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Catholic Northwest Progress
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December 12, 1947     Catholic Northwest Progress
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December 12, 1947
 

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The CATHOLIC NORTHWEST, PROGRESS Pag Seventy-Nine is guing to function. ]n tim wind tunnel te.:ts, yu know . . ." "I know. I kl,)w, Major," lie inter- rupted iet;ly: "We'll look her over later," ]-]e sipped Ills coffee. The mnjor got up and left, It wasn't o'tcn that he was jumpy be- fo]e a test. EVen this one, this snped- up j.et job was nolhing to him until that girl had gotten hilh upset Now he was off balance. He spotted Seanlon. "Mic, come here. Pull up a seat." Scanlon, lieutenant colonel with an air force patch on, ambled over. "Good to see you, Rick. This is going to be a tough one, boy. Hope you're up to it." "Have I failed yet?" asked Rick. "You only have to fail once," the other said lightly. "But, oh boy, this is the one not to fail on, Rick. What a plane!, Rick frowned: "Fve checked it a dozen times. ] watch- ed it being built over at the Cyclon e plant" "Well," said Scanlon, "this is top secret, you know, but the AAF bunch down at the Pentagon have decided to scrap every design they've got if this lives up to ex- ]peetations. They've gone hog-wild about this type jet job. The hitch, the thing they're worried about, is the stress under the rough test you'll give it. They're using a new aluminum alloy fortified with thin &teel rods and costed --- but you know about that. In the wind tunnel and lab- oratory tests, it stood every stress check but . . ." "Yeah,",asid Rick, "I know." He looked gloomily into the coffee cup. He couldn't shake that tenseness since the incident with that glrl in Operations. "One thing," said Scanlon, smiling, "aB we used to say back in the Okinawa days, God's in the cockpit, too,. to keep a guy from getting lonesome." "Not you too?" Ricked asked. Scanlon looked puzzled. "Smarten up," said Rick. "If God's in my cockpit, He better have a good chute, 'cause He's going out fast." "I don't' get this," said Scanlon. Then he remembered stories he'd hear, here and there, about Rick Brunner. They ' weren't nice stories. "Never mind," said Rick. "Let's go out to the ship." * It $ They examined the plane silently.. :It was a long, sleek torpedo-shaped tribe of glistening aluminum. Already the build- er's name, The Btack Jet, had caught on. A moisture resistant black paint was to e be added later. It It , Rick climbed into the pressurized cabin. The pressure suit had been carefully ad- Justed for him. His.stomach felt a little tight. He was going to fly higher and faster than any human being had ever flown before -- maybe. He checked and rechecked instruments. He knew planes. lie knew that no one was better, phys- ically or mentally, qualified to fly them. "Guts," he thought, "that's what I've got and no nerves and no fears--and no be- liefs." He swore silently at the girl. He thought about her a little. She wasn't bad though, She reminded him of someone from far in the hazy past. His firat girl? Childhood? A wisp of memory of himself as a little boy kneeling on a bedroom floor, and a soft voice leading him--then it disappeared. Five minutes before the takeoff time! e , Two jeeps and a staff car crossed the apron, swirling up eddies of dust. They screeched to a stop, and the military technicians and two senators got out. They exchanged pleasantries, then got out brief cases, full of charts and papers. A long, technical discussion followed. l:tick joined them. Then they folded up the blueprints and diagrams. The dis- cussion and planning were over. Only the test remained. The ranking officers and the senators shook his hand. "I wish we could promise you a joy ride this time, Brunner," said the chief technician, "but, you know the score." A flurry of excitement followed, as Rick climbed into the pressurized cabin. The group got into their cars and backed off. Rick signaled them away from the fierce gases that would charge out of e the Jet tanks when he tobk. off. He pulled the plexiglas canopy over his head and fastened it down. Then he paused for a moment, as he always did before a dangerous teat