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W McSwiggan

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Everything posted by W McSwiggan

  1. Neal O’Connor Anecdote I have always had a deep interest in military aviation and one of my favorite books as a boy was the “Falcons of France”. As I was window shopping through a catalog of publications decades (yikes) ago – I spotted “The Aviation Awards of Imperial Germany and the Men who Earned Them – volume I, The Kingdom of Bavaria”. Knowing nothing more about Imperial Awards than the Iron Cross and the Blue Max (Thank You Ursala) I remember thinking – “What kind of nut would write such a book and who would buy it?” When volume 2 (Prussia) hit the market, I reacted with – “That sounds like a worthy tome” and bought it. I was astounded and totally intrigued by all the arcane stuff I learned – 4 Kingdoms, 6 Grand Duchies, 5 Duchies yada - yada - yada. On my limited recreational budget anticipating the kid’s future, every time I felt I could afford a frivolous treat, Neal would publish another volume which in turn I immediately bought. Yup – by the time I got around to volume 1 – it was gone! I wrote to Neal and could almost hear his laughter. As these were self-published – he filled his storage space for years with volume 1. Couldn’t sell ‘em. No sooner were they no longer available and folks like me were coming out from under rocks seeking it! I expressed my gratitude for both his consideration and for giving me a new interest – Imperial Orders and Decorations. This lead finding Rick Research, Wild Card and others known to you as the “travelling museum” for whom I catered because that was all I could ever offer such distinguished company. Neal used to travel each summer to Nantucket Island passing within a quarter mile of my house in route. I suggested that he stop for a rest on his long drive from Princeton and enjoy a glass of wine with us hoping he would autograph the books in repayment. Sadly, he never got to do so as his time was coming to a close and his health was failing. As one of the Big Three of Imperial experts, we all lost a wonderful gentleman as all who knew him will attest.
  2. Many officers procure uniforms from other than official sources. If the uniforms meet specification there is absolutely nothing to be said. Buying oversees can be a significant cost advantage to the buyer especially if currently assigned to that area. Uniforms that do not meet specification are often purchased as well and worn at other than "formations". The higher the rank the greater the impunity - not many around who can call out a major general. Finally - in the Army at least - generals are authorized to design their own uniforms (in their spare time....) hence negating almost all objections that could be made.I've seen many examples or embroidered insignia applied directly to uniforms so that does not ring any alarms for me. The direct answer to your question - looks a bit cheesy and the fading suggests "custom" made. Doesn't mean it's a fake - just suggests a source other than the PX.
  3. Tried before - trying again. 2 stories - one answering earlier question. Brand new pilot to our unit at Bien Hoa flying front seat of a Cobra. Easy mission - last light visual recce intended to assure no bad guys sneaking into wire. At end of mission - while calling in for landing over check point - single 51 cal round entered the cockpit area passing through armor plate - slamming into his butt and exiting other side - all without breaking skin. Purple Heart apparently for mental anguish... took several months to calm him down - just in time to be shot down by SA7. He was fine after a harrowing landing but promptly turned in his wings!!! Other - cook in mess hall got egg shell in eye. (Where'd he find fresh eggs?) After breakfast - went on sick call where medic wrote up treatment tag as "removed shell fragment from eye" - yup - Purple Heart!
  4. I can attest to the scrupulous conduct of those involved in this sad activity. A tremendous amount of work has gone into this with no personal gain to the workers. Distributions are per Rick's intentions, his mother's instructions and where not specifically directed - to maximize financial benefit to Mrs. Lundstrom. To those who have done the work goes thanks not criticism.
  5. Hi - the aircraft is a Martin B26 Marauder not a B24 Liberator. As to specific information beyond aircraft type - I have none.
  6. That is not a US Army jacket. It is US Marine Corps and I can not testify to vintage.
  7. I too would buy a reprint. If the quality is comparable to the original - binding, etc. 60- 80 USD seems fair - if improved with either new information, color or binding other than paper more would seem appropriate.
