Walt Haaser's B-17 Bailout

At just the age of 20, Walt Haaser was in charge of a B-17 bomber crew of ten men. In April, 1945, he and his crew would make a desperate escape in their stricken bomber.
Special thanks to Fred Haaser
This is original content based on research by The History Guy. Images in the Public Domain are carefully selected and provide illustration. As very few images of the actual event are available in the Public Domain, images of similar objects and events are used for illustration.
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All events are portrayed in historical context and for educational purposes. No images or content are primarily intended to shock and disgust. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Non censuram.
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Script by THG
#history #thehistoryguy #WWII

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  • Well spoken, to often we call people heros without realizing what it means to be a hero. Walt Hasser epitomised what it means to be a hero. Thank you for sharing his story. My wife's great uncle lies in one of the most distant cemetries in the world for a WWII New Zealand pilot, he is interred in Reykjavik War Cemetry along with 3 other New Zealanders.

    PeterJulianPhotosPeterJulianPhotos7 цагийн өмнө
  • Thank you so much for sharing that story. My father served as a warrant officer in Europe, so this strikes very close to home. While every man's story is unique, each of them represents a thread of that enormous tapestry of the human experience of that time. What's more, the afterstory of the lives they made for themselves, and the world they brought us into, the very different post war they created, cannot be overstated. I very much grew up in the shadow of this great generation. This wonderful story brought a tear to my eye. Again, thank you.

    Northeast Ohio EdNortheast Ohio EdӨдрийн өмнө
  • I'm wondering if you might do something on Aviano AB Italy at some point. It had/has a fascinating history both dark and light, (ask me sometime what the British who captured in during WWII neglected to tall the American's that took it over and we didn't find out till the early 80s sometime :) ) going from a back-water, to a staging base to the support and transport base it is today.

    Randy CampbellRandy CampbellӨдрийн өмнө
  • SHOT FROM THE SKY by Cathryn J. Prince gives a good account of the American "internees" being held by the Swiss government.

    marcressmarcressӨдрийн өмнө
  • I wonder if the History Guy ever heard of the Caterpillar Club? I had a patient in a nursing home who was a tail gunner on a B17 who was shot shot down on his first mission. He spent 10 months in a German POW camp. After the war he received a card from the company that made his parachute. The card stated that it was given to men who's live were saved by their parachute. It was one of his most valued possessions.

    help8helphelp8helpӨдрийн өмнө
  • My grandfather flew on a B-17 in the war, and also had some interesting stories to tell about how they were maintained, and how battle damage was trended and fed back to Boeing in the states, for them to rectify weaknesses in subsequent revisions. He was very proud of the "B-17G", which added a chin turret to defend against frontal attack. I consider myself fortunate to have known him- part of the greatest generation. No safe space needed for these guys.

    Corneleous WorthingtonCorneleous Worthington4 өдрийн өмнө
  • A lot of us alive today owe our existence to B-17 bailouts.

    PintoPopProductionsPintoPopProductions5 өдрийн өмнө
  • I can't to begin to express how much I appreciate and enjoy "The History Guy". I, too, love history and his story of Lt. Hauser and he and his crew bailing from their crippled B-17, is a great example of The History Guy's fabulous story telling abilities.

    Marshall WeaverMarshall Weaver5 өдрийн өмнө
  • This is the kind of History that truly deserves to be remembered. These kinds of personal stories that came out of WWII always reflect the best life values; it truly was the greatest generation. I knew men who were in the war, one of those men being a German fellow who was a paratrooper in the Luftwaffe; a few decades ago before his death he still had his own personal photograph of Hitler. This man was captured during the war, eventually settled in the States, and lived a long full life here. He was an outstanding man who just happened to be alive at the wrong time in a country that had a maniac as its leader.

