I grew up in the era which brought forth the Douglas DC-3, among the other foundations of today's globe-circling, high-flying civil air fleets.
In grade school, I wrote an essay trying to express the joy and wonder provided by the advances in aviation, exemplified by the DC-3. DC-3 buffs surely must be familiar with the distinctive sound of the DC-3's 3-bladed Hamilton-Standard constant-speed full-feathering propellors and Pratt & Whitney R-1830 14-cylinder engines.
I learned to imitate the sound fairly accurately, and performed it frequently, and, finally, once too often. One Saturday, I was at a local movie theater in my home town of Piqua, Ohio, enjoying a movie in which DC-3's figured prominently, when I got caught up in the spirit of the moment, and began mimicking the sound of the DC-3's in the movie.
There I sat, oblivious to the reactions of fellow movie patrons, until the theater manager came rushing down the aisle and ordered me to stop upsetting the other patrons, or leave. (No ticket refund was mentioned.) Chastened, I remained to enjoy the thrilling saga to the end, and went home fulfilled with the euphoria of a day well spent.
My interest in aviation was expressed in reading aviation magazines (Can any of us ever forget "AIR TRAILS")
participating in high school Aviation Club activities, and building and flying model airplanes, but no actual flying. I did not get my very first flight until November, 1944, when, on leave from the Army, I flew from Dayton Municipal to Detroit City airports aboard a TWA DC-3!
While the thrill of that auspicious first flight was all the better for riding aboard my favorite aircraft type, I have to say that the comely TWA "stewardess" (as they were so quaintly called in those ancient times) made a good experience even more memorable.
That was my only encounter with the legendary airliner. I saw many C-47's flying overhead in the ETO but never again got within touching distance until after the war, at air shows. While serving occupation duties in post-war Germany with "G" Company, 276th Infantry, I (along with the rest of the company) was treated to an impromptu air show, performed by the company commander's brother, flying his ATC C-47 over our billets in a small town deep in the valley of the Lahn River. The valley was only half a mile wide and the surrounding hills rose 300 feet on both sides, so I have a deep respect for that Captain's flying skills!
I admit, I had few actual experiences with the DC-3, but "Voices from the DC-3" spoke very clearly to me in bringing it all back, and adding (vicariously) new ones.
Thank you , Julie Boatman Filucci!(and the intrepid crew of fellow DC-3 v eterans!)