GIVE TIL IT HURTS!

Carlson Interviews O’Reilly – A Must Watch

It’s pretty funny before it turns serious. I learned a few things about O’Reilly that I didn’t know. I had no idea that members of his “club” could email him for help, and they respond to the non whackos.

O’Reilly calls this “The Age of Disorder”, “We are in the chaos now”.

Something I didn’t know – Trump threatened president of Mexico Obrador that he would declare the mexican cartels terrorists, whack them from above with drones and send the special forces in to kill them. Thus the Mexicans put the Mexican army on the border of Guatemala and the US to shut down the flow of illegals. Add in the economic trade preferences favorable to the US, all to keep the US from essentially invading Mexico to kill the cartels.

Result: Illegal flow down 80% and economy booming with inflation under 2% and gas at prices of 1975.

I had always thought the entire Mexican response was to the threat from Trump about the economy.

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It Really is That Damn Good, Part 2

Final arguments in the Texas based Bush cabal impeachment of Ken Paxton.

“He beat the latest in line for the bush’s”
“The Bush era in Texas ends today”
“They can go back to Maine”

Update!: The communist Bush clan has failed,as Ken Paxton Acquitted on all 16 articles of impeachment.

Let the retribution begin.

Update 2: The Texas impeachment mangers held back 4 charges that they “thought” they could hold over Paxton’s head:
“Four original articles were held in abeyance, with the Senate dismissing them in a vote conducted after the acquittal.”
The senate nuked those. As I said above, “Let the retribution begin“.
Senate Nukes the remaining 4 charges

Update 3:
Apparently, having failed to stop Paxton at the state level, the feds will now attempt to stop him –
The Corrupt Feds Will Indict a Ham Sandwich, Again

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It Really is That Damn Good

There are some really good lawyers in this world, just a few, but when they are on the side of right they are beacons of light in the dark.

Elected Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is under assault by the Texas Bush clan working together with democrats. What is Mr. Paxton’s real crime? He beat George P Bush and he supports Donald Trump, and he knows the 2020 election was stolen.

Texas is trouble and the republican party (spit) is attempting to convict Paxton in an impeachment trial with no evidence of any wrong doing. Allegations Baby!

Via: The Treehouse

Update: As hhluce notes in the comments, the republican prosecution team is still at it.

And from the trial – “Previously Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s personal assistant, Drew Wicker, made an accusation that a Texas donor named Nate Paul funded a kitchen remodel for Paxton. A quid pro quo to sell influence.

However, during cross examination today, Drew Wicker admitted the kitchen remodel never took place, and the actual details of the home remodel being done by Paxton was taking place *after* the office “whistleblowers” went to the FBI with their ungrounded claims. Paxton’s attorney Tony Buzbee showed Drew Wicker pictures of the kitchen taken three years ago and also taken last month. There was never any remodel work completed. This is the central point of the alleged bribery.

Buzbee Does It Agaian

It gets better – the prosecution deny’s the pictures of the kitchen from before and after (that were identical) were correctly dated. Buzbee suggests they just drive over to examine the supposed “kitchen remodel)…

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WHOA, that’s good squishy!

As CF Lifers will know by now, I often like to commend skillful writing here on Ye Aulde Colde Furye Blogge when I run across it, if only because I enjoy it so much my own self. Also well-known is my fondness for military history/historical fiction, which is where this post comes in.

I’ve lately been reading one called Wings Over Summer, a sort of prequel which covers the lives—and deaths—of the Spitfire pilots serving in the RAF’s (fictional) 646 Fighter Squadron during the Battle of Britain, with the second (really, the first) volume of the two-part series recounting their exploits during the Siege of Malta. The author, a chappie yclept Ron Powell, definitely has some writerly chops, as this extremely amusing excerpt confirms.

