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Wrong End Of The Binoculars

January 07, 1990

Re the review of "The Year Of the Zinc Penny" by Rick DeMarinis (Book Review, Nov. 19), the author writes: "Test pilots from all the major plants put their planes through the paces straight over our heads . . . low-level skipping imaginary bombs through the hot streets. Huge (sic) formations of B-25 Mitchells shock the buildings . . . high-flying B-24s left vapor trails as they crossed from west to east on their way to England."

I was based at Long Beach airport during the period referred to, at headquarters for the 6th Ferry Command, crewing bombers to the South Pacific, South and North Atlantic routes to Europe. Perhaps I was away from base during all of these described flights. I do not think so. The B-24s were built and flown out of Consolidated in San Diego.

I do not disagree with the concept and theme of the book, but it loses credibility with scenes described as above, if I am to believe they were also observed with the "tin binoculars" from the cereal boxes.

If my conclusions are in error I am willing to accept a clarification proving me in error.

DONALD H. MCLAUGHLIN

Former T/Sgt., Flight Radio Operator

SANTA CLARITA

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