    Easy GoingEasy Going7 өдрийн өмнө
  • Is there a way to hit thumbs up just by viewing? What story have you done that I have not embraced?

    ossteve 248ossteve 2488 өдрийн өмнө
  • Such kinds words for a quiet hero...thanks for his story.

    jarhead6153jarhead615310 өдрийн өмнө
  • One of the very few B-17 Bomb Groups in the 15th AAF. The 15th was more than 90% made up of B-24s the most famous being the 450th BG known as the "Cottontail" Liberators. My father had a similar experience with finding two old Italian Army guys he had become friends with as they stayed on their base unable to go home in the German occupied north. 20 years later(1965) my parents went to Italy and found them. Same reception was given them as here as the entire town threw a picnik for them. 5 years later, one of their daughters was getting married and our whole family was the guests of honor. The Italian people loved Americans and it was very clear that they for the most part wanted nothing to do with Mussilini's war. A story that surely deserves to be remembered

    Steven BradfordSteven Bradford10 өдрийн өмнө
  • My father lied about his age, most likely with the aid of his father, and enlisted in the Maines in early 1945. He was 16. This was probably just after an older brother was killed in Belgium.

    rotorheadv8rotorheadv810 өдрийн өмнө
  • There are many wonderful stories of airmen from WWII. Thanks for this one. I had never heard it.

    David DaigrepontDavid Daigrepont10 өдрийн өмнө
  • wow ! ! !

    rory vonbruttrory vonbrutt11 өдрийн өмнө
  • Good man great story

    Gareth JamesGareth James12 өдрийн өмнө
  • Another great piece of history...thank you.

    Michael JohnsonMichael Johnson12 өдрийн өмнө
  • My Dad served in WWII. The US Army felt that the Panama Canal was of extreme strategic importance. My Dad, a Corporal I believe, was stationed there to protect the canal and was involved in scientific research on malaria. After VE day, his luck changed. They started training him to be part of the invasion force to Japan. All I can say is I'm glad that never had to happen. Thank you for what you do, history should never be forgotten.

    van madvan mad12 өдрийн өмнө
  • Perhaps a stupid question, but why did he have his shoes off? Was this a normal thing to do when bailing out?

    Syd BatSyd Bat13 өдрийн өмнө
  • This is truly awesome history telling!!!!!!

    Kurt OheimKurt Oheim13 өдрийн өмнө
  • Wow, thi

    Sharon HauserSharon Hauser14 өдрийн өмнө
  • It was stated at the start of the story that Walter didn't pass the personality test for fighter pilot but, pasted the test for bomber pilot. What were those tests ? What were the thoughts that made them believe they would make a good fighter pilot ?

    zephyer 1999zephyer 199914 өдрийн өмнө
  • My Great-grandfather was also on a bomber shot down in WWII, though his did maje it to Switzerland. He wasn't taken into a Swiss camp though, in fact it seems he was involved in something rather clandestine, as my grandfather has told me he said he wasn't allowed to tell them anything that he did in the two years he was there, not that he would if he could. My grandfather still carries a rather nice watch that came from that time in Switzerland.

    Duncan CarrDuncan Carr14 өдрийн өмнө
  • My father served in the army in WWII but went through nothing quite as memorable as this man did...even so, all these stories should be remembered

    lp2317lp231714 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thanks

    keith dubosekeith dubose14 өдрийн өмнө
  • The city of Carthage NC was once known as the Buggy Capital of the world. The company was run by a black man. Some say that Henry Ford visited the facility to see the production assembly line.

