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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers the Legend of Y-29 ~ Operation Bodenplatte (1/1/1945) - Jan. 1, 2004
see educational sources

Posted on 01/01/2004 2:20:50 AM PST by snippy_about_it



Lord,

Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.
.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.



...................................................................................... ...........................................

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The Legend of Y-29




Operation Bodenplatte ~ New Years Day 1945


January 1, 1945, The German Luftwaffe launches Operation Bodenplatte, a last desperate attempt to break loose the Ardennes Offensive that had been halted at Bastogne. Approximately 800 German fighters are sent to attack 15 allied forward air bases. At some bases the Luftwaffe attack is devastating, destroying aircraft and rendering airstrips useless. At other fields only a few fighters found their targets and damage was minimal. But at Asch the result was unlike anything the Luftwaffe had imagined.

The attack on the Asch airbase, known as Y-29, was a total disaster. When the 11th Jagdgeschwader reached Y-29 they found 8 Thunderbolts of the 390th Fighter Squad, 366 Fighter Group circling the field and 12 Mustangs of the 487th Fighter Squad, 352nd Fighter Group just taking off. The ensuing battle came to be know as the "Legend of Y-29". This battle was only one of many battles that took place on new years day 1945. But in no other battle did one unit distinguish itself so well from such a disadvantage. For their courage and performance in the face of overwhelming odds, the 487th earned the only Distinguished Unit Citation given to a fighter squadron in the Northwestern European Theater of Operation.



On January 1st, 1945 the airfield at Asch Belgium (known as Y-29) was the home of the 366th Fighter Group of the 9th Tactical Air Force and the 352nd Fighter Group temporarily on loan to the 9th from the 8th Air Force. The 352nd had been moved to Asch on December 23rd 1944 in response to the heavy activity of the Luftwaffe in support of the German Ardennes Offensive. The plan was for the 352nd's Mustangs to fly fighter sweeps to clear the enemy from the sky and provide top cover for the Thunderbolts attacking ground targets. These roles provided a bit of irony during the battle over Asch.

Asch airfield was a new and unpleasant experience for the pilots of the 352nd. Used to their home base in Bodney England, they were un-prepared for the primitive conditions at Asch. Tents heated by oil stoves provided the only shelter from the frigid Belgium winter and baths were taken either from a bucket or at a near by minors camp. A single tent served as the HQ, operations, briefing room, intelligence and supply.



Tragedy struck the 352nd on their second day at Asch, Christmas day 1944, when an American anti-aircraft battery inadvertently shot down Maj. George Preddy. Preddy was the 352nd's leading ace and commander of the 328th Fighter Squadron. While perusing a FW-190 at tree top-level Preddy was hit by the anti-aircraft battery when it opened fire on the 190. They undershot and Preddy's P51 was hit with 2 .50 cal rounds. Mortally wounded, Preddy crashed into an open field.


Maj. George Preddy


The group rebounded from the primitive conditions at Asch and the loss of George Preddy in action over Bonn on the 27th of December. The 352nd engaged a large formation of German fighters claiming 22 enemy aircraft while sustaining no losses. The 352nd was taking out its misfortunes on the German Luftwaffe! This was a trend that was to continue.

On December 31st 1945, the 352nd received its orders for the 1st day of the New Year. They were to provide escort for 8th Air Force Bombers on a mission to bomb targets near Berlin. Lt. Col John Meyer, commander of the 487th Fighter Squadron was disappointed with this assignment. He believed that the Germans may try to catch the allies still asleep and hung over from new years celebrations and requested that the 487th be allowed to fly a patrol early in the morning. Command reluctantly agreed on the condition that the 352nd be able to field a full group of 36 fighters for the escort mission.




The 366th also had received their orders for the New Year. The 391st was to leave early in the morning to attack German armor at Ondenval. Two flights of the 390th were also scheduled to take off slightly later in the morning with the same objective. Thus it was that 8 P47's of the 366th would be circling over Asch, and 12 P51's of the 487th would be on the flight line as the Luftwaffe approached.




The Luftwaffe units assigned to attack Asch were the I, II, & III Gruppen of Jagdgeschwader 11, Commanded by Oberstleutnant Gunther Specht, leader of the entire Geschwader. The 3 Gruppen of JG11 were stationed at Darmstadt-Griesheim, Gross-Ostheim and Zellhausen all southwest of Frankfort. 65 FW190's and Me109's of the three gruppen of JG11 took off from their respective bases just before 8:30am and formed up over Aschaffenburg, Joining with two Ju188 pathfinders and headed for Asch. Radio silence and low altitude were the order of the day.

So secret was Operation Bodenplatte that the Germans own ground forces were not notified of the large formations of German fighters that would be flying overhead. This resulted in at least one casualty for the JG11 as they were assaulted by friendly fire on their way to Asch. Credit must be given to the German pilots for not breaking radio silence to call off the ground fire. On the return trip several more JG11 and many other German fighters fell to friendly fire before the German guns could be called off.



As the JG11 approached Asch, 8 P47's of the 390th were just forming up over Asch to head out over the Ardennes in search of German armor. As the 390th finished forming up they spotted flak bursts over the Ophoven field. At this same moment Lt Col. John Meyer was just beginning to roll down the runway. He also saw the flak bursts and radioed the tower to inquire; the tower had nothing to report. Heading for Ophoven to investigate, the 390th was surprised to see a large formation of FW190's and Me109's approaching Asch from the northeast at 1500 ft.




The 8 P47's of the 390th jettisoned their bombs and external tanks and attacked, causing confusion among the German attackers and breaking up the formation. This turned out to be a key blow to the JG11, without which the mustangs of the 487th may not have so easily taken to the air. The 390th claimed 7 enemy aircraft in this attack taking a loss of only one.

Meanwhile Meyer was lifting off with the rest of the 487th behind him. As he rose from the runway he found himself faced with the oncoming JG11. With a full load of fuel in his fuselage tank, making low altitude maneuvering difficult, and gear still retracting he fired at an oncoming FW190 scoring hits and sending the enemy aircraft crashing into the field. Meyer went on to claim a second Fw190 before the battle was over.

The battle over Asch went on for 30 minutes. 11 pilots of the 487th claimed 23 victories while sustaining no losses, and just three aircraft damaged in the air. I will leave the adventures of each pilot to be told by them through their personal combat logs and memoirs.




The 390th and 487th defended the airbase at Asch so well that only one Mustang was damaged on the ground and no casualties were reported. The actions of the 487th in taking off under fire and performing so well at such a disadvantage earned the unit the only Distinguished Unit Citation given to a fighter squadron in the Northwestern European theater of operation.




The total estimated losses of the JG11 range from 24 to 40. Given the credited victories of the 487th (23), 390th (7), 391st (2), and ground gunners (7) along with at least one aircraft destroyed by friendly flak in route, the number of 40 seems to hold up. However, there was undoubtedly some double counting of victories claimed and some victories that were not confirmed. But more Important then the numbers was the loss of experienced Luftwaffe leaders and pilots. None of JG11's flight leaders returned from this mission.




An instant after rotating, Lt.Colonel John C. Meyer is seconds away from his first kill of New Year’s Day, 1945, as he readies for a head-on encounter with an incoming FW-190. Meyer, with his foresight and ability to anticipate the enemy’s next move, lead the 487th FS of the 352nd FG to a decisive victory over JG 11 at Asch, Belgium, that day. JG 11 was taking part in "Operation Bodenplatte". Which was a surprise attack by all available Luftwaffe fighter units against allied air bases on the European continent.



