passed away last week from congestive heart failure.
The "Memphis Belle" was hit by flak, cannon shells, and machine gun bullets while she racked up over 148 hours of flight time, and dropped more than 60 tons of bombs. Every major part of the airplane was replaced at least once, and four of her crew members died during combat.
Frodo is ashamed that he cannot immediately recall the name of each of those crew members. Perhaps it is enough that he remembers the "Memphis Belle," and recognizes the one good thing that registers in his mind when he thinks of that mosquito haven on the Mississippi.
Mr. Hanson, according to friends, was very fond of ending telephone conversations in the same manner as his on-air sign off in Morse Code. Instead of something pithy, he would simply say "dit, dit, dit, dah, dit, dah."
To you gallant Sir, "dit, dit, dit, dah, dit, dah," and Thank You.