THE DAY AFTER PEARL HARBOR was bombed in 1941, Dick Haplinger joined the U.S. Army so he could fight for his country. He dreamed of manning an anti-aircraft gun, loading the sky with lead and bringing down Japanese Zeros or German Messerschmitts, it didn't really matter so long as he was the one shooting at them. But to his dismay, he was made a non-com supply officer and assigned to the "battle of logistics." He spent four years taking inventory and fulfilling requisition orders.

When Dick got out of the Army in 1945 he headed back to his hometown of Sioux City, Iowa where he settled back into civilian life, but couldn't stop thinking that he'd missed his chance to shoot down enemy aircraft. So the frustrated AA gunner wannabe did the only logical thing he could think of, he took up duck hunting. Dick became know around Iowa duck hunting circles as a crack shot and put many a former AA gunner to shame with his unbelievable long shots. He always used a wooden Federal Cartridge shotgun shell crate as a seat in his duck blind--it was the perfect height and he always had plenty of ammo under his backside.