The 352nd FG was scheduled to fly a bomber escort mission on New Year’s Day. The night before, Lt. Colonel John C. Meyer asked for permission to fly a local patrol along the front before the escort mission to clear the air of any enemy planes that were in the vicinity. He was first denied his request, but was later granted permission. Twelve planes of the 487th FS were readied for the early morning mission. JC, leading the Squadron, took off into the first wave of enemy fighters. Despite the fact that the airfield was under attack all 12 blue nosed Mustangs made it off the ground safely. Meyer's hunch had paid off.

After scoring his first victory of the day in "Petie 3rd" HO-M, Meyer latched on to a second Focke Wulf fighter and chased it all the way to Leige before shooting it down. His performance in the "Legend of Y-29" battle earned him his third Distinguished Service Cross.




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TOPICS: VetsCoR
KEYWORDS: 352ndfg; 487thfs; asch; belgium; bluenosers; bodenplatte; freeperfoxhole; samsdayoff; veterans; y29
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A few of the Pilots




Pilot: Lt. Col. John C. Meyer,Deputy Commander 352nd FG.
Aircraft: P-51d HO-M "Petie 3rd"
Y-29 Victories: 2
WWII Victories: 24
Final WWII Rank: Lt. Col
Decorations:
Distinguished Service Cross with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters.
Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.
Purple Heart.
Croix De Guerre.
Distinguished Unit Citation (487th Fighter Squadron).

January 1, 1945 Combat Log:

Immediately upon getting my wheels up I spotted 15 plus 190s headed toward the field from the east. I attacked one getting a two second burst at 300 yards, 30 degree deflection, getting good hits on the fuselage and wing roots. The E/A half-rolled, crashing into the ground. I then selected another 190 chasing it to the vicinity of northwest of Liege. On my first attack I got good hits at 10 degrees 250 yards. The E/A half-rolled and recovered just on top of the trees. I attacked but periodically had to break off because of intense friendly ground fire. At least on three occasions, I got goods hits on the 190, and on the last attack the E/A started smoking profusely and then crashed into the ground. Out of ammunition, I returned to the field, but could not land as the field was under attack. I proceeded west and was bounced twice by 109's and was able to evade by diving and speed....


Lt. Col. Meyer's "Petie 2nd".






Pilot: Capt. Alex F. Sears
Aircraft: P-51d HO-E "The Sheepherder"
Y-29 Victories:1
WWII Victories: 5
Final WWII Rank: Capt.
Decorations:
Distinguished Unit Citation (487th Fighter Squadron)

January 1, 1945 Combat Log:

"I was flying white 2 on Colonel Meyer's wing. We had just taken off when we were bounced by forty or fifty Me109's and FW190's. One Me109 came at me head-on and we made several passes at each other, both of us firing. On the third pass I got some strikes on his engine and shot part of the tail section away. He started burning and went into a lazy spiral and crashed. I claim one Me109 destroyed.




Pilot: Capt. William Whisner
Aircraft: P-51d HO-W "Moonbeam McSwine"
Y-29 Victories: 4
WWII Victories: 15.5
Final WWII Rank: Capt.
Decorations:
Distinguished Service Cross with Oak Leaf Clusters
Silver Star
Distinguished Flying Cross
Distinguished Unit Citation (487th Fighter Squadron)

January 1, 1945 Combat Log:

I was leading Red Flight. As we were taxiing out to the strip I saw some air activity east of the airfield. The squadron consisting of three four-ship flights, was taking off singly. As I started down the strip, Colonel Meyer called the Controller and inquired about bandits in the vic. As I pulled my wheels up, the Controller reported that there were bandits east of the field. We didn't take time to form up, but set course, wide-open, straight for the bandits. There were a few P47s mixing it up with the bandits as I arrived. I ran into about thirty 190s at 1,500 feet. There were many 109s above them. I picked out a 190 and pressed the trigger. Nothing happened. I reached down and turned on my gun switch and gave him a couple of good bursts.

As I watched him hit the ground and explode, I felt myself being hit. I broke sharply to the right, and up. A 190 was about 50 yards behind me, firing away. As I was turning with him, another 51 attacked him and he broke off his attack on me. I then saw that I had several 20 mm holes in each wing, and another hit in my oil tank. My left aileron control was also out, I was losing oil, but my pressure and temperature were steady.



Being over friendly territory I could see no reason for landing immediately so turned towards a big dogfight and shortly had another 190 in my sights. After hitting him several times, he attempted to bale out, but I gave him a burst as he raised up, and he went in with his plane, which exploded and burned. There were several 109s in the vic so I engaged one of them. We fought for five or ten minutes, and I finally managed to get behind him. I hit him good and the pilot baled out at 200 feet. I clobbered him as he baled out and he tumbled into the ground.

At this time I saw 15 or 20 fires from crashed planes. Bandits were reported strafing the field, so I headed for the strip. I saw a 109 strafe the NE corner of the strip. I started after him and he turned into me. We made two head-on passes, and on the second I hit him on the nose and wings. He crashed and burned east of the strip. I chased several more bandits but they evaded in the clouds. I had oil on my windscreen and canopy so came back to the strip and landed.

All of the e/a were very aggressive, and extremely good pilots. I am very happy that we were able to shoot down 23 with a loss of none. We were outnumbered 5 to 1 with full fuselage tanks. The P-47's on this field did a fine job, and helped us considerably. The co-operation among our fighters was extremely good and we did the job as a team.

Claim: two Me109's destroyed, two FW190's destroyed.





Pilot: Capt. Raymond H. Littge
Aircraft: P-51d HO-M "Miss Helen"
Y-29 victories: 2
Total victories: 10.5





Pilot: Capt. Henry M. Stewart
Aircraft: P-51d HO-P "The Margarets"
Y-29 victories: 3
Total victories: 4





Pilot: Capt. Sanford Moats
Aircraft: P-51d HO-K "Kay III"
Y-29 victories: 4
Total victories: 8.5





Pilot: Lt. Dean Huston
Aircraft: P-51d HO-L "The Hawk-Eye-Owen"
Y-29 victories: 1
Total victories: 2





Pilot: Lt. Col. William T. Halton
Aircraft: P-51d HO-T "Slender, Tender & Tall"
Y-29 victories: 1
Total victories: 10.5





Pilot: Lt. Walter G. Diamond
Aircraft: P-51d HO-D "Twyla Sue"
Y-29 victories: 1
Total victories: 1





Pilot: Lt. Nelson R. Jessup
Aircraft: P-51d HO-J "Peanuts"
Y-29 victories: 1
Total victories: 3





Pilot: Lt. William C. Miller
Aircraft: P-51d HO-S "Sweet Fern"
Y-29 victories: 0
Total victories: 2





Today's Educational Sources and suggestions for further reading:

http://352ndfg.com/Home/Y-29/main.htm
1 posted on 01/01/2004 2:20:51 AM PST by snippy_about_it
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To: All


Pilot: Lt. Alden P. Rigby
Aircraft: P-51d HO-R "Eleen & Jerry"
Y-29 Victories: 4
WWII Victories: 6
Final WWII Rank: 1st Lt.
Post WWII Service: 3 years active duty during the Korean conflict with the 33rd Air Division in the Air Defense Command. 25 years with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), Retired 1979. 25 years in the Utah Air National Guard, Retired in 1979 at the rank of Major. Decorations:
Silver Star
Air Medal with 7 oak leaf clusters.
Distinguished Unit Citation (487th Fighter Sqdn.)

