World War II Pilot

Apologizes for Bombing

* German pilot Willie Schludecker bombed a village church in northeastern England during World War II. Yesterday he came back to apologize.

"I felt very bad when I found out I had hit a church. I was aiming for the railway line," the 84-year-old said on his return to the town of Bolam after 62 years.

In May 1942, Schludecker's bomber was damaged by two British fighters over Sunderland. The German pilot went into a dive and dropped his bombs to lighten the load as he fled. One bomb slammed through the wall of 1,000-year-old St. Andrew's Church in Bolam, but did not explode. Three other bombs detonated nearby.

Schludecker did not find out until last year that he had hit a church. The hole left by the bomb was later turned into a memorial stained-glass window, and one of the nearby bomb craters is now a duck pond.

A Chipmunk Off

The Old Block

* Chipmunks are hardier than they appear.

Some, in fact, toughed it out through the last Ice Age rather than migrate south. That's the finding of U.S. researchers who studied 244 chipmunks living in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Scientists believe that most animals fled south as spreading glaciers came closer to their turf many thousands of years ago. Among the animals driven out of North America: mastadons, saber-toothed tigers and members of the llama family.

The chipmunk seems to have dug in, however, according to the new genetic research. Most of the creatures in the study had ancestors from the north and west; they likely survived in pockets of forest and tundra that escaped being covered by ice.

Chipmunks might be tougher than they look.