WingsOverSummer 1

WingsOverSummer 2

Since I couldn’t find a way to simply C&P the above passage in the Kindle Unlimited application, I had to screen-cap the above passage in two parts, hence the size discrepancy. But still: great stuff, no? A little biographical info on the author:

After 32 years in the Royal Air Force, from which he retired as a Group Captain (full Colonel) pilot commanding the first stage of flying training for the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, Ron moved to south Wales to pursue his long held ambition of becoming a writer. Since then, he has written an illustrated history of events in the skies above Britain in the summer of 1940, The Battle of Britain, Hitler’s First Bloody Nose; an acclaimed novel, Wings Over Summer, set in the same period; a sequel, Wings Over Malta; and two volumes of memoir, Shropshire Blue: A Shropshire Lad in the RAF, the first, Preparation For Flight, about growing up on the English/Welsh border and his early years in the RAF, including working on Vulcan nuclear bombers on a Cold War air base, the second, On The Buffet, about his RAF pilot training. He has also written numerous short stories and articles and gives talks on a range of topics, including the Battle of Britain.

There’s also a website with more on Group Captain Powell’s life and RAF career, perusable here.

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Election Integrity

Per Joe Hofts website, Mike Lindell is set to announce how to save our elections. I have no idea what that will be unless it involves high speed lead.

However, Lindell has been hard at work, spending his own coin to both prove the 2020 election was stolen, and now to prevent it from happening again.

“During that prayer, God gave me a plan. It is brilliant and divinely inspired, and will immediately secure our election platforms. This plan is unique, has never been done before in world history, and has not even previously been talked about by anyone. It does not rely on legislation, judges, or legal actions, etc. This is such a perfect plan, the only way it fails is if we do not get the word out to the entire country, and why I am spreading the word across our nation. It is critical you get this information.

We finally have hope to save our country, and we want you to share this information with family, friends and business associates.”

Some of you will recognize Lindell as the “My Pillow” man. My wife has purchased pillows and sheets, all very fine products, as a result of the Lindell’s dedication to the country.

The Hoft link:

THE SUSPENSE BUILDS – What Is the Solution to Save US Elections? Mike Lindell Will Unveil the Answer on Thursday

And Mike Lindell:
Mike Lindell Election Integrity Event

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Moar purty zoom-zooms!

Another trip down one of the best Innarnuts rabbit-holes there is, and one of the hardest to extricate oneself from: early jet fighters and/or fighter-bombers. Consider it a knock-on effect of yesterday’s Eyrie post, maybe.

I started off my day browsing through some of the other good ol’ 50s and 60s vintage aircraft, like the Convair Delta Dart and Delta Dagger, the F101 Voodoo, and another McDonnell product you just might have heard about already: one of the most fantastically successful military aircraft ever produced by this or any nation, the McDonnell F4 Phantom II.

The main impetus for this post would be Convair’s F106A Delta Dart, upon which hangs a wild and crazy tale.

The F-106 all-weather interceptor was developed from the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger. Originally designated F-102B, it was redesignated F-106 because it had extensive structural changes and a more powerful engine. The first F-106A flew on December 26, 1956, and deliveries to the Air Force began in July 1959. Production ended in late 1960 after 277 F-106As and 63 F-106Bs had been built. The F-106 used a Hughes MA-1 electronic guidance and fire control system. After takeoff, the MA-1 can be given control of the aircraft to fly it to the proper altitude and attack position. Then it can fire the Genie and Falcon missiles, break off the attack run and return the aircraft to the vicinity of its base. The pilot takes control again for the landing.

The aircraft on display was involved in an unusual incident. During a training mission from Malmstrom Air Force Base on Feb. 2, 1970, it suddenly entered an uncontrollable flat spin forcing the pilot to eject. Unpiloted, the aircraft recovered on its own, apparently due to the balance and configuration changes caused by the ejection, and miraculously made a gentle belly landing in a snow-covered field near Big Sandy, Mont. After minor repairs, the aircraft was returned to service. It last served with the 49th Fighter Interceptor Squadron before being brought to the museum in August 1986.

