1. #1
    huggy87's Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Subject: Fwd: WOW!!!: Great True Story about BRUCE CARR WWII Pilot

    *The dead chicken was starting to smell. After carrying it for several
    days, 20-year-old Bruce Carr, still hadn't decided how to cook it without
    the Germans catching him. But as hungry as he was, he couldn't bring
    himself to eat it. In his mind no meat was better than raw chicken meat, so
    he threw it away.
    *Resigning himself to what appeared to be his unavoidable fate, he turned in
    the direction of the nearest German airfield. Even POW's get to eat
    sometimes. And aren't they constantly dodging from tree to tree . .. .ditch
    to culvert? He was exhausted!
    *He was tired of trying to find cover where there was none. Carr hadn't
    realized that Czechoslovakian forests had no underbrush until, at the edge
    of the farm field, he struggled out of his parachute and dragged it into the
    *During the times he had been screaming along at treetop level in his P-51,
    'Angels Playmate,' the forests and fields had been nothing more than a green
    blur behind the Messerchmitts, Focke-Wulfs, trains and trucks, he had in his
    sights. He never expected to find himself a pedestrian far behind enemy
    *The instant antiaircraft shrapnel ripped into the engine, he knew he was in
    trouble. Serious trouble. Clouds of coolant steam hissing through jagged
    holes in the cowling told Carr, he was about to ride the 'silk elevator'
    down to a long walk back to his squadron. A very long walk.
    *This had not been part of the mission plan. Several years before, when
    18-year-old Bruce Carr enlisted in the Army, in no way could he have
    imagined himself taking a walking tour of rural Czechoslovakia, with Germans
    everywhere around him. When he enlisted, all he could think about was
    flying fighters.
    *By the time he had joined the military, Carr already knew how to fly. He
    had been flying as a private pilot since 1939, soloing in a $25, Piper Cub
    his father had bought from a disgusted pilot who had left it lodged securely
    in the top of a tree. His instructor had been an Auburn, New York, native
    by the name of 'Johnny' Bruns.
    *"In 1942, after I enlisted as Bruce Carr, remembers it," "we went to meet
    our instructors. I was the last cadet left in the assignment room and was
    nervous. Then the door opened and out stepped the man who was to be my
    military flight instructor. It was Johnny Bruns!" *

    *"We took a Stearman to an outlying field, doing aerobatics all the way;
    then he got out and soloed me. That was my first flight in the military.
    *"The guy I had in advanced training in the AT-6, had just graduated himself
    and didn't know a damned bit more than I did." Carr, can't help but smile as
    he remembers: "which meant neither one of us knew anything. Zilch!"
    *"After three or four hours in the AT-6, they took me and a few others
    aside, told us we were going to fly P-40s and we left for Tipton, Georgia.
    We got to Tipton, and a Lieutenant just back from North Africa, kneeled on
    the P-40s wing, showed me where all the levers were, made sure I knew how
    everything worked, then said; 'If you can get it started .. . go flying,'
    just like that!"
    *"I was 19-years old and thought I knew everything. I didn't know enough to
    be scared. They didn't tell us what to do. They just said: 'Go fly!' so I
    buzzed every cow in that part of the state. Nineteen years old and 1,100
    horsepower, what did they expect? Then we went overseas."
    *By today's standards Carr, and that first contingent of pilots shipped to
    England, were painfully short of experience. They had so little flight time
    that today; they would barely have their civilian pilot's license. Flight
    training eventually became more formal but in those early days it had a hint
    of fatalistic Darwinism.*

    *If they learned fast enough to survive, they were ready to move on to the
    next step. Including his 40-hours in the P-40, terrorizing Georgia, Carr
    had less than 160-hours flight time when he arrived in England. *

