Captain Robert Trimble – WWII Hero

260519E800000578-0-image-a-5_1424795311812The WWII American B-24 pilot who turned spy, saved 1,000 US POWs from certain death at Soviet hands and won medal after medal – but never said a word about his wartime heroismAn American bomber pilot has been unveiled as a secret hero of World War II after he saved more than 1,000 Allied POWs from certain death.26051A5800000578-2967750-Mourned_Lee_Trimble_says_his_father_should_be_remembered_as_a_tr-a-8_1424890307385

Captain Robert Trimble became a spy to smuggle soldiers and civilians out under the noses of the Soviet forces on the Eastern Front in Europe. He fooled guards, stashed $10,000 in his coat to bribe officials as he became a ‘magnet for the lost souls of foreign nations’ left behind in the war. Trimble’s most daring rescue was of 400 French women who he got to safety by arranging for an entire train to meet them at night in the woods. 2618E31800000578-2967750-image-m-19_1425058172476

Captain Robert Trimble became one of the greatest spies of World War II, saving American POWs from certain death in Soviet camps. Despite winning the highest US and French honors he never told anyone of his exploits, which are now detailed in a new book after his death written by his son.

What a great man, who truly deserves to be remembered for his compassion and heroism. I’ve ordered my copy, and I look forward to a good read. BZ Captain Robert Trimble.      Yours Aye.

Buck Pennington an Exile in Portales

Sad news… ‘Buck’ Pennington who blogged as exileinportales has recently crossed the bar. Buck occasionally left comments on this blog that were often drier than sticks in a desert. Among other posts on his own blog, his tales of travel around the UK and Europe whilst serving in the USAF were always a pleasure to read.  

My deepest, and most sincere condolences go out to his family.            Yours Aye.

Per diem, per noctem “By day & by night”

An RAF Special Forces pilot has been kicked out of the RAF for taking cocaine at a party in Hampshire where he boasted to a female colleague of his drug-fuelled sexual exploits. Squadron Leader Michael Hayes, 43- a Chinook pilot was a member of No. 7 Squadron, which is part of the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing that provides support to the SAS and SBS. 7 Squadron RAF ‘Per diem, per noctem’ (“By day and by night”)0050A5C400000258-0-image-a-10_1418163177665In the words of ‘Grandmaster Flash’ – White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It!) Which is far too late for ‘Mr. Michael Hayes’ – but not soon enough for those who sat in the back of his cab on clandestine jaunts through the wee early hours. The man is a pillock through and through. Yours Aye.

Deadly swinging to and fro…

Military’s highest court to hear appeal of Kansas airman accused of exposing people to HIV at swinger parties. A Kansas airman accused of aggravated assault for exposing multiple sex partners to HIV at swinger parties in Wichita will have his appeal heard this week before the nation’s highest military court. The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces will take up on Tuesday in the case against David Gutierrez, an appeal the defense contends could upend similar prosecutions in the U.S. Military.David Guiterrez ‘This case will have the potential of decriminalizing sexual contact with someone with HIV,’ defense attorney Kevin McDermott said. ‘In his appeal, Gutierrez has challenged whether the risk to his sexual partners was high enough to constitute aggravated assault, arguing that laws covering exposure to the disease are outdated since the statistical probability of heterosexual transmission is low and medical advances have made the disease treatable.’

What a despicable odious wretched man, it is hoped that his appeal fails miserably. On top of which, he should be given an additional ten years for bringing the service into disrepute over his miserable ‘five-a-side’ moustache!            Yours Aye.

Heavy bacon despatch for ISIS

238F0E2C00000578-0-image-18_1417117506875A dozen A-10s and half a dozen Grim Reapers are on their way to the Middle East to join the battle against ISIS militants (right). They will allow more strikes against the Islamic State. A-10s (left) are deadly weapons against lightly armed militant forces and are admired as a psychological weapon as well as for their devastating cannon fire. The Reapers (inset) will be armed with missiles and can stay in the sky for hours. A dozen A-10’s and half a dozen Grim Reapers are on their way to say ‘hello’ to ISIS militants.238ECB9800000578-0-image-2_1417114294101grim-reaper-1The Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) is a wild member of the pig family – which in this case gives merit to the saying that ‘pigs can fly!’ ‘Hey ISIS – meet someone else who likes to dress up in black.’ Though you may not want too… Yours Aye.

