Farewell to Old Soldiers - 2019

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Farewell to Old Soldiers - 2019

1varielle
Jan 17, 2019, 2:50pm

Navajo Code Talker Alfred K. Newman died January 13 at the age of 94. He served in the Pacific with the 1st Battalion, 21st Marine Regiment and the 3rd Marine Division. http://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/navajo-code-talker-alfred-k-newman-dies-at-94...

2John5918
Edited: Oct 28, 2019, 5:24am

Windsor Davies: It Ain't Half Hot Mum actor dies aged 88 (BBC)

a National Serviceman who served in Egypt and Libya with the East Surrey Regiment

But he is best known as the actor who played the Sergeant Major in the popular TV comedy series "It Ain't Half Hot Mum".

3John5918
Jan 20, 2019, 2:21pm

Alan Gauntlett, 93: Veteran of Arnhem (Times)

As a 13-year-old, Paul Gauntlett was once looking for a missing item in his father’s desk when he chanced on a newspaper clipping.

According to this, Alan, his father, had fought in September 1944, at the Battle of Arnhem in the Netherlands. Puzzled, for he knew nothing of this, the boy consulted his mother. Quick to return the clipping to the desk, she muttered: “Your father doesn’t like speaking about the war.”

Indeed, for more than 60 years, Alan never spokef Arnhem, regarding the subject as “taboo”. Only in 2011 did the tall, upright engineer write his memories of how, as a 19-year-old sapper with the Royal Engineers, he had been dropped seven miles from Arnhem Bridge on September 18, 1944...

4Rood
Jan 22, 2019, 5:40pm

5John5918
Jan 22, 2019, 6:24pm

>4 Rood:

Thanks for this. In the Times obituary which I found you could only read the first couple of paragraphs without registering, so I hadn't seen the bit about escaping from the SS.

6John5918
Jan 26, 2019, 1:03pm

WW2 pilot Peter Johnson's funeral packed out after appeal (BBC)

Peter Johnson, from Eastoft, North Lincolnshire, flew 27 operations with 101 Squadron under Bomber Command, flying specially equipped Avro Lancasters fitted with radar-jamming equipment.

7varielle
Jan 28, 2019, 1:41pm

Medal of honor and Distinguished Service Cross winner Maj. Charles Kettles has died. In 1967 he flew a helicopter that rescued dozens of troops following a Vietcong ambush. Upon his award President. Obama described his exploits as like a Rambo movie. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/27/obituaries/charles-kettles-dies-at-89.html

8varielle
Edited: Feb 4, 2019, 4:33pm

Groundbreaking US Naval pilot Rosemary B. Mariner died on January 24 at the age of 65. She was honored with the first all female missing (wo)man fly over at her funeral. She wrote The Atomic Bomb and American Society: New Perspectives . https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/02/02/she-made-history-navy-pilot-no...

9varielle
Edited: Feb 5, 2019, 8:55pm

The State of Michigan's last WWII female pilots has died. Mildred Jane Doyle died February 1 at the age of 97. She was one of the first female pilots with the Women Air Force Service Pilots Program (WASP).
https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/michigan-s-last-female-wwii-pilot-dies/...

10John5918
Edited: Feb 13, 2019, 4:58am

Compensate African second world war veterans, Labour urges (Guardian)

Government urged to make amends to ex-soldiers, who were underpaid and beaten...

Pressure is mounting on the government to compensate and apologise to Britain’s last surviving African veterans of the second world war after three shadow secretaries of state called on their Conservative counterparts to acknowledge the systematic discrimination of colonial-era troops...


Let's hope some of the few survivors will receive a gesture of recognition before we have to finally say "farewell" to them.

11varielle
Feb 15, 2019, 4:54pm

The last survivor of the Great Escape from Stalag Luft III, Airman Richard Churchill, has died at the age of 99. He was recaptured after three days and believed he didn't get shot because the Germans thought he was related to the Prime Minister. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/last-survivor-real-life-world-14002354.amp...

