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Author Topic: Armistice Day  (Read 313 times)

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Armistice Day
« on: November 10, 2018, 03:05:46 PM »

Sunday 11th November 2018 is a significant day commemorating 100 years of cessation of battle in the first world war. Also a day to remember those people, military or civilians who in one form or another experienced the hardship and horror or warfare.

My little tea room tomorrow will be holding 2 minutes silence as a mark of respect to those that stepped forward to do their bit. Every year, I produce "pamphlets" covering the three forces from the outbreak of WW1 to present day highlighting the sacrifices made by others for our good. Below is one example of courage and self sacrifice shown by one person to help his team.

Norman Cyril Jackson VC (8 April 1919 – 26 March 1994)
The KING has been graciously pleased to confer the VICTORIA CROSS in recognition of most conspicuous bravery to:-

905192 Sergeant (Now Warrant Officer) Norman Cyril Jackson R.A.F.V.R., 106 Squadron.

"This airman was the flight engineer in a Lancaster detailed to attack Schweinfurt on the night of 26th April 1944. Bombs were dropped successfully and the aircraft was climbing out of the target area. Suddenly it was attacked by a fighter at about 20,000 feet. The captain took evading action at once, but the enemy secured many hits. A fire started near a petrol tank on the upper surface of the starboard wing, between the fuselage and the inner engine.

Sergeant Jackson was thrown to the floor during the engagement. Wounds which he received from shell splinters in the right leg and shoulder were probably sustained at that time. Recovering himself, he remarked that he could deal with the fire on the wing and obtained his captain's permission to try to put out the flames.

Pushing a hand fire-extinguisher into the top of his life-saving jacket and clipping on his parachute pack, Sergeant Jackson jettisoned the escape hatch above the pilot's head. He then started to climb out of the cockpit and back along the top of the fuselage to the starboard wing. Before he could leave the fuselage his parachute pack opened and the whole canopy and rigging lines spilled into the cockpit.

Undeterred, Sergeant Jackson continued. The pilot (Fred Mifflin), bomb aimer (Maurice Toft) and navigator (Frank Higgins) gathered the parachute together and held on to the rigging lines, paying them out as the airman crawled aft. Eventually he slipped and, falling from the fuselage to the starboard wing, grasped an air intake on the leading edge of the wing. He succeeded in clinging on but lost the extinguisher, which was blown away.

By this time, the fire had spread rapidly and Sergeant Jackson was involved. His face, hands and clothing were severely burnt. Unable to retain his hold he was swept through the flames and over the trailing edge of the wing, dragging his parachute behind. When last seen it was only partly inflated and was burning in a number of places. Realising that the fire could not be controlled, the captain gave the order to abandon aircraft. Four of the remaining members of the crew landed safely. The captain and rear gunner have not been accounted for.

Sergeant Jackson was unable to control his descent and landed heavily. He sustained a broken ankle, his right eye was closed through burns and his hands were useless. These injuries, together with the wounds received earlier, reduced him to a pitiable state. At daybreak he crawled to the nearest village, where he was taken prisoner. He bore the intense pain and discomfort of the journey to Dulag Luft with magnificent fortitude. After ten months in hospital he made a good recovery, though his hands require further treatment and are only of limited use.

This airman's attempt to extinguish the fire and save the aircraft and crew from falling into enemy hands was an act of outstanding gallantry. To venture outside, when travelling at 200 miles an hour, at a great height and in intense cold, was an almost incredible feat. Had he succeeded in subduing the flames, there was little or no prospect of his regaining the cockpit. The spilling of his parachute and the risk of grave damage to its canopy reduced his chances of survival to a minimum. By his ready willingness to face these dangers he set an example of self-sacrifice which will ever be remembered".

I ask you to keep count with me 
Of all the wars and what they cost 
I ask you to be silent with me 
Quietly grateful for our lot 
As I expect you're as thankful as me 
For the health and life we've got 
I ask that you wish them well with me 
All those still risking their all 
And I ask that you remember with me 
The names of those that fall 
John Bailey

I wear my poppy with pride and I shall reflect and be grateful.

Best wishes, B9
Landing's easy - surviving it, well that's harder


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Re: Armistice Day
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2018, 11:06:33 PM »

The WW 1 Ace whose courage and skill really inspires me is George Barker:


He was essentially in the same situation that Werner Voss was in a year earlier (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_Voss#Last_stand), but due to blind luck and skill Barker managed to survive where Voss did not.

Of course, bravery and fortitude among WW 1 airmen was all relative, given that they were expected to fly experimental aircraft which couldn't get a certificate of airworthiness these days, and do it without a parachute! By the end of the war, at least some recon crews were required to go into the lower reaches of the stratosphere (~ 7 km ~23,000 ft) in unheated, open cockpits, often flying with no oxygen and having to breathe the aircraft's exhaust fumes.


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Re: Armistice Day
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 02:57:34 AM »

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1872 - 1918

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

 I salute all Veterans from both sides who stood tall and did their  duty as they saw fit


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Re: Armistice Day
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 04:25:25 AM »

The most prominent Armistice Day in the lifetime of many of us here. If I make the next centennial one in 2045 I'll be nearly 96!

A number of pilots, in their memoirs and even writing at the time of the Battle of Britain, have expressed 'Boy' Wellum's sentiment; 'we just want to be remembered for what we did'. That certainly is the case here and at similar groups, websites and forums.
 And in the media recently, whatever you think of the veracity of the films, 'Hurricane' 'Squadron 303', 'Dunkirk' and of course the superb and moving 'Spitfire' documentary have recently acknowledged and paid tribute to the men and women involved.


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Re: Armistice Day
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 05:21:33 AM »

Today, 100 years ago, at the 11th minute of the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, the last shots were fired in the first chapter of the first global industrialized war.

A war that has raged on and which is still in many ways being fought today. A war that defined our age in ways that we have not fully grasped yet. A war that taught lessons in the consequences of blind trust in governments and authority, that we still have not learned completely. A war that very few people saw coming, and even fewer thought would be serious. A war that killed or physically wounded over 40 million people, and scarred an entire human generation. A war that in turn led to the deaths and brutalization of billions more over the following 100 years. A blood soaked reminder as to what can happen to us whenever we think nothing bad can.

Lest we forget.


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Re: Armistice Day
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2018, 05:41:06 AM »

The German-French TV station ARTE yesterday broadcasted a two-part documentary on WWI military aviation. Here is the German version:
French version:
Director: Fabrice Hourlier
Country: France
Year: 2017
Origin: ARTE F

Regards, Michael
Zieht die Rettungswesten an, denn Hein Bloed steht heut' am Ruder, er ist unser bester Mann!


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Re: Armistice Day
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2018, 05:46:00 AM »

If I make the next centennial one in 2045 I'll be nearly 96!

I would be 87 years old then.  ;)

Good luck & best regards,

Gerhard  ;)
FAC N° 9 ...cheers mein Schatz


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Re: Armistice Day
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2018, 08:04:35 AM »

And I think also a good day to commemorate the other wars, especially in Europe, and that was not a few . . .


DCG And Third Party Campaign Installation Manual: http://www.sas1946.com/main/index.php?topic=20872.0
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