Bizarre, no? Well, just check this out:

Like I said: crazy, man, crazy. As MAJ Foust notes, the “Cornfield Bomber” should really have been called the “Wheatfield Fighter,” just for accuracy’s sake. But hey, once a nick has been generated, it tends to stick like glue, and fairness or accuracy be damned. Knowing military pilots as I do, I think it entirely safe to assume that the amount of crap MAJ Foust caught in the ready room for the rest of his career would have been measurable in container-ship loads: “Hey, Foust, guess we know now where the real failure point was—that plane flew better with you OUT of it than IN it!”

Heh.

Anyways, the above-mentioned McDonnell F101 Voodoo is yet another of my faves, one I also consider to be a good-looking aircraft. A few of the deets:

The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo is a supersonic jet fighter designed and produced by the American McDonnell Aircraft Corporation.

Development of the F-101 commenced during the late 1940s as a long-range bomber escort (then known as a penetration fighter) for the United States Air Force’s (USAF) Strategic Air Command (SAC). It was also adapted as a nuclear-armed fighter-bomber for the USAF’s Tactical Air Command (TAC), and as a photo reconnaissance aircraft based on the same airframe. On 29 September 1954, it performed its maiden flight. The F-101A set a number of world speed records for jet-powered aircraft, including fastest airspeed, attaining 1,207.6 miles (1,943.4 km) per hour on 12 December 1957.

Delays in the 1954 interceptor project led to demands for an interim interceptor aircraft design, a role that was eventually won by the F-101B Voodoo. This role required extensive modifications to add a large radar to the nose of the aircraft, a second crew member to operate it, and a new weapons bay using a rotating door that held its four AIM-4 Falcon missiles or two AIR-2 Genie rockets hidden within the airframe until it was time to be fired. The F-101B entered service with USAF Air Defense Command in 1959 and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1961. While the Voodoo was a moderate success, it may have been more important as an evolutionary step towards its replacement in most roles, the F-4 Phantom II, one of the most successful Western fighter designs of the 1950s; the Phantom would retain the twin engines, twin crew for interception duties, and a tail mounted well above and behind the jet exhaust, although it was an evolution of the F3H Demon while the Voodoo was developed from the earlier XF-88 Voodoo.

The Voodoo’s career as a fighter-bomber was relatively brief, but the reconnaissance versions served for some time. Along with the US Air Force’s Lockheed U-2 and US Navy’s Vought RF-8 Crusaders, the RF-101 reconnaissance variant of the Voodoo was instrumental during the Cuban Missile Crisis and saw extensive service during the Vietnam War. Interceptor versions served with the Air National Guard until 1982, and in Canadian service, they were a front line part of NORAD until their replacement with the CF-18 Hornet in the 1980s. The type was operated in the reconnaissance role until 1979. US examples were handed off to the USAF Air National Guard where they were operated until 1982. The RCAF Voodoos were in service until 1984.

Pretty? You tell me:

F101Voodoo

I‘d say she was pretty, yeah. Note some of the commonalities with the F4, which we’ll be delving into a bit more in just a sec, so hold yer dang horses, aiight? Low-mounted twin engines, tandem seating for two aircrew, tail section above and well aft of the exhaust, etc. Now for the justly-renowned F4 Phantom II.

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is an American tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed by McDonnell Aircraft for the United States Navy. Proving highly adaptable, it entered service with the Navy in 1961 before it was adopted by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force, and by the mid-1960s it had become a major part of their air arms. Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981 with a total of 5,195 aircraft built, making it the most produced American supersonic military aircraft in history, and cementing its position as a signature combat aircraft of the Cold War.

The Phantom is a large fighter with a top speed of over Mach 2.2. It can carry more than 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. The F-4, like other interceptors of its time, was initially designed without an internal cannon. Later models incorporated an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon. Beginning in 1959, it set 15 world records for in-flight performance, including an absolute speed record and an absolute altitude record.

