Skip to comments.Al Jaffe, WWII hero who inspired movie role, dies in South Florida
Posted on 09/02/2012 5:26:13 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets
Al Jaffe was a scrappy, streetwise Jewish kid from the Bronx who climbed into a P-51 Mustang fighter plane in the last year of World War II and flew it into history.
Second Lt. Abraham Al Jaffe completed 77 reconnaissance missions in Europe, including one that helped turn the tide of the war during the pivotal Battle of the Bulge.
He was also involved in holding the bridge at Remagen, Germany, enabling U.S. troops to cross the Rhine River two months before the war ended.
His exploits inspired Henry Fondas character, Lt. Col. Daniel Kiley, in the 1965 feature film Battle of the Bulge and earned Jaffe 17 medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the nations third highest combat decoration.
(Excerpt) Read more at miamiherald.com ...
Who needs the medals? Jaffe later said. I was just trying to stay alive.
Someone who is just trying to stay alive doesn't volunteer for suicide missions.
RIP Lt. Jaffe
I loved his Mad Fold Ins
Was that the same “Al Jaffee?”
It appears it was a different “Al” that did the Mad Magazine artwork.
WOW. With no forward looking radar or GPS, seat of the pants pilots.
As Jaffe described it, because of the fog and mountains, the only place he could fly was under Cassadys plane.
I could count the rivets in his plane, he recalled. If he went higher, hed be in the clouds. If he went lower. hed push me into the ground...He was going to take pictures to show that the tanks are there.
About the only things historically accurate about that film were that there was a World War II and there was a Battle of the Bulge.
It was a cringe inducingly bad film, especially in terms of historical accuracy. It’s obvious the obituary writer knows less than nothing about World War II, or the Bronx or the financial industry, but she gets the tone right.
The P-51 seems like a particularly poor platform for low level ground reconnaissance, it flies too fast, has poor ground visibility and there are more rugged alternatives. Patton’s *Third* Army intelligence was sure that the Germans were going to stage a winter offensive, possibly in the Ardennes, but that was counter to the happy group think going on in SHAPE Headquarters, so it was disregarded. In the event, Eisenhower’s first thought at the start of the offensive was that the Germans were presenting him a tremendous opportunity to destroy their Army on the road instead of having to dig them out of defensive positions. The Ardennes Offensive shortened the War to our advantage, but Hitler was right to gamble, the alternative was a slow and inevitable defeat.
``Who needs the medals? Jaffe later said. I was just trying to stay alive..... Thank God such men live....
-Good story Lonesome- thanks
Way back when, there was a term known as FARRT Flying. Which stood for Fly Along Railroad Tracks.
IFR I Follow the Road
plus the big belly radiator and any liquid cooled engine were more vulnerable to small arms and light FLAK.
How does that FARRT flying work out flying in fog when you hit (literally) a rail road tunnel? I suppose surveillance of rail lines was important, but I would think an armored attack would be on the road.
German railroads did not operate during the day by that time in the War because P-47’s made sport of shooting up locomotives. That’s really what won the war, the German economy collapsed because the railroads shut down due to lack of locomotives and the few that survived could only run at night.
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