Back to Squawk list
  • 33

My Weekend with a Kamikaze Pilot

I don't even know this guy, what the heck am I going to do with this old geezer for a weekend?" "He's interesting, just talk to him. I hope to be there by Sunday afternoon…" and with that, my dad hung up. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Gotsumpnferya 2
I would have loved to talk to this guy .
Years ago , I had a friend / customer that had an old motoryacht he lived on with his wife . He was a F4U pilot that told me he had flown the F2G "Super Corsair" as well . As I worked on the engines on his boat , he'd tell me stories and I really appreciated those times .
Rest well , Ted Cartwright .
Donald Tabor 1
Some people have to before mature making coments proably Didn't even know Pearl Harbor hapened
Albert Neal 1
If Mike died in 2008, at age 76, then he must have been born around 1932, right? How could he have flown as a combat pilot in WWII?
Donald Tabor 1
If you know history they were 17 years old Check the age of Vetiam helo pilots
houndog528 0
Interesting subject matter, but poorly written article.
smoki 2
It worked for me but some posters in these forums can't seem to resist throwing a little mud.
houndog528 2
I wasn't throwing mud, Smoki, I was voicing an opinion. I think she is a terrible writer. Her thoughts were all over the place, very scatter-brained. The article had no flow whatsoever, and made little sense in its organization. This article could not decide what it wanted to be. It started out cutesy (phone conversation between her and dad), then gives a little history of why this man is visiting her dad. She then jumps 25 years to the present weekend and goes from there. She takes us around the museum for a paragraph until its discovered who the man really is (by staff at the museum). Then, a brief paragraph about some conversation Mike had with Bob Pond (would like to have read more of what went on during this conversation) where we are taken on a fast-forward version of Mike's aviation history (which is very interesting reading, as short as the two paragraphs are). Here, the article switches personalities. Dad makes it home (Honestly, who cares? The weekend is over by the time dad makes it home.). She then starts to get philosophical, and tells us about all the life lessons she's learned being around pilots most of her life. Then, she fast-forwards (or rewinds; I can't really tell when this weekend was supposed to have taken place) to 2008, and Mike has passed away, still without anybody knowing who he really is. These last two paragraphs show that the author has given up on her article, and just wanted to finish it and submit it to the editor.

This article is titled "My Weekend With a Kamikaze Pilot," yet we never really find out what went on that weekend. It, honestly, felt like she set out to write this really great article, but, in the end, she just didn't have the skills to pull it off. She got bored early on, and never really fully recovered. It felt like she was forced to write this, when she clearly had no interest in doing it. The article had a great premise, yet its author's halfhearted attempt to be a journalist left a lot to be desired. There was so much more she could have put in this article, but, for reasons only she knows, she chose to keep the best parts to herself.

And, before ya'll start harping on me to buy Mike's book if I want to find out more, I'll stop you right there. That's not what this article was about. Yes, during the conversation with Bob Pond at the museum, Mike did say that most of the answers to Bob's questions can be found in his book. Great!! But, what about the stories he told at lunch on Saturday, or dinner on Saturday, or breakfast on Sunday, or lunch on Sunday, or dinner on Sunday? Those stories cannot be found in his book. Those stories are what should have been in this article, and, had they been featured, it would have made for really great reading!
preacher1 1
Bitch and gripe all you want to. Some of us on this thread put in our time so you could have yours. I personally don't think she was trying to be a professional writer, as you seem to be and it's kinda hard on short notice and with available space, to gather up memories, especially with all the stories getting told, let alone having room to get any of them into print. Sounds like you are just pissed because you weren't there to hear any of them. Leave this somewhat enjoyable story to the folks on here and if it bothers you that much, take your toys someplace and play.
BaronG58 1
Really!....are we in English class here.
Donald Tabor 1
Who the HELL are you Reright It WE WIIL JUDGE
Tom Bruce -4
not a kamikaze if he's still alive... he's a failure!
Bryan Nethery 2
You obviously didn't read the story. Smart remarks here don't earn you any respect. The article was insightful, wish your comments were as well.
Tom Bruce 3
naw...didn't read it... just having some fun...guess you can't say anything about anybody anymore...right?
preacher1 6
Knowing you are an ex-controller, I'll share this with you to brighten your day since you got flamed a little here. A friend sent this to me this morning as part of a whole group:
"O'Hare Approach Control to a 747:
"United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, Eastbound."
United 239: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this...I've got the little Fokker in sight."
Tom Bruce 4
Preacher, thanks!
WhiteKnight77 0
That is a really nice story and I am sure that Ms. Armstrong now has a better understanding of what transpired back then and what many of those guys went through, on both sides. Good on her. :)
Great catch Albert! I pulled the information off an obituary in Seattle, but I have since found more information that he was born around 1925, which would make more sense. There was no Japanese birth certificate for him. Thanks for catching it.
John Taylor 0
Well done Ms Armstrong; very well done!
Mike Yerxa 0
"mike" was a regular fixture in the flymart at EAA, selling his book and all sorts of stuff related to his victory over "Pappy". Mike made good money at the booth, while Pappy would position himself at the NW corner of one of the buildings and people would come by and ask for his autograph an pass him a couple of bucks...Late 80's when we also had a booth selling Watkins...
btweston 0
...You guys ever watch Curb Your Enthusiasm?
John Atherton 0
Stunning story...very special!
Albert Neal 0
If Mike died in 2008, at age 76....then he would have been born around 1932, right? How could he have flown in combat in WWII?


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.