The F-4 was used extensively during the Vietnam War. It served as the principal air superiority fighter for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and became important in the ground-attack and aerial reconnaissance roles late in the war. During the Vietnam War, one U.S. Air Force pilot, two weapon systems officers (WSOs), one U.S. Navy pilot and one radar intercept officer (RIO) became aces by achieving five aerial kills against enemy fighter aircraft. The F-4 continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the U.S. Air Force, the F-14 Tomcat in the U.S. Navy, and the F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

The F-4 Phantom II remained in use by the U.S. in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996. It was also the only aircraft used by both U.S. flight demonstration teams: the United States Air Force Thunderbirds (F-4E) and the United States Navy Blue Angels (F-4J). The F-4 was also operated by the armed forces of 11 other nations. Israeli Phantoms saw extensive combat in several Arab–Israeli conflicts, while Iran used its large fleet of Phantoms, acquired before the fall of the Shah, in the Iran–Iraq War. As of 2021, 63 years after its first flight, the F-4 remains in active service with the air forces of Iran, South Korea, Greece, and Turkey. The aircraft has most recently been in service against the Islamic State group in the Middle East.

Over its long and illustrious career, the Phantom II has proven to be one of the most capable, versatile, and deadly planes in ANY nation’s inventory, period. She was large and quite heavy for a fighter/interceptor, but her operators overcame those disadvantages quite handily. Fast? Oh, you betcher; like lightning, this old gal was fast.

World records
To show off their new fighter, the Navy led a series of record-breaking flights early in Phantom development: All in all, the Phantom set 16 world records. Five of the speed records remained unbeaten until the F-15 Eagle appeared in 1975.

  • Operation Top Flight: On 6 December 1959, the second XF4H-1 performed a zoom climb to a world record 98,557 ft (30,040 m). Commander Lawrence E. Flint Jr., USN accelerated his aircraft to Mach 2.5 (2,660 km/h; 1,650 mph) at 47,000 ft (14,330 m) and climbed to 90,000 ft (27,430 m) at a 45° angle. He then shut down the engines and glided to the peak altitude. As the aircraft fell through 70,000 ft (21,300 m), Flint restarted the engines and resumed normal flight.
  • On 5 September 1960, an F4H-1 averaged 1,216.78 mph (1,958.16 km/h) over a 500 km (311 mi) closed-circuit course.
  • On 25 September 1960, an F4H-1F averaged 1,390.24 mph (2,237.37 km/h) over a 100 km (62.1 mi) closed-circuit course. FAIRecord File Number 8898.
  • Operation LANA: To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Naval aviation (L is the Roman numeral for 50 and ANA stood for Anniversary of Naval Aviation) on 24 May 1961, Phantoms flew across the continental United States in under three hours and included several tanker refuelings. The fastest of the aircraft averaged 869.74 mph (1,400.28 km/h) and completed the trip in 2 hours 47 minutes, earning the pilot (and future NASA Astronaut), Lieutenant Richard Gordon, USN and RIO, Lieutenant Bobbie Young, USN, the 1961 Bendix trophy.
  • Operation Sageburner: On 28 August 1961, a F4H-1F Phantom II averaged 1,452.777 kilometers per hour (902.714 miles per hour) over a 3 mi (4.82 km) course flying below 125 feet (38.1 m) at all times. Commander J.L. Felsman, USN was killed during the first attempt at this record on 18 May 1961 when his aircraft disintegrated in the air after pitch damper failure.
  • Operation Skyburner: On 22 November 1961, a modified Phantom with water injection, piloted by Lt. Col. Robert B. Robinson, set an absolute world record average speed over a 20-mile (32.2 km) long 2-way straight course of 1,606.342 mph (2,585.086 km/h).
  • On 5 December 1961, another Phantom set a sustained altitude record of 66,443.8 feet (20,252 m).
  • Project High Jump: A series of time-to-altitude records was set in early 1962: 34.523 seconds to 3,000 m (9,840 ft), 48.787 seconds to 6,000 m (19,700 ft), 61.629 seconds to 9,000 m (29,500 ft), 77.156 seconds to 12,000 m (39,400 ft), 114.548 seconds to 15,000 m (49,200 ft), 178.5 s to 20,000 m (65,600 ft), 230.44 s to 25,000 m (82,000 ft), and 371.43 s to 30,000 m (98,400 ft). All High Jump records were set by F4H-1 production number 108 (Bureau Number 148423). Two of the records were set by future distinguished NASA astronaut LCdr John Young.

