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Never In The Field Of Human Conflict


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However, in 1954 Hastings "Pug" Ismay related an anecdote to publisher Rupert Hart-Davis; when Churchill and Ismay were

travelling together in a car, in which Winston rehearsed the speech he was to give in the House of Commons on 20 August 1940 after the Battle of Britain. When he came to the famous sentence, "Never in the history of mankind have so many owed so much to so few", Ismay said "What about Jesus and his disciples?" "Good old Pug," said Winston, who immediately changed the wording to "Never in the field of human conflict...".[

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Had a distant cousin who went to Canada before Pearl Harbor, and enlisted in the RCAF.  He flew with the American Eagle Squadron.  When we got into the war, he and some of his buddies transferred back to the Army Air Forces.  He later became a LTC in the USAF.  Passed away some years back from lung cancer. :(  :FlagAm:

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Joe's post got me to look it up-- as of a year ago, there was only one B of B pilot still alive, and he was 100.

 

I had the privilege in 2002 to meet in England and spend several hours with a Battle of Britain pilot, Air Commodore Sir Archie Winskill, DFC*, KCVO, with whom I had corresponded for a couple of years previously. In the later stages of the Battle, he shot down two Italian biplanes; the Italians had come in late under the false impression from their German allies that they would be 'in at the kill'. He shot down an M 109 and shared a Heinkel, and others confirmed in later air battles in the War.

 

At the time I met him he was 85, and there were still a few hundred of The Few alive, but time has now taken everyone but one, assuming that that one is still alive.

 

He had many stories; one very striking: after a day's sorties, they would take the train from Biggin Hill into Jermyn St. in London, to 'take the waters' and have a few drinks. Then up again the next day. As he said, they were young...

 

He had an amazing career, during the War and after, and indeed there is a Wikipedia page about him. Much is owed to these extraordinary men.

Edited by Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619
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Here in Canada, we commemorate the battle on the third Sunday in September.

On that day, I raise the RAF/RCAF flag and remember some of the young men I got to meet, (as an Air Force Brat), when they were older men, some still in uniform.

My school was called Biggin Hill as was our Cub and Scout troop.

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Before Pearl Harbor, those Americans who went North to Canada were doing so illegally.  If caught, they were just sent back Sooth!  Canadian officers used to ask the prospects to say the alphabet.  The trick was the last letter.  If the questionee said the last letter was "zee",  back to the States.  If he said, "zed", he was presumed to be Canadian, and was accepted into the Canadian armed forces.  I guess my cousin got it "right".  

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There were so many strange things happening before the US entered the war.

I recall my Father speaking about aircraft coming over the border, pulled by horses, since under the Neutrality Act, war planes could not legally fly across the Medicine Line.

Much was made of these events, staged for the press and photo opps, as teams of horses and men pulled the aircraft over the border, all the while, most of the aircraft were flown onto bases in Canada by "Volunteers"

Thank-you America.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

There were so many strange things happening before the US entered the war.

I recall my Father speaking about aircraft coming over the border, pulled by horses, since under the Neutrality Act, war planes could not legally fly across the Medicine Line.

Much was made of these events, staged for the press and photo opps, as teams of horses and men pulled the aircraft over the border, all the while, most of the aircraft were flown onto bases in Canada by "Volunteers"

Thank-you America.

 

Fascinating!  Now something else to look up.

 

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/field-of-schemes-emerson-at-war-564639352.html#:~:text=Emersons farmers%2C horses dragged fighter planes destined for,planes destined for the Allied effort into Canada

 

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/453174781226903824/

13656861c786b3351d30016528b97baf.jpg

 

See the source image

 

 

 

https://medium.com/lessons-from-history/why-britain-pulled-aircraft-with-horses-and-trucks-ddd2dbd2aaa4

 

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=yank+in+the+raf&&view=detail&mid=E54D1D65C02808C573CAE54D1D65C02808C573CA&

Edited by Subdeacon Joe
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as red gauntlet says , they are all passing to history too quickly , i hope this history is taught in the future so that we dont forget the sacrifices made to get us here 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, watab kid said:

as red gauntlet says , they are all passing to history too quickly , i hope this history is taught in the future so that we dont forget the sacrifices made to get us here 

 

I can't agree with "too quickly. "  Yes, they are passing and have been,  with many stories untold.  Just like every other generation. 

 

But they have stood their watch.  For the most part they are tired and hurting in body and possibly soul.   Most are pushing the century mark.  Time for us to stop being greedy and let them pass peacefully and with grace and dignity. 

 

Of course,  as with all our honored dead, make their memories to be eternal. 

 

 

Edited by Subdeacon Joe
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As Joe says, every generation passes, but for a great many of us this was the generation of our fathers and uncles, our senior partners and mentors in business and life, and it is particularly hard to see the last of them go, though of course most have gone long since. This is the universal human experience , but we still encounter it ourselves individually, in every generation.

 

My own grandfather was a Royal Air Force pilot in the First World War. I knew him well into my adulthood, and then one day, not so many years back, it was noted that every last WWI veteran was gone; every one in the world, out of tens of millions.

 

It won't be so long now, all in all, that that will be true of the WWII generation. Even the very youngest, say the 17 year old who lied about his age and was in the last months of the War, is well into his 90s, if still alive.

 

Yes, let their memories be everlasting.

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