Amazin' Maizie Hits the News

sent in by William R. "Speedy" Wadlington

Memphis Commercial Appeal
September 21, 1944

15th Air Force in ITALY--The amazing maintenance record of "Amazin' Maizie," a Flying Fortress crewed by T-Sgt, William R. "Speedy" Wadlington (left), 28, of Sledge, Mississippi, is a tale of changing wings like most people change socks.

THE GIANT FORT, named for Maizie Ann Harding of 488 E. 14th St., Tulsa, Oklahoma, wife of the pilot, Major Edwin F. Harding Jr., was put in Bill's charge when it was brand new early last February. He didn't have any trouble until the third mission, when "Maizie" got shot up over Reginsburg, Germany, and was one of the two ships that got back out of the Squadron. Then was when the first wing had to be changed, along with four engines, propellers, chin turret, landing flaps and a complete tail.

THREE MISSIONS LATER flak caught the main spar in the right wing, necessitating a replacement. After two days out because of that, "Amazin' Maizie" flew again and came back with the wings riddled--and so a new set was put on by "Speedy" and his crew.

A STREAK OF GOOD luck prevailed for a month, as his ship made every mission with no trouble. But that wouldn't last and on the return from the next mission there were gaping holes in the wing gas tanks--and so for the fourth time the wings were dropped.

"SPEEDY" AND HIS crew were getting to be experts when again several missions later--yes--another wing change. On the 55th mission all four engines were hit and the left wing for the sixth time had to be replaced.

COMMENTED WADLINGTON, "After that we only had minor troubles such as replacing tail assemblies, hydraulic and oil systems--nothing difficult!!"

IN 68 CONSECUTIVE MISSIONS without a turn back due to mechanical failure "Amazin' Maizie" led the Air Force three times and at one time led the Squadron for a month straight, all of which Bill modestly attributes to "a good crew and luck."

NOW THERE IS an "Amazin' Maizie II!!"