Few of us were up and about, to even learn of a long escort mission to Berlin, scheduled for later in the day. I had gone to the briefing tent and learned from Col. Meyers that he had requested a short patrol mission before the Berlin run. Huston and I were requested to find a few more sober pilots, just in case. At about 9AM the fog and haze had thinned to a point of being able to see the trees at the end of the runway to the east. General Queseda had just given the ok for a short mission, using only part of our planes. Start engines at 9:00, take-off at 9:20, and be back on the ground at 10: 15. This would give us time to refuel, and meet the bombers overhead at noon.

A few P-47 pilots from across the field were given the same instructions. The briefing was the bare essentials, since we did not expect more than a look at the "bulge." Col. Meyers would lead the 12 planes, and I would be in his flight, as "white 4." This was New Year's Day, and we had not seen the "Hun" aircraft for 2 days. The German pilots could be celebrating a little also, WRONG!!!! Little did we know of their plans for exactly 9:20AM at Asch, and 15 other Allied bases.



I kicked the tires, and climbed aboard at 9:00. The plane had been warmed up, and the tanks -topped off. The cock-pit was warm, and I was ready for a comfortable ride, as I rolled into position behind the Col. The P-47s had taken off a few minutes earlier, and headed straight for the front lines below the clouds. We had just gotten the green light from the makeshift tower, when we noticed bursts of flak just East of the field.

Surprise, and even shock would be an understatement. We next saw what looked like at least 50 German fighter aircraft about to make their first pass on our field. We could not have been in a worse position, unless loaded with external fuel (or bombs). We were sitting ducks, and our chances were slim and none. It was not a difficult decision to take off, since that was the slim chance. The next 30 minutes were filled with action and anxiety, that perhaps had not been seen, or felt before or since. I had turned on my gun heater switch earlier, and now had the presence of mind (and prompting) to turn the main switch on.

The take-off roll was very close, rapid, and somewhat organized. We did not wait for help from the tower, or our own departure Control Officer. We just went. I am certain there were a few short prayers to just get off the ground. I had my own sort of set prayer, consisting of 6 words that had been used many times. Being caught on the ground was simply a fighter pilot's nightmare. We had made the situation even worse by having our fuselage tanks filled.

This would make a big difference in our maneuverability, until about 50 gallons could be burned off. This would be my first take-off ever with the gun sight illuminated on the windshield. Things were happening too fast to even be afraid, that could come later. There was no training to cover such a situation, instinct simply had to take over, and it would have to be an individual effort.



Getting off the ground was extremely difficult. I was fighting Meyers prop wash, so I had to keep the plane on the steel mat a little longer to establish better control. It was of some comfort to just get airborne. Our ground gunners were firing a lot of shells at the enemy, and in all of the confusion, were firing at us as well. This would have been their first test in anything near such conditions, so they were not hitting anyone, but it was a little disturbing.

My landing gear had just snapped into the up position, when I opened fire on an FW-190 which was on Littge's tail. I told him on the radio to "break left", this put the 190 right in my sight. I could see strikes from the tail up through the nose. The plane rolled over from about 300 ft., and went straight in. I then picked out another FW- 190 headed east. It appeared that he was headed for "the Fatherland." I dropped down on his tail and opened fire at a greater distance than was necessary, since I had the speed advantage.




During the chase my gun sight failed. The bulb had burned out, and I did not have the time to change it, even had I known where the spare was. I expended even more ammunition before enough hits brought the smoke and crash in the trees. I was now in very difficult position, no gun sight, low on ammunition, and high on fuel. I had my tracers loaded to show only when I had fired down to 300 rounds. I was now into that short supply, with still a lot of fighting to be done. I knew that mine would have to be at very close range without the sight.

There did not seem to be any over-excitement, or even caution. It was not just another day at the office, but more of a day that all of the training had led up to. The odds were getting better with each minute. And I did have reason to be even a little optimistic. Considering getting off the ground in the first place, and being over friendly territory was much more than could be hoped for a few minutes earlier. The friendly territory added another dimension, since bailing out (if necessary) meant friends on the ground for a change.

I did not have any trouble finding the field after the lengthy chase on the 2nd 190. The flak was still there, though not nearly as heavy, and I could see at least 2 dogfights. I could see a few fires on the ground, and wondered if any could be "ours?" I could see a P-47 in a turn with an ME- 109 at about 1000 ft. I knew that the "Jug" could not turn with the German at the low altitude, which left me with a bit of a problem.




I really needed what ammo I had left for self-preservation, but when the 109 had the advantage, I did not have a choice. As the P-47 mushed to the outside, I came up from beneath, and- from very close range fired enough rounds to see hits on the left wing, through the cock-pit, and right wing. The 109 went in from about 500 ft. Before joining the fight, I reasoned that only I would know of my ammo shortage, and gun sight problem. I thought perhaps sheer numbers would count for something. The fuselage tank would now permit reasonable maneuverability near the ground, and I would very soon need that. I knew that I Was now down to what could be my last burst, even if all 6 guns were working.

My last fight was with the best German pilot I had seen at any time. He could well have been their Group Commander. I would be the 2nd or 3rd P-51 pilot to try for a reasonable shot. He put the 109 through maneuvers that had us mostly watching, i.e. a "split-S" from about 1000 ft. I recall seeing the aircraft shudder, then pull wing tip streamers as his prop wash shook the treetops. He was then back in the fight and very aggressive. I was glad to have another P-51 in the vicinity, since my firepower could only be a bluff as far as I knew. I recall being very impressed by the way the 109 was being flown, and hoped that I could in some way get in a reasonable firing position. I knew that I would only have one chance, (if any) because of his ability, and my limited ammo.

After about 5 minutes, I did not see any more firing from the German. It could have been that his situation was as bad as mine. His maneuvers now seemed to be on the defensive side. It was what seemed like 10 minutes, (but was probably less) before the other P-51 turned the 109 in my direction, where he turned broad side to me from something less that 30-40 yards. It was close enough for me to see the pilot clearly, and what proved to be the last of my ammunition score a few hits on the left wing, the engine, and then shatter the canopy and cock- pit. I had again guessed right for the very close proximity, high deflection angle firing without the gun sight. Some might think in terms of being "lucky." That could well have been, but I am convinced of other factors being involved (help from above for one).

The fight was over, as well as any other that I could see anywhere near the field. I now had time to think, and wonder about what had happened. How had we been able to get airborne? What had happened to the field, and would it be suitable for landing? This would not be a problem, since I still had plenty of fuel to find a field on the Continent, or even get back to England. How many of our planes did not get off the ground? How many of ours lost in the air, or on the ground? What had happened to my gun sight, and could I have done much more with it? I was not happy about wasting so much time and ammo on the 2nd FW- 190.

I was not at all anxious to land, though I knew the fighting had to be over. I would take my chances without ammo in the air rather than be in any hurry to get back on the ground at Y-29, or any field to the west. I could see several fires burning near the field, and what looked like 2 or 3 on the field, but the runway looked good. I could see the rows of P-51's and P-47's, and could not believe the field could have gotten by with so little visible damage.

