Saturday, May 5, 2012
According to the Post Crescent the new French communist government has started a social security system and universal health care. Don't know why we would need either of those here. The kids take care of their parents and if there is someone is without kids they go into the home. Why bother with the medical care either. It's so cheap. My broken arm only cost me $50 including the ambulance ride and an overnight in the hospital. I suppose it might be hard for some to do that but that's why you have St. Elizabeth's. They take in folks who can't pay. I don't know it just seems unnecessary. You'd think that someone was going to get rich on the misfortunes of others or something. Now that would be really bad for the country if that ever happened.
I suppose someone is going to say that we need social security for our old age because someone might come along and steal our pension fund. Now that's really stupid. Who would do that and who would allow it to happen? No I expect to be well taken care of in my golden years with a good pension and great medical care.
Far East Theater in WWIII 1946
Special Forces Training Area
Camp Braxton Bragg
Outside Fayetteville, North Carolina
Major General Halderman was suitably impressed with the rows of the new C-82 Packet troop transport aircraft lined up at the airfield, waiting to take the paratroopers that are now based here up for their practice jumps. He was surprised at how much he didn't know, now that he had achieved security clearance just under that of the President's. Such as the fact that a Special Forces branch was being established for the U.S. Army, using U.S. Army and Canadian Army veterans of the Special Service Forces and Pacific theater guerrillas as training cadres... Such as the Airborne Command now being based here, soon to be established as a Fort of the Army... Such as the training of friendly foreign nationals to be the nucleus of their nation's special forces units... So much new information to process.
It was a short drive from Pope Army Airfield to Camp Bragg, and from the post gate down a short and winding dirt road leading to the new Special Forces Training Area, called “the Swamp” by the locals and the trainees. General Halderman watched the troops training harder and more intensely than he had ever remembered from his days at West Point. He considered that the training would have to be as such, considering the nature of the combat that they will be engaging in. Then Halderman saw the stacks of Soviet, German and other foreign weapons that a another group of soldiers were crowded around, learning the finer points of from their Special Forces weapons instructor. Another group of soldiers were crawling along the ground, obviously attempting to capture some unseen target.
Then finally, the Jeep stops in front of a large ramshackle building, with two men wearing non-descript fatigues waiting in front of it. And they suddenly stand at attention “As you were” was General Halderman's response. “Let's not stand on ceremony here, gentleman. My name is Dave Halderman. I have some plans I want you to see.” Then Aaron Bank introduces them “I'm Aaron, and this is Russ.” referring to Russell Volckmann. “We're in command of the Swamp. Nice to meet ya. Let's see what you've got...” Halderman follows the men inside the building, to a conference area with a large table. On this table, is a large map of the Soviet Union, and the nations and territories adjoining it. He uncuffs the hard briefcase attached to his hand, unholsters his M1911A5 and puts it on the table, before unpacking the top-secret materials from the hardcase. The two Special Forces commanders looked non-plussed at each other and they got down to work.
As they all reviewed the materials, each person made their inputs, trying to come with a plan that would effectively allow them to tie down resources in the Far East, allowing the Allies to roll back the Soviets in Europe and tamp down any future threat from them. “Conventional and airborne forces are to take Vladivostok as a diversion, and that will allow you to insert your forces into Far Eastern Russia to begin harrassing their rear areas, especially concerning the Trans-Siberian Railway. Once you cut that in several places, and break up the poor road system in the area, you will be able to isolate and damage the Red Army and NKGB border guard forces at will. But don't be fooled, the Red Army troops and NKGB border guards in that area will be tough to crack, being mostly veterans from the Battle of Berlin, so guerrilla tactics, in addition to finding and arming local oppressed minorities in the area, will be the best way to do this. Death by a thousand cuts. How typically Chinese.” and they all laughed. “Well,” Halderman says, “this is just a rough plan, gentlemen. I expect you to tweak it and change it to serve your needs, to ensure that you win the battle decisively. I will make sure that you get everything you need and that you have the appropriate help, as and when needed. I assume that you put that new translation of Sun-Tzu's Art Of War on your troops' training syllabus? It will give them a way of thinking of war in a completely assymetrical way...” “We have and the troops have been itching to apply the lessons that they have learned from their reading of the book.” replies Aaron Bank, who continues “I, myself, have been anxious to apply these lessons upon the Soviets, especially with the help of that expatriate Russian Air Corps – we will be meeting with their leader when we arrive there next month, and we will be taking some specialized equipment with us, and training them how to use it...” “Let's hope that they're all that they advertise. I heard somewhere that their leader was a member of General Vlasov's German-sponsored Free Russian Army. I still don't know how to feel about that, having dealt first-hand with Nazi atrocities.” said Aaron. Then Volckmann replies “The enemy of my enemy is my... I'll let you fill in the rest, Aaron and David. Fact of the matter is, in facing the Soviet juggernaut, we have to take the help wherever and whenever we can get it. I cringe, thinking of my old friend, Freddie Marcos, fighting the Huks in the PI, without much of our support, simply because we can't spare it.” Volckmann wears a look of disapprobation. “Gentlemen, thank you for the great knock-around session, but it's getting late and I'm no longer as young as you two scoundrels are.
