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Samuel M. Findley (Tex)
Engineer/Tail Gunner
323rd BG, 453rd BS


The article written by Bud Hutton, Stars and Stripes staff writer is as follows:

"A MARAUDER BASE. Feb. 10----When Capt. Roscoe Haller gathered a torn , unpacked parachute into his arms and jumped out of his flak–crippled B-26, Miss Chevious, he brought down the curtain on one of the most hilarious bail-out performances ever enacted over England.

As a matter of fact the LaFargeville (NY) pilot almost tagged a tragic ending on the performance. As he dropped the unpacked ‘chute caught on the bomb-bay doors, ripped out an entire panel, and sent him earthward supported by only half the canopy. Though bruised and battered by the high speed landing ,Haller laughed today as he told the story of his crew’s 31st mission Saturday to targets in France

Flak shot out the plane’s hydraulic system just inside France but because he was leading the formation Haller could not turn homeward, and went over the target with the rest. Back at the field he circled till the other ships landed, then found to his dismay that one wheel could not be lowered and the other two already down could not be withdrawn to permit a belly landing.

"At this point it began to be a little funny", said Haller.

Told to Bail Out or Crash

Over the command radio, Col. Wilson R. Wood of Chico, Tex. Told Haller to bail out the crew and either crash-land alone or bail out himself. Haller settled for the latter, and things began to happen.

S/Sgt. Bryce Ramey, of East Lynn, W. Va. Discovered his ‘chute harness was too loose, and 1/Lt. Curtis Wheat of Pharr, Tex., navigator, tied Ramey’s harness with six feet of rope from the dingy.

Next scene in the "comedy" found Ramey and 1/Lt. George J. Friesner of St. Louis, bombardier in the bomb bay putting on an Alphonse and Gaston act, Ramey bowing and motioning Friesner to jump and Friesner bowing back. They finally jumped and after landing Ramey was chased around a field by a zealous knife-armed farmer who mistook him for a Nazi ‘chutist.

When S/Sgt. Sam Findley, engineer-tail gunner, from Mt. Vernon, Tex. and S/Sgt. Jimmy Smith of Charleston, Miss., top-turret gunner, had gone out, Haller and Wheat took the ship to the coast and Wheat bailed out.

Silk All Over

"I started to follow" Haller said, "but as I got up I accidentally pulled the ring on my ‘chute and wind rushing the nose well spread the silk through the ship."

Gathering the silk in his arms and leaving the pilot chute sticking over his shoulder,Haller jumped. The trailing edge of the ‘chute caught on the bomb bay door, ripping out the panel and leaving with only half of the ‘chute working from 1,000 feet on down.

"It must have slowed me down to about two miles an hour, but I landed," Haller said. "I can still walk and next week we’ll be back on ops."

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