CINCINNATI -- Lt. Robert H. Doolan knows what it means to have a will to survive.
Doolan, an World War II Air Force veteran, was flying in a BT-13 over Holland when it crashed in a field.
He told Tri-State Boy Scouts on Veteran’s Day he feels lucky to be able to tell the tale and that “prayer will accomplish miracles.”
Doolan says he wanted to fly airplanes from the time he was a little boy.
“I was 10 years old when Lindberg made his flight from New York to Paris, and from then on I wanted to fly,” he said.
The World War II vet told the scouts about a battle in 1943 that ended in a crash landing.
“We really got hit,” he said. “The five men in the back were brutally wounded - needed hospitals now. The pilot put the plane in a steep dive.”
The plane dropped 100 feet. Enemy planes were on both sides, Doolan recalled, but the altitude was too low to fire weapons.
“We flew almost two hours buddy buddy, neither one of us shooting at the other,” he said.
Then they ran out of fuel.
“So we looked for a level field and crash landed,” he said.
Doolan recounted that 1943 mission in a matter-of-fact way. The real Veteran’s Day message came when he shared his life mission, something he wrote all those years ago.
“‘Oh Lord, let me always remember every day I awaken is a beautiful day. There's always someone worse off than I am who needs my help. There's no such thing as bad food … and prayer will accomplish miracles … and I try to live by that,’” he said.