HYLAN V. SIMMONS|
World War II
Memories and Biography
(Taken from a letter to Will Lundy)
26 April 1994
4835 Hummingbird Ln.
Memphis, TN 38117
Dear Mr. Lundy:
Thank you for your letter and I enjoyed talking to you on the phone today. Enclosed are a few notes that come to mind at this time. It all happened so long ago that sometimes it seems unreal.
I have not been in touch with anybody from the 44th B.G. with the exception of "Perch" Rolfe since getting out of service in 1945.
Any information that you could furnish me about the members of the original crew of the "Lemon Drop" would be appreciated. I can tell you how we came up with the name "Lemon Drop," We were having quite a bit of trouble with the ship before leaving for England, didn't seem to want to climb to altitude among them. Then when we started across, we had a bad landing in Newfoundland and smashed up the belly of the ship. They worked on it at the air base there then we had to fly it back to the states for repairs at the air depot in Harrisburg, PA.
After about three weeks of repairs, we again left to head out to England. We stopped in New Hampshire that night to gas up and the next morning when we opened the bomb bay doors, there was gas pouring out of the wing in the bomb bay.
Lt. Phillips decided it would be best to go back to Harrisburg to see what the trouble was. We flew back to Harrisburg with the bomb bay doors wide open and gas dripping out.
At Harrisburg, they went to work on it again and found out that someone had sabotaged the wing tanks. Lucky we didn't blow up in flight.
After that we flew back to New Hampshire and then back to Newfoundland again. When the weather cleared enough, we flew over to Iceland and then to Shipdham, several weeks behind the group.
It was at that time that the name "Lemon Drop" was born.
Strange that the "Lemon Drop" was the last of the original ships in the group.
I flew my first five missions in the "Lemon Drop."
Sincerely, "Hy" -- Hylan Simmons