U.S. ARMY AIR FORCES
MAXWELL FIELD, ALA.
Well, my first week at Preflight and I’m still pluggin! Yesterday I went up in the high altitude chamber to 30,000 feet. Boy, that was rare. There are twenty men in each chamber. The inside is like a submarine with portholes in it for observation of the cadets. I went up to 18,000 feet without oxygen. It’s just like being stewed, you feel on top of the world. Everybody’s your friend, and you get giggling and talking a blue streak. You should have seen the bunch of us in that small room acting like a bunch of monkeys. From there on up we had to use oxygen, by putting on a mask. Number 13 in every group goes up without oxygen ‘til he passes out. One thing about anoxia, the lack of oxygen, when someone is suffering from it he never realizes it, he thinks everything is rosey [sic]. You ask him how he feels and he’ll say, “oh, swettt.” Then he begins to turn blue his coordination goes bluey, he begins to have spasms like St. Viti’s dance. When oxygen is applied he revives immediately, and he won’t believe that he passed out. He immediately starts what he was doing just before he went out. This boy was writing his name, so while he was out the fellow next to him took his pencil away and put his index finger in his hand instead of the pencil. The poor guy started pounding away with his finger and was dumbfounded at first. I was quite comical. Coming down I had a little trouble with my ears but nothing serious. My sinus didn’t bother me at all.
The next time we go up to 38,000, that is where aeroembolism will set in. That is bubbles of nitrogen in the blood that causes extreme pain in the joints. That ought to be fun. This week I have the same classes. I can now take five words a minute in code, and A.I. is a cynch [sic] for me since I know most of the planes.
Well honey that’s the world from the one that loves you with all his heart,
Recommended CitationClark, William Judson, "Letter Written by William Judson Clark to Mrs. Ruth S. Clark Dated May 1, 1944" (1944). Clark, Dorothy Audrey Six and William Judson. Paper 166.