The Corner

Robert Scott, Rip

What an amazing story. Here’s a bit from the Times obit:

In early 1943, the Pentagon brought him back to the United States for a nationwide tour exhorting war-plant workers to greater efforts. Near the end of that tour, Colonel Scott was asked by the Scribner publishing house to relate his experiences in a book. But he had only three days to do so before he had to report to Luke Field in Arizona as its new commander, so he simply spoke his recollections — 90,000 words — onto wax cylinder recording devices.

Those recollections became “God Is My Co-Pilot,” which provided the American home front a vivid account of aerial combat and received outstanding reviews. In the introduction, Colonel Scott told how he had come to choose the title. He had returned to Kunming after an explosive bullet fired from a Japanese fighter hit the armor behind his cockpit seat, sending five rivet heads into his back. While Dr. Frank Manget, a medical missionary, attended to his wounds in a cave, a Chinese orderly marveled at how Colonel Scott could fly his plane, drop his bombs and fire his guns with no one to help him.

As Colonel Scott told it: “I heard the old doctor say, ‘No, son, you’re not up there alone. Not with all the things you came through. You have the greatest co-pilot in the world even if there is just room for one in that fighter ship. No, you’re not alone.’ “

Colonel Scott said that on hearing those words, he experienced a vision: blazing lights in the cave spelling out “God Is My Co-Pilot.”

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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