run. Pauaed and slnlnl).d rdaxetl. He rtlcated to him- ",tf, "I ('a,'t fail. 1 can't fail because l'm a god in lhis.ma(4fine, I e::n't." It-g;tve hi}u re;:sslli'"llce, a SCIyse 0f pel':(:nal in- vineil)ility. Tills was ns c]o:,e to a prayer as he couht ct. He clicked the knob for the jet atream, put down his flaps and then braced against the shock of the take-ofL He twisted the control clutch, gripped the stick. The plane trembled for a moment and then surged forward. It flashed off the ground into an almost vertical elilnb, tearing into the air. It hung there, nose pcinted Skyward, glistening in the yellow bright sun. Then the jet generators went on. The plane rose dizzily. Let Rick's guardian angel now be our reporter: Rick was busy jotting notes on the pad strapped to his knee, noting the fig]n'es on the clock and dials on the dashboard. Time of climb, air speed, 350 m.p.h., rate of climb in feet per minute, rising, 6,500 f.p.m, altitude, five thousand, fifty-five hundred. Time to level out and give a final recheck before heading toward the stratosphere. He kicked his rudder over into a swift" bank, leveledoff, eyes glued to the drift meter. Methodically, he checked controls, stabilizers, flaps. All okay. "Well," he said "aloud, "no bugs yet." But he hadn't expected any. Not here. The test was that 13 G dive. He took a few seconds to glance around. The sky was clear above the cloud banks. He could no longer see the ground. He sin.,led thinly when he remembered the group, ant-like somewhere below, hold- Ing their breaths, waiting for a dot to come screaming down from the heavens. Heaven . . . he laughed that mirthlesa laugh again. This was as close to heaven as he wanted to get. Yet, in a way, he mused, it's too bad ther isn't a life after this one. Sometimes this one gets pretty crummy. It would be nice to go to a place where there weren*t the fools you meet in this one. Then he bent over the instlmment panel for one last check. Birds would have wheeled and won- dered at this strange intruder, but there were no birds. Men would have marveled at the slim tube, the tapered wings, the sleek lines and the marvelous soaring power of this extraordinary plane; at the jet stream roaring out of the rear and from the wing tanks, pushing it up. ever up, past the eight-mile mark. Men would have marveled, but there were no men, :In this hazy twilight of the stratO- sphere, Rick Brunner was the only man. * It It He carefully made his last notation be- fore the dive. Tile altimeter read 49,000 and it was pushing upw'ard, hut slowly, laboriously. His air speed showed 230, and he knew the plane was approaching its ceiling. His orders were explicit. Push it to 50,000 point the nose" toward earth and plunge nearly ten miles. In that dive, he would reach speeds n e v e r before known to man, and a strain never befm'e known to planes. They claimed 850. In the few moments before he pushed the stick forward, Rick's mind went rapidy over the morning. Somehow, up there, it seemed clearer. He cursed his weak moment Of sentimentality. The girl was a fool. He ursed Scanlon for that quizzical look. Was he inhuman because he knew better than to share their silly superstitions? He cursed them all; their God and their faiths. He rammed the stick forward and pointed the nose of the ship to a little spot on the earth; an earth invisible, distant and unreal. 'lhe plane hesitated for a moment. Like a beautiful race horse at the barrier an instant before the bell. It poised there in the filtered sunlight, ten miles above the ground, and then, like the furies, acream- ed earthward. It plunged through the thin air at a mile each four seconds, proud, strong and as no bird in its flight. Every muscle in Rick's body ached. Every blood vessel seemed to swell as the centrifugal force slammed him flat against the back of the cabin seat and held him there. His eyes were glued to the altimeter md the recording speed- ometer. Forty-five thousand feet. Nine milea to go. The speedometer needle wavered, shook, then moved to 800, to 850. The oxygen seemed weak. Was there a leak in the suit ? Was it equalizing the outside pressure ? Rick'a legs felt awollen. liis mifld shot to the.wings. Would they ABERDEEN ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL A B'RDFEN Approved by Anlerican College of Surgeons--Fully Equipped CONDUCTED BY SISTERS OF ST. DOMINIC Ride the Busses for Economical Transportation TRI-CITY TRANSIT CO. Phone Hoquiam Hoquiam Aberdeen Cosmopolis ELLIS GREENHOUSE Mark A. Warwick, Prop. FlOwers for All Occasions 8th and K Flower Phone Abrdn. 