Tag Archive for colin p kelly jr.
By Jacob Bembry
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Sandy Howerton recalls that he began working on model airplanes as a 10-year-old boy.
“I did a few cars and boats, but imostly airplanes,” he said.
The nephew of World War II’s first hero, Capt. Colin P. Kelly, Howerton was mostly interested in models of World War II fighter aircraft and bombers. He later became interested in his famous uncle’s particular model, the B-17 C. Kelly was flying that plane on Dec. 10, 1941, the day his bomber was attacked by the Japanese in the Philippines. Kelly went down with the B-17 C on that fateful day.
Howerton continued his models throughout junior high school and into high school. When he began attending college and raising a family, he didn’t do it so much. In later years, the interest in the hobby was reignited.
One of the things that renewed the interest was seeing a model of Colin Kelly’s B-17. On the package, the model says that it is the Colin Kelly B17 C/D model.
“You can make either the C or the D,” Howerton said. “The D model has longer engine tails.”
The day that Kelly perished he was flying the C model. He had been flying the D model but there were problems in its superchargers so Kelly and crew went out in the B-17C, which had a top speed of about 325 miles per hour.
Howerton himself did some time in the military, joining the U.S. Army Reserves post in Madison. Former Madison County Tax Collector Pat Millnor was his first commander.
These days, Howerton and his wife, Lilla, are enjoying retirement and spending time with their grandchildren.