Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bob McMurry's Recollections

Capt Bob McMurry flew C-133A 40140 to the Paris Air Show in Jun 1959. While there, he demonstrated the C-133's ability to fly low passes with two engines out on the side toward the reviewing stand, where French Pres. Charles DeGaulle was watching.

McMurry has completed a fascinating autobiography that gives a great picture of an Air Force pilot's life from WWII into the 1960s. My review is as follows:

A heartwarming tale of the life of an aviator in World War II and after. My eyes were misty from the first pages. This is a complete story, not just wartime and military service. The anecdotal format is an excellent way to tell the story through important events in his life. Bob and Jeanne McMurry were in the first generation of Air Force people who lived in many countries and experienced life in new cultures. They went from rubble-strewn Munich in 1946 to civil war-torn Greece then to California's Hamilton Air Force Base  and Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. He was the high time pilot on the Berlin Airlift and endured challenging missions in Italy, Iceland and the Azores. Together, they  experienced Paris, the Pyramids and Venice and welcomed a daughter born in Germany. At Travis AFB, California, they raised two daughters and explored Northern California. One daughter witnessed an airplane crash that claimed the life of a dear family friend. At the 1959 Paris Air Show, McMurry flew a magnificent demonstration of the largest Air Force transport before witnesses including French President Charles DeGaulle.

Once retired from the Air Force, in 1964, McMurry continued flying with the airlines. He added 13,000 airline hours to 20,000 flown in the military His personal and professional performance brought  recognition as the airline pilot of the year in 1980.

Throughout the book, McMurry's love of his wife and family is a constant thread. They shared life in all its facets, from his marriage to 18-year old Jeanne to her passing 68 years later, surrounded by her family. After that, they all moved on to care for one another as the years caught up with him.

This is a personal and loving tale of Bob McMurry's years in life and the air. I recommend it very highly  and salute him as, indeed, a Proud Pilot who had reason for that appellation.

If you are interested, please contact him via his daughter's email, 

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