Religion: On a Wing & a Prayer

The Air Force C46 had been airborne only a few minutes when smoke began to stream from one of the engines. Fire-extinguishing procedure did no good, and Captain Thomas E. Wilson decided to abandon the plane. "MAYDAY," the distress call, went out, "MAYDAY—MAYDAY—MAYDAY."

In the cabin behind were 15 ministers —chaplains of the Civil Air Patrol bound from Burbank, Calif, to a convention in Sacramento. When the word to hit the silk came back to them, Major Bertil Von Norman, pastor of the West Hollywood Presbyterian Church and chaplain of the wing, called for...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!