My fuselage tank was down to fighting weight, and the fight was over. Flying around the area at about 2,000 ft. with more airspeed than usual was a great feeling. I had not been able to use this much speed since chasing the 2nd FW-190. I also had the time and judgment to check to the rear, which I had not done much of before.

Things had happened so fast, and as far as I knew gone so well, that I was getting curious about what the others had been doing. I could see 3 other P-51's in the area, but did not join up. A check with the tower was not all that re-assuring about the condition of the field. After about 15 minutes of looking things over, I decided it would be safe to get back on the ground. I had clearance to land, and would follow the P-51 on what was to be his break on the 360-degree overhead pattern. Instead, he came in on the deck and pulled up in the frequently done victory roll over the runway, with a few flak bursts following him. The ground gunners were still on edge. I had thought of giving the ground troops a little thrill also, but suddenly changed my mind. They had probably had enough for one day anyway. The frost had melted on the steel mats, and the landing was a bit slippery. I was just happy to be back where it all started in one piece.

Landing to the west left only a short taxi to my parking place, and the foxhole used some during this mission by the crew. As I cut the engine, there was some emotion that I had not given any thought to. Sgt. Gillette knew something of what had happened, but of course did not know the numbers, my gun sight problem, or my ammo predicament. He was almost in tears as I made my account to him. I assured him that it was most probable that I had done better without the sight, because of the low altitude, and very close range. We had always had a close relationship, but the events of this day, and our visible emotions about what had happened, left us with even more common bond.



It was almost unbelievable that we had not lost any aircraft, or that damage on the ground was mini- mal. The only injury was almost humorous, a sprained ankle for Lt. Doleac, as he stumbled while running for a foxhole. I do not recall any celebrations. There was a lot of excitement, but nothing that was not rather subdued, or even "matter of fact."

We would be the only base out of 16 airfields attacked that morning to "survive." American and British losses at other bases totaled some 400 aircraft, with some estimates much higher. Some 1200 German planes were involved, departing several airfields, and timed to arrive at their target base at exactly 9:20AM. There could not be any manuals written, or even instructions given to cover the emergency we found ourselves in. At least 2 years of training, and considerable combat experience suggested (demanded) that we get airborne at any price. The timing of our take-off, however risky, had probably saved lives, and certainly saved the near 100-parked aircraft on the field. Another miracle, 9 of us had shot down 23 of the German fighters, without losing a plane or pilot. This encounter has been referred to as "The legend of Y-29." I would also add the word "miracle" in that title.

The Germans had suffered only minor losses, except at Asch, where almost half of the attacking force had been shot down. An ironic twist to the operation came as the Germans were returning to their bases. Their High Command had failed to notify the anti-aircraft unit guarding the well-defended V-2 launching site at Wilhelmshaven of their return route. Their gunners apparently did not know of the big morning operation, and the cloud cover prevented any visual recognition of the many aircraft seen on their radar screens headed toward the site. The officers in charge naturally assumed this to be an Allied raid on their most valuable V-2 rocket target. The very latest German radar guns, with the most experienced gunners opened fire on their own planes. German records revealed that some 140 planes were shot down before the firing could be stopped. Another 30 pilots had bailed out after getting lost, or running out of fuel. A very tragic end following a very successful earlier surprise mission.

I have re-lived that day many times over the years since. It had to be a once in a lifetime experience for any involved. We were in the right place at almost the wrong time. One minute, or even 30 seconds later, and the day would have been a total disaster. I would probably have been history, instead of writing it. Being in take-off position on the runway, we would have been the Germans' first targets.



My 2nd mission of the day was un-eventful, except for a rough engine. My landing was a little fast for the still wet runway. My brakes raised the tail wheel several times while trying to slow the bird down. Turning off the steel mat runway was also "hot", and I came very close to a twin-engine aircraft waiting to take off. I returned a friendly wave, and gave them a "thumbs-up." I learned a few minutes later that the 2 Generals on board were Spaatz and Doolettle. They had come to congratulate us on "the morning action."

The afternoon brought some anxiety as well. At a briefing following the 2nd mission, we were startled by a near-by bomb blast. We were all a little "jumpy", until we saw what had happened. A P-47 had to land with one 500 lb. bomb hanging under his left wing. The rough landing strip shook it loose, and the blast blew the aircraft apart right behind the cock- pit. The thick armor plate behind the seat had limited the pilot's injuries to nerves and scratches. Nerves and perhaps other unusual conditions contributed to another tragic afternoon accident. A flight of 4 British Typhoons, based about 30 miles west of us, were just south of our field when a P-51 from another Sqdn. in our Group mistook the flight for German. A gross error cost a British pilot's life (and plane). I was out over the front lines, some 20 miles to the east when this happened.

I begin the news part of my evening letter to Eleen; "Well darling, it is New Years night, and I may have started the year out right as far as flying and Uncle Sam are concerned. I've had quite a lot of action today, but there isn't much I can say about it right now. I feel that I could write a book about it, but tonight I can't even write a long letter. You might hear, or read about the day's action before this letter arrives. I will give you all of the details later, but for now I share only that I am an Ace." I knew she would know exactly what that meant, since that was the dream of every fighter pilot. I close my letter by telling her, "be real careful honey, and know that you are with me in all that I am doing, today was exciting, right?"

As the war related events of Christmas day were perhaps the kind to be forgotten, those of New Year's Day were to be remembered. Newspaper and other lengthy accounts of the battle were quite authentic, except for some of the loss reports. For our Squadron's part on this day, we were awarded the "Distinguished Unit Citation." We were the only Squadron to receive this award in the 8th AF during WWII. For my part, I was awarded the "Silver Star," the 3rd highest service medal.

Those reading this, and other accounts, should understand that it is impossible to express the feelings, and perhaps a lot of the action as it actually happened. Please understand also, that as an officer, I had made the commitment to fly and fight while defending this Country. I also had my personal reasons for wanting the War over with as soon as possible.


2 posted on 01/01/2004 2:37:30 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: bulldogs; baltodog; Aeronaut; carton253; Matthew Paul; mark502inf; Skylight; The Mayor; ...



FALL IN to the FReeper Foxhole!



Good Thursday Morning Everyone
Happy New Year


If you would like added to our ping list let us know.

3 posted on 01/01/2004 2:41:26 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning Snippy.


4 posted on 01/01/2004 3:48:16 AM PST by Aeronaut (In my humble opinion, the new expression for backing down from a fight should be called 'frenching')
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To: snippy_about_it
On This Day In History


