THE HUMP by Bliss K. Thorne


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The intimate story of Air Transport Command pilots in the China-Burma-India theater during WWII, this is an ingratiating little memoir that never indulges in the usual service humor. The author was a young lieutenant who spent a few years hauling supplies over the Himalayas to the Chinese. The story is about equally divided between flight dangers and descriptions of the natives. More often than not the wonderful geography of the Himalayas escaped the pilot, who was absolutely intent on his instruments and the C-46's functioning. Life at his base consisted of eggs, sleep and precious little entertainment, although he does describe a short leave in Darjeeling (during which he was sick). He had some close calls but never crashed nor had to be rescued. A theatrically fascinating incident occurred when he took his traveler's clock down to a native jeweller to have it repaired. The whole village gathered around as the jeweller disassembled the strange western instrument and successfully repaired its mainspring. Thorne describes this thoroughly as if sitting in Cellini's workshop.

Publisher: Lippincott