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Video Clip — Paul Lawrence on the "Umpteenth Fighter Squadron"
Yep, Umpteenth Fighter Squadron. That was one of the cases we had. And it went on for days.
And some -- I don't know who wrote those cases, but they went into this training billet for these fighter squads, and made observations of what life was like. Sort of an anthropological type research. And it struck us as quite puzzling, because we'd get this stack of papers we'd have to read every day about life in this training camp. And we'd read all these little episodes of these raw recruits going about their drilling, and marching, and what it was like in the barracks, and so forth. And George would stand out in front and say, "Well, what do you make of today's material?" And we said, "Well" -- you know, not much! But we'd find something to say about it, and kind of struggle along, and try to make sense out of all this. And I finished that course without any clear notion of what we were trying to do.
But later I did kind of figure it out that George was really trying to teach us the limits of being a commanding officer under those circumstances. [Laughs] That you could set up some routines for people, and put them through it, but most of the things they had to learn they kind of had to learn for themselves. You know, how to work as a team, and how to do the other things that are expected in a—this was actually a bomber squadron. It wasn't a fighter thing. Bombers have to understand teamwork and that's really true.