    *His group in England, was to be the pioneering group that would take the
    Mustang into combat and he clearly remembers his introduction to the
    *"I thought I was an old P-40, pilot and the P-51B, would be no big deal.
    But I was wrong. I was truly impressed with the airplane. I mean REALLY
    impressed! It flew like an airplane. I just flew the P-40, but in the
    P-51, I was part of the airplane. And it was part of me! There was a world
    of difference."
    *When he first arrived in England, the instructions were: 'This is a P-51.
    Go fly it. Soon, we'll have to form a unit, so go fly.' A lot of English
    cows were buzzed.
    *"On my first long-range mission, we just kept climbing, and I'd never had
    an airplane above about 10,000-feet before. Then we were at 30,000-feet
    with 'Angels Playmate' and I couldn't believe it! I'd gone to church as a
    kid, and I knew that's where the angels were and that's when I named my
    airplane 'Angels Playmate.'"
    *"Then a bunch of Germans roared down through us, and my leader immediately
    dropped tanks and turned hard for home. But I'm not that smart. I'm
    19-years old and this SOB shoots at me. And I'm not going to let him get
    away with it."*

    *"We went round and round. And I'm really mad because he shot at me.
    Childish emotions, in retrospect. He couldn't shake me, but I couldn't get
    on his tail to get any hits either."
    *"Before long, we're right down in the trees. I'm shooting, but I'm not
    hitting. I am, however, scaring the hell out of him. But I'm at least as
    excited as he is. Then I tell myself to calm down."
    *"We're roaring around within a few feet of the ground, and he pulls up to
    go over some trees, so I just pull the trigger and keep it down. The gun
    barrels burned out and one bullet, a tracer, came tumbling out and made a
    great huge arc. It came down and hit him on the left wing about where the
    aileron is. He pulled up, off came the canopy, and he jumped out, but too
    low for the chute to open and the airplane crashed. I didn't shoot him
    down, I scared him to death with one bullet hole in his left wing. My first
    victory wasn't a kill; it was more of a suicide." *

    *The rest of his 14-victories were much more conclusive. Being a red-hot
    fighter pilot, however, was absolutely no use to him as he lay shivering in
    the Czechoslovakian forest.. He knew he would die if he didn't get some
    food and shelter soon. *

    *"I knew where the German field was because I'd flown over it, so I headed
    in that direction to surrender. I intended to walk in the main gate, but it
    was late afternoon and, for some reason, I had second thoughts and decided
    to wait in the woods until morning. *

    *"While I was lying there, I saw a crew working on an FW 190, right at the
    edge of the woods. When they were done, I assumed, just like you assume in
    America, that the thing was all finished. The cowling's on. The engine has
    been run. The fuel truck has been there. It's ready to go. Maybe a dumb
    assumption for a young fellow, but I assumed so. So, I got in the airplane
    and spent the night all hunkered down in the cockpit.
    *"Before dawn, it got light and I started studying the cockpit. I can't
    read German, so I couldn't decipher dials and I couldn't find the normal
    switches like there were in American airplanes. I kept looking, and on the
    right side was a smooth panel. Under this was a compartment with something
    I would classify as circuit breakers. They didn't look like ours, but they
    weren't regular switches either.
    *"I began to think that the Germans were probably no different from the
    Americans in that they would turn off all the switches when finished with
    the airplane. I had no earthly idea what those circuit breakers or switches
    did, but I reversed every one of them. If they were off, that would turn
    them on. When I did that, the gauges showed there was electricity on the
    airplane." *

