Photos that make you think.

In late 1945 two US Army psychiatrists, Lt Col Roy Grinker and Major John Spiegel wrote a short account of their wartime experiences with the 12th Air Force in North Africa, and at the Central Medical Establishment of the Eighth Air Force in England. The account was published as a book entitled "Men Under Stress."
They give an account of four B-17 sergeant gunners (two waist, ball turret and rear gunner) who entered into a pact that they would never abandon their plane unless all could escape.

Inevitably the worse happened - the plane was hit, and the pilot gave the order to bail out. Unfortunately the release mechanism of the ball turret was jammed by shell fragments, trapping the ball gunner. The other three, all uninjured but unable to release their comrade were true to their word and went down with the stricken bomber. The story was related by the top turret gunner/flight engineer who was not part of the pact, and who managed to parachute to safety after seeing what had happened.
Was that an Ambrose dit?
 

Bodenplatte

War Hero
Was that an Ambrose dit?
I don't know what a dit is. If you are asking if Stephen Ambrose had any connection with Grinker and Spiegel's book - no. The book is a collection of case studies assembled by the authors when they were serving at an Air Force Psychiatric Convalescent Hospital in Florida in May 1945.
 
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Bodenplatte

War Hero
''Men under stress'' was first published on January 1st, 1945
Published by Blakiston Company, Philadelphia, 1945. The dedication by the authors to the Combat Crews of the Army Air Forces is datelined AAF Convalescent Hospital (Don Cesar), St Petersburg, Florida, 1 May 1945.
 

Bodenplatte

War Hero
I’ve read tales of hosing out the rear turret on return to base as there wasn’t enough left to remove.
Also read that the only armoured bit on a Lanc was the pilots seat. The thinking, I suppose, if he gets killed they all will.

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
BY RANDALL JARRELL
From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
 

Bodenplatte

War Hero
There were stories of wounded men being dragged from their fighting position to the escape hatch, had their chest parachute clipped on and then being thrown or pushed out ahead of the able-bodied. It was up to fate and the Germans if they survived after that.
Wounded men were sometimes pushed out of flyable aircraft over enemy territory if it seemed that they were unlikely to live long enough to survive the rest of the mission. The hope was, of course, that they would get urgent medical aid much more quickly than if they stayed aboard.
This tended to happen more frequently in US bombers, the main reason being that they bombed by day, and a descending parachute would be seen from the ground.

Just one example: Ruthie II an outward bound B-17F of the 92nd Heavy Bombardment Group out of Alconbury was attacked by fighters over the Dutch coast on 26 July 1943 en route to a rubber factory at Hannover/Nordhafen. The head on attack severely wounded the pilot, Lt Bob Campbell and also the top turret gunner/flight engineer, T/Sgt Tyre Weaver of River View Alabama. He fell from his turret and down into the nose compartment minus his left arm which had been completely shot away, and with a gaping gash in his side. The co-pilot, Flight Officer John C "Red" Morgan, a Texan, took the decision to press on with the mission.

Down in the nose compartment the navigator, 2/Lt Keith Koske of Milwaukee decided that Weaver had no chance of surviving the hours of flight ahead to the target and return. The needles on the morphine syrettes that Koske tried to inject bent, the man was bleeding to death, and so Koske prepared to push the T/Sgt out of the nose hatch. He clipped on a parachute, and placed Weaver's right hand on the D-ring. Unfortunately, as Koske tried to remove his own hand from Weaver's the parachute deployed inside the aircraft as Weaver's blood had frozen the two mens' hands and the d-ring together. Nevertheless, Koske managed to eject Weaver from the hatch, and bundled his canopy out behind him.

Meanwhile, up on the flight deck a greater drama was taking place. Campbell's wounds were catastrophic, and his skull had been opened, but he was alive and in a state of crazed semi-consciousness and was wildly thrashing around and trying to operate the controls. Morgan, the co-pilot was restraining Campbell with his left arm, and flying the bomber with his right. Communications with the rear of the aircraft had been shot out, and Morgan had no idea if his radio man and gunners were alive or dead. In fact the tail gunner, waist gunners and radio man were unconscious from lack of oxygen as the supply to the rear of the aircraft had been damaged. The ball turret had its own supply. The slipstream was blowing in through the shattered windscreen and the open escape hatch. Nevertheless, Morgan took the decision to maintain formation and press on to the target, which was bombed successfully. The navigator and bombardier down in the nose were unaware of Morgan's predicament, and were more than busy returning fire from the two cheek guns. It was only after the Group turned for home that Koske climbed up to the flight deck and realised with a shock what had transpired. He and the bombardier were able to help restrain the still struggling Campbell, with whom Morgan had been contending alone for two hours, and carried him down into the nose compartment.

