Segment 12


Herbert Heilbrun packed up his gear and left for home without his crew. Heilbrun decided to take a ship home instead of using his accolades to fly home by mistake. On the Mariposa it took 11 days to get home from Europe. They took the men to Camp Mile Standish to get their orders to go home. Red, White, and Blue girls greeted them and they ate chicken sandwiches. Heilbrun called home and had his mother and father and two grandmothers greet him. One grandmother had no idea what he was really doing and she was most concerned about his boots instead of his 35 combat missions. [Annotators note. Heilbrun is filing papers.] 53 years later Heilbrun and his friend John met when the local chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. He went to meet someone who flew the same time he did. He was the only white man at the event. He told the first man he saw his story and asked if there were any men who flew at the same time and the young man pointed to his father. Heilbrun approached John and gave him a hug without saying anything. Heilbrun thanked him for keeping his bomber in the air. Heilbrun was invited to a talk John gave about their times flying in World War 2. Heilbrun discovered they went to grade school together when they had dinner one night. John was the only black kid in the same class as Heilbrun.


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