On the bathroom wall at the H-D shop I used to wrench at, my old boss had a framed photo from his days as a Gyrine jet mechanic: him back-seating a check-flight on an F4—a reward from his superiors for being named USMC Mechanic Of The Year a cpl years running. The canopy is up as the aircraft taxis back over to the hangar area, after doing a high-speed pass at extremely low altitude over the base runway.

In the photo—shot by a fellow Marine from ground-level-right of the aircraft as it rolled smoothly by—Goose’s flight helmet is still on, strap undone and hanging loose, as he flashes two thumbs waaaay up. The woozy grin smeared all over his face is as wide and beatific as one would expect to see on someone who had just been personally introduced to Einstein, Beethoven, Chuck Yeager, and Jesus Christ Himself, all at the same party.

Now, here’s another vidya I ran across, of a matched set of MiG 29s taking fullest possible advantage of the vectored-thrust concept.

The real action starts at around 1:35 in, with the two MiGs standing on their tails only a few feet above the tarmac as if they’d been hung on a string from the ceiling of some kid’s bedroom. Guess we know now where at least some of that super-duper-top-secret UFO tech might’ve ended up.

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Happy Pearl Harbor Payback Day!

Surber just comes right out and says it.

We should have dropped three bombs
Sunday marks the 78th anniversary of the Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets, dropped the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Three days later, we dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The Japanese warlords still voted 3-3 on surrendering. Intervention by the emperor ended the war and the Japanese told the allies it planned to surrender, which it did on September 2.

With the new movie Oppenheimer‘s debut last month and the end of the teaching of American history in a positive light, lefties have resurrected the argument against using the A-bomb to end World War II.

The Atlantic published the first and perhaps only rebuttal you need to read to this daft argument in December 1946. Written by Karl T. Compton, an atomic physicist and president of MIT, one of the many people involved in the development of these two bombs, the article addressed the argument against the bombings.

Compton wrote, “About a week after V-J Day I was one of a small group of scientists and engineers interrogating an intelligent, well-informed Japanese Army officer in Yokohama. We asked him what, in his opinion, would have been the next major move if the war had continued. He replied: ‘You would probably have tried to invade our homeland with a landing operation on Kyushu about November 1. I think the attack would have been made on such and such beaches.’

“‘Could you have repelled this landing?’ we asked, and he answered: ‘It would have been a very desperate fight, but I do not think we could have stopped you.’

“‘What would have happened then?’ we asked.

“He replied: ‘We would have kept on fighting until all Japanese were killed, but we would not have been defeated,’ by which he meant that they would not have been disgraced by surrender.

“It is easy now, after the event, to look back and say that Japan was already a beaten nation, and to ask what therefore was the justification for the use of the atomic bomb to kill so many thousands of helpless Japanese in this inhuman way; furthermore, should we not better have kept it to ourselves as a secret weapon for future use, if necessary? This argument has been advanced often, but it seems to me utterly fallacious.”

The Japanese would rather die than surrender. They proved this in battle after battle.

That’s about the size of it, yeah; as Don goes into later in the piece, if you don’t think so, ask any survivor of the Bataan Death March or the Rape of Nanking about it, if you can find one. Truman knew it too:

Bombing Japan into surrender was the only option. Harry S. Truman considered the bombing to be his biggest achievement as president and rightly so. He had survived as a field artillery officer that meatgrinder we now call World War I.

Truman wrote a letter to Compton in response to that Atlantic article.

