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We shall not see such men again in our lifetimes.
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Young men with very little training flying these huge machines 60 feet off the ground over enemy territory at night, and half of them never coming back. True Grit.
I once watched a documentary on History Channel where RAF pilots tried to recreate the Dambuster mission on a simulator and they nearly all failed. These were all special individuals from the greatest generation. Whatever side they fought on. It takes a special breed to go into battle day after day, night after night and knowing full well that chances of survival hinged on training, equipment and luck.
Sad to see these great men gone.
I have added a news clip from ITV for those outside of the UK.
RIP Les, you will be remembered.
I was born in the UK 15 years after the end of the war, when it was still part of the national psyche. As schoolboys we all knew about the Battle of Britain, the dambusters, the defence of Malta etc. Unfortunately and inevitably, many of these heroic actions become forgotten, and I wonder how many kids nowadays know of such things.
Great men, in the truest sense of the word.
I can't imagine what those bombing missions in WW ll must have been like. Honorable people, ALL.
I think the movie would be a good remake subject.
Well,Sir Peter Jackson is proceeding on it. This time it's going to be a whole lot more accurate, historically. (i.e., the "class system" in the RAF and treatment of enlisted aircrew, the fact that Guy Gibson was actually the polar opposite of his portrayal in the first movie and the book - which to me makes it more interesting that he could inspire people to follow him despite his "social disabilities").
A friend of mine recommended James Holland's book " Dam Busters" and it goes along way in explaining the mission, the crews, the a/c and the weapon used in bombing the dams. A very thorough book. Gibson had survived 72 bomber mission prior to the bombing of the Dams and for the average crew member to survive 30 missions armed with only eight 303 in a Lancaster. was something of miracle. All the crews were hero's that weren't manufactured by the media.
A good friend of mine Ron North who is 91 flew 19 missions in Lancasters over Germany and Poland as radio operator, I once asked him if he was scared when he was on a mission ,he looked at me incredulously and said "course I was scared, I'm not bloody stupid !" ,probably the dumbest question I ever asked.
A truly admirable man. I mourn his loss. They were, quite simply, a different breed in those days.
Read Max Hastings' "Warriors" (all the chapters are great, but the Gibson chapter is "game changing." )
R.I.P. sir...flooding the ruhr was brilliant...shut a lot of industry down...magnificent daring mission...thank you
These guys are leaving us fast, please, take a few minutes of your time and chat with these guys when you see them. I have never found one that wouldn't talk your ear off, and I have enjoyed every minute of the conversation. They know the score of their remaining time, and they want you to know their story's. You may be surprised at what you will learn.
RIP Sir. Lest We Forget.
A lot of images go by my mind, especially of those missions, and yet one sees today's youth go by as if nothing. Sure time goes by and so it must, but one should always reflect on the past, that is why we are here and have what we have. Too make things worse, MEMORIAL DAY is just another BEACH DAY ... 🙁 .
I had a neighbor once who was attending the University, he came by asking for my help on a paper he was working on. He wanted some information of WW1, WW2 and the Viet Nam War. In that order. I was surprised and somewhat shocked too see that he never once mentioned the KOREAN WAR or The Cold War. I truly felt uncomfortable ( needless to say, he was a graduation Honor Student, the fourth in his class ... :0 ).
When I asked him if he was interested in them, his reply was ... he never knew there was a war in Korea ( that flew over my head ). I invited him into my room ( office type ) closed the door and for the next 8 hours on that Saturday, very calmly and reposed, I gave him a BIGGGG view of history.
RIP Les ... GOD SPEED ... you will always live.
Good for you, O'l Perfesser... 🙂
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