Sunday, March 15, 2015
A Good Internet Story
The most amazing Internet story yet connected to my writing happened yesterday morning. A fan on Amazon’s Nick McCarty/Cold Blooded forum asked me if I knew a pilot attached in the late sixties, early seventies to an air wing called the Shrikes when I was stationed aboard the USS Ranger aircraft carrier. He had a very humorous story about his connection to the pilot, and their friendship. The pilot, Lt. JG Bill Shankel, was shot down over North Vietnam in 1973, and the fan wanted to know if I ever heard what happened to him.
I searched through my Ranger cruise book from 69/70, but found no mention of a Shrike Squadron. I didn’t own a cruise book from my 70/71 Ranger deployment. I decided to play Rick Cantelli, P.I. on a search for the P.O.W. pilot, and found him. Lt. JG Bill Shankel is now a surgeon in Needles, Ca. They had all of his contact information on the web page. Below, I’ve included the link to my Nick McCarty/Cold Blooded forum where you can read the post and comments between Denis R. Grant and me at the bottom. I’m not posting this for a pat on the back. I think it’s one of the great things about the Internet when we can have something like this happen. I hope Denis can get in touch with Dr. Shankel, a real American hero who made it back alive from his imprisonment in the ‘Hanoi Hilton’. Then, this Sunday morning, Hard Case V: Blood and Fear, regained the #1 spot in Amazon’s Pulp Fiction for the third time.