Royal Air Force humanity and splendour

Images which lay bare the humanity and splendour of the Royal Air Force. Members of the public can for the first time vote for their favourite image representing Britain’s Royal Air Force. Air force chiefs are inviting people to decide which picture from the RAF Photographic Competition captures the essence of the service.1407173286172_wps_25_Undated_MoD_handout_photo‘Warming Up for D-Day': The photograph was taken as this newly painted BBMF (Battle of Britain Memorial Flight) Spitfire was returning from its maiden flight in D-Day colours.1407173573515_wps_33_Undated_MoD_handout_photo 

Each year stunning photographs of servicemen and women are published following the annual competition, which is judged by leading figures in the photographic industry. But this year, in a first for the Armed Forces, the public can have their say by voting in an online poll.

Judges have selected a shortlist of nine images from among the various categories of the competition, which admits entries from military and civilian photographers working in public relations for the RAF.  ‘A breath of fresh air’1407173518629_wps_32_Undated_MoD_handout_photo‘Shark Attack': An RAF Typhoon appears like a shark… Images which lay bare the humanity and splendour of the RAF: Public to decide which best captures the essence of the service                Voting is online at

Call me old-fashioned if you will; but, if I want a delicate tune knocked out I’ll call upon a Real Military Band, which follows that if I require ‘fast jet-close air support’ from a service that offers the same I would wish to see a Typhoon over my shoulder. Due to impending Government cut backs I will settle for a Spitfire. Sod the humanity and splendour, I’ll go for killing capability, and proven historic ability each and every time…      Yours Aye.     

N.B. RAF brylcreem boys are a sweet-scented delicate lot, so as not to hurt their feelings I have deliberately played down the tempo of this post, and not referred to them by their known military nickname 😉

Aircraft spotters almost greased

200px-Seal_of_the_Turkish_Air_Force.svgA low level approach by the ‘Solo Türk’ F 16 from the aerobatics display team of the Turkish Air Force (Türk Hava Kuvvetleri) at RAF Waddington Air Show 2014.

Low level approach by an F-16 of the ‘Solo Türk,’ aerobatics display team…

Last pic below; the ‘Solo Türk’ F 16 from the aerobatics display team of the Turkish Air Force when he isn’t being naughty!             Yours Aye.RAF WADDINGTON 2wave-1024x683

And the call was answered, by hundreds…

article-2673227-1F37121500000578-80_636x463Heartwarming moment hundreds of mourners turned out to funeral of RAF gunner who died aged 90 with no close family.

This is the moment hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their respects to a war hero after it was feared no one would attend his funeral when he died aged 90 with no close relatives.article-2681173-1F6364D800000578-204_634x443

article-2681173-1F63649300000578-572_634x320Sidney Marshall, was an RAF Sgt ‘Air Gunner’ on a Lancaster bomber and flew 28 missions including a bombing raid on D-Day, died at his home in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire on June 16. However, as his wife Elizabeth died last year and no other relatives were living nearby, his undertaker feared no one would to attend his funeral prompting him to launch an emotional appeal. Heartwarming moment hundreds of mourners turned out to funeral of Sydney Marshall 

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.’                                                                          Yours Aye.

XM607 Vulcan B2 V bomber-Chariot of fire

DibbsOn 30 April 1982, the RAF launched a secret mission: to fly a Vulcan bomber to the Falkland Islands and bomb Port Stanley’s runway, putting it out of action for Argentine fighter jets. The safety of the British Task Force depended on its success. However, the RAF could only get a single plane – a crumbling, Cold War-era Vulcan – 8000 miles south to the Falklands, because just one bomber needed an aerial fleet of 13 Victor tanker planes to refuel it throughout the 16-hour round-trip. At the time it was the longest-range bombing mission in history.

From start to finish, the seemingly impossible mission was a comedy of errors, held together by pluck and ingenuity. On the brink of being scrapped, only three of the ageing nuclear bombers could be fitted out for war, one to fly the mission and two in reserve. Crucial spare parts were scavenged from museums and scrap yards – one vital component had been serving as an ashtray in the Officers’ Mess. In just three weeks, the Vulcan crews had to learn air-to-air refuelling, which they hadn’t done for 20 years, and conventional bombing, which they hadn’t done for 10 years either.