12John5918
Feb 16, 2019, 5:02am

13varielle
Edited: Feb 18, 2019, 5:45pm

The legendary "kissing sailor" George Mendonsa served in the Pacific during WWII and was in New York City on leave when V-J Day was declared. The photograph taken of Mr. Mendonsa kissing a nurse was taken by Alfred Eisenstadt for Life Magazine. He died on Sunday at the age of 95. https://www.rte.ie/news/2019/0218/1031339-iconic-kissing-sailor-new-york/?fbclid...

14John5918
Edited: Feb 22, 2019, 8:36pm

Flypast for WW2 US bomber crash crew (BBC video)

A flypast honouring 10 American airmen who died when their plane crashed in a park 75 years ago has taken place in Sheffield.

The US bomber came down in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield on 22 February 1944, killing everyone on board.

15Rood
Feb 24, 2019, 6:56pm

<14 Yes, the plane crew may all have survived had they not landed in trees, but on flat park-land, instead. Presence of children prompted them to attempt a landing in a nearby forested area.

The fellow tending the memorial was one of those children.

16varielle
Feb 25, 2019, 1:57pm

<15 The families of the airmen have agreed that his ashes can be placed alongside the men when he dies. He still feels guilty that it was his fault. Poor man.

18John5918
Edited: Mar 2, 2019, 6:54am

Billie Wayne Coble, a Vietnam veteran, executed aged 70 in Texas nearly 30 years after murdering his wife's parents and brother. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-47424070)

'Raised in an orphanage, Coble went on to serve in Vietnam as a machine gunner involved in combat. Afterward, his sister said he came back "different," according to court records, and he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and bipolar disorder...' (https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/70-year-old-Waco-man-convicted-...)

19varielle
Mar 5, 2019, 4:59pm

U.S. Rear Admiral Edgar Keats died March 2 at the age of 104. He was a decorated WWII veteran and the oldest Naval Academy graduate. https://www.capitalgazette.com/news/obituaries/bs-md-ob-edgar-keats-20190302-sto...

20varielle
Mar 5, 2019, 8:56pm

Victor Paradis died February 18 at the age of 100. He was a U.S. Navy Master Chief Machinist who survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, served as part of the task force that helped launchDoolittle's Raiders, fought at the Battle of Midway and after his ship was sunk under him some of his shipmates were rescued by the PT-109. http://www.startribune.com/pearl-harbor-survivor-victor-paradis-dead-at-100-foug...

21varielle
Mar 12, 2019, 3:04pm

Another participant in the Great Escape has died. Jack Lyon was an RAF flight lieutenant shot down over Dusseldorf and imprisoned at Stalag Luft III. He was 101 years old. https://www.itv.com/news/2019-03-12/former-raf-prisoner-of-war-involved-in-the-g...

22varielle
Apr 9, 2019, 7:53pm

The last of Doolittle's Raiders has died. Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole "Dick", died April 9 at the age of 103. https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2019/04/09/a-legend-passes-dic...

23John5918
Apr 24, 2019, 4:51am

Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg dies aged 98 (Guardian)

As the 19-year-old heir to Luxembourg’s throne, Jean fled the Grand Duchy under the protection of the French army when German forces invaded on 9 May 1940. He lived in exile in France, Portugal, the US and Canada, with the rest of the royal family, before arriving in Britain where he volunteered for the Irish Guards in November 1942, on the advice of King George VI. After training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Jean landed near Bayeux, Normandy, on 11 June 1944, five days after D-day. He took part in the Battle for Caen and the liberation of Brussels. On 10 September 1944, Jean returned to Luxembourg, crossing the border at Rodange, from where he had fled the country four years earlier. Jean returned to battle three days later, taking part in fighting in Arnhem and the Ardennes before joining the invasion of Nazi Germany...