Birthdates which occurred on January 01:
0379 Basilius the Great, of Caesarea, holyman (Moralia)
1387 Charles The Angry One, king of Navarra (1349-87)
1431 Alexander VI [Rodrigo Borgia] Spanish/Italian pope (1492-1503)
1449 Lorenzo de' Medici [The Magnificent] of Florence
1467 Sigismund I the old, king of Poland
1481 Huldrych Zwingli Swiss Protestant reformer
1709 Johann H H Bütz German/Dutch organ builder
1714 Kristijonas Donelaitis Lutheran pastor, Lithuanian poet (The Seas)
1723 Christian Friedrich Gregor composer
1729 Edmund Burke British author/famous Whig (Philosophy & Inquiry, Reflections on the Revolution)
1735 Paul Revere silversmith/US patriot (British are coming)
1745 "Mad" Anthony Wayne General
1752 Elizabeth Griscom (Betsy) Ross flag maker
1819 Arthur Hugh Clough poet, friend of Matthew Arnold
1819 George Foster Shepley Brigadier General (Union volunteers), died in 1878
1827 William Lewis "Old Tige" Cabell Brigadier General (Confederate Army)
1854 Sir James Frazer Britain, anthropologist/author (The Golden Bough)
1863 Baron Pierre de Coubertin France, revived Olympic games
1864 Alfred Stieglitz US photographer-father of modern photography/art dealer (Camera Work)
1879 E[dward] M Forster London England, novelist (Howard's End, Passage to India)
1887 Wilhelm Canaris German admiral/head German military intelligence
1895 J Edgar Hoover Washington DC, Director of US Fedreal Bureau of Investigation
1900 Xavier Cugat [Francisco de Asís Javier Cugat Mingall de Brue y Deulofeo] Tirona Spain, bandleader (married Abbe Lane, Charo)
1905 Melvin Price (Representative-D-IL, 1945- )
1909 Dana Andrews Collins MS, actor (Battle of the Bulge, Laura)
1909 Barry Goldwater (Senator-R-AZ, 1953-65, 69- )/Presidential candidate (R) 1964)
1909 D D Hindlekar cricketer (Indian batsman & wicket-keeper 1936-46)
1911 Hammerin' Hank Greenberg Hall-of-Fame 1st baseman (Detroit Tiger)
1912 Kim Philby British spy/Soviet mole
1912 Victor Reuther Wheeling WV, labor leader
1919 J[erome] D[avid] Salinger New York City, NY, novelist (Catcher in the Rye)
1922 Ernest F Hollings (Senator-D-SC, 1966- )
1923 Milton Jackson US, vibraphonist (MJQ)
1942 Country Joe McDonald California, rock guitarist/vocalist (& the Fish)
1945 Jacques Ickx Belgium, Le Mans auto race (6-time winner)


Deaths which occurred on January 01:
0404 Telemachus Roman monk, murdered
0898 Odo Earl of Paris/king of France (888-98), dies at about 39
1502 Gregorius XIII [Ugo Buoncampagni], Italy, pope (1572-85), dies
1515 Louis XII Father of People, "the Justified" King of France (1498-1515), dies at 52
1557 Jacques Cartier French explorer (Canada), dies at 65
1559 Christian III king of Denmark/Norway (1534-59), dies
1782 Johann Christian Bach German composer/Mozart's tutor, dies at 46
1787 Arthur Middleton US farmer (signed Declaration of Independence), dies at 44
1817 Martin H Klaproth German chemist (uranium), dies at 73
1949 Malcolm Campbell English cyclist (world speed-record), dies at 63
1953 Hank Williams country singer (Cold Cold Heart), dies at 29
1957 Ruth Draper US elocutionist, dies at 67
1972 Jane Morgan actress (Mrs Margaret Davis-Our Miss Brooks), dies at 91
1972 Maurice A Chevalier French actor (Can Can, Gigi), dies at 83
1982 Victor Buono actor (Mr Schubert-Man from Atlantis), dies at 43
1994 Cesar Romero US actor (Joker-Batman), dies at 86
1995 Frederick West English contractor/serial killer, commits suicide at 53
1996 Arleigh Albert Burke British Admiral, dies at 94
1997 Townes Van Zandt musician/songwriter (Pancho And Lefty), dies at 52


Reported: MISSING in ACTION
1966 KIRKSEY ROBERT L.---MOBILE AL.
1968 DENNISON JAMES R.---ROCHESTER NY.
[LOST AT SEA]
1968 HANLEY TERENCE H.---GARDINER ME.
1968 HERRIN HENRY H. JR.---WEST SPRINGFIELD MA.
1969 CLACK CECIL J.---CHESTER SC.

POW / MIA Data & Bios supplied by
the P.O.W. NETWORK. Skidmore, MO. USA.