The RAF scoured the country for Second World War iron bombs, and complex refuelling calculations were done the night before on a £5 pocket calculator. With a plan stretched to the limit and the RAF’s hopes riding on just one Vulcan, the mission was flown on a knife-edge: fraught with mechanical failures, unreliable navigation, electrical storms and lack of fuel.  Astonishingly, this great feat has been downplayed into near obscurity by history, but this documentary brings it back to life, providing a thrilling and uncharacteristically upbeat account from the Falklands War: the Dambusters for the 1980s generation.March 1982 Vulcan Bomber On 30 April 1982, the RAF launched a secret mission: to fly a Vulcan bomber to the Falkland Islands and bomb Port Stanley’s runway, putting it out of action for Argentine fighter jets.

If you have 47 minutes to spare I would urge you to view this very accurate documentary, which has original film events covering the operation. OPERATION BLACK BUCK. ‘Bacon sandwiches, pipe tobacco and a stiff British upper lip.’      Yours Aye.

Rally to the RAF Colours…

‘Please honour this hero': Appeal for mourners to attend funeral of RAF veteran, 90, who flew in one of the most daring raids of WW2 but has died alonearticle-2673227-1F37121500000578-80_636x463Sidney Marshall (left and right), who died aged 90 at his home in Lytham St Annes, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for shooting down German fighters over Bergan. He also piloted a Lancaster bomber and flew in the sortie that destroyed Nazi battleship Tirpitz (inset). But he is facing a funeral with no mourners, as he had no children and his wife died 18 months ago. ‘Please honour this hero': Appeal for mourners to attend funeral of RAF veteran A Service of Thanksgiving for Sydney Joseph Marshall ‘Ex-Royal Air Force.’ 4th July 2014 at 13:30 hrs. Lytham Park Crematorium, Regent Avenue, Lytham, Lancashire, FY8 4AB.

The call has rang out far and wide, many have heard it and those that are able are rallying to the Colours. Sydney Joseph Marshall will be laid to rest with Colours flying, accompanied by those who remember and appreciate the sacrifice of the brave men and women who served through WWII.             Yours Aye.

Royal Air Force Motto: “Per Ardua ad Astra” ~ “Through Adversity to the Stars”

Speaking of deceitful doctrines…

The following 7 minute clip is well worth watching in my humble opinion. Those that voted for Obama (twice?) may well consider watching it, as it may well sway your mind from voting for him or his like ever again. Ex-Senior Airman Brian Kolfage created this powerful clip, and in doing so exposes Obama and his fraudulent socialist spinning lies…we the people 2008Forget Obama and his socialist doctrine; We Have The Winning Argument; Brian Kolfage

599287_520493104679478_778054268_nAt the 5 minute mark my spirit was lifted by a great American speaking from the grave, I believe those of you watching the clip will feel the same way…                              Yours Aye.

WARRIOR INTEL: Brian Kolfage 

‘Death 11′ ~ ‘Death 12′

With call-signs “Death 11″ and “Death 12″, we suspect the deployment by the US Air Force of 2 B-2 Stealth Bombers to the UK’s RAF base in Fairford is for anything but simple sight-seeing. As The Aviationist notes, B-2s don’t move from Whiteman AFB, in Missouri, too often as they are trained to conduct very long round-trip missions from their homebase; which is why the deployment of two Spirit bombers with the 509th Bomb Wing to the UK is, at least, noteworthy. The question is… what will Putin’s retaliatory sabre-rattle be? The Aviationist; B-2 Stealth Bombers deployed to the UKB-2-to-FairfordAn awesome sight to behold. They remind me of the WWII German HORTON HO-229 (life size model below) which was a late WWII prototype flying wing fighter bomber, powered by a turbojet. Perhaps the first jet powered aircraft to use stealth technology.Horton-HO-229-Replica-of-actual-flying-aircraft (Estimated speed was 636 mph, with an estimated ceiling of 49,213 feet. First flight was march 1, 1944.) With German production underway, a simulated “dog fight” between a HO-229 and a ME 262 showed the HO-229 outperformed the ME-262.HortonHo229bFlyingWingWWIIera-1 The only surviving HORTON HO-229 the V3, is being restored at the Smithsonian facility. Towards the end of WWII, five completed aircraft found by U.S. soldiers were destroyed to prevent their capture by the Russians. Mean while back to Gloucestershire in jolly old Blighty, and the following link showing  B-2 Stealth Bombers ‘Death 11′ ~ ‘Death 12′ arriving at RAF Fairford on 8th June 2014   B-2 RAF FAIRFORD I can well imagine the security nightmare attached to such an event, especially when the Queens Highway runs within spitting distance of the ‘outer’ perimeter fence. For any pilot attempting their first landing at RAF Fairford I guarantee their bemusement is only matched by the ‘gooners’ enthusiasm who turn out in all weather to film and photograph the same.Queens Highway RAF FairfordNot to worry, the outer fence carry’s a Health & Safety hazard sign as well as a Ministry Of Defence Security sign that prohibits every thing prohibit-able (click the pic to enlarge!) Move along there; nothing to see here chaps – spiffing jets, what…   Yours Aye.