Where can I lay my head?” Halderman asks, as he packs his briefcase and holsters his sidearm. “We'll get a jeep and check you into the BOQ, and pick back up where we left off tomorrow morning, David?” Halderman nods his approval, and they all leave, to continue their work tomorrow, satisfied with what they accomplished already in this short afternoon session...
Thursday, May 3, 2012
I never failed again in my flying career to land safely if my plane was not damaged. In fact I became a much sought after instructor. For four years I was always able to find a position as an instructor where ever I was sent. Working other jobs in between but always looking for the next opportunity to fly.
Most of my students were very good and we could spend the time needed to train them. Apparently the powers that be decided that pilots were going to be needed in the future and were willing to spend both time and money on their education and practice. And practice they did. Wearing me out at times but when I look back on it I was a very happy pilot. I was able to reach for the skies almost without restriction. I just had to say that one of my pilots needed extra flight time and off we would go. I probably took off and landed more than any other person in the world during that time.
On Aviation Day we put on quite a show at the aerodrome with parachutists, gliders and the instructors flying in formation and doing some acrobatics. I found out that my Mum had been in the crowd and was trying to see me. We finally got together and she gave me the expected gifts of pierogi and other favorite foods. We feasted that night. Mum is a great cook.
The instructors were rewarded with a river boat trip from Kalinin to Moscow and we soon steamed down the Volga. It was a grand time seeing Moscow from the water's edge.
Victor Koutov , one of my old classmates, had become a fighter pilot on the Western border. We were all quite jealous but also proud that one of us had become a pilot of consequence. It's amazing how familiar we all were with each other's careers in those early years. Everyone knew where everyone was. That would change soon.
Throughout the whole winter before the war we training one class after another. Good pilot after good pilot left our aerodrome destined to become a hero in the coming months. Hundreds of them were sent to us and hundreds of them graduated and hundreds of them died.
Finally we got a rare day off and went into the woods near the town. We were just starting to relax and enjoy nature when someone heard a far off radio announce that we were at war. We all immediately ran back into town and demanded to be sent to the front. We were told that as instructors we were much valuable to the war effort training future pilots and none of us would be leaving. But war has a way of changing things.
The news from the front was increasing bad and one day we were ordered to evacuate to the deep rear. Already our friends were coming back from the front with horrendous wounds and tales of death and destruction. We were not prepared for the Germans. Not at all. They swiftly were cutting through our lines and advancing on Moscow itself.
When I got to Moscow to report I was amazed at the cities transformation. Anti-aircraft guns and soldiers at every conceivable spot. Huge balloons tied up soaring hundreds of meters over the city like upside down fishermen trying to catch a bird instead of a fish. The metro was virtually deserted with everyone staying at home or even evacuating to the East. There were even flak guns in the parks. Anywhere where there was a good line of fire. The roads were cluttered with anti-tank hedgehogs and barbwire.
Everyday Levitan's voice gave the Muscovites more and more dire news. It was impossible to avoid the reports over the radio and impossible not to get sick of and by them. It was hard to get to the Central Areoclub offices.
When I finally got there the office was full of other pilots looking to go to the front. Looking for a plane to fly. Looking for a way to fight back using his hard earned skills. But there were no planes. They had been destroyed in the first few months of the attack and we were all looking for something that did not exist at the moment.
I finally weaseled my way to the front and there I would not leave until they sent me to the front. Since the aerodromes were closed in the area he finally figured out that I wasn't going anywhere and gave into my unorthodox methods. "Stalino...you're going to Stalino. Now get out of here before I change my mind." The others where in an uproar but I grabbed my orders and pushed my way out.
I was extremely hot in the carriage and all everyone could talk about was the war. As we got near Stalino the cars started to clear out. Finally someone asked me where I was going. "Stalino" I replied.
"That's no place for you. It's been evacuated. It's only for soldiers."
"It can't be."
"Never the less it is."
When I got to the aerodrome it was indeed empty. I was devastated and started the long way back to the station. An officer ran up to me and grabbed my arm. "I saw you go into the aerodrome. Are you a pilot?"
"Yes." I replied.
"I've come to pick up pilots. Come with me."
After gathering a dozen of us in the area and we were taken to 103th Detached Aviation Signals Squadron of the Southern Front. The commander had fought and Spain and we were in awe.
My third day on the front I finally received my plane. It was not a high-speed fighter, nor a dive bomber, just a U-2. It was re-designated the Po-2 after it's designer Polikarpov. But it was still the same old U-2 I had flown throughout my career. The same plane I had always flown. It had gained a new job and it would gain glory and earn the hatred of the enemy throughout the war.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Weapons Development in WWIII 1946 by Ranger Elite
U.S. Army Air Force Test Facility
Hunter Army Airfield
The air was beginning to get less humid, more crisp, the first tastes of fall in the air as Igor Sikorsky stood there and wrapped his light coat around him tightly. Before him was a rushed prototype of his S-55 helicopter, with its bulbous nose protruding below the high cockpit. It was a large aircraft for its type, the largest ever built to date, designed to accommodate and transport up to twelve fully armed and equipped soldiers, or six litters of wounded men and two combat medics. He wanted so badly for this to work, but he feared the worst: that his latest creation would crash and burn, meaning that future contracts would go to his nearest competitor and young upstart, Frank Piasecki. It would simply be his ruin and he could not have that.