    James AsbillJames Asbill14 өдрийн өмнө
  • I am James Schubert and my uncle, Fred Lancaster was a reconnaissance pilot in world war 2. He flew a P-51 mustang with some modifications and special cameras. After becoming a P-51 pilot, he joined the reconnaissance team so that he could fly alone. He didn't want the responsibility of protecting a wingman or the guilt if his wingman was shot down. He also was afraid of what the other pilots might do to get him killed since pilots were being sent to the war with insufficient training. His orders were to avoid contact with enemy planes and ground forces because the photography was important and getting it back to base was considered more important than any damage he might do to enemy assets. He had pictures of several crashed P-51s he had destroyed. If he crashed, it was his responsibility to make sure the plane was completely destroyed before making his way back to the allied side of the lines. He was haunted by memories of the war and would wake up screaming for the rest of his life. He was intercepted by faster German planes several times. The dogfights were some of his terrifying nightmares. He shot down several enemy planes and was shot down several times. In one dogfight, he ran out of ammunition and thought that was just it for him. He was surprised when the German flew up next to him, saluted and flew away, possibly out of ammo as well. He disobeyed orders and attacked ground targets on several occasions. One time he flew over a town square full of troops massing to go fight the allies somewhere. He said he knew all those guys would be on their way to the front and who knows how many of our boys they would kill. But here they were, massed together in one place. He dropped his wing tanks into the town square. I got the impression the carnage was more than he expected. He couldn't recall the story without crying. He said he had to do it because of all the allied deaths those soldiers would cause. On another occasion he saw a train loaded with soldiers and probably ammunition heading for the front. He managed to destroy the locomotive with his machine guns just as the train was entering a tunnel, destroying the train and tying up the rail line with wreckage. He said later that all he could think about was his dad who was a railroad engineer back in the states. Most of his recon flights were flown below treetop level. He described flying low over fields, hopping up to clear rock fences and treelines separating the individual fields. He said you didn't want to be a dot up in the sky because every idiot with a gun was shooting at you. If you flew by ten feet off the ground at 250 miles an hour, you were gone before they could get the gun off their back and aim it at you. He spent his retirement years in Phoenix Arizona. When a warbird museum restored a P-51, they wanted to give him the honor of flying it at airshows. He went there and they helped him into the cockpit but he couldn't begin to fly the plane. Just being in the cockpit got him shaking so bad he couldn't grasp the controls. After a long time trying to calm himself down, he asked the museum restoration crew to help him back out of the plane. I have enjoyed many of your interesting stories from history. Your channel is one which I watch often, so I wanted to recount some of my uncle's stories for you. I guess everyone sees some history in their lifetime. As a small child I was lost at sea and floated for 13 hours in an inflatable life raft 60 miles off the Atlantic coast of Panama before being rescued by the Frubel America, a freighter on its way from Belgium to Panama. That ship would never pass that spot again as it was out of normal shipping channels because the ship was going empty to Panama where it would begin regular trips between Almirante Panama and New York for the United Fruit Corporation. I was just 10 at the time, but my parents who are now in their 90's are both still alive and would probably do an interview if asked. Not sure if you do those or not. I was living on an island in the Bahamas called "Norman's Cay" in the 1980's when it was taken over by Carlos Lehder of the Medellin Cartel. Later, I became one of the first Americans to become a member of the Russian Academy of Science. I arrived in Moscow two weeks before the revolution. I was among the crowd on the bridge watching tanks fire artillery into the Russian White House where their congress, the Duma meets. In 2006 I adapted timelapse astrophotography techniques to record sea turtles nesting at night on Florida's beaches. Movie lights are not allowed on the beach when turtles are nesting. using timelapse photography, every frame in the movie was a time exposure that kept the shutter open long enough to make an image and the turtles moved so slowly on land that this was the perfect way to record them. Experts called my videos fake at the time because they looked like they were recorded in the daytime. Several years later, National Geographic sent a film crew to record the turtles but they weren't getting any useful video. A friend happened to meet their crew on the beach one night and told them about my work. In a decision I assume almost never happens, they threw away all the video the National geographic photographers took and replaced it all with my work which appears in the Nat Geo Wild episode "Croc Coast". I guess thats most of the history i have seen so far, so consider this long rant a "thank you" for all the stories you've shared with me on your channel. My email is Sciencelookers@aol.com (AOL because i am an old guy)

    Nine Hundred Dollar Luxury YachtNine Hundred Dollar Luxury Yacht14 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thank you for telling Walt's story #greatestgeneration

    Joseph Scott MorganJoseph Scott Morgan15 өдрийн өмнө
  • SUCH a great story, one of thousands from those days! Thanks THG!!

    Rob TinsleyRob Tinsley15 өдрийн өмнө
  • It is a shame we fought for communism. But that's Democrats for ya.

    Paul FrederickPaul Frederick15 өдрийн өмнө
  • Was he 20 or 18? Your confusing me. You open saying he enlisted at 20, then say he was a high school grad who had to wait till he was 18.

