Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

Rubber Bands.. the secret revealed

Posted by fozzynok on 11/25/2013


Last night, my wife pointed out a couple of these things and we just sat there kinda stupefied letting it sink in. The moment happened while watching the movie “Memphis Belle”. To be honest it had been years since I had watched the movie. When Micheal was a little boy we bought the VHS copy and watched it. I think he was about three years old.

WW2, history, the air war and lots of things was why I wanted the movie, It was a good although not very historically accurate movie as it related to that specific plane but for presenting all the dangers and stuffing the perils of the air war over Europe it was a great movie.

The first time we watched the movie (and you’d have to really watch to understand this blog in particular) a few things go on and Micheal as a very tiny boy seemed to understand and he really got into the movie more than anything I’d ever seen. In the end, the crippled bomber is barely making it to England and battle damage had made it impossible for the crew to lower one of the main landing gear.

There are members of the crew cranking frantically to get the gear down using a mechanical crank.. they crank and crank and take turns cranking as the plane heads for the runway.. this is where little Micheal hops up off the floor and starts “helping” them crank the landing gear down.. man he was giving it hell! He helped them get the gear down and when the plane landed he was so happy..

Micheal watched the movie a lot.. more than I think we even knew. We shared the love of history and military things and he even got as bad as I was an naming planes on sight in videos and movies and pictures. It was neat to see a kid who was so into these things (like me).

Fast forward to last night.. 2013. We are watching the movie and of course I’d seen the movie a thousand times and wasn’t even thinking about it.. there is a scene where one of the crewman loses his good luck charm.. he frantically digs for it and another crewman fakes throwing it out of the plane and a practically meltdown occurs.  The Radio Operator runs in to see what the problem is and gives the gunner HIS lucky charm.. a lucky rubber band worn on his wrist.

  • 00:57:41 I’m finished, Danny, finished!
  • 00:57:45 No, you’re not. Here.
  • 00:57:47 Take my lucky rubber band.
  • 00:57:50 It works! I swear to God it works. You’ll be all right. Okay?
  • 00:57:55 You’ll be okay! I want it back.

As soon as my wife mentioned the rubber band.. it struck us. THIS is where my son gained HIS lucky charm. We or I certainly never put that together. It all makes sense now. The rubber bands were there for a long time, even before the military.. so he gained something from a movie and brought it to life and practical application. We have worn rubber bands now and again or when the mood strikes.

The other odd thing that my wife picked up on and that I checked afterwards (cause the move does take a lot of liberties for effect) that the Memphis Belle and her crew was the first Bomber to complete the 25 mission requirement that allowed them to rotate home. The mortality was such that it was almost impossibility. They were the first crew to do it… and that date was May 17th 1943, My son was born on May 17th. Such strange thing appear when you aren’t really paying attention.


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