The day Abby did not return Rarey portayed him as running toward the Spanish border and freedom. This was wishful thinking. All anyone knew was that he had apparently successfully bailed out.
Abby always thought that he had hit his legs on the tail of his P-47 when he bailed out. Years later at a reunion he was told by a pilot who had been an eye-witness, "Impossible. Your ship's tail was completely shot away." The only other possibility was that the canopy closed on his legs as he jumped out.