Sikorsky greeted the test pilots as they came up to the helicopter, chatted with them momentarily, then moved a safe distance away as they climbed up to the cockpit. Then the starting whine of the engines, beginning to feed rotor shafts, increasingly spinning up the main rotor and stabilizing tail rotor...and as enough energy is developed by the rotors, the huge lumbering beast lifts off, at first slowly moving up, then picking up speed, then starting to maneuver, hovering, before moving forward, backward, side to side, with no apparent problem. The helicopter begins to gain altitude, start to move faster in forward flight, nimbly sprinting from one checkpoint to another. After 15 minutes of flight, the aircraft lands, to initiate the second phase of the test.
A squad of eight fully armed and equipped soldiers boarded the stairs of the helicopter, Sikorsky taking note that he would have to enlarge the passenger door and reinforce the boarding ladder for the heavily laden soldiers to be able to embark the aircraft comfortably. The helicopter began to rise again, this time more slowly, due to the increased weight, and began its first nearly fully-loaded passenger flight. This flight lasted another 15 minutes, before landing. Sikorsky looked pleased...
That was, until Sikorsky saw the twin-rotored monstrosity lumbering just over the horizon. It moved in a controlled slewing motion, its counter-rotating twin-axial rotors like nothing he had ever seen. This must be Frank Piasecki's creation and it was enough to take the wind out his sails. It looked to be twice the size of his prototype, with what appeared to look like three times the load capacity, utilizing a dual counter-rotating rotoring system, with one rotor being mounted on an engine pylon in the front, and the same size rotor mounted on a rear engine pylon situated above the forward rotor, with a long wide body slung underneath them. Sikorsky knew that he was going to lose for sure...
He saw Frank Piasecki walking up to him, no doubt to gloat, but walking parallel to him was none other than General Henry H. “Hap” Arnold himself, first shaking Piasecki's hand, then Sikorsky's. Perhaps, this was a good sign... “Well, gentlemen, we have some good news for both of you: we will be ordering helicopters from both of your companies. Mr. Sikorsky's S-55 helicopter suits our need for a medium-sized vertical personnel transport, whereas Mr. Piasecki's H-25 helicopter meets our requirements for a heavy-lift material transporter. We all win in this situation, gentlemen.” Then General Arnold turns and walks away, being hustled away by his paranoiac aides.
As Sikorsky turns to walk away himself, Piasecki quickly turns and catches up with him and grasps his hand and says “Mr. Sikorsky, it is a great honor to finally meet you. It was your inspiration that allowed me to pursue my dreams of becoming an aeronautical engineer and designing unique durable aircraft. Thank you for that, sir.” Sikorsky was dumb-founded and at a loss for words, though he quickly recovered, “you do me great honor, young man, and as once I considered you an adversary and rival, you shall be forever my greatest friend. Please join me for dinner tonight?”
And thus began one of the greatest friendships of the Third World War...
What a day! A police car drove up and escorted our two oldest up to the front door. John was supposed to take his little sister Lynn out for a walk starting at his Grandmas house. He got a little carried away and convinced his 4 year old sister to follow him downtown to see what was playing at the movie theatre. It's a 3 mile walk? Anyway they were doing pretty well when Lynn stepped out in front of a car and fell down. Luckily she fell down because the poor women driving the car would have hit her square with the bumper. Because she fell down the two front wheels missed her by passing on either side. What a horrible situation for everybody involved.
Over in Chilton a little two year old fell in the river when her big sister was playing on the swings. A lot of kids dying in preventable accidents these days.
I guess our little home town is getting too big for kids to run around loose for long periods of time. When I was a kid we would run out of the house after breakfast and then show up for lunch, run out again till supper and not come home until dark. I guess those days are over. We sure had a lot of fun playing army, Kick the Can, Kickball, baseball, Everyone Tackle the Guy With the Ball (gotta change that name) and a million variations of tag.
I just read about some guy in Pennsylvania that started an organized league for boys to play baseball before they are in high school. What a ridiculous concept. You got ten or more kids together, rock-paper-scissors for the captains, threw a bat in the air, one captain caught it, you alternated gripping the bat until the was no bat left and the last one to fit a pinky on the end chose first. They alternated picks until Eddy was left (in our case he was always chosen last cause he threw like a girl) and the last captain got him. Jackie was always picked way before Eddy and even most of the time before Bill, Bob and sometimes even Jeff. They whined a lot being a few years younger than the rest of us. Jackie had quite an arm and held the high school girls record for throwing a softball for years. Then we played for at least 3 hours and had a ball. Well... except for Eddy.