The Lucky Hatch
Mike Rhode

When I was an A.F. dependant in High School a friend of my dad's was a
Navigator on a B-52. His name was "Moose" Ertler. He was up making coffee
when a hatch blew off the B-52. He lost consciousness and was sucked out the
hatch. His parachute deployed on it's own. They figured that it caught on
something and opened. He landed on the grounds of Mercy Hospital in
Springfield, Mass. An A.F. chopper was there before the hospital people. He
spent several months in the hospital , but recovered from a number of broken
bones. They figured that most of the breaks came when he was sucked through
the hatch. I think that this was in 1961 or 1962, but at any rate it was at
Westover AFB in Mass.