A Higher Calling of Gallantry and Honour

Tom Stoppard, widely regarded as one of Britains’s greatest living playwrights, is to produce a £50 million pounds film based on one of the most extraordinary stories of heroism and compassion during the Second World War. A Higher Callingarticle-2370933-1ADC0D47000005DC-49_634x367The lone US B17 bomber was a sitting duck. Holed all over by flak and bullets and down to a single good engine, it struggled simply to stay in the air over Germany, let alone make it the 300 miles back to England. The rear gunner’s body hung lifeless in his shattered turret, another gunner was unconscious and bleeding heavily, the rest of the ten-man crew battered, wounded and in shock. The nose cone had been blown out and a 200mph gale hurtled through the fuselage. Somehow the pilot, 20-year-old Lt Charlie Brown, still clung to the controls — and the last vestiges of hope. 

He had already performed miracles. Returning from a daylight bombing run to Bremen, he had manoeuvred the plane magnificently through a pack of Messerschmitt fighters, taken hit after hit, then spiralled five miles down through the air, belching smoke and flames, in an apparent death dive before somehow levelling her out less than 2,000ft from the ground. If common sense prevailed, he would order everyone to bail out and leave the B-17 Flying Fortress to its fate. He and the crew would parachute to safety, prisoners of war but alive. But that would mean leaving an unconscious man behind to die alone, and Brown refused to do thatBrown+7-1024x383Mercifully, though, he realised as he coaxed the massive plane along at 135mph, barely above its stalling speed, the German fighters had disappeared. They must have seen the bomber — part of the U.S. Air Force based in eastern England — plummeting to earth that day in December, 1943, and ticked off another kill before returning to base. There was a faint chance, then, they might make it home after all, even though, as his flight engineer now reported after an inspection of the plane’s blood-spattered interior, ‘we’re chewed to pieces, the hydraulics are bleeding, the left stabiliser is all but gone and there are holes in the fuselage big enough to climb through’. In the distance, agonisingly close, Brown could see the German coastline, and ahead of that the North Sea and open skies back to England. Spirits rose — until a glance behind revealed a fast-moving speck, a lone Me109, getting bigger and bigger by the second, closing in. The crew of the B 17 Bomber ‘Ye Olde Pub’ saved by the gallantry and honour of Franz Stigler article-2245472-167128F4000005DC-902_634x468  In the cockpit of the German fighter, his guns primed, was Lt Franz Stigler, a Luftwaffe ace who needed one more kill to reach the 30 that would qualify him for a Knight’s Cross, the second highest of Germany’s Iron Cross awards for bravery. Stigler, aged 28 and a veteran airman who had been flying since the start of the war, had been refuelling and reloading his guns on the ground when the lone B-17 had lumbered slowly overhead. Within minutes, he was fast-taxiing to the runway and up in the air to give chase, the precious Knight’s Cross now just a leather-gloved trigger-finger away.


What happened next was extraordinary in the annals of World War II — and told in a new book that offers a gleam of humanitarian light in the dark tragedy of that conflict. As Stigler came up behind the bomber he could not believe its condition. How was it still flying? Nor, strangely, was there any gunfire from the stricken plane to try to ward him off. That was explained as, inching closer, he saw the slumped body of the rear gunner.