And one from a different part of the world which I forgot to mention last week, South Sudanese opposition leader Peter Gadet died of natural causes, aged about 60, in Khartoum, the capital of neighbouring Sudan. Gadet had at various times been a commander of rebel forces and a general in the South Sudanese army.

24varielle
Edited: Apr 26, 2019, 4:17pm

Lorna Collacott died on Good Friday at the age of 94. When she was 18 she joined the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force where she became a code breaker. She was later added to the Bletchley Park Roll of Honour.

https://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/lorna-collacott-dec-13-1924-april-19-201...

25John5918
Apr 29, 2019, 4:32am

Richard Lugar, US politician

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1956 to 1960; one of his assignments was as an intelligence briefer for Admiral Arleigh Burke. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade (Wikipedia)

26varielle
Edited: May 13, 2019, 1:31pm

Former U.S. Marine and Navajo Code Talker, Fleming Begaye died May 19 at the age of 97. He was honored at the White House in 2017. He survived the Battle of Tarawa in 1943. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/11/obituaries/fleming-begaye-sr-dead.html

27varielle
May 14, 2019, 1:58pm

The oldest surviving Medal of Honor Recipient, former Communications Technician Fifth Grade, Robert Maxwell died on May 11 at the age of 98. On September 7, 1944, Germans lobbed a grenade into his observation post in Beancon, France. With only an army blanket for protection he threw himself on it saving his fellow soldiers. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/obituaries/robert-maxwell-dead.html

28varielle
May 29, 2019, 12:25am

The last Mohawk code talker Louis Levi Oates died May 28 at the age of 95. The Quebecois enlisted in the US Army when he was 18 and served six years with Company B’s 442nd Signal Battalion.

29varielle
Jun 1, 2019, 9:43pm

Former Staff Sgt. Al Mampre died May 31st at the age of 97. He joined the Army at 20 in 1942 and became a paratrooper and medic. He was one of the last surviving members of the 101st Airborne's Easy Company featured in HBOs series Band of Brothers. He saw combat in Operation Market Garden and several others. https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/wwii-easy-company-medic-feature...

30varielle
Jun 3, 2019, 2:29am

Goodness we are about to lose all the code talkers. Navajo code talker William Tully Brown died June 3 at the age of 96. He enlisted in 1944. https://www.12news.com/article/news/local/arizona/navajo-code-talker-has-died-wi...

31varielle
Jun 14, 2019, 3:09pm

Canadian WWII veteran Herb Peppard has died at the age of 98. In 1940 at the age of 20 he joined the Canadian Artillery then the First Canadian Parachute Battalion. He was recruited to the First Special Service Force known as the Devil's Brigade. From the U.S. he received the Silver Star and the Congressional Gold Medal. https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/local/second-world-war-veteran-herb-peppa...

32John5918
Jun 21, 2019, 10:30am

Obituary: Franco Zeffirelli died on June 15th (Economist)

"fought bravely with the partisans against the fascists in the war"

33John5918
Jun 21, 2019, 1:55pm

Three British WW1 soldiers buried after 'emotional' DNA match (BBC)

Two young British privates killed in World War One have been buried more than 100 years later.

Pte Henry Wallington and Pte Frank Mead, of the 23rd (County of London) Battalion, were identified using DNA samples from relatives.

Their bodies and a body of another unidentified British soldier were found in a back garden in France when the owner dug a trench for a drainpipe.

The three were buried with full military honours...

34John5918
Jun 23, 2019, 7:35pm

Grave of unknown First World War soldier from Gloucestershire finally bears his name, 105 years after he died (GloucestershireLive)

Captain William Kington, from Cheltenham, lay in a grave without his name on it after the First World War

35John5918
Jul 1, 2019, 4:01am

Captain David Pentreath, who has died aged 86, commanded the frigate HMS Plymouth with distinction and bravery during the Falklands War...

Captain David Pentreath, commander of the frigate HMS Plymouth, which played a crucial role in the retaking of the Falklands – obituary (Telegraph)

36John5918
Jul 10, 2019, 4:48am

Ross Perot - according to the BBC obituary, he "graduated in 1953 from the US Naval Academy" and had "a brief stint in the Navy".