On this day...
0045 BC Origin of Julian Era; Julian calendar begins
0001 Origin of Christian Era
0069 Roman garrison of Mainz uprising
0089 Gov Lucius Antonius Saturninus of Germany becomes emperor of Rome
0404 Last gladiator competition in Rome
0722 Hofmeier Charles Martel flees from bishop Willibrord
0990 Russia adopts Julian calendar
1430 Jews of Sicily are no longer required to attend conversionist services
1438 Albrecht II von Habsburg becomes king of Hungary
1502 Portuguese navigators discover Rio de Janeiro
1515 Jews are expelled from Laibach Austria
1515 François, Duke of Angoulême succeeds Louis XII as François I of France
1586 Sir Francis Drake launches a surprise attack on the heavily fortified city of Santo Domingo in Hipanola.
1610 German astronomer Simon Marius 1st discovers the Jupiter moons, but does not officially report it, Galileo does on July 1 1610
1622 Papal Chancery adopts Jan 1 as beginning of the year (was Mar 25)
1651 Charles II Stuart crowned king of Scotland
1660 1st entry in Samuel Pepys' diary
1660 General Moncks army battles with the Tweed on way to London
1673 Regular mail delivery begins between New York & Boston
1700 Protestant West-Europe (except England) begin using Gregorian calendar
1700 Russia replaces Byzantines with Julian calendar
1701 Great Britain & Ireland union is in effect, creating United Kingdom
1707 Jacob V succeeds his father Pedro II as king of Portugal
1772 1st traveler's checks issued (London)
1776 General George Washington hoists Continental Union Flag
1785 "Daily Universal Register" (Times of London) publishes 1st issue
1788 Quakers in Pennsylvania emancipate their slaves
1797 Albany replaces New York City as capital of NY
1798 Russia appoints 1st Jewish censor to censor Hebrew books
1800 Dutch East Indies Company dissolves
1804 Jean Jacques Dessalines proclaims independence of Haiti from France
1808 Congress prohibits importation of slaves
1814 Field marshal Blücher's troops cross the Rhine at Kaub
1818 Official reopening of the White House
1827 Dutch Trade Company NHM gets opium monopoly on Java
1831 William Lloyd Garrison publishes 1st issue of abolitionist journal
1838 1st official horse race in South Australia-Adelaide
1840 1st recorded bowling match in US, Knickerbocker Alleys, New York City NY
1842 1st illustrated weekly magazine in US publishes 1st issue, New York City NY
1847 Michigan is 1st state to abolish capital punishment
1852 1st US public bath opens in New York City NY
1853 1st practical fire engine (horse-drawn) in US enters service
1858 Canada begins using decimal currency system
1860 Slavery ends of in Netherlands Indies
1861 Porfirio Diaz conquers Mexico City
1862 1st US income tax (3% of incomes > $600, 5% of incomes > $10,000)
1862 Battle of Fort McRee FL, Battle of Port Royal SC (Port Royal Ferry)
1863 1st homestead under the Homestead Act claimed, near Beatrice NE
1863 Battle of Galveston, TX - Confederates recapture the city
1863 Battle of Helena AK
1863 Emancipation Proclamation (ending slavery) issued by Lincoln
1865 -Apr 26th] Carolinas' campaign (Uncle Billy Sherman)
1871 Belgium disbands salt tax
1873 Origin of Japanese Era
1874 New York City annexes the Bronx
1877 England's Queen Victoria proclaimed empress of India
1880 Building of Panamá Canal, begins
1881 Dr John H Watson is introduced to Sherlock Holmes
1886 1st Tournament of Roses, Pasadena CA
1892 Ellis Island becomes reception center for new immigrants
1893 1st US college extension courses for credit, University of Chicago
1893 Japan adopts the Gregorian calendar
1896 Wilhelm Röntgen announces his discovery of x-rays
1897 1st football game between black colleges-Atlanta University 10, Tuskegee 0
1899 Cuba liberated from Spain by US (National Day) (US occupies till 1902)
1900 Compulsory education in Netherlands goes into effect
1901 Australia declares independence from federation of UK colonies
1902 1st Rose Bowl game (Pasadena CA) (University of Michigan-49, Stanford-0)
1904 Netherlands Indies colony begins opium production
1906 Dutch law makes driver's license mandatory
1907 President Theodore Roosevelt shakes a record 8,513 hands in 1 day
1911 Belgian Mining law introduces 9½-hour work day
1912 1st running of San Francisco's famed "Bay to Breakers" race (7.63 miles/12.3 km)
1912 Sun Yat-sen forms Chinese Republic
1913 Post office begins parcel post deliveries
1914 1st scheduled airline flight, St Petersburg-Tampa (Tony Jannus pilot)
1915 DW Griffith shows "Clansman" at a sneak preview
1915 Jews of Laibach Austria expelled
1918 Last day of the Julian calendar in Finland
1918 The first gasoline pipeline begins operation. Along the 40 miles and three inches of pipe from Salt Creek to Casper, Wyoming.
1919 Belorussian SSR established
1922 Vancouver BC starts driving on the right side of road
1923 Union of Socialist Soviet Republics established
1925 Norway's capital Christiania changes name to Oslo
1928 1st US air-conditioned office building opens, San Antonio
1929 Roy Riegels runs 60 yards the wrong way with Rose Bowl fumble recovery
1930 Earl Claus von Stauffenberg promoted to 2nd lieutenant
1930 Jurgens & Van den Berg merge with Lever Brothers to form Unilever
1932 Rasse und Siedlungshauptamt publishes Himmler's wedding laws
1934 Alcatraz officially becomes a federal prison
1934 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (US bank guarantor) effective
1935 1st Sugar Bowl & 1st Orange Bowl
1935 Associated Press inaugurates Wirephoto
1935 Eastern Airlines hires Eddie Rickenbacker as GM
1935 President Mustapha Kemal Pasha names himself "Atatürk Father of Turkey"
1937 US Army Air Corps physiological research laboratory completed, Ohio
1937 At a party at the Hormel Mansion in Minnesota, a guest wins $100 for naming a new canned meat--Spam.
1937 Anastasio Somoza becomes President of Nicaragua
1937 Count Claus von Stauffenberg promoted to captain
1941 Russian General Zhukov appointed chief of General staff
1942 US & 25 other countries sign a united declaration against the Axis
1943 Count Claus von Stauffenberg promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel
1944 1st feature-length foreign movie, African Journey, shown on TV, New York City NY
1944 Army defeats Navy 10-7 in football "Arab Bowl", Oran, North Africa
1944 General Clark replaces General Patton as commander of 7th Army
1945 France joins the UN
1945 German air raid on allied airports at Eindhoven/Saint-Trond/Brussels
1946 Emperor Hirohito of Japan announces he is not a god
1946 National Assembly proclaims Hungary a republic
1946 ENIAC, US 1st computer finished by Mauchly/Eckert
1947 Britain nationalizes its coal industry
1948 1st color newsreel filmed, Pasadena CA
1948 Britain nationalizes its railways
1948 General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade effective
1948 Italy adopts constitution
1950 Ho Chi Minh begins offensive against French troops in Indo-China
1951 Massive Chinese/North Korean assault on UN-lines
1952 Dmitri Shostakovich completes his 5th string quartet
1956 Sudan (Anglo-Egyptian Sudan) gains independence from Britain & Egypt (National Day)
1956 Elvis Presley records Heartbreak Hotel for RCA in Nashville
1957 France returns Saar to becomes the 10th state of German Federal Republic
1957 International Geophysical Year begins; ends 6/30/1958 (18-month year)
1958 BOAC Britannia flies London to New York in a record 7hours 57minutes
1958 European Economic Community (Common Market) starts operation
1958 Sammy Davis Jr marries Loray White
1959 Castro leads Cuba to victory as Fulgencio Batista flees to Dominican Republic
1960 Johnny Cash plays 1st of many free concerts behind bars
1960 US census at 179,245,000
1961 Largest check issued, National Bank of Chicago to Sears ($960.242 billion)
1961 Briggs Stadium is renamed Tigers Stadium
1962 Beatles' Decca audition is unsuccessful
1964 KTVS TV channel 3 in Sterling CO (CBS) begins broadcasting
1965 International Cooperation Year begins
1965 Palestinian al-Fatah organization forms
1966 12 day transit worker strike shuts down New York City NY subway
1966 All US cigarette packs have to carry "Caution Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health"
1966 Military coup by Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa in Central African Republic
1966 Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence" reaches #1
1967 Green Bay Packers beat Dallas Cowboys 34-27 in NFL championship game
1967 Kansas City Chiefs beat Buffalo Bills 31-7 in AFL championship game
1968 Evel Knievel fails in his attempt to jump Cæsar's Palace Fountain
1970 Revised calendar for Western (RC) Church goes into effect
1970 "The Epoch" (Time 0 for UNIX systems, Midnight GMT)
1971 Cigarette advertisements banned on TV
1972 "Promises Promises" closes at Shubert Theater New York City NY after 1281 performances
1972 KDSD TV channel 16 in Aberdeen SD (PBS) begins broadcasting
1972 People's Republic of China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor People's Rebulic of China
1973 Britain, Ireland & Denmark become 7th-9th members of Common Market
1974 NBC radio begins on the hour news 24 hours a day (following CBS lead)
1975 Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell & Mardian convicted of Watergate crime
1975 International Women's Year begins
1976 NBC replaces the peacock logo
1976 Liberty Bell moves to new home behind Independence Hall
1977 1st woman formally ordained an Episcopal priest (Jacqueline Means)
1977 Czech intellectuals & Chinas begin Human Rights Group Chapter 77
1978 President Ford signs 1st major revision of copyright law since 1909
1979 International Year of the Child begins
1979 US & China (People's Republic) begin diplomatic relations
1980 Mob storms Russian embassy in Teheran
1981 Roger Smith becomes CEO of General Motors
1981 Greece is 10th country to join European Economic Community
1982 Pope John Paul II prays for an end to martial law in Poland
1982 Javier Pérez de Cuellar becomes Secretary-General of UN
1984 AT&T's 22 owned Bell system companies divests into 8 companies
1985 US's 1st manadatory seat belt law goes into effect (NY)
1985 VH-1 made its broadcasting debut
1986 As the United States builds its strength in the Mediterranean, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi threatens to retaliate if attacked (I'm sooo scared)
1986 Spain & Portugal become 11th & 12th members of Common Market (European Economic Community)
1990 David Dinkins sworn in as 1st black mayor of New York City NY
1990 FCC implements "SYNDEX" giving independent stations more rights over cable TV outlets for exclusive syndicated programs
1990 Mitsuko Nishiwaki beats Nakano to become Japan Women wrestling champ
1991 5% sales tax on consumer goods & services goes into effect in USSR
1991 Iraq rejects peace proposal from Egyptian President Hosi Mubarak
1992 Bush is 1st US President to address Australian Parliament
1993 Cigarette advertisements are banned in New York City NY's MTA
1993 Czechoslovakia separates into Czech Republic (Bohemia) & Slovakia
1994 Microsoft CEO Bill Gates (38) marries Melinda French (29)
1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) goes into effect
1995 Austria, Finland & Sweden act to join European Union
1995 Centennial of Canadian Mounties presence in Canada's Yukon Territory
1995 International Year of Tolerance
1995 Last "Far Side" by cartoonist Gary Larson (started 1980)
1996 After 27 years, Betty Rubble debuts as a Flintstone vitamin
1998 All California bars, clubs & card rooms must be smoke-free
1998 US Census Bureau estimates population at 268,921,733
1999 International Year of Elderly


