Douglas Bader RAF - WW11 - Page 2




 
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December 20th, 2011  
Trooper1854
 
 
There are numerous stories surrounding famous, brave people from numerous wars.
Because somebody is brave and corageous and has overcome adversity it doesn't mean they are a likeable person.
When these people have performed their act of bravery, the PR machine swings into action and they are not going to say that the individual is "very brave but has a flawed personality"
I live very close to a lot of former USAAF 8th Air Force Bases.
The nearest is Thurleigh where the 306th Bomb Group were based.
They have the distinction, among many others, of having the first Congessional Medal of Honour awarded to an enlisted man.
He performed an incredible act of bravery very early on in his service, saving the lives of his crew but, he was a right royal pain.
Before the event, and after, he was on charges for insubordination, drunkeness and various other crimes. In the end, they sent him back to the USA because they were fed up with his behaviour.
A brave man, but not a perfect one, but then, who is?
I think alot of people have grown up with the stories of these brave people and virtually hero worshipped them. As time moves on, they die, information about them comes to light that shows them as "Ordinary Humans" and not "Super Humans" people feel shocked and almost let down.
I grew up thinking Guy Gibson VC was the greatest war hero ever.
This was based on seeing the film "The Dam Busters" and the portrayal of him by Richard Todd.
When the stories of him started coming out, about him being a martinet, a snob, and even a womaniser, I was almost crestfallen. But, he was still a brave man. At 24 years of age, he led a very dangerous mission and put his life on the line repeatedly.
John Chard VC, commanding officer of Rorkes Drift was described as a "Most useless and lazy individual" by his commanding officer and others. But he still was a very brave man.
Douglas Bader was an incredible man. He achieved then what few people could do now. He was not a nice person, he was arrogant, and did not care for anyone who did not share his views. He got what he wanted when he wanted. Maybe thats why he achieved what he did. Maybe a "nice guy" would never have done what he did.
My short time in the Army taught me that nice people are not always the best leaders. I was either scared of or dispised all the RSMs I came into contact with. The last Adjudant I had dealings with was lucky not to have been "fragged"!
I just think that people want their Heroes to be nice people who kiss babies and stroke kittens and when they are shown to be ordinary human beings with the flaws that come with that position, it is a great disapointment.
December 20th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
My last CO in the TA was lucky I didn't park a 10 tonner on his head. I still regret to this day that I didn't put in a redress against him.

The RAF SWO (Station Warrant Officer RAF equivalent to an RSM) I had on my last operation station never walked anywhere, he marched with his pace stick under his arm shouting at everyone he came across (including officers). I was refuelling Lightnings when he marched up to me, halted and shouted "WHERE'S YOUR BERET???" I explained that station orders state that berets or any head gear are not to be worn in case they get sucked into aircraft engines. He sniffed and marched off to find his next victim.
December 20th, 2011  
Trooper1854
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
My last CO in the TA was lucky I didn't park a 10 tonner on his head. I still regret to this day that I didn't put in a redress against him.

The RAF SWO (Station Warrant Officer RAF equivalent to an RSM) I had on my last operation station never walked anywhere, he marched with his pace stick under his arm shouting at everyone he came across (including officers). I was refuelling Lightnings when he marched up to me, halted and shouted "WHERE'S YOUR BERET???" I explained that station orders state that berets or any head gear are not to be worn in case they get sucked into aircraft engines. He sniffed and marched off to find his next victim.
I knew a guy who told a Story of his RSM when he was in 2 Para that charged a man for being "Idle whilst parachuting!".
The Best RSM I ever encountered was from what was the Royal Irish Rangers. He was RSM at a training centre where I did an instructors course. He was tough as boot leather, fair, immaculate turn out and had a cracking sense of humour. Definately a role model.
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December 20th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trooper1854
I knew a guy who told a Story of his RSM when he was in 2 Para that charged a man for being "Idle whilst parachuting!".
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I can well believe that.
December 20th, 2011  
Trooper1854
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
I can well believe that.
Another story was that the same RSM had a bicycle put in the guard room for "Leaning Idly against the wall"! But I think this was a bit of Lamp Swinging!
I had a CSM I would have loved to have shot.
Lazy, liar, two faced, thick as two short planks. Shouted you down if you came up with an idea he didn't like, then went running to the CO with the same idea and got the praise. When we converted from SLR to SA80, he made such a pigs ear of the training, he had to be found "alternative duties"
December 20th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trooper1854
Another story was that the same RSM had a bicycle put in the guard room for "Leaning Idly against the wall"! But I think this was a bit of Lamp Swinging!
I had a CSM I would have loved to have shot.
Lazy, liar, two faced, thick as two short planks. Shouted you down if you came up with an idea he didn't like, then went running to the CO with the same idea and got the praise. When we converted from SLR to SA80, he made such a pigs ear of the training, he had to be found "alternative duties"
Thank God I was never issued the SA80.
December 20th, 2011  
Trooper1854
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Thank God I was never issued the SA80.
We called it the LEPPER. It was grenn and bits kept falling off it.
Apparently its a pretty awesome weapon now, since the bugs have been ironed out.
December 20th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trooper1854
We called it the LEPPER. It was grenn and bits kept falling off it.
Apparently its a pretty awesome weapon now, since the bugs have been ironed out.
The thing I don't like about it, a man cannot shoot off the left shoulder around cover, neither do I like the position of the magazine. However, as long as its turned out to be a good rifle and the troops like it, then good oh.
 


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