The SCROLL of Phi Delta Theta for November,
ings for part of his three years, and
handled some of the inside news wires
during other times.
Some of his newspaper stories from
Australia gave a good-humored report
of a news hound's long-drawn efforts to
reach a front somewhere, where he could
hear gunfire. When he did get the chance
to go, Haugland got his seat on the plane
by drawing straws with another newspaper man, and ran into the great adventure of a lifetime, but still no gunfire.
A Phi Over Tokyo
By I I A RUSSELL TERRY, Southwestern
NOTHER Phi has taken his place
among the famous A Firsts.
Captain Rodney Ross Wilder, Southwestern '39, United States Army Air
Forces, brought honor to his Fraternity
last April when he accompanied Brig.
Gen. James H. Doolittle in the raid from
Shangri-la over Tokyo.
Brother Wilder was the second man
selected to make the world-famous trip
with General Doolittle. He piloted a
B-85 Bomber over Tokyo, and brought
her back safely, having successfully
bombed every objective. For his part in
the Doolittle mission, he was awarded
the Distinguished Flying Cross at the
hands of Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, one
of only twenty-three to be so decorated
by the Commanding General of the
Army Air Forces. He also received the
Medal of the Military Order of China.
He has been awarded a life membership
in the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Brother Wilder's Tokyo trip was not
his first notable feat in this war. On
last December 24, as co-pilot of a
bomber, he sank a Japanese submarine
off the mouth of the Columbia River.
For this his rank was raised.
After his Tokyo trip, Brother Wilder
found himself the center of a great deal
of attention, which he thought embarrassing, since he considered his part in
the Doolittle raid merely routine. In his
home town, Taylor, Texas, the Mayor
declared a "Ross Wilder Day," May 21,
and the entire community turned out for
a day's celebration, honoring their hometown boy who had made good. Desiring
to get a closer look at the ships of the
type he had piloted over Tokyo, Wilder
made an intensive inspection of the
North American Aviation, Incorporated,
in Dallas, Texas, where he met the men
who build the big boats.
Brother Wilder is modest in discussing
the trip to the Land of the Setting Sun,
but he did disclose some interesting information. He was fortunate enough to
be selected for the intensive training
necessary for such an operation as the
Tokyo Raid. Five extra crews were
trained for the maneuver, for in the
event of sickness in the regular personnel, a complete crew might have had to
be substituted. On the day of the raid,
men frorn the substitute crews offered
the luckier fliers as much as one hundred
and fifty dollars for their place on the
mission, but no takers were found, and
no one answered sick call.
There is a grim part of Wilder's story
that reveals that before the flight the
young men got together and promised
each other that, should their planes be
badly damaged, rather than bail out
over Tokyo the pilots would drive the
crippled ships directly through the palace of the Mikado, supreme ancestral
ruler of Japan. The men had received
orders not to bomb the palace, but their
orders' hadn't said anything about crashing their ships into it.
"And there wasn't a pilot in the group
who wouldn't have done it, rather than
bail out," grimly asserted Brother
Of the bombing trip. Brother Wilder