Holidays
Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

Alabama : Mobile Carnival
Cameroon : Independence Day (1960)
Cuba : Revolution Day
Haiti : Independence Day (1804)
Japan : New Year (year = AD + 660)
Mozambique : Universal Fraternity
Pasadena CA : Tournament of Roses Parade
Philadelphia : Mummers' Parade
Sudan : Independence Day (1956)
Western Samoa : Independence Day (1962)
Scotland : Handsel Monday (Monday)
Capetown, South Africa : Coon Carnival
Taiwan : Foundation of the Republic
US : Z-Day (honors those who end up last when placed in alphabetical order)
US : Imani -- Faith Day (seventh day of Kwanzaa)
National Barbecue Month.



Religious Observances
Anglican, Lutheran : Feast of Holy Name of Jesus
Christian : Feast of St Odilo
old Roman Catholic : Commemoration of Circumcision of Jesus
Roman Catholic : Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
Unification Church : God's Day
Orthodox : St Basil's Day


Religious History
1780 Pioneer Methodist bishop and circuit rider Francis Asbury wrote in his journal: 'My God, keep me through the water and fire, and let me rather die than live to sin against thee!'
1802 Thomas Jefferson, in a letter written to the Danbury [CT] Baptist Association, coined the metaphor, "a wall of separation between Church and State." From 1947, the "wall of separation" concept gained acceptance as a constitutional guideline.
1832 In Lexington, KY, 12,000 followers of Alexander Campbell, (called "Campbellites") merged with 10,000 followers of Barton W. Stone (known as "Christians") to form the Disciples of Christ (Christian) Church.
1871 The Church of Ireland was formally disestablished. Aligned with Anglicanism from 1537, the Irish Church represented the faith of only 12% of the populace by the mid-19th century.
1977 Jacqueline Means, wife of an Indiana truck driver and mother of four, became the first woman in the U.S. to be ordained a priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church.

Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.


Thought for the day :
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia."


Question of the day...
How can there be self-help "groups"?


Murphys Law of the day...(First Law of Socio-Genetics)
Celibacy is not hereditary


Amazing Fact #2,004...
In many countries, it is the custom to wish friends a "Happy Birthday" on January 1st, rather than a "Happy New Year." This day is nicknamed "Everyman's Birthday," and is considered the day when everyone becomes a year older, whether it's their actual day of birth or not. Similarly, this practice is observed in horse racing. No matter when a race horse is born, they all "become" a year older on New Year's Day, although there are no records explaining how or why this came to be.

5 posted on 01/01/2004 6:13:27 AM PST by Valin (We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All

Good morning everyone in The FOXHOLE!

6 posted on 01/01/2004 6:42:59 AM PST by Soaring Feather (I do Poetry. Feathers courtesy of the birds.)
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To: Aeronaut
Good morning Aeronaut.
7 posted on 01/01/2004 7:07:05 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Aeronaut
Good morning Aeronaut.
8 posted on 01/01/2004 7:07:05 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: bentfeather
Good morning feather.
9 posted on 01/01/2004 7:07:25 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Valin
Thought for the day :
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia."

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you tomorrow. You're only a day away... oh, nevermind.

Happy New Year Valin.

10 posted on 01/01/2004 7:14:33 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Happy New Year Valin

And you to.

So far it's been pretty good...but we'll see.




11 posted on 01/01/2004 7:45:45 AM PST by Valin (We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.)
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To: Valin
So far it's been pretty good...but we'll see.

LOL. That's our Valin, always the optimist!

12 posted on 01/01/2004 8:00:54 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good Morning Snippy. Happy New Year!

Great reading this morning!


328th Fighter Squadron


486th Fighter Squadron


487th Fighter Squadron

13 posted on 01/01/2004 8:07:11 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: snippy_about_it
Those boys did a good job. The Thunderbolts up above made the thing possible.

The AWACS, J-STAR type equipment, and modern doctrine has, amongst other functions, the prevention of this sort of thing.
14 posted on 01/01/2004 8:07:59 AM PST by Iris7 ("Duty, Honor, Country". The first of these is Duty, and is known only through His Grace)
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To: SAMWolf
Thank you Sam. A friend of mine recommended it. ;-)
15 posted on 01/01/2004 8:10:33 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it
Happy New year to everyone at the Freeper Foxhole.

Running a little behind due to username/password authentication problems with our ISP. Hopefully they have been resolved.

16 posted on 01/01/2004 8:12:16 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: snippy_about_it

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
17 posted on 01/01/2004 8:12:23 AM PST by Valin (We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.)
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To: Iris7
Good morning and Happy New Year to you Iris7.

I think with our superior technology and air power these types of fights we'll never see again.

18 posted on 01/01/2004 8:12:34 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it

19 posted on 01/01/2004 8:13:57 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: Aeronaut
Morning Aeronaut.

Thanks for the aircover this morning. No Huns gonna sneak up on us.
20 posted on 01/01/2004 8:14:57 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: SAMWolf
Happy New Year Sam.
21 posted on 01/01/2004 8:16:46 AM PST by Aeronaut (In my humble opinion, the new expression for backing down from a fight should be called 'frenching')
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To: Valin
1986 As the United States builds its strength in the Mediterranean, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi threatens to retaliate if attacked (I'm sooo scared)

LOL! Remember "The Line Of Death"?
Cross this line and you die!
Ok. Cross this Line and you die
Ok. Cross THIS line and you die.

Our first assignment upon entering the Med was to demonstrate freedom of navigation by conducting a missile exercise inside the claimed territorial limits of Libya. Libya had claimed the entire Gulf of Sidra as their territory. This gave them a 200-mile territorial limit. If we did not challenge that claim, it would become international law. Our task force combined the USS Nimitz and the USS Forrestal task groups to conduct the exercise. Drones would be launched from a support ship within the missile test area and we were one of four missile ships that would be assigned to launch surface-to-air missiles loaded with telemetry instruments at the drones.

The first day of the exercise was August 18th and it was clear that the Libyans were going to do everything in their power to foil our plans. In addition, it seemed clear that the Libyan pilots were itching to find a U.S. carrier to attack. As the Libyans launched fighters from three airports, our task force would assign F-14s to cover them. Covering means to maintain a firing position on the contacts until they either shot at something or turned back to home. We had no authority to attack until we were fired upon. The F-14s were under the strict control of the E-2C (Hawkeyes) from the carrier. On board the Nimitz was the Sixth Fleet battle staff.

Needless to say the Libyans did not take kindly to having the pesky F-14s on their tail and so they would try to shake them with lots of high G-force air combat maneuvering techniques. Things were tense but no one lost their cool… at least not on day one of the missilex. The next day, on almost the first run of the day, two of the Libyan pilots decided to shoot at the lead pilot of a flight of two F-14s from VF-41.