    *"I'd seen this metal T-handle on the right side of the cockpit that had a
    word on it that looked enough like 'starter' for me to think that's what it
    was. But when I pulled it, nothing happened. Nothing."
    *"But if pulling doesn't work . . . you push. And when I did, an inertia
    starter started winding up. I let it go for a while, then pulled on the
    handle and the engine started!"
    *The sun had yet to make it over the far trees and the air base was just
    waking up, getting ready to go to war.. The FW 190, was one of many
    dispersed through-out the woods, and at that time of the morning, the sound
    of the engine must have been heard by many Germans not far away on the main
    *But even if they heard it, there was no reason for alarm. The last thing
    they expected was one of their fighters taxiing out with a weary Mustang
    pilot at the controls. Carr, however, wanted to take no chances.
    *"The taxiway came out of the woods and turned right towards where I knew
    the airfield was because I'd watched them land and take off while I was in
    the trees."
    *"On the left side of the taxiway, there was a shallow ditch and a space
    where there had been two hangars. The slabs were there, but the hangars were
    gone, and the area around them had been cleaned of all debris."
    *"I didn't want to go to the airfield, so I plowed down through the ditch
    and then the airplane started up the other side."
    *"When the airplane started up . . .. I shoved the throttle forward and took
    off right between where the two hangars had been."
    *At that point Bruce Carr, had no time to look around to see what effect the
    sight of a Focke-Wulf erupting from the trees had on the Germans.
    Undoubtedly, they were confused, but not unduly concerned. After all, it
    was probably just one of "their Maverick Pilots," doing something against
    the rules. They didn't know it was one of "OUR Maverick Pilots," doing
    something against the rules.*

    *Carr, had problems more immediate than a bunch of confused Germans. He had
    just pulled off the perfect plane-jacking; but he knew nothing about the
    airplane, couldn't read the placards and had 200-miles of enemy territory to
    cross. At home, there would be hundreds of his friends and fellow warriors,
    all of whom were, at that moment, preparing their guns to shoot at airplanes
    marked with swastikas and crosses-airplanes identical to the one Bruce Carr
    was at that moment flying. But Carr, wasn't thinking that far ahead.. *

    *First, he had to get there, and that meant learning how to fly the
    airplane. "There were two buttons behind the throttle and three buttons
    behind those two. I wasn't sure what to push, so I pushed one button and
    nothing happened I pushed the other and the gear started up. As soon as I
    felt it coming up and I cleared the fence at the edge of the German field, I
    took it down a little lower and headed for home."
    *"All I wanted to do was clear the ground by about six inches, and there was
    only one throttle position for me . . . full forward!"
    *"As I headed for home, I pushed one of the other three buttons, and the
    flaps came part way down. I pushed the button next to it, and they came up
    again. So I knew how to get the flaps down. But that was all I knew."
    *"I can't make heads or tails out of any of the instruments. None. I can't
    even figure how to change the prop pitch. But I don't sweat that, because
    props are full forward when you shut down anyway and it was running fine."
    *This time, it was German cows that were buzzed, although, as he streaked
    across fields and through the trees only a few feet off the ground, that was
    not the intent. At something over 350-miles an hour below tree-top level,
    he was trying to be a difficult target as he crossed the lines. But he
    wasn't difficult enough.
    *"There was no doubt when I crossed the lines because every SOB and his
    brother who had a .50-caliber machine gun shot at me. It was all over the
    place, and I had no idea which way to go. I didn't do much dodging because
    I was just as likely to fly into bullets as around them."
    *When he hopped over the last row of trees and found himself crossing his
    own airfield, he pulled up hard to set up for landing. His mind was on
    flying the airplane. "I pitched up, pulled the throttle back and punched
    the buttons I knew would put the gear and flaps down. I felt the flaps come
    down but the gear wasn't doing anything. I came around and pitched up
    again, still punching the button. Nothing was happening and I was really
    frustrated." He had been so intent on figuring out his airplane problems,
    he forgot he was putting on a very tempting show for the ground crew. *

