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"is not much that is more than 150 years old" - other than a Spanish fort, you could say that about Florida. Nothing where I live but groves and gators before the mouse.

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Seminoles were bought off with the gambling franchise and a sports team.


Just have to pray that "Gators" and "Noles" don't become politically incorrect. Unlike many I don't believe in rewriting history.

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My dad entered high school during the war, so no real involvement there. However, an uncle, my mother's brother was a navigator on a mid-range bomber during the war, I think a B-29, but am not sure. I was always interested in history, and many times asked him about his service. However, like so many of that generation, he never wanted to talk about it. 

Fortunately for me, years later, and shortly before he passed away, one of his grandchildren got him to open up. She wrote about ten typewritten pages of stories and copied them to share with the family. 

The best story. As a navigator, he often didn't do much. Just sat at his cramped station and kept track of where they were. The full crews of all the planes would attend the early morning's briefing, and he had to pay closer attention than some of the others did. However, as long as things went well, his plane just followed the lead plane until time to hit their target. And, hopefully all still going well, then follow the leader back again.

One day, things didn't go so well. His plane was hit by ground fire, and badly damaged. The rules were, that the planes were too valuable to hang around and fly slow if they didn't have to. Any able plane needed to head back to base quickly. His plane's pilots struggled to keep the damaged plane in the air and limp home short an engine. With all the gear they had to carry, it was still heavy, and barely able to stay in the air. Now he became the third most important person on the plane, behind the two pilots. He had to know exactly where they were, try to avoid known hot spots to avoid further ground fire, and otherwise find the quickest way home. He had to know from the morning's briefing where the action fronts were, and guide the plane to a secure area on the liberated side of the front so the rest of the crew could throw everything not nailed down out the door! All guns, ammunition, and supplies not deemed necessary were thrown out where enemy combatants would not have ready access to get them. A few hundred pounds lighter made the plane a bit easier to keep in the air, and less strain on the remaining engines. So the pilots continued their struggles and got the plane back to base.

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