Saturday, October 16, 2010

Remembering Too Many Good Men

When I was a kid World War II began. My pals and I played war games with a battered old officer's hat and sticks for rifles. There was no television or other instant communications with the war. Information was filtered and then passed to us by radio and the newspapers.  We tracked the war with Edward R. Murrow, Ernie Pyle, Bill Mauldin, Life Magazine, and the Movietone News. You know, the film strip that showed just after the serial and before the movie. Then one of the gang was given a silver First Lieutenant's bar and we thereafter always had a Colonel and a 1st Looie.

A couple of years in, probably 1940 or 41, most of the guys graduated to Red Ryder's Daisy BB guns. We set up targets. We drew pictures of the nation's enemies and then we shot'em to pieces. The air war particularly excited all of us. The heroic planes and pilots were idolized. In school, most of the guys spent the day looking out the window for an airplane passing by. We just knew that if we were first to spot an enemy plane we could be a hero too.

The war was not a "police action" and our fighting men were not "political advisers". Everyone around us was involved. There were Liberty Bonds, Victory Gardens, and USO dances down near the train station. Parents saved grease from the kitchen and turned it in to the local butcher shop. Gasoline was rationed with little A - B - C stickers glued to the windshield. Soldiers were looked up to. If there had been a "high five" in those days, everyone in uniform would have received dozens every day.

It was surely a different world then - and it will never come again.

This video presentation is riveting to anyone remotely interested in the people and machines that fought World War II.  It helps a person understand a flier's love and respect for his aircraft. I recommend this one highly.    Bump

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