Vic Westberg, a Korean War veteran, talks about combat, fear, and evil

"To combat pilots , war is not a Sunday drive in the park," says former Navy lieutenant M. Victor Westberg. "I prayed before every flight, sometimes for as much as an hour. And my prayers focused not just on my protection, but on the safety of all those who were in the air as well as on the ground. I prayed to see us all as children of God, confidently putting our hands in the hands of the Father."

Westberg flew "PB4Y2s" (converted World War II Liberators) with a crew of 12 men on more than 70 missions over North Korea in the early 1950s. They were never hit by enemy fire. But, as he hastens to add, "This doesn't mean we weren't scared stiff at times."

Their fear, as in most combat situations, was of the unknown. "It always started just before we took off," he says. "Every crew member complained about butterflies in the stomach. I prayed especially hard in the moments before we reached the runway. The others prayed, too. My crew were all men of faith and prayed to the same God, each in his own way. They weren't complicated prayers. They were based mainly on a simple trust in God's power to help us to our duty.

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