255 SEASON'S GREETINGS The Store of Christntas Cheer. Phone AB. 360 TWIN CiTY FLOUR & FEED CO. HAV -- GRAIN  FLOUR Poultry and Dairy Fdl Seeds and Fertilizers  Cascara Bark ABERDEEN. WN. HOQUIAM, WN. 900 E. Heron St. 1020 Monroe St. Phone Aberdeen 81 Phone Hoqulam 751 SEASON'S GREETINGS SMITH & LOSLI SHEET METAL WORKS Winter Air-Conditioning Roofing - Cornice work - Skylight 406 E. MARKET Phone Ahrdn. 945 CHR:ISTMAS GREETINGS ROYAL CAB Phone Abrdn. 530 COMFORT AND kFETY 31K . Wihkah PORT MACHINE WORKS Fred ]ioskinson, Proprietor MACHINE WORK and GENERAL REPAIRING P. O. Box 993 Ph. Aberdeen 3771 SEASON'S GREETINGS QUESTI HARDWARE Your Marshalls Store 113 E. Heron SL Phone 285 pearson's 1., : J.J,. g... .,t A GOOD PLACE TO SHOP Independent Bottling Works WHITE ROCK SPARKLING BEVERAGES Rive," and H Phone Abrdn. 417 1Duget Sound Freicjhf Lines 12 South H SI:. ' Aberdeen 1010 After 5 P" M. Call Aberdeen 1364-W Best connections at Olympia for all Puget Sound points. Fl:ed W, Erlckson, Agent GREETINGS NAN Body and Fender Work Radiator Work Our Specialty "WE CAN DO IT" 112-414 Market Phone Ab,'dn. 90 OWL TAXI DAY or NIGHT Phone Ab, 343 FRAN%[ MANDICH GRAYS HARBOR DYE WORKS 109 South F Aberdeen 992 NEW ABERDEEN GARAGE Wrecker and Ambulance Open Day and Night Phone Abrdn-365 Storage MARKET CENTER Aberdeen's Modern and Complete Food Mart Groceries- ,Meats- Fresh Produce "THE MARKET PLACE WITH THE PARKING SPACE" First and Broadway Grocery Ph. Abrdn. 411 Meat Deot. Ph. Abrdn. 717 I Phone 46 Foot of H Street STOUFFER-BOWMAN CO. LUMBER - BUILDING MATERIALS - PAINT MONT-KAY MFG. CO.. MATTRESSES and UPHOLSTERING New . Rebuilt - Renovated 400 W. Heron , Phone Abrdn. 1084 CHRISTMAS GREETINGS. * KROYER SYSTEm! For All Your Insurance. Needs TAX SERVICE 114. E. Heron Aberdeen 1175 CHES. LEWIS BODY & PAINT WORKS ] Body and Fender Work Baked Enamel Finishes Truck Rebuilding 1522 No. ]3 Phone Abrdn. 683 Grays Harbor Construction Company'.. ENGINEERING CONSTRUCrORS Phdne Abrdn. 122 Hoqm. 303 ABERDEEN -- IIOQUIAM. WASIt, L The CATHOLIC NORTHWEST, PROGRESS Pag Seventy-Nine is guing to function. ]n tim wind tunnel te.:ts, yu know . . ." "I know. I kl,)w, Major," lie inter- rupted iet;ly: "We'll look her over later," ]-]e sipped Ills coffee. The mnjor got up and left, It wasn't o'tcn that he was jumpy be- fo]e a test. EVen this one, this snped- up j.et job was nolhing to him until that girl had gotten hilh upset Now he was off balance. He spotted Seanlon. "Mic, come here. Pull up a seat." Scanlon, lieutenant colonel with an air force patch on, ambled over. "Good to see you, Rick. This is going to be a tough one, boy. Hope you're up to it." "Have I failed yet?" asked Rick. "You only have to fail once," the other said lightly. "But, oh boy, this is the one not to fail on, Rick. What a plane!, Rick frowned: "Fve checked it a dozen times. ] watch- ed it being built over at the Cyclon e plant" "Well," said Scanlon, "this is top secret, you know, but the AAF bunch down at the Pentagon have decided to scrap every design they've got if this lives up to ex- ]peetations. They've gone hog-wild about this type jet job. The hitch, the thing they're worried about, is the stress under the rough test you'll give it. They're using a new aluminum alloy fortified with thin &teel rods and costed --- but you know about that. In the wind tunnel and lab- oratory tests, it stood every stress check but . . ." "Yeah,",asid Rick, "I know." He looked gloomily into the coffee cup. He couldn't shake that tenseness since the incident with that glrl in Operations. "One thing," said Scanlon, smiling, "aB we used to say back in the Okinawa days, God's in the cockpit, too,. to keep a guy from getting lonesome." "Not you too?" Ricked asked. Scanlon looked puzzled. "Smarten up," said Rick. "If God's in my cockpit, He better have a good chute, 'cause He's going out fast." "I don't' get this," said Scanlon. Then he remembered stories he'd hear, here and there, about Rick Brunner. They ' weren't nice