The president said, “Your statement in the Atlantic Monthly is a fair analysis of the situation except that the final decision had to be made by the President, and was made after a complete survey of the whole situation had been made. The conclusions reached were substantially those set out in your article.

“The Japanese were given fair warning, and were offered the terms which they finally accepted, well in advance of the dropping of the bomb. I imagine the bomb caused them to accept the terms.”

The only reason we did not drop three bombs is that we did not have a third one.

We do now.

Heh. Yep. Roger Kimball says it wasn’t only American lives that were saved.

The atomic bomb saved Japanese lives, too
The choices we face are often not between good and bad but between bad and worse

Something else that has contributed to the fraught atmosphere is the war in Ukraine. After all, one side in that conflict, Russia, controls the world’s largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, more than 6,000 warheads. My friend Roger L. Simon is right: atomic weapons are “as close or closer to being used today than ever since World War Two because of the endless war in Ukraine.”

That is a sobering thought.To his succeeding questions “Was this worth doing? Was it moral to build such an extreme weapon?” I would answer “yes” and “yes.” I also, by the way, support our use of this most horrible weapon in Japan. Why? Because its use at Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended World War Two. In so doing, it saved hundreds of thousands of American lives. Data point: the military is still using the huge supply of Purple Hearts it manufactured in anticipation of an invasion of the Japanese home islands.

But put the number of American lives saved to one side. The use of the bomb, by ending the war, also saved millions of Japanese lives.

This was widely understood at the time. In subsequent years, however, a new, mostly left-wing, narrative has grown up which faults President Truman for using the bomb. Today, as Oliver Kamm noted in the Guardian, “Hiroshima” and “Nagasaki” are often used as a shorthand terms for war crimes.

That is not how they were judged at the time. Our side did terrible things to avoid a more terrible outcome. The bomb was a deliverance for American troops, for prisoners and slave laborers, for those dying of hunger and maltreatment throughout the Japanese empire — and for Japan itself. One of Japan’s highest wartime officials, Kido Koichi, later testified that in his view the August surrender prevented 20 million Japanese casualties. The destruction of two cities, and the suffering it caused for decades afterwards, cannot but temper our view of the Pacific war. Yet we can conclude with a high degree of probability that abjuring the bomb would have caused greater suffering still.

What is the essence, the core, of conservative wisdom? One part is that when it comes to the real world, the choices we face are often not between good and bad but between bad and worse. This is particularly true in times of war. A difficult lesson. But crucial for those who wish to do good as well emit good-sounding slogans.

Of course, for the Left there is no sincere regard for numbers of lives lost or saved; by their facile, jejune calculus, they don’t really care about such mundanities at all. No, what chaps modern-day shitlib asses the hardest is that American won.

SIDE NOTE: my post title was hijacked from WRSA.

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Johnny Shiloh

What an amazing story.

In May of 1861, 9 year old John Lincoln “Johnny” Clem ran away from his home in Newark, Ohio, to join the Union Army, but found the Army was not interested in signing on a 9 year old boy when the commander of the 3rd Ohio Regiment told him he “wasn’t enlisting infants,” and turned him down.

Clem tried the 22nd Michigan Regiment next, and its commander told him the same. Determined, Clem tagged after the regiment, acted out the role of a drummer boy, and was allowed to remain. Though still not regularly enrolled, he performed camp duties and received a soldier’s pay of $13 a month, a sum collected and donated by the regiment’s officers.

The next April, at Shiloh, Clem’s drum was smashed by an artillery round and he became a minor news item as “Johnny Shiloh, The Smallest Drummer”.

A year later, at the Battle Of Chickamauga, he rode an artillery caisson to the front and wielded a musket trimmed to his size. In one of the Union retreats a Confederate officer ran after the cannon Clem rode with, and yelled, “Surrender you damned little Yankee!” Johnny shot him dead. This pluck won for Clem national attention and the name “Drummer Boy of Chickamauga.”

