Author Topic: I usually badmouth the French, but...  (Read 1506 times)

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Offline AlanS

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I usually badmouth the French, but...
« on: April 05, 2011, 12:24:01 PM »
In this case, they have done the right thing. ::clapping::

http://www.wbrz.com/news/louisiana-wwii-hero-honored-by-france/

Quote
BATON ROUGE- A hometown hero was honored for his service during World War II by the French government on Monday.

Captain Warren Butcher, once a lead bombardier, led hundreds of air strikes over occupied France in WWII. He flew in a B-26 dropping bombs on key targets during the war.

To the people of France those air raids led to freedom and that's why the entire country honored him with the French Legion of Honor on Monday.

The French consul general in Louisiana was on hand for the ceremony saying, "by bestowing the Legion of Honor on Mr. Warren Butcher, we want also to officially pay tribute to all those young Americans and allies who gave their lives for the values we all believe in."

Butcher came from a military tradition with four of his brothers serving in the war.

When duty called, Butcher left his wife and newborn baby girl to serve. His grandson, Warren Dazzio, says Butcher is often modest about his service but was often in the middle of the fight.

"While he's doing that, there are planes that are shooting at him and shooting him down. And there's flak that's flying everywhere and he talked about many of the people that he knew well that died in the military," said Dazzio.

Butcher's brother was shot down in France during the war and taken into a German POW camp. When that camp was liberated, Butcher was there to welcome his brother back to freedom.

"Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem."

Thomas Jefferson

charlesoakwood

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Re: I usually badmouth the French, but...
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 01:00:48 PM »

One of America's finest, good show. 

Bombers in Europe had the highest attrition rate in WWII service.

Offline Sectionhand

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Re: I usually badmouth the French, but...
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2011, 04:32:46 AM »
Most people don't realize what a miserably dangerous and nerve shattering job that was . It was a glamorous job to everyone except the fellows who had to do it .

Offline Libertas

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Re: I usually badmouth the French, but...
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011, 07:06:49 AM »
The fighter pilots knew.  As nerve racking as aerial combat can be, the duration and ferocity of being hounded in a bomber was much more harrowing than being in a fighter.  The fighter pilots were glad they were where they were.  Until the second front was secured and new air bases established, bombers would lose their fighter umbrella and be totally defenseless going into and out of their targets.  It had to be sick feeling losing your fighter cover and going ahead alone.

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Offline Glock32

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Re: I usually badmouth the French, but...
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 05:22:52 PM »
I can't remember the statistics, but one of the reasons the American bomber crews were given tours of 25 missions (reduced from the original 30) is that when multiplied by 30 missions, the risk of being shot down reached 100%.

Now of course, the Axis forces don't get or deserve quite the same sort of sympathy, but statistically the most dangerous assignment of any nation on any front was the German U-boat crews. 75% of them were killed. If you've never seen the film Das Boot it's a good one. You can literally feel the terror of a cramped submarine taking on water and being depth charged for hours on end.
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charlesoakwood

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Re: I usually badmouth the French, but...
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2011, 10:14:30 PM »

Another under reported bit is that the reason we flew daytime missions was the Lancaster. It was such a piece of garbage it had a 100% probability of being shot down in the daytime.


Offline Libertas

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Re: I usually badmouth the French, but...
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2011, 06:41:44 AM »
I wouldn't like either one, but being in a cramped cold dirty sub scared scatless I think may be worse!  At least in the air I would be just cold and scared scatless.
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Offline Glock32

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Re: I usually badmouth the French, but...
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2011, 11:20:29 PM »
At least you can bail out of a bomber with some chance of living to see another day. Inside a steel coffin 800 feet deep in the icy waters of the North Atlantic? No thanks!

As for the Lancaster, one of its biggest flaws was the lack of ventral defenses, unlike the B-17 and B-24 with the ball turret on their bellies. The Germans quickly figured this out and developed night fighters with an upward firing cannon. They'd cruise under a bomber formation and open up on them with virtual impunity.
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