    *"As I started up the last time, I saw our air defense guys ripping the
    tarps off the quad .50s that ringed our field. I hadn't noticed the machine
    guns before. But I was sure noticing them right then."
    *"I roared around in as tight a pattern as I could fly and chopped the
    throttle. I slid to a halt on the runway and it was a nice belly job, if I
    say so myself."
    *His antics over the runway had drawn quite a crowd, and the airplane had
    barely stopped sliding before there were MPs up on the wings trying to drag
    him out of the airplane by his arms.. They didn't realize he was still
    strapped in.
    *"I started throwing some good Anglo-Saxon swear words at them, and they let
    loose while I tried to get the seat belt undone, but my hands wouldn't work
    and I couldn't do it. Then they started pulling on me again because they
    still weren't convinced I was an American.
    *"I was yelling and hollering. Then, suddenly, they let go, and a face
    drops down into the cockpit in front of mine. It was my Group Commander:
    George R. Bickel."
    *"Bickel said, 'Carr, where in the hell have you been, and what have you
    been doing now?'"
    *Bruce Carr, was home and entered the record books as the only pilot known
    to leave on a mission flying a Mustang and return flying a Focke-Wulf. For
    several days after the ordeal, he had trouble eating and sleeping, but when
    things again fell into place, he took some of the other pilots out to show
    them the airplane and how it worked. One of them pointed out a small handle
    under the glare shield that he hadn't noticed before. When he pulled it,
    the landing gear unlocked and fell out. The handle was a separate,
    mechanical uplock. At least, he had figured out the important things.
    *Carr finished the war with 14-aerial victories on 172-missions, including
    three bailouts because of ground fire. He stayed in the service, eventually
    flying 51-missions in Korea in F-86s and 286, in Vietnam, flying F-100s.
    *That's an amazing 509-combat missions and doesn't include many others
    during Viet Nam, in other aircraft types.
    *There is a profile into which almost every one of the breed fits, and it is
    the charter within that profile that makes the pilot a fighter pilot . . not
    the other way around. And make no mistake about it; Colonel Bruce Carr, was
    definitely a fighter pilot.
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  2. #2
    Even though he didn't speak German, being a pilot you figured he'd at least be able to figure out some of the instruments by their placement, architectiure and graduations though.
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  3. #3
    trumper's Avatar Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Originally posted by TheCrux:
    Even though he didn't speak German, being a pilot you figured he'd at least be able to figure out some of the instruments by their placement, architectiure and graduations though.
    The layouts are different,the specs ie take off speeds are different and the guy is hungry ,cold,frightened and in hostile territory.
    I think he did well,and he was shot at by his own side in the end as well.
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  4. #4
    M_Gunz's Avatar Banned
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    Mar 2007
    You can see that in any good sim. Compass, Ball, and VSO are obvious. RPM, MAP, start it up should show and IAS gets obvious...
    but you still have different scales, the numbers don't make sense without practice KPH instead of MPH, Meters instead of Feet.

    When we get a sim that mixes combat flight sim and FPS there could -be- a Carr Mission. That might come about the time that 8-core CPUs and 8G RAM become mainstream gamer gear.
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  5. #5
    Flys you home without any training: Focke-Wulf 190

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  6. #6
    I don't think the hard part would be figuring out the instrumentation. The hard part is figuring out all the switches and the proper order to flip them to get the engine started. I would think any fighter pilot of that era would have been able to get a 190 in the air after he got the engines running.

    Good thing it was a 190, try that with an LA-5 HAHAHAHAHAHA.
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  7. #7
    My suspicion that this story is a fabrication seems to be confirmed:

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  8. #8
    Originally posted by Metatron_123:
    My suspicion that this story is a fabrication seems to be confirmed:

    Interesting. Thanks for the link. Adds teeth to what I already thought but didn't post earlier, which was that it all sounded too dramatic and John Wayne-ish to me. The real story sounds fairly plausible.
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  9. #9
    Originally posted by TheCrux:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Metatron_123:
    My suspicion that this story is a fabrication seems to be confirmed:

    Interesting. Thanks for the link. Adds teeth to what I already thought but didn't post earlier, which was that it all sounded too dramatic and John Wayne-ish to me. The real story sounds fairly plausible. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Thanks to the original poster though, it was a nice read.
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