Clem stayed with the Army through the war, served as a courier, and was wounded twice. Between Shiloh and Chickamauga he was regularly enrolled in the service, began receiving his own pay, and was soon-after promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

He was only 12 years old. After the Civil War he tried to enter West Point but was turned down because of his slim education.

A personal appeal to President Ulysses S. Grant, his commanding general at Shiloh, won him a 2nd Lieutenant’s appointment in the Regular Army on 18 December 1871, and in 1903 he attained the rank of Colonel and served as Assistant Quartermaster General.

He retired from the Army as a Major General in 1916, having served an astounding 55 years. General Clem died in San Antonio, Texas on 13 May 1937, exactly 3 months shy of his 86th birthday, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Back in the long-ago days when Disney was still in the family-entertainment business—well before they’d lost their way and veered wildly off into Blasting The Squares with child-grooming and the lionization of mentally-disturbed freaks—they did a made-for-TV movie about John Clem. I believe there’s a DVD available out there, don’t know whether Amazon has it it not. The bare biographical facts:

John Lincoln Clem (nicknamed Johnny Shiloh; August 13, 1851 – May 13, 1937) was an American general officer who served as a drummer boy in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He gained fame for his bravery on the battlefield, becoming the youngest noncommissioned officer in the history of the United States Army.

He retired from the Army in 1915, having attained the rank of brigadier general in the Quartermaster Corps; he was at that time the last veteran of the American Civil War still on duty in the United States Armed Forces, although others similarly aged and experienced such as Peter Conover Hains and Albert A. Michelson rejoined the military after World War I started.

By special act of Congress on August 29, 1916, he was promoted to major general one year after his retirement.

A most remarkable saga of perseverance, gumption, and sheer force of will, I must say.

Greatest meme EVAR?

I know I’ve said that several times before, but this one just might top them all to permanently retire the crown.

FokkerVsFucker

Heh. Fuckers.

Update! I knew of Bader from all the Battle of Britain histories and historical fiction I’ve read over lo, these many years, but went poking around for more info on him. And BOY, did I ever find it. To wit (bold mine throughout):

Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader, CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, DL, FRAeS (/ˈbɑːdər/; 21 February 1910 – 5 September 1982) was a Royal Air Force flying ace during the Second World War. He was credited with 22 aerial victories, four shared victories, six probables, one shared probable and 11 enemy aircraft damaged.

Bader joined the RAF in 1928, and was commissioned in 1930. In December 1931, while attempting some aerobatics, he crashed and lost both his legs. Having been on the brink of death, he recovered, retook flight training, passed his check flights and then requested reactivation as a pilot. Although there were no regulations applicable to his situation, he was retired against his will on medical grounds.

After the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, however, Douglas Bader returned to the RAF and was accepted as a pilot. He scored his first victories over Dunkirk during the Battle of France in 1940. He then took part in the Battle of Britain and became a friend and supporter of Air Vice Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory and his “Big Wing” experiments.

In August 1941, Bader baled out over German-occupied France and was captured. Soon afterward, he met and was befriended by Adolf Galland, a prominent German fighter ace. Despite his disability, Bader made a number of escape attempts and was eventually sent to the prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle. He remained there until April 1945 when the camp was liberated by the First United States Army.

Bader left the RAF permanently in February 1946 and resumed his career in the oil industry. During the 1950s, a book and a film, Reach for the Sky, chronicled his life and RAF career to the end of the Second World War. Bader campaigned for disabled people and in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 1976 was appointed a Knight Bachelor “for services to disabled people”. He continued to fly until ill health forced him to stop in 1979. Bader died, aged 72, on 5 September 1982, after a heart attack.

A truly remarkable man, no? His legs were amputated after that ill-advised aerobatics attempt, one BTK (ie, Below The Knee) and one ATK (Above etc), in amputee jargon (mine was ATK, just so’s ya know). Baden was flying a Bristol Bulldog, a single-seat, unequal-wingspan (ie, lower wing shorter in length than the upper) biplane of some renown and excellent reputation at the time. His logbook entry after the crash was a true masterpiece of dry, laconic, British stiff-upper-lip understatement:

Crashed slow-rolling near ground. Bad show.

