Legends.... What makes them?

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Lucky13

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Aug 21, 2006
In my castle....
Richthofen, Nungesser, Guynemer, Rickenbacker, Luke, Ball, Bishop, Bader, Bong, Galland, Hartmann, Marseille, Kozhedub, Pokryshkin.....
Is the time long gone for legends to be made in the air or on the ground?
Like Hartmann who never lost a wingman in 1456 missions, Marseille who scored 17 Kills in one day, Rudorffer's 13 kills in 17 minutes.
And what about Michael Wittman and Villers-Bocage, Ernst Barkmann's Le Lorey also known as Barkmann's Corner, where he destroyed approximately nine Sherman tanks and many other various vehicles.... And, how many have heard of Staff Sergeant Lafayette G Pool? Will we ever see the likes again?

I know that war is a terrible thing. But still, it makes you wonder. Is the time long gone for new legends to be made??
 
Those days are long gone, and will never be revisited... The days of stand out efforts, atleast in the air, are over.... Differences in tactics and doctrines, as well as new weapons systems ect ect, have made the "Legends" a thing of the past....

Some talk of a few Israelis who made substantial kills during their tenure, but thats about it...
 
The days of the stand out ground troops is not over however. There have been plenty of heroics in the conflict we are in now.

I think when it comes to the air as well there are stand out aircrew members as well. I agree with Les that the days of the aces like in WW2 is over but individual acts of heroism are not over.

There is a guy in my old unit who was a crewchief in Afganistan. They went into to extract and rescue some SF and he himself was shot. They got the boys home though. He recieved the Distinguished Flying Cross for that action.
 
ME said:
atleast in the air
My point exactly Adler... Theres some stuff I cant talk about that would amaze all of u... The individual actions of men on the ground, like the fella Adler talks about, are sometimes just downright amazing, even to someone like myself who has been decorated for Valor...

I once had a Navy Cross winner flying me around Somolia... He had some great stories...
 
I'm currently reading a book called "VCs of the Second World War" which i'm borrowing from the local library, the story of all 182 VCs awarded in the second world war, a fantastic read about some amazing men, but i definately don't think the days of such bravery are over, people are doing amazing things all the time, some are reconised, some aren't, but i think the fact we don't hear about them as much these days is that due to our political climate if you're seen to have a military person who may've killed as a hero, you're treated like a holocaust denier! it's crazy, these people, men and women are out there defending the interests of our countries but there're still anti- war protesters that treat our heros as villans!
 
Playin_With_the_Boys.jpg

The Man: Maj. Richard "Bud" Peterson of the 357th Fighter Group.
The story of this scene is best told by Samuel Harry Glasser, radio operator-gunner aboard a B-17G called the "Outhouse Mouse." His formation was about to be jumped by a pack of Luftwaffe fighters but the B17s were being escorted by P-51 Mustangs. The pilot of "Hurry Home Honey" radioed his 'big friend' and said, "I'll be right back, fellas. I'm gonna go play with these boys." Looks like he played for keeps because he came back. The pilot of that plane was Richard "Bud" Peterson. *
Richard Peterson is shown here just as he opens fire on his second opponent, the Luftwaffe flight leader's wingman. His first opponent can be seen free falling away from his stricken ME 109 as he wisely waits to lose speed before opening his parachute.
Richard Peterson was a well loved fighter pilot of the 357 th fighter group and went on to score 15.5 aerial victories and become one of the greatest Mustang aces of the war.

Berlin_Express_arrives_in_Paris.jpg

When you have Bill Overstreet on your tail, not even a daring maneuver such as flying right under the Eiffel tower is going to save you, as this ME109 pilot discovered the hard way. In the spring of 1944, Bill Overstreet of the famous 357th FG was hot on the tail of a German ME109G. The pilot of the 109 flew right over Paris where German anti-aircraft artillery was heavy, probably in hopes they would solve his problem by eliminating Bill and his P51C named the "Berlin Express". Bill persisted through intense flak closing the gap with the enemy fighter. Already hit in the engine, as a last resort the ME109 pilot aimed his aircraft toward the imposing Eiffel tower and in a breathtaking maneuver flew right under it. Even this was not enough to shake Bill as he followed right behind scoring several more hits in the process. The German ME109 crashed moments later and Bill escaped the heavy flak around Paris by flying low and full throttle over the river.
Here is the encounter described in Bill's own words: "I had followed this 109 from the bombers when most of the German fighters left. We had a running dogfight and I got some hits about 1500 feet, He then led me over Paris where Many guns were aimed at me. As soon as he was disabled, I ducked down just over the river (smaller target for the Germans ). Followed the river until I was away from Paris." - Bill
When asked what was around the tower at the time, Bill said, "I'm not sure, I was a little busy." Quite understandable!
 
I think there are still heroes out there but they are not written about by the popular press. When was the last time you saw a story about a guy getting a medal for some act in the New York Times or Chicago Trib. The media is pretty much run by Liberal Sympathizers and they are not going to glorify or even report the events that occur "for Valour". To them, this is all a throwback to 100 years ago. In their minds, the military is the problem.

It's sad, but a substantial segment of the population is totally out of the loop when it comes to threats to the nation (talking about the United States here, other countries may be different). The culture of the victim demands that people we see as heroes are oppressors at worst and badly misguided at best.
 