    Mark GarinMark Garin15 өдрийн өмнө
    • @Fred Haaser thanks just wondered...

      Mark GarinMark Garin14 өдрийн өмнө
    • Enlisted at 18, graduated from flight training at 20. Shot down while age 20.

      Fred HaaserFred Haaser14 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thank you, a great story about great Americans.

    crash4me719crash4me71915 өдрийн өмнө
  • Really enjoyed this story. Would live to see more episodes of a similar style.

    Ralph DunnicliffRalph Dunnicliff15 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thank you for this. Great story.

    oldesertguyoldesertguy15 өдрийн өмнө
  • For those of you who love this channel and stories like Mr. Haaser's, look up the story of Norman Cyril Jackson, of 106 squadron and his 31st mission at Schweinfurt. It is a story so incredible that if you saw it in a film you would never believe it to be a true story. You will have to look deeper than Wikipedia but it is well worth the effort! Mr. Haaser was a fine example of a real American hero! My thanks and best wishes to his family from Canada!

    Canuck_Gamer33Canuck_Gamer3315 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great story Thank you for bringing it to us. Keep up the good work.

    Alex HamiltonAlex Hamilton16 өдрийн өмнө
  • Been a fan for a while now. This is one of the best.

    SkyGrunt_0311SkyGrunt_031116 өдрийн өмнө
  • My father was a 17 year old rear gunner in a Lancaster bomber, a Canadian kid from Winnipeg in RAF 12 Squadron, who faked his birth certificate so that he wouldn’t “miss the war.”. On their 11th mission, they were attacked by a Me410 over the Ruhr Valley in Germany, and when he fired at it, it fired back with it’s upward firing ‘pipe organ’ guns. The cannon shells miraculously missed him, hitting his guns, one of the twin tails, on hitting between his feet, and missing him by inches, exiting over his head, and one took out the hydraulics and electrics. The next attack hit the wing roots, and the bomber was filled with a gush of flame from the exploding fuel tanks. He once told me that he heard the sounds of his crew screaming as they were burnt to death every day for the rest of his life. His main chute was in the body of the aircraft, and the metal door behind him was twisted from the cannon shell hit, so he frantically yanked at it until it popped open. He looked rossards his chute, to see it in flames, and got a blast of fire in the face that badly burnt his left cheek. He manually cranked the turret so it was 90 degrees to the airframe and tumbled out of the opening, snagging his Mae West inflator handle on the way out. It inflated, and he couldn’t reach the parachute’s D-ring. With the ground coming up in the black night, he frantically contorted himself and caught it with a fingertip and yanked it. The opening shock was so violent that it tore his flying boots off, so he landed in a snowy field in Germany in his stocking feet. He smeared some ‘Gentian Violet” burn cream on his cheek that turned his face purple, and started hiking for Holland. He enjoyed camping and hiking, and was good in the woods, and said that the German soldiers that he encountered were often noisy and clumsy in the bush, so he evaded them. He slept in manure piles near farms as they were warm in the snow, and made it to Holland, where, pretty much on his last legs, he picked a farm house at random to ask for help. He had the incredible bad luck to pick one that the SS had picked to use as a headquarters. He was captured, interrogated repeatedly, and sent to a POW camp through Nurnenberg, where the group of POWS he was with were denied entry to a bomb shelter by furious German civilians. He said while the guards were insisting that they come in, and no, they couldn’t lynch the prisoners, there was a big poster right beside him, showing a skeleton in the same uniform as him, riding a bomb over a burning city. One guy who spoke some German said the slogan said “Fight the baby killers!”. The Germans finally picked the most junior enlisted, marched the prisoners into an open area, sat them down, and said anyone who stood up got shot, and then wished the young guard luck, and went into the bomb shelter. My dad said they survived the bombing raid, by they were all nervously looking at the ceiling of the train station. He was taken to Dulag-luft 13D (and yes, he used to love watching “Hogans Heros”) and survived there for a year before they were liberated by Patton’s troops. At one point, during a prisoner March to another camp, the prisoner column was strafed by American Thunderbolt fighters, killing many prisoners, including American ones. He was repatriated to England, a 6’2” young man that weighed 93 pounds, and eventually back to Canada. He joined the reserves, becoming a Captain in the Fort Garry Horse armoured regiment, because he wanted nothing to do with airplanes again. He became a high-ranking civilian in the quality assurance branch of the Canadian Forces, making sure the government got what it paid for, and became notorious as a no-nonsense troubleshooter that wasn’t reluctant to tear a strip of anyone he thought wasn’t playing by the rules. I vividly remember being in Air Cadets as a teenager, and a regular force colonel from the nearby Air Force base came to inspect us for our annual parade. He stopped in front of me, saw my name tag, and asked if Al Hymers was my father. When I said yes, he actually swallowed and stepped back. He wasn’t an easy man to live with, but he passed on his love of the outdoors to me. He passed away eight years ago, and I think of him often. RIP Alan Francis Hymers.

