hi Forrest, ran across an old article, about the death of
Lt. Col. John H.I. Morse Sr., the article mentioned
your call sign, was that chosen by you or the
military and what was it for
( Article is HERE )
Mary, thanks for the email about L/C John Morse and Litter 81. To answer your question:
Litter was the call sign of the 308th Fighter Squadron at Tuy Hoa, South Vietnam. The 8 indicated that it was the 8th combat mission of the day for that squadron. The 1 meant that I was leading the flight of F-100s. My wingmen were Litter 82, 3, and 4. Anyone hearing those call signs on the radio knew where the planes were from and could easily find out who was flying them.
The aircraft I ejected from on that day (20 Dec, 1968) was an F-100D, #647. The maintenance crew called it the “Hanger Queen,” because it was nearly always broken.
Thanks for the info about L/C Morse. I met him just that one time when his helicopter hoisted me out of the jungle in Laos. You don’t forget guys like that. it would be nice to know where Charlie Morse is now. I would like to talk with him. f
My students have a question for you. Since you have spent much time in the west around Yellowstone, do you have any personal experiences with cattle ranching and cattle drives?
Many years ago, my good friend J. Evetts Haley (the writer), invited me to help him brand calves on his ranch in the panhandle of Texas. It was 103 degrees in August and they built a big fire to heat the branding irons. There was no cooling breeze. After the cowboys roped a calf, it was my job to run up and throw the poor thing on its side. I think every one of those critters kicked me in the nose. After the branding, the calf jumped up and ran off, and I had to do it all over again. That day was so hot and sweaty I lost 6 pounds. All of my aspirations for being a rancher were used up that day and I never wanted to see a branding iron again. Please tell your students to study hard so they don’t have to grow up to be a cowboy. f
I have an 11 year old son named River. Last year sometime he said to me, “I wish there were still treasures left to find”. I found this to be a telling part of his personality. He wasn’t taking about money. He was talking about the adventure, the purpose, something bigger than himself. I agreed with him. I always wished I were Indiana Jones when I was little and that there were still mysteries to solve and adventures to be had, by normal people. That you didn’t have to be someone special or have special education to be able to go do this amazing thing. I had never heard of your treasure until today and I’ve spent all morning reading about it.
Here is River, age two, teaching my brother to fly
I’m home schooling my son this next year and your poem just became part of his curriculum. I believe this treasure is out there, but for me in just excited to have something for my mind to ruminate over. How fun. I don’t know about you or your life, but now I want my son and I to read your book together- to show him there are still treasures to be found and adventures to be had. Thank you for the chance you’ve given so many people for that. Is it true you can figure all of this out remotely by looking on a map?? I wish I were more familiar with the terrain as I was born and raised in Alaska 🙂
Anyhow, I hope this finds you in good health. I hope reading of others odyssey’s has brought you as much satisfaction as searching for it has brought them.
I plan on studying your puzzle. Feel free to update me on any new clues haha! Maybe someday we will go rescue your box from its watery grave. Until then, thanks again for the adventure.