WISH ME LUCK

WISH ME LUCK

When Lieutenant Harold Stalnaker took off from the 366th Fighter Squadron’s base in Toul, northeastern France, on 23 December 1944, he had flown more than 90 missions. The 21-year-old fighter pilot should not even have been in the cockpit of his P-47 Thunderbolt as he had been given a 72-hour pass to Paris. But the West Virginian had turned it down at a time when the Western Front was witnessing frantic activity as a result of the Battle of the Bulge. The mission was Harold’s last. His aircraft was taken down by friendly fire and crashed nose-first somewhere in Luxembourg. It would take until 2004 for his remains to be discovered and identified. By that time Harold’s fiancée, Emelene Waldeck, had passed away, never knowing what had happened to him. Her daughter later found a packet of more than one hundred letters that Harold had written to her. “So off I go into the wild blue yonder,” the proud pilot said in one of them, “I’ve put my dreams into this sky. Wish me luck, Em, for my luck I hope will be our luck.”

2017-08-29T18:40:42+01:00