War reveals human side of heroes

Hubert Waldrop is part of what’s become known as The Greatest Generation.

He served on the flight crew of a B-24 bomber, aka the “Boxcar.” He tells a brief, but entirely fascinating, story about a mission that went wrong over Germany during World War II.

Waldrop, an Amarillo resident, is one of many storytellers highlighted in the ongoing Panhandle Stories series being presented by Panhandle PBS.


This gentleman’s recollection of bailing out over Germany after his airplane experienced mechanical difficulties tells us a couple of things about war.

One is that the best-laid plans hardly ever go as planned. The plane wasn’t supposed to lose three of its engines, of course. As Waldrop says in the video, the Boxcar won’t fly on just one engine. He and the crew had to bail out.

The other thing about war is that even the enemy reveals a sense of humor, which Waldrop recalls as he talks about being captured by the Germans after he bailed out.

I hesitate to reveal too much in this short essay about the interview that Waldrop did with Panhandle PBS.

I do want to take note of the modesty and the humility he demonstrates as he tells his story. It is so indicative of that generation of young Americans who answered their nation’s call to arms. All 16-plus million of them did their duty, defeated tyranny and then returned home to restart their lives.

Thank you for your service, Mr. Waldrop.


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