Clarence “Bud” Anderson and the Greatest Generation

A Monument made 12 years ago at Bud’s Hometown Airport in Auburn, CA.

In an airplane, the guy was a mongoose. It’s hard to believe, if the only Bud Anderson you ever knew was the one on the ground. Calm, gen-tlemanly. A grandfather. Funny. An all-around nice guy. But once you get him in an airplane, he’s vicious. Shot down 17 airplanes. Best fighter pilot I’ve ever seen. He’s also the best friend I have in the world. We go back 47 years, Andy and I…

 Chuck Yeager, in his forward to Bud’s book

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Masters of the Air – 100th Bomb Group

Observations of the series and from other sources

I am 7 episodes into the series, based on the 100th Bomb Group at Thorpe Abbotts in Britain during WW II, and am thoroughly enjoying it.

I became so interested in the series that I started to read a book on the last surviving member of the 100th Bomb Group, John “Lucky” Luckadoo. I was surprised to learn that the series was so accurate they brought many of the historical figures to life, with no fictional embellishment.

As an aside, the one thing even this author did that bugged me a bit was refer to what was the US Army Air Force as the “Army Air Corps”. It seems a common mistake.  A minor nit perhaps, but by June 1941, the US Army decided that the mission of their Air Force had expanded such that their aviation arm was its own Air Force:

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An Idyllic Home on the Edge of Hell

 

I’ve seen a number of WW2 movies over the years – one of the more unusual, Europa, Europa, was based on the true story of a Jewish boy whose sister was murdered on Kristallnacht, 1938, and the parents felt it best to leave Germany and go to Poland. The son ends in a Soviet orphanage in the Soviet sector of Poland, and when the Germans invade the Soviet Union, ends up after a long story as an adopted son of a Wehrmacht Captain, who believed that he looked “Aryan” enough that he ended up in a Hitler Youth elite school in Germany. Of course nobody knew he was Jewish in his fight for survival.

The Zone of Interest is also based on a true story, but the British director, Jonathan Glazer, based the screen play loosely on a 2014 book by Martin Amis. Although based on a novel, I would put the movie in the “substantially true” column.

Why?

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Another Great Road Trip – Victoria, British Columbia

If you do a quick search through the Lexican’s blog, you will see that I like to travel. And in addition to plane travel, Road Trips are right up there. I’d have to say when the opportunity arises I am like a house-bound dog who suddenly bolts out the front door when he sees it briefly open.

Actually, as a pure traveling experience, I would put road trips ahead of cross-country plane trips. Because for me, the journey is as fun as the destination. It’s the unexpected people and places along the way that add to the memories. From an interesting used book seller (with 100,000+ books) in rural Montana to an old Army buddy in Colorado Springs, they would not have been known but for a car drive.

For this drive, both the journey and the destination were exciting.

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Apollo Missions and an Alternative History

Fifty-four years ago today, Apollo 11 lifted off for its historic mission to the moon.

For those 2 of you who have followed my occasional blogs on the Neptunus Lex page – you know how I like history – and the little-known bits that are either ignored or rarely acknowledged – that can become so profound. Some years ago, I read in one of my history magazines – only a paragraph or so – that an American Tory, after the Revolutionary War, suggested to James Cook that they consider Australia as a prisoner repository now that the American colonies were gone.

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