"My Little Girl" was the nickname for a USAF DC-3 spy plane which carried Carl Austin to his death in southern Russia, 2 miles from the Chinese border. In February 1945, the plane was delivering the text of a secret agreement between the Nationalist Chinese government and the Soviet Union.

Carl's son, Steve, was sent to retrieve those documents from the plane after a routine weather satellite photo picked up the wreckage. It was feared that if the Communist Chinese government found the plane, the tense peace between the two Communist superpowers might crumble.

The missing plane was the subject of much debate in the years following its crash, mainly about the circumstances of its final moments aloft. Testimony from accompanying fighter pilots suggested that the senior Austin had bailed out prior to impact. In fact, though, the junior Austin discovered that the plane's co-pilot, Christopher Bell, had fled the crashing airplane. The remains of Steve's father were still in the pilot's chair. (The Coward)

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