World War II was the first conflict in which air power was a deciding and indispensable factor. May Day! May Day! Close Encounters (An Instructor Pilot Remembers) reveals the personal stories of the aircrews who flew and maintained the planes and who upheld a continuous supply of trained personnel for the war effort. Full of rich, historical detail, author and former World War II pilot Jack Scott shares his experiences and those of others, giving an insightful view into the American home front and the war overseas.
While assigned to Walker Air Base, we were subjected to all of the restrictions of rationing. Shoes, food, clothes and just about everything was rationed. One thing, however never ceased to amaze us. We were allowed only a minimum amount of gasoline for our personal autos, yet we were encouraged to practice touch and go landings as often as we personally desired and were often reminded that at the end of every mission we should make a few extra landings and take offs. The paradox of this was that on one "go around" we would burn a minimum of 80 gallons of aviation fuel. Rationing did not apply here.