Please read this at 0745 tomorrow morning, February 25th 2017.

tac

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A 'right this minute' Memoriam - 'Chris's Crate II'
At just after quarter to eight this morning, back in 1945, B-24 Liberator 'Chris' Crate II' with her full crew on board, took off from RAF Attlebridge in Norfolk on a mission.

As I write this, seventy-two years later, six members of that crew are in the freezing waters of the North Sea, struggling for their lives, after an engine fire, then a hard ditching.

As I write this, they are in their Maewests, or in a pathetic little life-raft, and fully aware that there will be nobody else getting out. 'Chris' Crate II' has gone to the bottom of the North Sea. With the rest of her crew inside her fuselage.

As I write this, the survivors are struggling around around in the zero degree waters, they can see the tail end formation of the rest of their pals, in their hundreds, their bomber stream heading to Germany to deliver more war, but their war is with the water, their injuries, and the numbing cold that is sapping their senses, taking away the will to live, with every second.

As I write this, it's now ten after eight, local time, and not far from me here in East Anglia, just fifteen short miles off Cromer, six of the crew of 'Chris's Crate II' are dead, and six have survived, just.

The dead are -

2nd Lt Theodore V Kolaya of Pennsylvania

2nd Lt Thomas J Foley of Massachusetts

2nd Lt John F. McGrady of Pennsylvania

Sgt John White of California

Sgt Ralph H Wilson of Minnesota

and Sgt Glenn R Cowan of Indiana

As I write this, it's over, right now, seventy-two years ago. They are gone, and forever. Now just names on a wall, mostly.

Except for Tom Foley, called Bonny by his fiancée because of his bright blue eyes. Her niece told me how well her aunt remembers him, even today.

And me, because we share a name.

Let's do the same, and remember him, and all the others who gave all their tomorrows so that we could have a today.

Tac Foley
 
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clearconscience

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Thanks Tac.
I'm too impatient to wait as well.

We may not remember all the fallen Heroes from our past, but we can remember that there are Heroes who's names you won't know. Graves that will never be filled. Bodies of the fallen that will never be returned home.

But we as free men should never forget the sacrifices of those brave souls that went before us.

May God bless them.
 
All gave some, and some gave All. Remembering more then just names on a wall. God Bless and Embrace all who have gone on before us!
 
OP
tac

tac

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God bless everyone who died and everyone who is traumatized from the crash.
I't likely that now even the survivors have gone. Who knows what happened to them in the remaining wartime? Hopeishly they never had to fly again - in RAF Bomber Command there were many who had used up all of the nine lives, surviving one downing only to FTR on another one...

The figures for the USAAF and the RAF Bomber Command were broadly similar -
..The successes of Bomber Command were purchased at terrible cost. Of every 100 airmen who joined Bomber Command, 45 were killed, 6 were seriously wounded, 8 became Prisoners of War, and only 41 escaped unscathed (at least physically). Of the 120,000 who served, 55,573 were killed including over 10,000 Canadians. Of those who were flying at the beginning of the war, only ten percent survived. It is a loss rate comparable only to the worst slaughter of the First World War trenches. Only the Nazi U-Boat force suffered a higher casualty rate.

A'tour' for the US airmen was 25 missions, but the average life expectancy varied between eight and twelve missions. My math tutor at school was a double DFC Canadian pilot with 68 missions in his book, including eight - EIGHT - shootings down.

tac
 
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I't likely that now even the survivors have gone. Who knows what happened to them in the remaining wartime? Hopeishly they never had to fly again - in RAF Bomber Command there were many who had used up all of the nine lives, surviving one downing only to FTR on another one...

The figures for the USAAF and the RAF Bomber Command were broadly similar -
..The successes of Bomber Command were purchased at terrible cost. Of every 100 airmen who joined Bomber Command, 45 were killed, 6 were seriously wounded, 8 became Prisoners of War, and only 41 escaped unscathed (at least physically). Of the 120,000 who served, 55,573 were killed including over 10,000 Canadians. Of those who were flying at the beginning of the war, only ten percent survived. It is a loss rate comparable only to the worst slaughter of the First World War trenches. Only the Nazi U-Boat force suffered a higher casualty rate.

A'tour' for the US airmen was 25 missions, but the average life expectancy varied between eight and twelve missions. My math tutor at school was a double DFC Canadian pilot with 68 missions in his book, including eight - EIGHT - shootings down.

tac
Lawdy!!! If that guy survived a ninth he would have some SERIOUS PTSD.
 
OP
tac

tac

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Sir, PTSD was not something that ever occurred to our forefathers. Whatever it was that followed you home, you sucked up and shut up.

Ask anybody who was there, or their sons and daughters, what their old man told them about the war.

I'm betting it was mostly a big fat zero.

Like dying from eating peanuts, PTSD is a recent invention to describe the mental anguish that can accrue from the slaughtering of your fellow man - either singly, in bunches, or in whole units.

tac
 

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