stories. "Never mind," said Rick. "Let's go out to the ship." * It $ They examined the plane silently.. :It was a long, sleek torpedo-shaped tribe of glistening aluminum. Already the build- er's name, The Btack Jet, had caught on. A moisture resistant black paint was to e be added later. It It , Rick climbed into the pressurized cabin. The pressure suit had been carefully ad- Justed for him. His.stomach felt a little tight. He was going to fly higher and faster than any human being had ever flown before -- maybe. He checked and rechecked instruments. He knew planes. lie knew that no one was better, phys- ically or mentally, qualified to fly them. "Guts," he thought, "that's what I've got and no nerves and no fears--and no be- liefs." He swore silently at the girl. He thought about her a little. She wasn't bad though, She reminded him of someone from far in the hazy past. His firat girl? Childhood? A wisp of memory of himself as a little boy kneeling on a bedroom floor, and a soft voice leading him--then it disappeared. Five minutes before the takeoff time! e , Two jeeps and a staff car crossed the apron, swirling up eddies of dust. They screeched to a stop, and the military technicians and two senators got out. They exchanged pleasantries, then got out brief cases, full of charts and papers. A long, technical discussion followed. l:tick joined them. Then they folded up the blueprints and diagrams. The dis- cussion and planning were over. Only the test remained. The ranking officers and the senators shook his hand. "I wish we could promise you a joy ride this time, Brunner," said the chief technician, "but, you know the score." A flurry of excitement followed, as Rick climbed into the pressurized cabin. The group got into their cars and backed off. Rick signaled them away from the fierce gases that would charge out of e the Jet tanks when he tobk. off. He pulled the plexiglas canopy over his head and fastened it down. Then he paused for a moment, as he always did before a dangerous teat run. Pauaed and slnlnl).d rdaxetl. He rtlcated to him- ",tf, "I ('a,'t fail. 1 can't fail because l'm a god in lhis.ma(4fine, I e::n't." It-g;tve hi}u re;:sslli'"llce, a SCIyse 0f pel':(:nal in- vineil)ility. Tills was ns c]o:,e to a prayer as he couht ct. He clicked the knob for the jet atream, put down his flaps and then braced against the shock of the take-ofL He twisted the control clutch, gripped the stick. The plane trembled for a moment and then surged forward. It flashed off the ground into an almost vertical elilnb, tearing into the air. It hung there, nose pcinted Skyward, glistening in the yellow bright sun. Then the jet generators went on. The plane rose dizzily. Let Rick's guardian angel now be our reporter: Rick was busy jotting notes on the pad strapped to his knee, noting the fig]n'es on the clock and dials on the dashboard. Time of climb, air speed, 350 m.p.h., rate of climb in feet per minute, rising, 6,500 f.p.m, altitude, five thousand, fifty-five hundred. Time to level out and give a final recheck before heading toward the stratosphere. He kicked his rudder over into a swift" bank, leveledoff, eyes glued to the drift meter. Methodically, he checked controls, stabilizers, flaps. All okay. "Well," he said "aloud, "no bugs yet." But he hadn't expected any. Not here. The test was that 13 G dive. He took a few seconds to glance around. The sky was clear above the cloud banks. He could no longer see the ground. He sin.,led thinly when he remembered the group, ant-like somewhere below, hold- Ing their breaths, waiting for a dot to come screaming down from the heavens. Heaven . . . he laughed that mirthlesa laugh again. This was as close to heaven as he wanted to get. Yet, in a way, he mused, it's too bad ther isn't a life after this one. Sometimes this one gets pretty crummy. It would be nice to go to a place where there weren*t the fools you meet in this one. Then he bent over the instlmment panel for one last check. Birds would have wheeled and won- dered at this strange intruder, but there were no birds. Men would have marveled at the slim tube, the tapered wings, the sleek lines and the marvelous soaring power of this extraordinary plane; at the jet stream roaring out of the rear and from the wing tanks, pushing it up. ever up, past