37John5918
Jul 17, 2019, 12:03am

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Who Led Liberal Wing, Dies at 99 (NYT)

He was commissioned as an officer in the Navy on Dec. 6, 1941, the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He spent most of his Navy service, which lasted until 1945, stationed at Pearl Harbor working on breaking Japanese codes, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star...

38John5918
Jul 22, 2019, 10:00pm

David Hedison, actor

Hedison enlisted in the United States Navy in 1945, but the war ended before he completed basic training. He served 18 months, then mustered out. (Wikipedia)

39John5918
Aug 2, 2019, 3:18pm

Battle of Britain pilot Archie McInnes dies after 100th birthday (BBC)

A Battle of Britain veteran has died hours after celebrating his 100th birthday, taking the number of surviving members of "The Few" to five...

Archie McInnes, who retired to Cambridge, flew Hurricanes during the battle in the skies over southern England.

He completed his pilot training aged 21 and was commissioned the next day.

He celebrated his 100th birthday on Wednesday. He then died that night...


Ex-Battle of Britain pilot dies hours after celebrating 100th birthday (Guardian)

40varielle
Edited: Aug 2, 2019, 4:00pm

Here's a link to The Few by Alex Kershaw and Five of the Few by Steve Darlow.

42varielle
Aug 7, 2019, 5:50pm

Dorothy Olsen joined the WASPs in the first year of its creation in 1943 and served through the war ferrying planes. She died July 23 at the age of 103. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/dorothy-olsen-daring-aviatrix-wi...

44varielle
Oct 13, 2019, 12:53pm

One of the last living WWII Medal of Honor recipients, Francis S. Currey, died October 8 at the age of 94. Technical sergeant Currey was only 19 when his actions during the Battle of the Bulge earned him the honor. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/francis-currey-one-of-the-last-l...

45John5918
Oct 14, 2019, 10:40am

Alexei Leonov: First person to walk in space dies aged 85 (BBC)

He was an air force pilot before being selected to train as a cosmonaut.

46John5918
Oct 14, 2019, 10:49am

Hundreds turn out for 100-year-old veteran's funeral (Guardian)

Hundreds of people have turned out to pay their respects to a veteran who died with no known family.

Members of the public were invited to the funeral of 100-year-old RAF veteran Oswald Dixon after a plea from the care home where he lived...

Dixon, who joined the RAF in 1944 after arriving from Jamaica, died on 25 September...

47John5918
Oct 16, 2019, 4:33pm

Scotty Bowers, ‘male madame to the stars’, dies aged 96 (Guardian)

Scotty Bowers, a former US marine, gas station attendant and bartender who became the “infamous male madame to the stars”...

48John5918
Oct 28, 2019, 4:24am

John Conyers: Longest-serving black congressman dies aged 90 (BBC)

served in the military for nearly a decade, including 12 months in Korea during the war there (1950-53) when he was a Combat Engineers officer. "I like to think that my worldview was broadened by my military experience"...

49varielle
Nov 2, 2019, 2:17pm

John Moon was the oldest surviving Marine of the Battle of Iwo Jima. He died October 29 at the age of 103. https://www.google.com/amp/s/wgntv.com/2019/10/31/oldest-known-surviving-marine-...

50John5918
Edited: Nov 9, 2019, 4:48am

How Britain dishonoured its African first world war dead (Guardian)

Mass graves,a deliberate decision from the top not to have any individual names comemmorated anywhere and to let the mass graves run wild and untended, unlike the graves for British soldiers in Africa which contain individual headstones and are still well-tended by the British government even today...

51John5918
Nov 4, 2019, 5:10pm

Yvette Lundy: French Resistance member who survived Nazi camps dies at 103 (BBC)

Yvette Lundy, a well-known member of the French Resistance and a Nazi concentration camp survivor, has died at the age of 103... Ms Lundy supplied fake papers to Jewish families, men fleeing forced labour, and escaped prisoners of war during the Nazi occupation of France. In 2017, she was made a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour...

