08/23/14

Heinz Bär

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Well-travelled…

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Bf 109E ‘White 13′ flown by Feldwebel Heinz Bar,1./JG 51, September 1939

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Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a – JV-44 – Major Heinz Bär

(May 25, 1913-April 28, 1957) German Fighter Pilot

With 220 confirmed kills, Heinz “Pritzel” Bär was the fifth-ranking German ace of World War II. He downed 15 of his victims while flying a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet, becoming the leading scorer for that type of aircraft. This peerless aerial tactician survived more than 1,000 combat sorties, only to die in a tragic accident.

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08/22/14

The “Flying Hussar”

Werner Voss, the “Flying Hussar,” had come back from Germany with a vengeance. Probably the best German fighter pilot of the war, he was an excellent marksman and a superb flyer. A naturally skilled mechanic, Voss worked on his own engines and machine guns, tuning and adjusting both for maximum effectiveness. Born to wealth, he had a casual indolence common to his social class, yet he always went into combat in full uniform in case he was forced down. Barely twenty years old, he had over a year of frontline experience, and had begun shooting down Englishmen at the age of eighteen. By the end of May 1917, Voss had 31 kills, the Blue Max, and command of Jasta 5.

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08/17/14

Oliver Cromwell

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The huge scale and unique nature of Cromwell’s achievement speaks for itself: he was a soldier who never lost a battle or failed in a siege, the only commoner ever to be offered the Crown of England, and the only person ever to be offered that crown who preferred to rule without it. He also remains one of the most puzzling people in British history.

John Morrill has carried out the only genuinely original research into Cromwell’s career in recent times, dedicated to the period before he came to power, and decided that three successive experiences formed him as a man. The first was loss of status, when a promising early public career, sponsored by a rich uncle, ended in 1630 with Oliver being reduced to a working tenant farmer. The second was religious conversion, to a classic Puritanism, which brought him to the attention of godly aristocrats and assisted his political and social rehabilitation. As a result, he became a zealous Parliamentarian at the outbreak of war and underwent his third experience, of rapid promotion to a general’s rank and national fame. He emerged with a powerful sense of having been given a special mission by his God, and with the devoted loyalty of the army which was to make the English Revolution.

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08/12/14

Robin Olds – September 18, 1944

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Maj. (now Brig.Gen.) Robin Olds. 434th Fighter Squadron. P-51D 44-##### L2-W “Scat VI”. Original artwork by Fred Hayner. Profile by Nick King

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Shuddering violently, the P-51 bit into the thin air and continued to climb. The pilot winced; he knew that the vibration was from his supercharger, but he still didn’t like the sound. The results were hard to beat, though, and he leaned forward a bit as the fighter passed 21,000 feet. As he bunted over a few seconds later, his butt came off the chute pack and mist spat out of the air-conditioning vents.

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