Remembering a Man Above Reproach
A reminder has been flying over my head for days as if to ensure that I wouldn't forget. On this day, in 1943, Preston A. Davis, my grandfather, flew his last mission over occupied France. Though his crew had completed more difficult assignments, including being a lead plane on the first Schweinfurt raid, a dead engine over Nantes, France led to their demise. My grandfather and three of his crewmates were captured on that very day and detained for the rest of the war. Three other crewmates were lucky enough to escape occupied France and make it back to Britain. And, tragically, three others were buried inside the burning B-17.
By his own admission, my grandfather was largely shaped by his wartime experiences. For it was his wartime experiences that made him aware of providence (only a minuscule number of airmen completed their tour of duty), tempered him with endurance and taught him that life itself (especially such luxuries as 45-minute showers!) is grace.
Preston A. Davis is not only my Pa-Pa, he is my mentor and my best friend. I thank God for him on this day.
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