Bad idea #1 It was a head-on shot with a heat-seeking missile.

Bad idea #2 It just happened to be the VF-41 Squadron Commander.

Bad idea #3 This missile missed its mark but during the ensuing dog fight, AIM-9 missiles from the two F-14s downed both Libyan SU-22 Fitters.

No survivors were ever found. Immediately after the engagement, the F-14s were returning to the carrier and at that time received “Permission to defend yourselves” from the carrier.

From the time we were aware of the attack until its conclusion was about a minute. The Tactical Action Officer (TAO) in CIC was the Operations Officer LCDR Pilnick and I was the Ships Weapons Coordinator (SWC). After the engagement, the TAO leaned over to me and said, “I guess we should go to GQ.” So we did. It was an awesome thing to here general quarters without the “This is a drill” preamble. We struck the telemetry missiles below decks and loaded war shot birds on the rails. No more action took place. The Libyans continued to look for the carrier (this time with their fingers off the triggers). The F-14s continued to cover the Libyans (with no authority to shoot) and the missilex was successfully concluded. After the operation we detached from the task force and headed for the Black Sea.

22 posted on 01/01/2004 8:22:06 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: bentfeather
Good Morning Feather.
23 posted on 01/01/2004 8:22:26 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: Valin

Day ain't over yet Valin. ;-)

24 posted on 01/01/2004 8:23:23 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: snippy_about_it
Cholera Joe? Our resident "I love airpower threads" FReeper

Good job on putting it all together.
25 posted on 01/01/2004 8:25:07 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: E.G.C.
Morning E.G.C. Awoke to a heavy snow falling. Could be one of those days.
26 posted on 01/01/2004 8:25:47 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: Aeronaut
HAppy New Year Aeronaut
27 posted on 01/01/2004 8:26:35 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: snippy_about_it
Happy New Year to The Foxhole!!!!

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten. —Joel 2:25


Forgive me, O Lord, for all of my sin,
Please make my heart pure and cleanse me within;
To You I confess, my ways have been wrong;
Restore now my joy and fill me with song.

No matter how dark your past, with Christ your future is bright.

28 posted on 01/01/2004 8:29:21 AM PST by The Mayor (Those who love and serve God on earth will feel at home in heaven.)
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To: The Mayor
Good Morning Mayor. Happy New Year
29 posted on 01/01/2004 8:39:37 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: E.G.C.
Good morning EGC.
30 posted on 01/01/2004 8:41:55 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Valin
LOL.
31 posted on 01/01/2004 8:42:36 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: SAMWolf; CholeraJoe
Cholera Joe? Our resident "I love airpower threads" FReeper

No, it wasn't 'joe' and it wasn't Johnny either.

Thanks Sam, you have all the good ideas.

32 posted on 01/01/2004 8:44:58 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: The Mayor
Good morning Mayor.
33 posted on 01/01/2004 8:45:28 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it

34 posted on 01/01/2004 8:46:18 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
It doesn't appear that the terrorists did any damage to US as they have been promising....

Here's to our Troops protecting US!!

35 posted on 01/01/2004 9:01:52 AM PST by The Mayor (Those who love and serve God on earth will feel at home in heaven.)
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To: The Mayor
Here's to our Troops protecting US!!

Amen, Mayor.

Here's to our troops!


36 posted on 01/01/2004 9:11:11 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: SAMWolf
Awwww. You're so cute when you blush. It's just 'cause you know so much and I'm just learning. Thanks for a wonderful 2003 at the Foxhole. I just know 2004 will be even more fun!
37 posted on 01/01/2004 9:13:27 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: The Mayor
It seems for the most part they're more talk than action on any large scale. They die quickly in any stand up fight so they brag and threaten and sneak around blowing up women and children. They're good at terrorizing women and populations that are turned into sheep by Islam but can'
t stand up and fight against people who fight back.
38 posted on 01/01/2004 9:19:28 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: snippy_about_it
I just hope we don't run out of ideas.
39 posted on 01/01/2004 9:20:02 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: SAMWolf
I agree with you, talk, talk, talk....

We are not in the klinkton administration anylonger.
We will come after you and we will bring justice to you.
We are not sheeple, we are America and we stand Strong together.

Thank God for the Bush administration..

Did you see the people in Time Sq singing "Proud to be American" just before midnight.. I had goosebumps.......
40 posted on 01/01/2004 9:35:38 AM PST by The Mayor (Those who love and serve God on earth will feel at home in heaven.)
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To: The Mayor; snippy_about_it
We are not in the klinkton administration anylonger.

Snippy and I were talking about that this morning. 8 years of Clinton led to 9-11. Muslims have been persecuting and killing others in their turd world hell holes for a long time. Look at the entire Middle east, Phillipines, Indonesia. For the most part they stuck to attacking their own and Israel, then Clinton came along and we were attacked numerous times, no serious responses.

Then 9-11, a major direct attack, becasue of that two Islamic regimes have been removed from the planet.

They made the mistake of attacking us when we had a President who doesn't talk tough but who acts.

41 posted on 01/01/2004 9:43:05 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: snippy_about_it
I then saw that I had several 20 mm holes in each wing, and another hit in my oil tank. My left aileron control was also out, I was losing oil, but my pressure and temperature were steady.

Being over friendly territory I could see no reason for landing immediately so turned towards a big dogfight and shortly had another 190 in my sights.

Damn, where did we find such guys. Damaged plane, with partial control/stability lose, and he still goes back for more.

42 posted on 01/01/2004 10:59:28 AM PST by Professional Engineer (28Dec ~ I felt my unborn child move this morning!! __30Dec ~ Junior is a little girl !)
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To: Professional Engineer
Damn, where did we find such guys. Damaged plane, with partial control/stability lose, and he still goes back for more.

American spirit abounds in our military fighting men. IMO, this has been the case with the American military from the beginning I think and is still so today. We are blessed.

43 posted on 01/01/2004 11:10:16 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: SAMWolf
Snippy and I were talking about that this morning...

And I'll bet people thought we only talked about threads. LOL.

Sam rants, I listen, and I love it! ;-)

44 posted on 01/01/2004 11:12:53 AM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Professional Engineer
Morning PE.

Thank God America has always produced men like this.
45 posted on 01/01/2004 11:21:13 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it
Yep. Awesome guys and gals we have. Nothing like it anywhere.
46 posted on 01/01/2004 11:43:37 AM PST by Professional Engineer (28Dec ~ I felt my unborn child move this morning!! __30Dec ~ Junior is a little girl !)
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To: Professional Engineer

And we still produce them.

47 posted on 01/01/2004 11:58:11 AM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; MistyCA; AntiJen; SpookBrat; PhilDragoo; All
Happy New Year, friends, and my best wishes to all of you.


48 posted on 01/01/2004 12:02:49 PM PST by Victoria Delsoul (Freedom isn't won by soundbites but by the unyielding determination and sacrifice given in its cause)
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To: Victoria Delsoul
Afternoon Victoria. Sleeping it off today?
49 posted on 01/01/2004 12:18:27 PM PST by SAMWolf (I live in a quiet neighborhood - they use silencers)
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To: SAMWolf
That's a great photo Sam, good find!!!
50 posted on 01/01/2004 12:29:04 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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