I dont use the word "Hero" very lightly... I dont think, let me re-phrase, there are very few instances where men in combat were "Heroes"... I cant off-hand think of one, but to me the term "Hero" should be reserved for people who go beyond the limits of self-sacrifice... Soldiers and Sailors and Marines across the globe are trained to accept the fact that one life is worth ten, and make their combat decisions on the safety/survival of their squad/detachement/element...

Normal everyday Joes dont live by this standard of accountability.... A hero is someone who rushes up 50 floors of the second tower, after the first one already came down, knowing that at any minute, his life could end... But with the slimmest hope, he goes up anyways, trying to save just one more persons life....
 
I was watching the news last night with an extended interview with current and ex New Zealand Army and Navy personel doing mine clearance in Lebanon.

A 12 month stint at a time, clearing more than 1 million AP and AT mines as well as sub munitions.

One of the Kiwi lads was asked by the reporter "Do you ever worry about the danger".

His reply was such a Kiwi response it has just become immortal to all current and ex kiwi service men and women.

Watch the video "dangerous occupation" and see what I mean.

Dangerous occupation
 
It's unfortunatley true that most of the unsung heroes in war will be on the losing side. Nowadays, you never hear of 'valiant arab fighters' holding off US marines with AK-47s and potato peelers. They lose, and so they will be scalded by the marines who will talk about the courage they showed in the skirmish. Not that the Marines are exemplary; it happens in every major armed forces. One reason that there were more heroes in WWII was that many Axis troops complemented Allies on their bravery, and visa versa. But now, that sense of chivalry is all but gone.
 
But now, that chivalry is all but gone.
Chivalry ended when pilots started gunning down pilots in parachutes...
Nowadays, you never hear of 'valiant arab fighters' holding of US marines with ak-47s and potato peelers.
Thats because there were no valiant arab fighters, only meatballs with white flags and IEDs...
 
I don't think the times of heroes are dead yet. To me, a hero is someone who puts the lives of others before himself/herself, and going up against impossible odds. I really can't name any current heroes so far, haven't seen any in the papers. Heroes that I have learned from the past. Sgt. Randy Shugart and Gary Gordon in Somalia, the NYPD and FDNY in 9/11, Audie Murphy in WW2, Alvin York in WW1, the British in the Battle of Britain, and countless others in the past and the present.
 
There are certainly some heroes that exist today. Whether they will become legends is not very probable. Today's media, at least in the U.S. is more inclined to look for an incident that can be made to appear as negatively as possible. While they pay lip service to the servicemen and women fighting overseas, they rarely put them in a positive light. WW2 was unique in that most people viewed as necessary and right. That is not the case today. It's unfortunate that the men and women fighting will not be recognized for what they accomplish.
 
There are certainly some heroes that exist today. Whether they will become legends is not very probable. Today's media, at least in the U.S. is more inclined to look for an incident that can be made to appear as negatively as possible. While they pay lip service to the servicemen and women fighting overseas, they rarely put them in a positive light. WW2 was unique in that most people viewed as necessary and right. That is not the case today. It's unfortunate that the men and women fighting will not be recognized for what they accomplish.

you've got that right, for months I've rarely seen anything positive on the war. The only things I've seen are negative, and when I read a newsweek article for my current events class about the poor care for wounded veterans from Iraq, I got ticked.
 
you've got that right, for months I've rarely seen anything positive on the war. The only things I've seen are negative, and when I read a newsweek article for my current events class about the poor care for wounded veterans from Iraq, I got ticked.

You're darned right about that, and whenever you hear about govermental spending on the military, you always then hear how many baby incubators, hospitals or jails they could have built with the money :evil: People need to remember somtimes conflict is necessary, WWII being a prime example.
 
Cant really make out what he said cause of the accent....

That would be because they spoke Kiwi. :rolleyes:

A little bit about "you don't join the Army or Navy without expecting to get into trouble."
 
I dont use the word "Hero" very lightly... I dont think, let me re-phrase, there are very few instances where men in combat were "Heroes"... I cant off-hand think of one, but to me the term "Hero" should be reserved for people who go beyond the limits of self-sacrifice... Soldiers and Sailors and Marines across the globe are trained to accept the fact that one life is worth ten, and make their combat decisions on the safety/survival of their squad/detachement/element...

Normal everyday Joes dont live by this standard of accountability.... A hero is someone who rushes up 50 floors of the second tower, after the first one already came down, knowing that at any minute, his life could end... But with the slimmest hope, he goes up anyways, trying to save just one more persons life....

When we were in Iraq and we had to fly the fallen soldiers to the major airfield to fly there bodies back home, we called those missions hero missions. They gave there life.

I agree with you though.
 
It's unfortunatley true that most of the unsung heroes in war will be on the losing side. Nowadays, you never hear of 'valiant arab fighters' holding off US marines with AK-47s and potato peelers. They lose, and so they will be scalded by the marines who will talk about the courage they showed in the skirmish. Not that the Marines are exemplary; it happens in every major armed forces. One reason that there were more heroes in WWII was that many Axis troops complemented Allies on their bravery, and visa versa. But now, that sense of chivalry is all but gone.

That is because there is nothing valient about these Arab fighters. They are nothing more than cowards who have no problem hurting innocent women and children. Trust me I know, I was there.
 

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