52John5918
Edited: Nov 7, 2019, 12:09pm

General Peter Cirillo Swaka was among the founding leaders of the Anyanya liberation movement in Sudan (1955-1972) and has held numerous positions in the army and government until his death on 30th October 2019. He "has been eulogized as an icon, a man of integrity, pinnacle and liberation hero."

Late Peter Cirillo’s body to be flown to Juba on Thursday (Radio Tamazuj)

53Bushwhacked
Nov 7, 2019, 7:36am

Since I'm new to the group I thought I should add to this list Tim Fischer, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia who died in August 2019. Tim was conscripted for National Service into the Australian Army and commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant after graduating from the Officer Training Unit, Scheyville (one hell of a tough course, by all accounts). Tim went on to serve in the infantry with 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in the Vietnam War where he was wounded in action. After the war he went back to farming then into politics.

He was also a big train buff: johnthefireman !

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Fischer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Officer_Training_Unit,_Scheyville

54John5918
Edited: Nov 9, 2019, 5:34am

'He's now at peace': lost soldier identified and buried after 102 years (Guardian)

Lance Corporal Frederick Thomas Perkins identified and reburied with full military honours in front of granddaughter after 1917 death in a field near Lens, northern France.

55John5918
Nov 9, 2019, 4:49am

Marking the memories of a million soldiers (BBC)

The act of Remembrance takes place every day of the year for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It works to maintain more than one million headstones and memorials in 154 countries around the world to mark those who died in World War One and World War Two...

Except, or course, the graves of African soldiers who died in the service of the then British Empire - see >50 John5918: above.

56John5918
Nov 14, 2019, 11:45am

Lord Bramall, former head of British armed forces, dies aged 95 (Guardian)

Lord Bramall, a former head of the British armed forces and a D-day veteran, has died at the age of 95.

Field Marshal Edwin Noel Westby Bramall, an Old Etonian, served in nearly all major UK military campaigns between the second world war and 1985, when he retired from the military.

The decorated veteran took part in the Normandy landings in June 1944 and was chief of the defence staff from 1982 until 1985. He went on to have a 26-year career in the House of Lords, retiring in 2013...


Ex-Armed Forces head Lord Bramall dies aged 95 (BBC)

Field Marshal Lord Bramall obituary (Guardian)

57John5918
Nov 16, 2019, 7:24am

My Jamaican dad was an RAF hero. Why did no one believe me? (Guardian)

I was in primary school the first time it happened. The boy who sat at the desk to my right – the one who used to pinch my arm whenever the teacher’s back was turned – finished talking about his father’s war experience of heat and flies and deserts while driving tanks across Egypt, and looked at me smugly as if to say, “Beat that.” It was my turn to describe my father’s contribution to the war effort. I stated clearly that my father served in the RAF. On the piano at home stood a photograph of a young man in RAF uniform, with an enigmatic smile, head tilted at a slightly rakish and daredevil angle, holding a pipe in his hand. In my eyes he was the epitome of wartime British heroism.

Before I could describe the photograph, I was interrupted by the teacher who told me to sit and listen carefully. I sat. The entire class was stunned. Silenced by her anger, they stared at me, the culprit, as the teacher issued a warning about the dire consequences of telling lies. She insisted that there were no “coloured” people in Britain during the war, that no coloured people served in any of the armed services, and certainly not in the RAF, the most elite branch of the British military.

Speaking in the slow and deliberate tone of voice that she adopted when she would brook no opposition, she declared that coloured people were not British, but immigrants who arrived on these shores after the war had been fought and won. We all shifted back in our seats, and I cowered in shock and humiliation...