  8. One correction (I think) - he was not awarded the PlM. None of my references indicate he had that award including http://www.pourlemerite.org/ - the pictures suggest the Johanniter at the throat.
  9. I rather doubt that the worthiness of the war will impact on receipt or retention of any awards. These awards as are all (intended at least) a function of verifiable heroic action of the highest nature. If there are insufficient witnesses or dishonorable service on the part of a soldier, the award will not be made. I feel that belated recognition is better than no recognition. Racial prejudice was and to a degree remains a social issue that has also infected our military - that said - the US military has been historically in the vanguard of correcting these issues to include desegregation. My personal experience suggests that there will always be discrepancies in the awards and decorations system - often a matter where the injustice is more a function of rank than race or creed. Name a human "system" that is perfect if you can. We try and we correct where we fail. I see no dishonor in that.
  10. Can't answer your "how many" question but I'm pretty sure Gabreski had one.
  11. Please note - Oberscharfuhrer was an enlisted rank. The article and one photo show him as an Oberfuhrer (senior colonel) and I think one photo shows him wearing insignia of a Brigadefuhrer (Generalmajor).
  12. The only thing truly bogus in #1 is the Legion of Merit in higher position than the Silver Star. GCM is no problem - even a West Pointer with some prior enlisted time (regardless of how short) could be awarded one at end of enlisted service - becoming a cadet. Also - prior to Dessert Storm - OLC on the NDSM was proper designation of second award.
  13. My understanding is that - in real time (During the Empire) - the citizens of both Bavaria and Saxony were authorized to do just that - give honor of place to their respective kingdoms. Now - it would be interesting to speculate on a Saxon citizen assigned to a Prussian unit. Some how - I suspect that even if he could, he would not follow that that precedence...
  14. What a find! Thank you for sharing. Link on way to many aviator buddies!
  15. In my experience - one of two situations pertain: 1 - if allowed to wear insignia from another branch of the armed forces - the member would wear them "as is" and according to the current services order of wear. I actually knew a CWO who wore Navy Silver Submariner Dolphins on his flight suit and other uniforms along with his Army Aviator Wings - lots of whiplash on that combo!!! 2 - simply not allowed to wear. USCG did not allow the wear of a friends Army Aviator Wings - insisted on Coast Guard equivalent and only because he was a serving pilot for them - otherwise I suspect he would have worn no badge at all. Modification of the insignia is unheard of in my experience.
  16. Well Rickeroo - if you have a feather problem... go with the Officer's Cross - pure elegance!
  17. Until now I've only seen ink renderings of these and the Crown Order with Diamonds shown earlier. Very grateful to the traveling museum and the forum for the chance to "see" the real thing! A joy to behold!
  18. Man! That's worse than the externimator arriving with a six foot plastic cockroach mounted on his truck cab...
  19. Faithfully transcribed verbatim for your enjoyment – Re: Laurence Strong’s Feldpost portrait in 3rd Reich research – Laury! Congratulations on finding one of the most unusual senior Wehrmacht Beamten imaginable! Unfortunately as his ribbon bar shows 25 years Treudienst cross, he transferred to his direct wartime rank from the civil service and we only have May 1939 army career administrative officials. Amazing what mere rank-while-breathing could get somebody!!! I don’t know of a wartime Post-Beamten list, but wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there was one. Dave Danner has found a teachers’ seniority list (u-n-I-n-d-e-x-e-d!!!) that shows WW2 awards circa 1942, so – ever increasingly- All Hope May Not Be Forever Lost. Still computerless AND internet-less, Rick Research P.S. Not, alas, “lurking” – upon a rare occasion am visiting one of the Northeast GMIC Branch Traveling Museum and can log onto their computomasheen for a few minutes. Not polite – at someone else’s house – to log online and play computer for hours!!!! P.P.S. Tell the truth – that’s Rush Limbaugh in a German uniform!
  20. Don't hold your breath - no internet and his computer is currently in the hospital... Given circumstance - I will transcribe his response. I suspect his yes or no will be a three pager!
  21. I've copied and sent this to the Rickmeister. Will post his response when received.
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