    Malcolm LockridgeMalcolm Lockridge16 өдрийн өмнө
  • Hunting foxbat please

    Michal GajdosMichal Gajdos16 өдрийн өмнө
  • What about bomber mountain wyoming? that would make a reall cool video

    Lone TravelerLone Traveler16 өдрийн өмнө
  • THE GREATEST GENERATION ... sadly blindsided in the 1960's by the, uh, next generation ...

    Shannon WittmanShannon Wittman16 өдрийн өмнө
  • That was unique. Great job!

    Rob CRob C16 өдрийн өмнө
  • So many stories lost because those who lived them did not want to relive them. Those stories, good and bad, paint a picture of war that is more complete. The atrocities committed, the gallant charges into enemy fire, the longing for home, the loss of friends right in front of you, the strange happenings, and the weird wondrous moments that momentarily broke the sounds and feeling of terror... So much human experience that is lost to time. I don't know what the answer is except for those of us who haven't experienced it to be patient, understanding, and receptive if a soldier wants to talk. In life, one can learn from the good and bad experiences. In telling of the horrors and insanity of war, those soldiers are sharing with us a bit of their last duty to their nation: Reminding us that war is a terrible, costly, horrible thing that affects everyone it surrounds, and is therefore something to avoid if at all possible, but to be fought with all one has to reduce its time and influence.

    Chris MaverickChris Maverick16 өдрийн өмнө
  • My father was in WW 2(France). He passed away when I was young(7). My mother said he really never talked about it. He was wounded France. My mom said when people would ask him where he got hit he would say France.

    S ChristyS Christy16 өдрийн өмнө
  • Outstanding !

    Tonto EmeritusTonto Emeritus16 өдрийн өмнө
  • I recall reading that over 400 (over 4000 air crewmen) US aircraft landed in neutral Switzerland & Sweden during WWII. After the war, it was determined that a higher than expected percentage of the aircraft were "undamaged" and flight worthy. These findings were kept from the public for years. Initially, when the US crews were interned in Switzerland, they were tread & fed more like POW's. But, when the tide of the war started to change in favor of the Allies, so did the treatment of the interned Ally crews. A good book to read about WWII is "Trading with the Enemy".

    friendofcoalfriendofcoal16 өдрийн өмнө
  • I have studied WW2 History from the time I could read, started with comic books like SGT Rock. Individual stories are my favorite ones, now at 64 I have my own stories. Great presentation as always.👍👍👍👍👍❤🇺🇸

    Kenny SherrillKenny Sherrill16 өдрийн өмнө
  • I am a mechanical engineer😉, and a student of WW2 history. Especially the aviation part. I really enjoy these “anecdotal” stories which bring these heroes to life. I do recall reading about bomber crew training and how a crewman described how in depth his training was, but that they didn’t teach them how to bail out. When confronted, his instructor said, (I’m paraphrasing) “we don’t bother, when the time comes, you’ll get out through a hole through a cat couldn’t fit through”. I think I believe him. The 8th AF museum in Savanna Ga is low budget but exceedingly worthwhile, if you ever get the chance.

