Ormoc On My Mind

General Stuff => Events and Happenings => Topic started by: Cook on September 18, 2013, 10:30:31 pm

Title: Ormoc on Film -- I'll be waiting for this to come out.
Post by: Cook on September 18, 2013, 10:30:31 pm
Film unlocks memories for WWII pilotVista's Dick Seay was rescued at sea after his bomber crashed in the Philippines in 1944By Pam Kragen (/staff/pam-kragen/)8:08 a.m.July 17, 2013 VISTA — During World War II, bomber pilot Richard “Dick” Seay flew 13 missions over the South Pacific, but don’t call him a hero. The 90-year-old Vista retiree said the word is terribly overused for veterans like himself who were simply “getting the job done.”
Don’t tell that to his stepson Casey Rummerfield, 52, who spent hundreds of hours secretly investigating the long-buried story of Seay’s last flight aboard the B-25J twin-engine bomber No. 953. Only two of the six men aboard the “Mitchell” bomber that morning — Nov. 10, 1944 — would survive its crash into Cabalian Bay, the Philippines, and Seay never shared the details of their miraculous rescue with his family.
But in December, Rummerfield discovered a grainy 3-minute government film showing the two pilots being rescued at sea — footage that Seay never knew existed — and he surprised the tearful, flabbergasted veteran with it as a Christmas gift.
“Holy cats!” the stunned Seay says, in a family video (http://youtu.be/mYlZ0e1YXiw) capturing the moment on Christmas morning. “This whole thing isn’t a dream! I’ve got proof! I’ve got proof!”
Unlucky No. 13In 1942, war service seemed an exciting way out of Seay’s humdrum life in Pasadena, so the 19-year-old enlisted in what would become the U.S. Air Force — “because they had the best uniforms for attracting girls,” he said.
After earning his wings in 1943, 2nd Lt. Seay (pronounced “Say”) was shipped to the South Pacific, where he and his comrades in the 38th Bombardment Group flew low-level strafing and strip-bombing missions on Japanese ships. Two weeks after the Battle of Leyte Gulf, 29 “Black Panther” bombers were sent out on Nov. 10 to bomb a flotilla of Japanese supply ships in Ormoc Bay. Only 20 would return, and 40 lives would be lost.
Seay and his co-pilot, James H. ****, flew in low over the Takatsu Maru and dropped a bomb, but anti-aircraft fire from the ship tore the plane to pieces.
“There were holes opening up in the cabin around my head, the tail was practically gone, one engine wasn’t running and there was a hole as big as a table in the left wing,” he recalled.
The plane’s radio man was killed, the rudders and ailerons were damaged and the plane was shaking as if it would come apart. Seay and **** turned the dying plane back toward the Leyte air base, but it couldn’t get enough altitude to make it over the island’s hills to the airstrip, so they tried circling the island instead. When the plane began rolling over uncontrollably, they were forced to make a water landing at 150 miles an hour.
“We hit the water too fast,” Seay said. “The crew were standing behind us looking out the cockpit windows as we came in and my last words were ‘This is it.’”
**** was barely injured in the crash, but Seay broke his back and the four crewmen died, either on impact or by drowning when the plane quickly sank. Seay was knocked out and came to underwater, at first believing he was dead. He was in so much pain, he remembers only fragments of the next few days. **** later told him that a plane from the 38th spotted the crash and dropped a life raft, which he inflated and then dragged Seay aboard. They floated for two days, with no food, water or supplies but plenty of sharks to keep them company. The raft was sinking and the men had no flares, but Seay had put a mirror in his pocket for shaving on the morning of the crash, and **** used it to signal a passing ship, the USS Bush, which pulled them aboard. Unbeknown to Seay at the time, a doctor onboard the Bush recorded the rescue with a video camera.
Unearthing the pastSeay spent the next six months in a body cast and never made it back to the 38th before the war’s end. His only contact with a fellow flyer was when **** made a brief visit to his hospital bedside in Santa Ana in 1945. (Seay said he never saw or heard from **** again and efforts by the family to find him online have proven fruitless). After the war, Seay married, had a daughter and moved to San Jose where he spent 19 years with Container Corp., then opened his own automotive business from which he retired in 1984. Because he was so busy, the war became a distant memory that he chose to forget.
“I didn’t really talk about it to anyone,” he said. “I didn’t know there was a 38th bomb group association. We didn’t have computers then so it wasn’t easy to find people. I just figured this would be a chapter of my life where the details would never be filled in.”
After the Alzheimers-related death of his second wife 5 years ago (his first marriage had ended in divorce), Seay married Marilyn, an 85-year-old retired nursing instructor, who began gently prying out some of his memories for posterity. Her son Casey, a plant mechanic at Solar Turbines, was fascinated by the stories but didn’t push because he knew his stepdad didn’t like to talk about the war. Then the floodgates opened last Thanksgiving.
A family friend surprised Seay that day with a written chronicle of the Ormoc Bay battle that he found on a military website. Through another website, Marilyn was able to order a print that showed what looked like Seay’s plane zeroing in on the Takatsu Maru. Seay was so moved by the gifts and the interest in his story, he started to dredge up his memories, remembering a bit more with every telling.
Rummerfield decided to do his own sleuth work to help Seay fill in some of his memory gaps.
During the month leading up to Christmas Day, he decided to build an exact replica model of the plane his stepdad was flying when he crashed — right down to the tail number, the 38th insignia, and the modifications to the gun turrets. He spent weeks researching the plane and looking online for decals and model pieces, working into the wee hours every night and through the weekends.
“I became obsessed with it,” Rummerfield said. “I let my garden go and all my strawberries almost died.”
Then he hit the mother lode. He found a website for the USS Bush created by the son of a sailor who had served on the ship, which went down with 87 sailors in the Battle of Okinawa just six months after Seay’s rescue.
On the site was a written description of the rescue of “R.R. Seay” and “H.R. ****” and color photos from a 16 mm film capturing the encounter. Rummerfield contacted the website’s editor, who sent him a DVD of the film, which Rummerfield edited, adding title slides and music from Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” He uploaded it to
youtube.com (http://youtube.com) on Dec. 19, where — hidden among millions of grumpy cat, flash mob and karaoke videos — has generated only 178 views.
Seay said watching the film that day was like an out-of-body experience, and it filled in “some of the puzzle pieces that had been missing for 68 years.” More than anything, it has touched him to know that his family cares so much about honoring his service.

“He is a hero to us,” Rummerfield said. “The more I learn about what he did, the more I’m amazed he survived. And he has made my mom very happy.”

credits: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jul/17/video-unlocks-secrets-for-wwii-pilot/all/?print

Title: Re: Ormoc on Film -- I'll be waiting for this to come out.
Post by: 2dayespania on September 19, 2013, 03:06:51 am
Wow, ka nice gud ani. Me too, will wait for this to be filmed.

Title: Re: Ormoc on Film -- I'll be waiting for this to come out.
Post by: Nautila on September 20, 2013, 02:56:12 am
I don't know if this will really go into play. Pero nice sana pag talagang nai sine siya.

Must watch.  :) :D

Title: Re: Ormoc on Film -- I'll be waiting for this to come out.
Post by: FugitiveOfLaw on September 20, 2013, 06:26:29 am
I support this. Maayo unta masugod na ang filming ani.