Morgan brought Ruthie II back to England, and carried out an emergency landing at RAF Foulsham. He could have disconnected Campbell's oxygen supply during the flight, but despite all difficulties he decided to maintain it to give him the best chance of surviving, though to no avail as Lt Campbell, died about 90 minutes after landing. The four crew members who had been unconscious were frostbitten.

Red Morgan had tried to join the US Army Air Corps in the late 1930s, but had been rejected because he was a High School dropout with insufficient educational qualifications. When the European war broke out Morgan was medically graded 4-F by his local Draft Board and unsuitable for military service as he had suffered a broken neck in an industrial accident. He subsequently joined the RCAF and qualified as a Sergeant Pilot, and flew bomber ops from England before transferring to the Eighth Air Force in May 1943. Although they accepted his ability to fly, proven by his RCAF service, they did not commission him, but appointed him in the uncommon rank of Flight Officer which enabled him to fly in one of the "officer" crew positions. For his actions on 26 July 1943 he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

T/Sgt Weaver survived his parachute descent and his wounds were quickly and effectively treated by the Germans. He was repatriated from captivity in October 1944 and returned to Alabama. He died there in 1993.

John Morgan was eventually shot down over Berlin in March 1944. His aircraft exploded, he was thrown out clutching his parachute pack, and struggled for several thousand feet before managing to attach it to his harness and deploying to land safely, going into captivity for more than a year. He flew non-combat missions in the Korean war and eventually made the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He died in Nebraska in 1991, and is buried at Arlington.

One of my longstanding heroes.

The Medal of Honor incident was dramatised in the opening flying scenes of the 1949 film 12 o' Clock High; as the emergency crews remove the wounded after the emergency landing, one of the gunners mentions the left arm. The Group Adjutant takes a blanket inside and wraps it up. Another medic helping to remove the still struggling, living pilot says "If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it, I can see his brain."
The film character called Lt Jesse Bishop based on Morgan receives the Medal of Honor, and the group commander questions the navigator character (unnamed, I think, though clearly based on Koske) why it took him two hours to check on conditions on the flight deck.

1598913704170.png
 
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Mickey.png

Photo credit and loads more info Here

This might look like the winner of a 'Smallest person in uniform' contest but there's
more of a story behind the picture.
Mickey Davies, though only three foot six inches tall**, was a bit of a legend in
London's East End. He's wearing the insignia of the Civil Defence Service

You have to go back to the beginning of the Blitz for the story. We have all heard of the irrepressibly cheerful cockneys descending each night to the tube platforms for shelter from the bombing but Mickey's domain was, like the tube shelters initially frowned-upon by officialdom. It was situated in the East End, bordering on the City of London.
Spitalfields Market, though not as famous as Covent Garden (Fruit, Veg, Flowers), Billingsgate(Fish) or Smithfield (Meat) was one of the large London wholesale markets.
Part of the market was the London Fruit and Wool Exchange building. The attraction to those seeking shelter from the bombing were the large cellars of the build which normally stored the Fruit and Wool to be auctioned in the dealing rooms upstairs.
Shortly after the start of the air-raids, the building was broken into and occupied by a mass of local residents.
It's estimated that up to 5000 people occupied the building (some accounts give double that number)
The shelter became known as the worst in London. Conditions, as might be imagined, quickly became intolerable, unsanitary and so hot that people would be passing out from the heat. . "The heat of the cellar", Davies later wrote, "became literally hardly bearable. A steady stream of semi-conscious or unconscious people was passed towards the doorway."
It was a chaotic situation and Davies known as 'Mickey the Midget', an optician by profession, inspired his fellow shelterers to create their own order. A shelter committee was democratically elected and Davies became chief shelter marshal of the still-unofficial shelter.
The force of his personality was such that he took over the running of the shelter, halving the numbers accessing the cellars, organising cleaning parties and providing medical care. , Thanks to his initiative, beds and toilets were installed, and even musical entertainment arranged. Marks and Spencer's were even encouraged to provide a canteen there.
Mickey became a local hero.
Eventually, the authorities decided to make it an official shelter and install a Shelter Warden.

