Welcome. The idea was floated that a ‘talk amongst yourselves’ blog would be a good addition to for the Non-Facebook Crowd. Here it is.
When I got to my second duty station, a NATO radar bunker about equidistant from Trier and Bernkastel on the Moselle River (but east – picture a triangle) we had 24 hours on duty and 24 off.
So most of my trips were day trips -
One day, I just hopped on a regional train with the idea of seeing Luxembourg. Got off the train and started walking.
Didn’t know what to expect, but after seeing boulevards named after FDR and General George Patton, I knew value these people put in America during the battle of Dec, 1944.
You can discover it in the same sequence I did.
My caption for the above photo says “Main Boulevard and Embassy Row”
…General Patton’s grave is “front and center”, reviewing his men
There was a couple of excellent programmes on the BBC last night, paying tribute to the Dambusters raid of 617 Squadron seventy years ago. There were two surviving crew members present at the sunset ceremony at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire which was broadcast live.
There was a flypast by two Spitfires (Griffon engined) painted sky blue, in the colours of the photo-recon units that preceded the raids and then delivered the damage reports over the following days. They landed, taxied and parked in front of the gathered guests. Two Tornados from the current 617 Sqdn made a typical, low entrance on reheat, climbed out and slotted into a circuit then landed and parked behind the Spits. The finale was a grand entrance of our last Lancaster, “The City of Lincoln” which, after several graceful fly-by’s, landed and slowly taxied to a halt, inch-perfect and centre stage, shutting down her engines as the band played the Dambusters March. It was timed to absolute perfection and was emotional enough watching on TV, so how the gathered guests felt, stood behind former bomb aimer Sgt `Johnny` Johnson and former Kiwi pilot Sqdn Leader Les Munro (both in their nineties) I can only imagine.
I wanted to let you know something else about this outwardly `very British` ceremony. As the proceedings opened, the RAF Band marched on playing a specially chosen tune for the occasion, “Eagle Squadron”. This was in honour of those American airmen who came here, as volunteers, to fly with the RAF before America joined the war. I reiterate, this was the tune that opened the ceremony. Furthermore, I wanted to mention that among the Dambusters was American pilot Joe McCarthy who joined 617 Squadron after having just completed a tour of thirty operations and who was included in one of the tribute programmes shown on television later that evening. As you know I do love my co-incidences – and here’s another. Joe McCarthy’s son, former US jet pilot and Vietnam Veteran Joe McCarthy jnr, is married to Shere Fraser, whose father was Flight Sgt John Fraser, RCAF, and a bomb aimer on the raid. Read his remarkable story here.
It was a wonderful little ceremony honouring the remarkable feat of 617 Squadron, honouring the two remarkable 617 survivors present, honouring the airmen who didn’t return that night and of those souls caught up in the terrible aftermath of the raid and, last but not least, honoring the Americans who came to fly with us several years before this raid and were part of what, arguably, still remains the RAF’s finest hour.
I know that not everyone in the current White House administration is much bothered by `Little Britain` these days and some State Department official said a few years ago that `there’s nothing special about Britain`, but those aforementioned little touches in last nights moving ceremony are a small part of the whole that makes up this Nation of mine, are part of what I believe we still stand for and testament that we don’t forget our friends.
"Be kind to nurses. We keep doctors from accidentally killing you."
I'm beginning to whole-heartedly believe that.
I swear, I'm sick of the little LPN here having to tell 8 year MDs and RNs with masters degrees that if:
A) the patient is tachycardic
B) the patient nearly falls out when they attempt to stand
C) the patient's hemoglobin is 6.2…
The X47 UCAS-D of the US Navy has successfully launched from USS George H. W. Bush CVN-77 in the VaCapes Op Area.
I would have loved to be on that deck.
Progress? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But it is the future of Navy Air deep strike, me thinks.