Son of the South Bob Scott was a rebel with a cause: helping the United States defeat the Japanese.
By Barrett Tillman @ Aviation History Magazine
In 1943 General Henry H. Arnold’s secretary buzzed his inner sanctum, informing the U.S. Army Air Forces chief, “Colonel Scott is here, sir.” “Hap” Arnold, who lived in a frequent boil, replied, “Oh, you mean God’s personal pilot?”
Colonel Robert L. Scott Jr., fighter ace and bestselling author of God Is My Co-pilot, was in trouble…again. He had just offered to strafe John L. Lewis, the mine workers’ union boss who had continually violated the wartime “no strike” pledge after Pearl Harbor. Called upon Arnold’s thick carpet, Scott said, “General, I was only expressing my personal opinion.”
Arnold came out of his chair, red-faced, finger jabbing. “Damn it, Scott! When you wear that uniform you don’t have a personal opinion!”
At McDill Field in Florida, Scott’s younger brother Roland was going through B-26 Marauder training. His copilot noted the news reports and said, “Well, your brother’s never going to be a general now!”
Long after, Bob Scott quipped, “I think that’s when General Arnold began looking for a way to send me back to combat where I could get killed.”
Combat pilot, bestselling author, big game hunter, versatile chef and incomparable raconteur—Scott was all those and more. Reared in Macon, Ga., he was also among the last cavaliers of the Old South. He made his final flight west from Georgia on February 27, 2006.