    Mostly HarmlessMostly Harmless16 өдрийн өмнө
  • Was this story told in from foggia to freedom? Its strikingly similar to a story i read in that book

    glastornjet73glastornjet7316 өдрийн өмнө
    • not that I am aware of

      Fred HaaserFred Haaser14 өдрийн өмнө
  • Just a great salt-of-the-earth American soldier/hero!

    James MartinJames Martin17 өдрийн өмнө
  • Good thing the the jewels were fine after the bailout lol

    Danny EdelmanDanny Edelman17 өдрийн өмнө
  • I have a special gift for the History Guy. Concerning WW2. What address can I send it to?

    Robert AngleeRobert Anglee17 өдрийн өмнө
  • One of the most interesting parts of the Second World War history class I took in college was the books we read on personal experiences in the war. It's easy to look at things from a high level strategic perspective, but it's much more interesting with a human perspective.

    Abbreviated ReviewsAbbreviated Reviews17 өдрийн өмнө
  • we owe this family so much.

    Kitty MervineKitty Mervine17 өдрийн өмнө
  • I love how *every* story from WWII is either a daring story of heroism, a grueling story of perseverance, or a terrifying story of man's inhumanity to man. there wasn't a single person who partook that wasn't touched in some way- a truly global event that defined human history.

    Tank AceboTank Acebo17 өдрийн өмнө
  • Excellent story, thank you

    SophiaSophia17 өдрийн өмнө
  • What a great story! Major props to the Italian underground and all the many occupied peoples like them who helped our guys avoid capture. That is a special set of people right there - to be caught meant brutal torture followed by execution and likely the same for your immediate family. And yet they laid it on the line so that some foreigner could live. Imagine if you were in their shoes - would you risk all that or just go along to survive? I wish the US had at least given medals to some of these people.

    Q TigQ Tig17 өдрийн өмнө
  • A great story and may I thank all those that contributed information? I don't know if you have covered the following story or not. WWII, wellington bomber, right engine on fire after being shot up by German night fighter. Pilot instructs the copilot, sgt. pilot James Allen Ward, to crawl out onto the wing and put the fire out. Tethered by a rope he does! Earns the Victoria Cross. Take a look at the Airfix model of the episode. military.wikia.org/wiki/James_Allen_Ward

    MrLemonbabyMrLemonbaby17 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great story, but, thanks! Also, I really want to know why 39 people gave this a thumb down. I mean seriously, why?

    BrianP 556BrianP 55617 өдрийн өмнө
    • I suspect it is because this is "politically incorrect." Alas. Heroism, Duty, & Honor are counter-revolutionary unless they propel the Revolution. These 39 discontented people probably lionize someone like Che Guevara, a man with the blood of captured Policemen and their families on his hands.

      Doug ReidDoug Reid3 өдрийн өмнө
  • My father was a gunner on a B-24 in the South Pacific who flew 47 combat missions. He enlisted right after high school at 17 years of age and must have lied about his age because all of his military paperwork, which I have, shows his birthdate as being a year earlier than it actually was. He never talked about any of it unless I asked questions and that was after I was enlisted in the USAF as an adult.

    Circlejerk JenCirclejerk Jen17 өдрийн өмнө
  • Please do a story about Gen. James M. Stewart and his effort to overcome Hollywood stardom to become a highly respected B-24 pilot and Bomb Group commander during WWII. See Robert Matzen's excellent 2016 book, "Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe".

    M MM M17 өдрийн өмнө
  • A great story of a great guy. His family and all who love freedom can be thankful and proud of him.

    TBirdNeilTBirdNeil17 өдрийн өмнө
  • As always, well told and with THG's touch of entertainment.

    MemphisBellMemphisBell17 өдрийн өмнө
  • Shedding a few years to hear this story.

    G MorganG Morgan18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Why in the heck did 29 people give this awesome story thumbs down? Jeez Louise. Well, I give it 30 thumbs up, my thumbs up and 29 to neutralize the dummy 29 thumbs down. Yeah yeah freedom of speech. Well, I consider those some sort of yelling fire in a crowded B-29 going down in flames. Maybe the Supreme Court would agree, who knows? HAHA Anywho, it's a great story, only wish we could hear many, many more stories of soldiers. My personal favorites tend toward air corps but that's just me.