— Douglas Bader

In 1932, after a long convalescence, throughout which he needed morphine for pain relief, Bader was transferred to the hospital at RAF Uxbridge and fought hard to regain his former abilities after he was given a new pair of artificial legs. In time, his agonising and determined efforts paid off, and he was able to drive a specially modified car, play golf, and even dance.

Daring, dauntless, utterly without fear and indomitable, Sir Douglas Bader was outstanding even amongst an entire generation of real, true men; clearly, the words “quit” or “give up” simply were no part of his vocabulary. We shan’t see his like again, to our incalculable cost. Lots more great, great stuff at the link, of which you should damned-skippy read the all.

Ironically enough update! As it happens, Leigh-Mallory and Bader’s “Big Wing” theory, along with the resultant political battles with Air Vice-Marshall Keith Park, was recounted in great depth in one of those historical-fiction novels I’ve always been so fond of, namely Vol 2 of John Rhodes’ gripping Breaking Point series (highly recommended, if you’re into that sort of thing at all). “Big Wing,” while still controversial, was nonetheless pretty much a disaster.

After the Battle of Britain Leigh-Mallory never really had a chance to use the Big Wing defensively again, and it quickly mutated from a defensive to an offensive formation—Bader would eventually lead one of these new wings on massive fighter sweeps over France. To this day there is debate over the effectiveness of the “Big Wing” as it was used during the Battle. Although Leigh-Mallory and Bader argued it was a great success, post-war analysis suggests the actual number of German aircraft shot down by the wing was probably a fraction of those claimed (the claims for the Big Wing were never credible even at the time. On 15 September 1940, the Big Wing was scrambled twice against incoming raids and claimed 52 kills, eight probables and others damaged. (German records showed that six aircraft were lost). Some senior officers like Leigh-Mallory and Sholto Douglas wanted to believe these claims so that they could use the Big Wing as a political tool against Dowding. This would seem to support the idea that, for a “Big Wing”, there were “not enough enemy to go around”; the Wing had too high a concentration of aircraft in the same air space looking for targets.

It could be argued that 12 Group had more time to get fighters into position but even then it failed to do so. When 11 Group was stretched to its limits and required support, due to the delay imposed by 12 Group, 11 Group airfields were left undefended. This was due not only to time wasted in forming up the Big Wing but also due to 12 Group commanders not following 11 Group’s instructions and thus arriving in the wrong place. Not only did 12 Group fail to support 11 Group, they left their own airfields undefended; a large portion of UK airspace was left undefended while Leigh-Mallory and Bader tested their Big Wing theory. The time taken to form a Big Wing also wasted fuel and combined with the limited range of the fighters, reduced time over the combat zone. When 10 Group was asked to provide cover for 11 Group in similar circumstances, it was provided and 11 Group airfields defended.

Casualties for the “Big Wing” were significantly lower than in the smaller formations—suggesting that they did indeed benefit from protection in numbers. The “Big Wing” invariably joined combat with the enemy over Northern London, where the German fighter escort was at the very limit of its range and effectiveness. Consequently, the Big Wing also made very few interceptions, and as a result lower casualties would be expected on both sides. Park’s tactics (which had included the occasional use of two- and three-squadron wings) were correct for the conditions he had to fight under. The most powerful argument against the Big Wing in the Battle of Britain is that without a clear idea of a target as a raid assembled over France, it was impossible for the Big Wing to get airborne and form up in time to meet it.

Not all of the problems with “Big Wing” can be attributed to the concept itself; as always, the 7P Rule (Proper Previous Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance) axiom comes into play. That, in concert with the unavoidable influence of Murphy’s Law and the proverbial “fog of war,” all had their own part in things, also.

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