High ranking officers flying regularly

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by jswalker, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. jswalker

    jswalker New Member

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    I just watched Twelve O'clock high for the first time in a long time, and while I understand it is a fictional account, it did bring a question to mind.

    Were there any generals that did fly missions regularly? I would think it would have been a huge intelligence and even propaganda risk to have high ranking officers taking chances on being captured.

    Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I believe a general with knowledge of D-Day,against orders, flew a mission over enemy territory in a B-17. I believe it was Jimmy Doolittle but I could not verify it. It was not done regularly.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I believe Jacob Smart flew missions as a one star and was even captured - I'm not 100% sure
     
  4. Bill G.

    Bill G. Banned

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    In Vietnam, Brigadier General Jimmy Stuart flew a B-52 mission over South Vietnam.

    I know many Group Commanders flew missions. One of the more famous was Curtis LeMay.

    I don't think Generals regularly flew missions. My gut tells me that a few did.

    Twelve O'Clock High is an excellent movie on leadership. It is a good movie to watch just from that angle alone. Another is Command Decision.

    Bill G.
     
  5. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    Basil Embry flew pretty regularly as an Air Vice-Marshal.
     
  6. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    I was thinking Curtis LeMay and Jimmy Doolittle flew missions, just couldn't remember where I saw it!
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    This was form an airforce link...

    "In 1943 General Smart was assigned to the 9th Bomber Command in the Middle East, duty for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. In February 1944, upon graduating from the Army-Navy Staff College, Washington, D.C., he was transferred to 15th Air Force in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations as commanding officer of the 97th Bomb Group stationed in Italy. While flying his 29th combat mission, General Smart's aircraft was destroyed by anti-aircraft fire; he was wounded and made a prisoner of war for the next 11 months. For his combat and non-combat duty prior to being taken prisoner, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal four times. "
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Jimmy Doolittle flew some combat missions and was eventually told to stay on the ground by Ike.
     
  9. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Many of the German Generals were pilots and regularly overflew their areas in Feiselers to look at things with a birdseye view. General Erwin Rommel comes to mind. I have seen pictures with High ranking Germans flying FW 190's as well. One picture had a guy (can't remember his name) flying a Butcherbird designated 'White X'.
     
  10. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  11. Negative Creep

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    Ok it doesn't count but Keith Park would regularly use his own Hurricane to fly between airfields. Apparently he was once given a severe telling of by an unknowing ground mechanic for parking his aircraft in the wrong area. Park later went to find the man and apologised to him - can't imagine many senior commanders doing that!
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    You beat me to the punch, I was just going to mention him. Also looked cool with the white flight suit or at least the white helmet.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. jswalker

    jswalker New Member

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    Thanks for the input all!
     
  14. Corsair82pilot

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    Yamamoto flew one too many times in the war zone. :shock:
    I know, that's not quite the type of flying you meant. He was not a combat pilot (I don't think he was a pilot at all).
     
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