58John5918
Nov 27, 2019, 4:40am

Goar Vartanyan: Russian spy who 'changed history' dies at 93 (BBC)

Russia has paid tribute to a former Soviet intelligence officer it credits with uncovering a Nazi plot to kill the Allied leaders Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt during World War Two.

Goar Vartanyan died on Monday at the age of 93. She was married to Soviet spy Gevork Vartanian, who died in 2012.

Without the pair "the history of our world could have been different", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

"These are people who left their mark on the history of mankind"...

59John5918
Nov 29, 2019, 2:53pm

Yasuhiro Nakasone, former Japanese PM and Reagan confidant, dies at 101 (Guardian)

a former lieutenant in the imperial navy who lost his younger brother in the second world war...

60John5918
Nov 30, 2019, 4:16am

Sir Michael Howard, distinguished historian, dies aged 97 (Guardian)

Britain’s foremost authority on military events, the distinguished historian Sir Michael Howard, has died shortly after his 97th birthday... He was also the founder of the Department of War Studies at Kings College London that bears his name... Asked what contribution to the field he wished to be remembered for, Howard said: “I think it has been to reintegrate the study of war into mainstream history, particularly for British historians.” And who did he regard as the most influential academic in his field? “Me”...

Howard joined the British Army and was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Coldstream Guards on 4 December 1942... He fought in the Italian Campaign, serving with the 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, and came ashore during the landings at Salerno in September 1943. On 27 January 1944, during the First Battle of Monte Cassino, he was awarded the Military Cross (MC) "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy" (Wikipedia)

61John5918
Dec 3, 2019, 4:20am

Man admits killing ex-Royal Marine in road rage row in Wiltshire (Guardian)

Tarkan Agca drove into Andrej Szaruta with his BMW after tailgating incident on A303... Andy was a sergeant major in the Royal Marine Commandos for 22 years, gaining medals for serving in the Falklands war, two tours in Northern Ireland, and a Nato medal during the Bosnian war...

62John5918
Edited: Dec 5, 2019, 6:05am

Veteran Catholic journalist, former CPA head Jim Doyle dies at 98 (National Catholic Reporter)

Doyle served in World War II in Army Military Intelligence, as an aerial photo interpreter — first on Bougainville Island in the Pacific and then in Gen. Douglas MacArthur's headquarters in Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, and Manila, Philippines.

Among the many photos he interpreted and annotated were pictures of Hiroshima, Japan, destroyed by U.S. atomic bombing. He was awarded a citation for this World War II service by General Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Pacific and Southwest Pacific.

Upon returning from the war, Doyle joined the Army Reserve to get extra money for his and Ethel's growing family, but was recalled to duty in 1951 as an intelligence officer and served in Germany at a time there was fear World War III might break out...

63John5918
Dec 8, 2019, 4:56am

Born in Auerbach, Germany, in 1928, Johann Baptist Metz was captured by U.S. troops while in the German army in World War II. He was held at POW camps in Maryland and Virginia.

German Catholics praise Father Johann Metz, theologian, dead at 91 (Crux)

64varielle
Dec 13, 2019, 2:01pm

An American who became a Belgian Resistance fighter tortured by the Nazis, Dame Mary Barraco has died at the age of 96. She was knighted by the King of Belgium for her wartime efforts. https://www.pilotonline.com/news/obituaries/vp-nw-mary-barraco-obit-20191212-au2...

65John5918
Dec 13, 2019, 4:43am

Danny Aiello, Do The Right Thing actor, dies at 86 (BBC)

"At the age of 16, he lied about his age to enlist in the US Army" and served for three years.

66John5918
Dec 14, 2019, 4:33am

Sheila Mercier, who played Annie Sugden on Emmerdale, dies aged 100 (Guardian)

During the Second World War she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), serving in fighter command, eventually becoming adjutant (Wikipedia).

