WWII veteran pens his stories as a B-24 pilot, chronicles the Pacific fight (VIDEO)

In this compelling documentary of World War II Air Corps Capt. Bob Houser, the experiences he penned in a diary about the Pacific fight so many years ago, come to life once again.

Buried within the pages of the cracked and worn diary lies an entry chronicling Houser’s thoughts the night before a major bombing mission, where they were to take a B-24 known as Scootin’ Thunder into Japanese occupied airspace:


scootin thunder

“I tried to sleep, but the anticipation of what we were about to undertake kept me awake for another hour or so. I lay on my bunk, staring into the darkness, waiting for some much needed sleep. I knew it had been hot on Cactus today, yet I felt a chill I couldn’t shake.”

Houser’s daughter, Beth, had often asked her father to share his war experiences throughout their life. But like many war veterans, he never felt inclined. Houser’s response would be, “Nobody cares. No one is interested in what happened in the Pacific.”

While on a return flight from a raid on the Kahili airfield in Bougainville, Houser burst into song. He maintained this tradition of singing in the cockpit of Scootin’ Thunder for the remainder of his service.


2nd Lt. Bill Garman – the navigator of the aircraft – would call out over the roar of the engines, “Houser, give us some songs!” Happy to oblige, Houser would break into a rendition of “Danny Boy”, or at other times, “Night and Day.”

When asked why he started singing, Houser said, “It’s the lack of something to do immediately after you’re engaged in combat. It’s all off your shoulders. You’ve turned around to go home, and you feel a song come over your heart, so I just started to sing. I wasn’t looking for any hosannas, but they seemed to like it after a while, so it became a regular thing on the way back. I had a whole repertoire of songs.”

After retiring from the Army Air Corps, Houser got a job at the Press-Telegram, in Long Beach, California where he worked for the next 40 years. Houser recently passed away at the age of 92 years young, having made a lasting impact on his fellow warriors and the world.


[Airman Magazine]


Read More On:

Latest Reviews

  • A Look at the Sig P238, A Year Later

    The Sig Sauer P238 was the first .380 ACP BUG to grace my gun safe, a welcomed addition to the 9mm polymers, .38 SPL revolvers, and .45 ACP 1911s. After more than a year's worth of use, where do I stand on the P238? Let's find out.

    Read More
  • Tuck & Carry: CCW in a Skirt

    Aimed at those who want the comfort and convenience of a skirt but with the protection of a holstered gun, the Tuck & Carry occupies what I term apparel holsters -- that is clothing/holster duos.

    Read More
  • The Marlin Dark in .45-70 is Stealthy and Modern

    Flash forward the lever gun of Western lore to the 2020s, where Marlin has taken that classic design and given it a modern upgrade. Meet the Marlin Dark.

    Read More
  • Gear Review: Sig Sauer Tango 6T 1-6

    Sig Sauer has long been a big name in the firearms industry, so it came as no surprise several years ago when Sig filled out its repertoire with its own optics line. Today, we’re looking at the Tango 6T, a 1-6 low power variable optic.

    Read More