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Rat Line

Copyright © 2007 Robert McCurdy

Smashwords Edition

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Dedicated to my readers, who communicated to me their favorable reviews of Dog Robber, and who have been awaiting the further adventures of Jim Colling;

And to my wife, Margie, who once again was my best critic.


June, 1947

During his flight training on the B-29, Captain Bill Caldwell’s instructors had repeatedly reminded him that the “Super Fort” was the biggest and best airplane in the world. It could fly faster, higher and farther than anything else in the air. Now, seated at the controls of his very own B-29, The Sassy Lassie, Caldwell found himself, as he often did, mentally comparing the larger bomber to the B-17’s he had flown over Germany during the war. The huge plane was a bitch on take-off and landing, but a honey once it reached altitude. The four powerful Wright Cyclone engines seemed to Caldwell to be actually humming at 35,000 feet. The pressurized cabin meant that oxygen masks were for emergency use only, and the drafty cold of a B-17 was only an unpleasant memory. Caldwell had to admit that the lavish praise he had heard heaped on the ’29 by pilots who had flown them in the Far East was not far off the mark.

Caldwell looked down at the expanse of water below them. The sky was cloudless, and the sun reflected from the Baltic in a dazzling play of light. It was a good day for flying, no one was shooting at them, and all-in-all, Caldwell was content. They were almost half-way through their flight plan, and his thoughts drifted to his wife and son waiting for him at the base in England. The Air Force had just recently allowed dependents to join lower-ranking officers who were stationed in Europe, and he and Doris were still becoming re-acquainted after months of separation. He found that getting to know his wife all over again was an experience that he enjoyed.

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