67John5918
Dec 16, 2019, 2:39pm

One of the last Battle of Britain pilots, born and raised in Lichfield, dies aged 101 (Birmingham Mail)

ONE OF the last surviving Battle of Britain pilots, Maurice Mounsdon, who was born and raised in Lichfield, has died aged 101... joined the RAF shortly before the outbreak of World War II. He started training on August 24 1939 and joined 56 Squadron on June 3 1940 during the Battle of Britain. Flt Lt Mounsdon was engaged in numerous air battles as a Hurricane pilot and shot down at least 6 German aircraft...

One raid reported by the Mercury on September 13 1940, described how Flt Lt Mounsdon’s Hurricane was one of a dozen which tackled a formation of more than 100 advancing Nazi fighters and bombers. “They accounted for several enemy machines and broke up the formation over the Essex coast before three Nazi fighters made a concerted attack on his plane and a cannon shell exploded in his petrol tank. Pilot officer Mounsdon, despite severe burns, shock and bullet wounds in his legs, was able to ‘bale out’ and make a successful parachute landing. Villagers rushed to his assistance and through cheering crowds who had witnessed the fight he was taken to an Essex hospital. His condition was at first very grave, but he is now making excellent progress”...

In 2015 Maurice Mounsdon recalled the moment he was hit by the cannon shell from a Messerschmitt 109 over Colchester. Speaking to the BBC, he said: “I was on fire. There was only one thing to do and that was to get out as fast as possible. “I was badly burned, but I rolled the aircraft over and came down by ­parachute from 14,000ft. I was conscious all the time. It was the first time I’d used a parachute. I think I was jolly lucky, in a way. First a young girl arrived, aged 10 or 12, and she had her younger sister with her. I think I said ‘hello’. Then some men came and took me away by motor car. I wasn’t in pain at the time; I was in acute discomfort. The pain comes later. Burns are rather uncomfortable”...

After he was shot down he served as an RAF instructor and flight commander...

68John5918
Dec 23, 2019, 4:19am

British actor Tony Britton dies aged 95 (Guardian)

Tony Britton dies aged 95, daughter Fern Britton confirms (BBC)

During the Second World War he served in the Army and he also worked... in an aircraft factory (Wikipedia)

69John5918
Dec 27, 2019, 4:19am

Don Imus, who died yesterday, was a right wing radio host, but he was also an old soldier who, in 1957, joined the United States Marine Corps at Base Camp Pendleton where he was stationed in the artillery division before transferring to the drum and bugle corps. He left the marines with an honorable discharge (Wikiipedia).

70varielle
Dec 28, 2019, 12:57pm

Dr. George A. Sakheim died December 5 at the age of 96. He had immigrated to the US at 15 and was drafted in 1943. Because he spoke German he was assigned to military intelligence. He participated in the D-Day invasion Plus 7 and the liberation of several concentration camps. He responded to a request for German interpreters and found himself translating at the Nuremberg Trials. France awarded him the Legion of Honor. In later life as a psychologist he wrote Firestarter Children. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.inquirer.com/obituaries/george-sakheim-translat...

71John5918
Dec 31, 2019, 3:01pm

Cardinal Grech, renowned theologian, dies at age 94 (Catholic Herald)

Cardinal Prosper Grech, an internationally renowned theologian, died on Monday at the age of 94. Cardinal Grech was born on the island of Malta on Christmas Eve, 1925. He entered the Augustinian Order at the age of 29 and was ordained a priest in Rome in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in 1950...

Prior to being ordained to the priesthood, while Malta was under siege during the Second World War, Grech served as a gunner in the Royal Malta Artillery. (Wikipedia)

72John5918
Feb 22, 2020, 11:37am

One that I think we missed last year, Jean Vanier, a well know Catholic religious figure who founded L'Arche community for people with disabilities, and who died aged 90 in May 2019. He served in World War II with the Royal Navy and then with the Royal Canadian Navy.

73ControvichLibrary
Mar 23, 1:04pm

This is a late rely but I have a tag in my library for memoirs of soldiers that relate to army units. I add to the collection on a weekly basis.

Jim
The Controvich Library