Veering alongside, he could see the other guns were out of action too, the radio room had been blown apart and the nose had gone. Even more startlingly, through the lattice-work of bullet holes, he glimpsed members of the crew, huddled together, helping their wounded. He could make out their ashen faces, their fear and their courage. His finger eased from the trigger. He just couldn’t do it, he realised. He was an experienced fighter pilot. He’d fought the Allies in the skies over North Africa, Italy and now Germany. This bomber he was cruising alongside was just one plane out of the countless air armada that had been pulverising his homeland night and day for three years, wiping out factories and cities, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. And yet . . . Higher-Call-A-stricken-Allied-bomber-German-ace-sent-shoot-truly-awe-inspiring-story-wartime-chivalryStigler was struggling with a dilemma. He was not content just to ease back and let the bomber escape. He was now determined to save it and the men on board. 

I hope the film maintains the integrity of the story as detailed in the book, as there is an inborn gallantry that runs through the generation who fought in WWII. This short film was taken when Bf-109 ace Franz Stigler met B-17 pilot Charlie Brown for the first time since their encounter during WWII! The book is a good read, and I believe at the time of its release the US Air Force Chief of Staff added it to the USAF official reading list. Great Britain and Europe owes a debt of gratitude to the men and woman of America who stepped for ward when asked.                Yours Aye.

An RAF Commander & rank stupidity

Air force memorial to famous ‘Memphis Belle’ bomber crew fenced off ‘to avoid offending Libyans!’ Bungling military officials erected a 10ft fence around a US Air Force memorial in case it ‘offended Libyan soldiers’. The ‘Memphis Belle’ monument was erected at RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, to honour the USFA’s Eighth Air Force – who were based there during the Second World War. Memphis Bell was the nickname given to the Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress bombers flown by the 91st Bomb Group (Heavy) – which suffered huge losses of men between 1942 and 1945.article-2619482-1D8B870F00000578-974_636x412But the structure was fenced off when it was announced that 2,000 Libyan soldiers were to be trained at the base. The Libyans will spend two months training at the base as part of efforts to help disarm the country’s government after the removal of despot Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. After an uproar from enthusiasts and locals alike, officials have now removed the 10ft fence. General Davers shakes hands with pilot Captain Robert Morgan as the crew prepare to return to the US from an 8th Amy Air Station in England.article-2619482-00CD51DD000004B0-396_634x461‘The commander responsible for erecting it will be investigated in a Ministry of Defence probe.’ A ministry source said the official was ‘some bloke with a clipboard’ who oversaw an extraordinary ‘error of judgement’. No official comment has been made as to why the fence was put around the monument… Air force memorial for famous Memphis Belle bomber crew fenced off.          Memphis Belle aircrew USAF WWIIMemphis Belle CrewMethinks an RAF Commander has just ‘volunteered’ for a long-term posting to Unst,  where an ultra remote weather monitoring station requires company. The RAF as well as the Royal Air Force Association are an unforgiving lot when it comes to such a slur (as are all serving and ex serving members of HM Armed Forces.)  Five years counting rain drops on Unst may be sufficient penance~just!                     Yours Aye.

The luck of the draw

article-2607895-1D2E869700000578-840_636x382Incredible story of the Lancaster bomber pilot who bailed out over Germany whose life was saved when a searchlight helped him find his parachute that wasn’t strapped on correctly! Squadron Leader Barry Douetil plunged out of his blazing Lancaster bomber at 20,000 ft and was horrified when he realised his parachute wasn’t strapped to his body. It was only when he hurtled for a split second through the bright beam of the German searchlight that he spotted it was on the end of a strap 10 ft above him. While still falling through the air in the dark, the 21-year-old managed to rein the cord in until he was able to put the parachute on and pull the release cord in the nick of time.article-2607895-1D2CBA8200000578-98_634x448 

He landed heavily ten seconds later in a frozen field but escaped the 1944 near-death experience with just a dislocated shoulder. He was picked up by the Germans and taken to the infamous Stalag Luft III camp just six weeks before the ‘Great Escape’ attempt by nearly 100 Allied POW’s. 

An incredible story of a 21-year-old pilot who was on his 14th bombing mission, matched by his bravery and that of all of the Allied Bomber Command who faced the inevitable when flying into occupied Europe and Germany. A generation of selfless people who we all  owe a debt of gratitude.            Yours Aye.