Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shemya to Tokyo on a DC-4 in 1947

Douglas DC-4 on the ground in Tokyo

The Shemya to Tokyo leg of the trip left Shemya at midnight. As previously mentioned, Phyllis says it was an adventure trudging through wind-whipped snow to the airplane, which was parked about a city block away from the terminal. Passengers were mostly wives and children of the occupational forces, joining their spouses in Japan. "There were more baby bottles than refrigeration to store them," Phyllis says. "We had to move them in and out of the little tin ice box to give each bottle equal refrigeration time."

Phyllis Curry with her small Japanese friends.
On layover in Tokyo, the crews stayed at a Staff House, which afforded full food service as well as sleeping accommodations. Shopping was an experience. Vendors set up card tables in a row in front of their bombed-out shops and encouraged Phyllis and her crew members to come further down the line for a "better deal." Phyllis spent some of her free time with local children, helping them make the best of their war-torn surroundings.

Japanese kids playing in rubble left from WWII
All photos are from Phyllis Curry's collection

Phyllis met her future husband, Charles Curry, flying the Orient. They had three trips together. It was a two week trip, so the crews flew only one per month, then added one domestic trip per month to accrue enough hours.
After their third trip together Charles broke his ankle skiing and when she visited him in the hospital he said, "Would you like to get married and go with me to Miami?"
Phyllis answered, "What, and give up my Tokyo run??"

What happened next? Stay tuned for next post . . .


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