According to the story, the nightly guests wanted none of that, it had become known as Mickey's Shelter and they demanded that Mickey be made the Shelter Warden and so that's how Mickey became the wearer of what must have been one of the smallest battle-dress examples ever produced.

** accounts of his size varies a lot but he was generally considered to fall within the specification of 'Midget'
 
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Spitfire over Salisbury Plain this evening - I heard it, but didn’t see it! Not my photo, but acknowledgement to the chap who has just posted it up on the Salisbury Plain FB site.
5593950D-BB23-4620-8BDB-B3F8D4907033.jpeg
 

Chef

LE
although it made it damn drafty at 20,000ft in winter, some gunners (like this one) had the central sheet of Perspex removed for a clearer view. I don't think I'd be too keen in sitting in that kind of draught for six or seven hours at a time.

regarding the front turret, ISTR hearing a reference to it somewhere that they were there more for morale than any practical use...didn't they get rid of the front turret in later marks of Halifax?
I recall reading somewhere that the temperature difference was tiny, only a couple of degrees but still well below freezing, the better visibility was felt by the gunners to outweigh the slightly chillier turret.

There was a book I read from the library, when they still had books, which had comparison pictures of a very clean canopy and slightly dirty one. It demonstrated that a small speck of dirt was enough to mask an enemy fighter only a few second's flying time away.
 
This picture made me think:
smallpox image.jpg

Unvaccinated/smallpox. Vaccinated/No smallpox​

It mostly makes me think that antivaxxers are c*nts.
 

syrup

LE
It made me think J*** C****! And if he survived he'd have terrible scars.

Should use that in a poster campaign directed at the moonbats.
Slightly off topic but it was Dick Turpins pox marked face that gave him away when he was finally caught
Witnesses identified him by the scars left by small pox
 
Slightly off topic but it was Dick Turpins pox marked face that gave him away when he was finally caught
Witnesses identified him by the scars left by small pox
It was the clear complexions and rosy cheeks of milkmaids and farm girls that saw so many of them married off to lords and other wealthy men. They would rather have a lovely smooth faced farmers daughter than a pock marked aristocratic bird with a mush like the lunar surface.

About the only example of upward social mobility in Britain until the Beatles, Stones etc. in the sixties.
 
It was the clear complexions and rosy cheeks of milkmaids and farm girls that saw so many of them married off to lords and other wealthy men. They would rather have a lovely smooth faced farmers daughter than a pock marked aristocratic bird with a mush like the lunar surface.

About the only example of upward social mobility in Britain until the Beatles, Stones etc. in the sixties.
And of course their immunity from having been exposed to cow pox, which is something I used to think sappers caught at the Chatham Stomp.
 
It made me think J*** C****! And if he survived he'd have terrible scars.

Should use that in a poster campaign directed at the moonbats.
Don't worry to much about it Solly.

When the COVID vaccine comes, 40% of people don't have it and the virus mutates then the earth will be cleansed of the stupid.

Now there's something to look forward to.

Sadly the morons will probably take their children with them. Or maybe there will just be a lot of COVID orphans given the limited impact on the young.
 
Slightly off topic but it was Dick Turpins pox marked face that gave him away when he was finally caught
Witnesses identified him by the scars left by small pox
I always thought that Turpin was identified by his handwriting. He wrote to his brother or brother in law in Essex and his former teacher identified him that way.
 
And of course their immunity from having been exposed to cow pox, which is something I used to think sappers caught at the Chatham Stomp.
Which observation ( not the Chatham Stomp bit) led Jenner to think about, and experiment with, vaccination against smallpox in the late 18C.
 
Which observation ( not the Chatham Stomp bit) led Jenner to think about, and experiment with, vaccination against smallpox in the late 18C.
As far as I know, IT WAS his observations regarding the milkmaids?!
 
It was the clear complexions and rosy cheeks of milkmaids and farm girls that saw so many of them married off to lords and other wealthy men. They would rather have a lovely smooth faced farmers daughter than a pock marked aristocratic bird with a mush like the lunar surface.

About the only example of upward social mobility in Britain until the Beatles, Stones etc. in the sixties.
 
Service pay was expressed as a daily rate for all ranks right up until the 80s at least, and I expect that it still is.
I think I read in one of Benard Corwell's Sharpe books that this is because when a soldier was killed, you could stop his pay on his last day of life, which saves the Treasury a few quid.

Made sense to me.
 

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