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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
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Law enforcement specialist in the Air-Force, 1973

Was going to evening chow, the tables were mostly taken. Over in the corner was an open open seat and joined in with an aging enlisted man.

He was quite chubby, balding, a bit disheveled, and sleeves that revealed E2 single striper. He looked to be in his 40s at least.

I sat down across from him and instantly saw ribbons covering a large portion of his shirt. at least 10 full rows on his chest. They were tarred from all the Camels he'd smoked since the 1940s. Started a conversation that chills me still to this day with his story. He sported flight wings that made me think of Dumbo the elephant. Turns out he was a glider pilot. Conversation was absolutely astounding!

He was in England, early D-Day, the first wave of the gliders was such a cluster that his mission was cancelled! He went on to say he had been in a lot of trouble losing almost all his rank. Was going to try to get to the best rank for retirement


I've posted about a U-Boat cook who I met and posted his story, also the Marine that survived the Bataan death march, being loaded aboard a Japanese cargo ship, and working as a slave in a Japanese steal foundry. He survived that and stayed in the Marines only to be captured again in Korea!. And there was the Hitler youth where he and is group shot down an English Spitfire that was regularly strafing his village.

I feel so blessed to have encountered such folks that helps me to understand what makes America great.

Semper Fi, go Army, and kudos to the U-Boat cook!

AC
 

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All kinds. Enamored of their mechanisms! Worked as an engineering
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Been blessed to meet a lot of interesting folks in my 7 decades plus. Served with heroes and met some, met folks who wanted no recognition. This month I will share a day or two with a gentleman whom is not a hero, but one that while opinionated can share a wealth of information on our hobby. Four of us old farts will be at the show in Kingsport, TN. I may be more opinionated than him but would be glad to meet any members in the area if you happen to stop by. Jim Carmichel (Outdoor Life) should have some interesting stuff for sale. Not promoting the show, just extending a welcome to any MO folks to stop by and introduce themselves. If you are a lurker, stop by and I will show you why you might want to join MO.
 

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I knew two men that were paratroopers on D day. One of them landed in a tree and they told him he wouldn't walk again but he did and lived into his early eighties. I also met a man who was a fighter pilot in WW-1. I asked him what happened and he said he crashed and walked away from it and said that was enough. When I was a Sea Explorer leader I got to know one of the scouts father quite well. He a real prince of a man a retired Air Force Col. that had flown B-17's.
 

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I met a pair of gentleman at the "Mighty Eighth Air Force" museum in Pooler, GA many years ago that took both of my youngest children gave them a tour and a history lesson at the same time. Both were crewmembers on a B24 that was shot down and survived a German POW camp.
Toured the 8th AF Museum some years ago. Looked up my father who flew P51's out of Bodney (The Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney) with Preddy. That had a listing of all his missions and even the one where he went down over the North Sea and was rescued by a British mine trawler. I am a 62 year old man and it brought me to tears.
 

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My father was, also, supposed to be a glider pilot on D-day but came down with pneumonia. He became a guinea pig of sorts, he was one of the first servicemen treated with the newly mass-produced penicillin. While convalescing he met Pappy Boyington and decided to be a fighter pilot.

It took well over a year for my fathers physical health to improve enough to attend fighter pilot training school. By the time he finished training, fighter pilots were not as in demand. My father said he so upset that he had, "Missed the war". He spent the remainder of the war flying seaplanes on sub patrols and search and rescue. Later he flew, " A German taxi service". He flew German POWs to various camps and what not.

He did get a "non-expiring" pilot's license. At the time, life expectancy of a fighter pilot was pretty short and they didn't know how long the war would last, they didn't think you were going to outlive an expiration date.
 
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