    Robert TerrellRobert Terrell18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great story of Americans at war.

    Frank GullaFrank Gulla18 өдрийн өмнө
  • A wonderful story! Many thanks to his family for sharing it.

    Nonne YahbusinessNonne Yahbusiness18 өдрийн өмнө
  • intro reminds me of a casey kasem long distance dedication

    Gregorious SachsoGrammaticusGregorious SachsoGrammaticus18 өдрийн өмнө
  • You Sir, tell a Great Story. Thank you.

    C JenkinsC Jenkins18 өдрийн өмнө
  • I enjoy that story. Thank you.

    john doejohn doe18 өдрийн өмнө
  • I admire the Lt.Col. for his service and accomplishments. In the early 1960's, a cousin of mine enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was stationed aboard a carrier. In order to qualify for riding the Grumman supply aircraft, he had to complete three parachute jumps. The first two he found thrilling as they went as planned. On his final jump; his main chute failed to deploy. In accordance with his training, he pulled the rip cord to his reserve. The handle came off it's wire, no chute. He then struggled with it as the reserve was in front and reachable. He sawed away at it with a pocket knife he carried. He later declined taking up sky diving.

    Donald ReachDonald Reach18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thank you for this. We have military on all 4 sides of the family. My Dad’s family was all-military. My grandmother was an Army Nurse, my grandfather was a translator at Versailles in WW1. They met in Belgium. One uncle in WW2 was Army, one a pilot in the Air Force, and my Dad, the youngest, was a China Marine. 5 of 6 of our children were in high school ROTC. My Dad visited every year for YEARS as our kids were always commanders of the Rifle Drill Team. All the recruiters would come as a courtesy (they often judged) and were FASCINATED to meet a China Marine (since we haven’t had marines in China since 1945). Our children were proud to have Grampa there, and he was always commended for his service. And yes, he lied at 17 that he was old enough to enter the marines. By the time they found out, he was already 18. He was determined to join before the war was over. A family tradition, as his Mom, my grandmother, ran away from home at 17 and joined the Army Nurses. 😂 My father-in-law joined the army air corp as a bombardier at about age 32 in WW2. He later said (after more than 200 missions) that he was glad he didn’t know the poor survival statistics. He swapped missions with a buddy for his final mission. The buddy never came home, which haunted him the rest of his life.

    JSCRocketScientistJSCRocketScientist18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great story of the Greatest Generation!!Thank you.

    Patrick CraigPatrick Craig18 өдрийн өмнө
  • My wife's father was a waist gunner on a B-17. He survived a full tour and never flew on an airplane again. Nor did he ever speak of his experience.

    Scott ParisScott Paris18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thank you again for another wonderful story!

    Bob JohnsonBob Johnson18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Excellent!

    The Eccentric HobbyistThe Eccentric Hobbyist18 өдрийн өмнө
  • that was a real good story

    James SlusherJames Slusher18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thank you LtCol.

    CliffCliff18 өдрийн өмнө
  • So if you were drafted you had no choice in what service you wanted to be in?.

    Craig HAGENBRUCHCraig HAGENBRUCH18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Heros are often regular people in extraordinary circumstances! A great story thank you!!

    scott lohrscott lohr18 өдрийн өмнө
  • If you haven't see the book a soldiers story by Robert Reichard. its a very interesting read. he served all 4 services in his military career. he has a website about his book. he is my great cousin and is still alive in his 90s. Thank you !

    Jim ReichardJim Reichard18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Inspiring story.

    Cleo TCleo T18 өдрийн өмнө
  • One of the pilot schools was ay my alma mater, Kent State.

    Gary PembertonGary Pemberton18 өдрийн өмнө
  • I thank my friend Fred for sharing his father's story, and The History Guy (Lance) for doing such a great job telling it.

