On This Day…November 28th.
On 28 November 1940, Wing Commander (he was the youngest flyer in the Luftwaffe to hold this rank) Helmut Wick of JG 2 went missing south off the coast of the Isle of Wight, South England. His body was never recovered and remains listed as missing. Wick had 56 victories at the time of his death and was shot down by Hugh (Cocky) Dundas…
Hugh Dundas in his Spitfire in which he shot down Wick. It is believed that Dundas was shot down by Helmut Wick’s wingman. As with Wick, Dundas was never found and listed ‘missing’.
I cannot resist an Enterprise photo. On 28th November 1941 the Big E left Pearl with orders to receive her own air group, the Wilcats of the Fighting Six, and Marine Fighter Squadron 211 headed for Wake. Thinking they were on a training mission, the new pilots were surprised to be ordered to their ready rooms where they were given a single sheet of paper with the following;
November 28, 1941
BATTLE ORDER NUMBER ONE
1. The ENTERPRISE is now operating under war conditions.
2. At any time, day or night, we must be ready for instant
3. Hostile submarines may be encountered.
4. The importance of every officer and man being specially
alert and vigilant while on watch at his battle station
must be fully realized by all hands.
5. The failure of one man to carry out his assigned task
promptly, particularly the lookouts, those manning the
batteries, and all those on watch on the deck, might
result in great loss of life and even loss of the ship.
6. The Captain is confident all hands will prove equal to
any emergency that may develop.
7. It is part of the tradition of our Navy that, when put
to the test, all hands keep cool, keep their heads, and
8. Steady nerves and stout hearts are needed now.
G. D. MURRAY,
Captain, U.S. Navy
Approved: November 28, 1941.
W. F. HALSEY,
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy,
Commander Aircraft, Battle Force
The photo below was taken on this day in 1942, showing German, Romanian, and Italian prisoners taken at Stalingrad. The Soviet journalist, Vasily Grossman, wrote a passage in his journal this day, describing the scenes.
“Ice is moving down the Volga. Ice floes are rustling, crumbling, crushing against one another. The river is almost wholly covered with ice. Only from time to time can one see patches of water in this wide, white ribbon floating between the dark snowless banks.
The white ice of the Volga is carrying tree trunks, wood. A big raven is sitting sulkily on an ice floe. A dead Red Fleet soldier in a striped shirt floats past. Men from a freight steamer take him from the ice. It is difiicult to tear the dead man out of the ice. He is rooted in it. It is as if he doesn’t want to leave the Volga where he has fought and died.
Barges full of captured Romanians pass us. They are standing in their skimpy greatcoats, in tall white hats, stamping their feet, rubbing their frozen hands. ‘They’ve seen the Volga now’ say the sailors.
A group of two hundred prisoners usually marches under the guard of two or three soldiers. The Romanians march in an organised manner, some groups are even lined up and keeping in step, and this makes those who see them laugh … Prisoners move on and on in crowds, their mess tins and flasks rattling, belted with pieces of rope, or wire, blankets of different colours upon their shoulders. And women say laughing: ‘Oh, these Romanians are travelling just like Gypsies’.
Romanian corpses are lying along the roads; abandoned cannons camouflaged with dry steppe grass point eastwards. Horses wander about in balkas dragging behind them broken traces, vehicles hit by shellfire are giving off a blue-grey smoke.
On the roads lie helmets decorated with the Romanian royal coat of arms, thousands of cartridges, grenades, rifles. A Romanian strongpoint. A mountain of empty, sooty cartridges by the machine-gun nest. White sheets of writing paper are lying in the communication trench. The brown winter steppe has turned brick red from blood.
There are rifles with butts splintered by Russian bullets. And crowds of prisoners are moving towards us all the time.”
WASP pilot, Ruth Dailey, climbing into a shiny new P-38 Lightning aircraft, 28 Nov 1944. Source; national archives, location unknown.
Thanksgiving in Korea War, 1951.
Thanksgiving in a Union camp, 1861
Thanksgiving during ‘Desert Shield’, 1990.
Thanksgiving in Afghanistan, 2009.
Thanksgiving dinner for ‘C’ Company, 39th Infantry, Vietnam, 1967.
Operation WALBEA (What the Americans Left Behind in East Anglia) is a project to discover artefacts from the years the United States Eighth Army Air Force was based in East Anglia during the Second World War. Besides lots of little Americans, this photo was found…
Leuitenant George F. Perpente, preparing for a mission in his Thunderbolt, November 28th, 1943.