Orphan Car Show, Willow Run Bomber Plant, Willow Run Grand Opening

Willow Run Grand Opening Part 2: Rats on a Plane!

Rats on a plane!
And you thought snakes were bad!

Another great story from Mr. Homer Hinchliff of Willis, MI.

Homer’s father, Lt. Col. Edward Hinchliff, with his B-24 Liberator bomber, was present at the Grand Opening of the Willow Run Bomber Plant.

But this story is about what happened after the war. Lt. Col. Hinchliff was on his way home in his B-24 after the close of World War II. They had stopped somewhere in North Africa to fuel after leaving Italy.

As they approached cruising altitude, panicked rats started swarming all over the plane. Yes, you heard me, rats on a plane! They must have come aboard during the layover. They were everywhere. The crew tied their pants legs shut with twine to keep the rats from crawling up there and biting them. The copilot said, “What the heck are we going to do?”

Lt. Col. Hinchliff said, “We’re going up to 22,000 ft!”

As the B-24 gained altitude, the rats moved slower… and slower… and slower. The crew put on their oxygen masks as they climbed, and finally, the rats were still.

They returned home, without further incident, to a hero’s welcome.

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