    Phil's Two Wheel AdventuresPhil's Two Wheel Adventures18 өдрийн өмнө
    • ;-)

      Fred HaaserFred Haaser14 өдрийн өмнө
  • The Swiss Air Force. That was a funny joke. Anything to do with the Swiss military. IS. A. JOKE. William.s.

    Designs BillyDesigns Billy18 өдрийн өмнө
  • Von Clauswitz wrote, "War is waged by human beings."

    John HobsonJohn Hobson18 өдрийн өмнө
  • "That deserves to be remembered" Aye sir. A diligent viewer. Thank you sir.

    Richard JohnsonRichard Johnson18 өдрийн өмнө
  • How about a video on the 1967 USS Forrestal fire. Trial by fire

    Robert ChristnerRobert Christner19 өдрийн өмнө
  • I'd love to see more of this sort of thing covered. Every person, great or small, is equally important, and all have together made us what we are today. Thank you for helping us remember.

    Montana HoserMontana Hoser19 өдрийн өмнө
  • Remember hearing a researcher and author here in Sweden talking about his book Red Dog, about a B-24 Liberator crew that bailed out over Sweden during the war, on a cold winter day. They were not sure about the welcome they'd get, and tried to evade capture. After all of them, except the pilot, had been captured and brought into a hotel where they were assigned private rooms, allowed to wash up, and then served a smörgåsbord including drinks, they decided to tell the Swedish guards that there was still one crew member at large, the pilot. He was apprehended the day after, and had hid in a steaming pile of cow manure to keep warm... One of the gunners, a very small and young guy, had for some reason been drenched in fuel before bailing out (I think it involved him cross-feeding fuel tanks using a leaky hand pump), so he was freezing cold and after realizing he was freezing to death, surrendered himself to some local farmers. It turned out just the wife and the teenaged daughters were home, and since he was soaked in gasoline and all the heating indoors was open fire, they made him strip naked before allowing him indoors, and then they served him what he thought was a large glass of water which he gulped down eagerly. It wasn't water. It was brännvin (Swedish vodka). The first time he tasted hard liquor. Quite a welcome to Sweden, being rubbed dry by several women while naked and drinking vodka. :-)

    Niinsa62Niinsa6219 өдрийн өмнө
  • CAVU, clear and visibly unlimited.

    Sonny BurnettSonny Burnett19 өдрийн өмнө
  • Thank you, he was the same age as my father when he went to Okinawa in one of the flame throwing tanks, his tank was detached for duty with the marine Corp, and at his funeral they provided a squad for his salute, and the USCG helicopter from Group Humboldt Bay did a fly over at his memorial. You do a wonderful job of respecting their service.

    Liberty CaveLiberty Cave19 өдрийн өмнө
  • A nice story, though pretty anticlimactic.

    Gene PozniakGene Pozniak19 өдрийн өмнө
  • As I watched this, my American Legion post had it's 1st meeting since last year because of COVID19 (I didn't attend as I haven't been vaccinated yet). We still have one remaining WWII navy veteran. Thank you for all that you do to keep the human aspect of war alive to remind us of why we need to avoid it if at all possible. Take care. Tootles... Wade

    DwdanieldotddDwdanieldotdd19 өдрийн өмнө
  • Love the story!

    Tony SimiTony Simi19 өдрийн өмнө
  • A couple of years ago, at an air museum in Orange County, California, I met a docent who had bailed out of a B17 during WW2. He was a tail-gunner and the tail was shot off. He was an old guy when I met him but I spent some time with him and it’s something I’ll remember forever. Those guys were amazing.

    Mark WMark W19 өдрийн өмнө
  • Great story. It still amazes me there are people that vote these stories down. Are they clicking the wrong button mistakenly? Are they jerks? What do you suppose causes them to vote these down?

    Dat GuyDat Guy19 өдрийн өмнө
  • It is stories like this is why I am subscribed and closely follow your work. Great story!

    David PDavid P19 өдрийн өмнө
  • love the stories of WWII. My Father and Uncle proudly served . USMC and USN respectively

    David StearnsDavid Stearns19 өдрийн өмнө
  • Wonderful story! Whats wrong with pirates??

    Mark MillerMark Miller19 өдрийн өмнө