the eight-mile mark. Men would have marveled, but there were no men, :In this hazy twilight of the stratO- sphere, Rick Brunner was the only man. * It It He carefully made his last notation be- fore the dive. Tile altimeter read 49,000 and it was pushing upw'ard, hut slowly, laboriously. His air speed showed 230, and he knew the plane was approaching its ceiling. His orders were explicit. Push it to 50,000 point the nose" toward earth and plunge nearly ten miles. In that dive, he would reach speeds n e v e r before known to man, and a strain never befm'e known to planes. They claimed 850. In the few moments before he pushed the stick forward, Rick's mind went rapidy over the morning. Somehow, up there, it seemed clearer. He cursed his weak moment Of sentimentality. The girl was a fool. He ursed Scanlon for that quizzical look. Was he inhuman because he knew better than to share their silly superstitions? He cursed them all; their God and their faiths. He rammed the stick forward and pointed the nose of the ship to a little spot on the earth; an earth invisible, distant and unreal. 'lhe plane hesitated for a moment. Like a beautiful race horse at the barrier an instant before the bell. It poised there in the filtered sunlight, ten miles above the ground, and then, like the furies, acream- ed earthward. It plunged through the thin air at a mile each four seconds, proud, strong and as no bird in its flight. Every muscle in Rick's body ached. Every blood vessel seemed to swell as the centrifugal force slammed him flat against the back of the cabin seat and held him there. His eyes were glued to the altimeter md the recording speed- ometer. Forty-five thousand feet. Nine milea to go. The speedometer needle wavered, shook, then moved to 800, to 850. The oxygen seemed weak. Was there a leak in the suit ? Was it equalizing the outside pressure ? Rick'a legs felt awollen. liis mifld shot to the.wings. Would they ABERDEEN ST. JOSEPH HOSPITAL A B'RDFEN Approved by Anlerican College of Surgeons--Fully Equipped CONDUCTED BY SISTERS OF ST. DOMINIC Ride the Busses for Economical Transportation TRI-CITY TRANSIT CO. Phone Hoquiam Hoquiam Aberdeen Cosmopolis ELLIS GREENHOUSE Mark A. Warwick, Prop. FlOwers for All Occasions 8th and K Flower Phone Abrdn. 255 SEASON'S GREETINGS The Store of Christntas Cheer. Phone AB. 360 TWIN CiTY FLOUR & FEED CO. HAV -- GRAIN  FLOUR Poultry and Dairy Fdl Seeds and Fertilizers  Cascara Bark ABERDEEN. WN. HOQUIAM, WN. 900 E. Heron St. 1020 Monroe St. Phone Aberdeen 81 Phone Hoqulam 751 SEASON'S GREETINGS SMITH & LOSLI SHEET METAL WORKS Winter Air-Conditioning Roofing - Cornice work - Skylight 406 E. MARKET Phone Ahrdn. 945 CHR:ISTMAS GREETINGS ROYAL CAB Phone Abrdn. 530 COMFORT AND kFETY 31K . Wihkah PORT MACHINE WORKS Fred ]ioskinson, Proprietor MACHINE WORK and GENERAL REPAIRING P. O. Box 993 Ph. Aberdeen 3771 SEASON'S GREETINGS QUESTI HARDWARE Your Marshalls Store 113 E. Heron SL Phone 285 pearson's 1., : J.J,. g... .,t A GOOD PLACE TO SHOP Independent Bottling Works WHITE ROCK SPARKLING BEVERAGES Rive," and H Phone Abrdn. 417 1Duget Sound Freicjhf Lines 12 South H SI:. ' Aberdeen 1010 After 5 P" M. Call Aberdeen 1364-W Best connections at Olympia for all Puget Sound points. Fl:ed W, Erlckson, Agent GREETINGS NAN Body and Fender Work Radiator Work Our Specialty "WE CAN DO IT" 112-414 Market Phone Ab,'dn. 90 OWL TAXI DAY or NIGHT Phone Ab, 343 FRAN%[ MANDICH GRAYS HARBOR DYE WORKS 109 South F Aberdeen 992 NEW ABERDEEN GARAGE Wrecker and Ambulance Open Day and Night Phone Abrdn-365 Storage MARKET CENTER Aberdeen's Modern and Complete Food Mart Groceries- ,Meats- Fresh Produce "THE MARKET PLACE WITH THE PARKING SPACE" First and Broadway Grocery Ph. Abrdn. 411 Meat Deot. Ph. Abrdn. 717 I Phone 46 Foot of H Street STOUFFER-BOWMAN CO. LUMBER - BUILDING MATERIALS - PAINT MONT-KAY MFG. CO.. MATTRESSES and UPHOLSTERING New . Rebuilt - Renovated 400 W. Heron , Phone Abrdn. 1084 CHRISTMAS GREETINGS. * KROYER SYSTEm! For All Your Insurance. Needs TAX SERVICE 114. E. Heron Aberdeen 1175 CHES. LEWIS BODY & PAINT WORKS ] Body and Fender Work Baked Enamel Finishes Truck Rebuilding 1522 No. ]3 Phone Abrdn. 683 Grays Harbor Construction Company'.. ENGINEERING CONSTRUCrORS Phdne Abrdn. 122 Hoqm. 303 ABERDEEN -- IIOQUIAM. WASIt, L