A Short Story By:
Edward Carchia


I was on duty at the 602nd TCS, Det A, a small radar unit remotely
located on the Czech border near  Hof, Germany when the first C-47
of the Airlift passed onto our watch. In a moment, our priority
changed from "the other" to "our own".Approximately a year later,
I helped guide the last of a seemingly endless stream of dots to its
destination in the Northeast.
 
 
One memorable rainy night remains a half century later. One of the
fragile specks of light veered  sharply toward a line on the screen
marking the edge of the air corridor. The aberration was not unnoticed
by the pack of Migs that periodically swarmed out of Leipzig. The images
converged before we could scramble our own fighter planes to the
scene. The words "Mayday... Mayday" were recited through our loudspeaker
more, it seemed, in disappointment than anxiety. Then the dot disappeared
from the scope.
 
The next day  we went out to the crash site by
 jeep. Parachutes reassuringly draped a rainsoaked field nearby.
The crew had survived.

Edward Carchia