Hello forum, and a very serious question

Discussion in 'Basic' started by benogil, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. benogil

    benogil New Member

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    I am the son of a WW2 aviator, who served in North Africa and Italy. During the Anzio invasion, there was a German railgun bombarding the beach head and the assembly areas. My father took it out with a skip bomb from his P-47, losing two friends in the action. He received the Silver Star for the action, and has the write up for the medal award.
    In today's paper, an obituary for another WW2 P-47 pilot took credit for the action. My father had never heard of him.

    What would you do ?

    Ben Ogilvie
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    A difficult and emotive situation, whichever way it's handled.
    It might be worth writing a polite letter to the editor of the newspaper, informing him of the facts in a non-emotive way. It may well be that whoever wrote the obituary genuinely thought, or believed, that the deceased aviator had performed this deed, and equally it might be that said aviator had indeed performed a similar deed on a different target which, over the years, has been confused with your father's action. On the other hand, it could be an 'embellishment' by either the aviator, or his family or friends, which, having 'grown' over the years, has finally come to rest, and possible exposure, as a falsity.
    Before doing anything though, take advice as to any legal implications in the USA, which could be, and probably are, different to the UK, and also consider the implications and impact any actions might have on the surviving family and friends.
     
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  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #3 Njaco, Feb 12, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
    Please, I would like to thank your father for his sacrifice during the war and his service.

    I believe there were 3 railguns used during Anzio so it might be a different gun. A good friend of mine who is 91 and served in a Army transport service at Anzio said that there were several railguns when he was there. I think I posted apic with him with one.

    EDIT: Here it is.....

    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/ww2-general/soldiers-photo-album-35622.html

    .
    War001.jpg
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    There were actually two Krupp K5(E) Tiefzug railguns at Anzio (of the same family as the three deployed along the British Channel). I am unsure of their unit numbers but they were named "Robert" and "Leopold" by the Wehrmacht and nick-named Anzio Annie and Anzio Express by the Allied forces.

    So while there is no doubt that Ben's father took one out, it is entirely possible that the other pilot is credited for the remaining K5. Both were damaged during the battle and both were shipped to the U.S. and tested, using parts of "Robert" to repair "Leopold".

    A side note of interest: there were also two captured French 240mm railway guns in action at Anzio, too. They were part of their own battery and not attached to either of the two batteries that had a K5 each.
     
  5. benogil

    benogil New Member

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    No, the artillery piece was not one of the Krupp railguns, those were bombed by P-40's. This railgun was located in a mountain pass, and may have been a 194 or a 240. The gun was totally destroyed in the bombing. He said from his airbase you would see a bright flash in the mountains, a minute or two later the shell would hit, spectacularly. I'll try to get further details. My father says he'll never forget the sight of a huge artillery piece being blown into the air out of the railroad tunnel by the explosion. The skip bomb evidently hit the powder magazine. As with the other railguns, they spent a large amount of time looking for the location, the Italian partisans finally found it.
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard, and what a cool story!
     
  7. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Interesting...
     
  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #8 Wurger, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
    The GG is right methinks. there were two Krupp 280 mm Kanone 5 (Eisenbahn) railway guns used at Anzio. Both belonged to the German Eisenbahnbatterie 712. And both of them were hidden in tunnels near Milan ( other sources - in Colli Albani near Rome ). Later , not at Anzio but more to the North ( the struggle in March 1944 at Mignano Monte Lungo about 50 miles north of Napoli , there appeared Italian railway guns ( being French ones formerly ). These were of 194 mm TAZ Modèle 1870/93 - 19.4 cm Kanone (E) 486 (f). Italian Army got 12 of them.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The 194/29 railway gun could be also on tracks... 194/32 type..

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here with the bigger one of 220/32 type..

    [​IMG]

    The 240mm Cannon 240/27 was mounted on train carriage...
     
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  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #10 FLYBOYJ, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
    Ben, If your father has the official citation for his action, then this other P-47 pilot is/ was a possible poser or someone in his family was told a false story about his actions. If it was my relative I would contact the news paper who printed this story and provide the evidence to show that your father was the real “hero” here. It would be intersting if the other party can provide similiar or the same evidence...

    I’ve recently been in several situations were military posers were called out and it pisses me off to no end that people, despite their age would have gall to do this.

    Just my 2 cents….
     
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  11. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum Ben, some good suggestions for you to consider and follow through on....hope it works out...
     
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