-On his first day stationed at Yokota Air Base in Japan during the Korean War, when he served on the crew of a B-50:
Now, we’ve got an airplane full of World War II veterans, and they are very careful. Everybody’s careful. We landed … One of our squadrons’ planes was at Yokota at a time, … and we relieved each other. So the plane before us had flown probably the same number of combat missions as we did, twenty-five, twenty-seven. We flew twenty-seven. They’re waiting for us anxiously to get there, because when we get there, they fly no more missions. That’s the end. If we don’t get there, they have to fly another one …

So we get there, and we’re all in the bar at the officer’s club together. This is the very first night. Suddenly, there is this loud explosion. I mean, it rocked the ground, rocked the building, tremendous explosion. We had a lot of B-29s on that base. They were bombers, and we were search, reconnaissance. We all walk outside, now I wasn’t sure of this, I thought I dreamed this. It is true. We all walk outside, run outside, and at the end of the runway there is this huge ball of fire, a B-29 had crashed on takeoff with all bombs onboard. Now, you can imagine the hole. We stood there just watching; there’s nothing you can do. So one by one we went back into the bar and drank. We were relieving this crew, and they’re happy it wasn’t them, they were happy to be going home. We were a little bit shook.

I thought this was a dream, until I went to my first SAC [Strategic Air Command] reunion in 1989, in New Orleans. … I never knew that SAC, the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing of SAC, I never knew we had reunions. I finally discovered it through American Legion Magazine and Air Force Magazine.

… I find [that] the copilot, Charlie Ward, is there. The head navigator, Hoss Walker, Major Walker, was there, and at another reunion, Gordon Storm showed up. He’s one of the others. I mean, you really do know these people. So we’re standing, when I first got there in New Orleans, we’re standing around the bar, and all the guys are talking. Now, I find myself with Hoss Walker and Charlie Ward and about three other guys, and Charlie Ward … starts talking about the first day that our crew got to Yokota. … He said, and it was his practice, being a very careful pilot, he always went to the control tower of any new field we got to, to check out conditions, get to meet the traffic controllers, or whomever was in charge of it, you know, just to know where the hills were, because you always wanted to be sure that if you had problems that you didn’t go toward the hill. You wanted to land on flat [ground].

So he starts talking about the first night we were there, and he’s up in the control tower, and this B-29 takes off and aborts, but crash lands right at the end of the runway, and I looked at him. I practically had to cry. I said, “Charlie, you have just answered. I always thought …” I wrote about this. I wrote a story in the early ‘60s, just to get it out of my head, about a young lieutenant and the same thing that it happened to, and I had an ending line and everything. He said, “Dan, that’s just as true." … This is not nice, so I put that behind me. I never thought of that. I mean, it came up much later. I would dream of it. “Was that real?” Well, obviously it was real … and that happened.