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  1. #1
    Luckydog
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    Are you proud of your Dad?

    Presuming you know who he was of course........

    MY father was a young Fighter Pilot in the so called 'Battle of Britain'.
    (For those non Britishers it was in 1940 when Hitler was trying to destroy the Royal Airforce so that his way would be clear for an Invasion of the UK).

    Dad was involved in a 'dog fight' with some German planes over the English Channel. It was only his second such battle, when he was shot down my a famous German Ace called Adolph Galland.

    He bailed out, but was machine gunned on the way down by another German plane.

    in 1961, I was commisioned by Southern TV to make a documentary film
    (my first) about German Air Aces and I met Galland who told me how hard my Dad tried to get him off the tail of his Spitfire, and how angry he was at the way he was killed.

    Sadly, he was one of the many brave young men who died then, when Britain stood alone.

    We should be proud of all of them. But, I am particularly proud of Dad.

    "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few"
    Winston Churchill.
    Last edited by Luckydog; 15-12-2007 at 11:47 AM.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
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    ^ good one ya mate!

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    A father to be proud of, for sure.

    How did it feel to speak with the man who, while didn't kill your father, precipitated his death?

  4. #4
    Mea-Culpa
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    ^ A small recoil...

  5. #5
    Luckydog
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpat View Post
    A father to be proud of, for sure.

    How did it feel to speak with the man who, while didn't kill your father, precipitated his death?
    Well Texy, I have to admit being a bit reluctant to shake his hand.
    But, he was such a Gent, and knowing that my Pop would have been delighted to have shot HIM down, if he could have, I felt a wave of forgiveness come over me........and during the filming we became good friends.

  6. #6
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    wow - awesome story mate.

    i often think that parents that die young(ish) remain as our heroes, whereas my old man (i'm a little ashamed to admit) is just an embarresment now, a bit like homer simpsons father.

  7. #7
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    Proud as hell I am!

  8. #8
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    A father to be proud of indeed. A hero and likely a man of honor in every sense of the word.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luckydog
    But, he was such a Gent, and knowing that my Pop would have been delighted to have shot HIM down, if he could have, I felt a wave of forgiveness come over me........and during the filming we became good friends.
    Men who have experienced combat have great respect for those fighting for the "enemy". They understand it is not a personal conflict but rather a clash of ideology and the guy in your gun sights has a belief in the right of his cause and likely has a wife and children just like you. Your father would commend and be proud of the way you conducted yourself with Herr Galland.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton
    our father would commend and be proud of the way you conducted yourself with Herr Galland.
    100%.

  10. #10
    The cold, wet one
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    I couldn't be prouder of my Dad. As I said on another thread, Kipling's 'If' could have been written for him. If I go through my life with half the integrity & honour he had, I'll be happy with myself.

    Both he & my Mum are people I'm proud of & I'm lucky that they were/are my parents.

  11. #11
    If It's Hot, It's Here
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    I didn't like my dad much before but now we are good friends.
    Emmm... No, I'm not proud of him but I'm sure he's proud of me.

  12. #12
    My kind of town
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luckydog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Texpat View Post
    A father to be proud of, for sure.

    How did it feel to speak with the man who, while didn't kill your father, precipitated his death?
    Well Texy, I have to admit being a bit reluctant to shake his hand.
    But, he was such a Gent, and knowing that my Pop would have been delighted to have shot HIM down, if he could have, I felt a wave of forgiveness come over me........and during the filming we became good friends.
    Your dad was a true hero and you are a GREAT man as well for graciously meeting the man who shot him down. I would think that would be tough to face him and be civil.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown
    Your dad was a true hero and you are a GREAT man as well for graciously meeting the man who shot him down. I would think that would be tough to face him and be civil.
    sure is.

  14. #14
    I am in Jail
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    My Pappy dropped out of College to go join the RCAF when most Americans were hemming and hawing about entering the war.
    He was a gunner in a B-17.
    EAGLE SQUADRONS - AMERICANS WITH THE R.A.F.
    Last edited by Mr Earl; 15-12-2007 at 08:56 PM.

  15. #15
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    Proud of my old man, 2nd WW vet, Rep rugby player, very popular man, raised 5 kids, married 40 yrs.
    Started life as a ticket clerk at the railways and retired at 45 after sellling out his trans Tasman engineering company, to a multinational.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    My pops married at 16 to my mother, 15. Had to elope to a nearby state because they weren't old enough to get married when she became pregnant. Oops. He had to trade his electric razor for a bowl of potatoes on their return trip. Started working for Penn Central (railroad) as an office clerk and subsequently dragged the family, pets, cars, etc, all over the east coast for many, many reassignments/promotions. He survived takeovers from Conrail and CSX before retiring as a regional superintendent at 55. Had six sprogs, 5 good ones, and me. Married 44 years to mum, before she passed. He's now 64 and lives on a golf course in Florida. Visited Thailand a few months ago.

    Hell yeah, I'm proud. But he's my dad -- I'd be proud of him even if he was just normal, like me.
    Last edited by Texpat; 15-12-2007 at 09:31 PM.

  17. #17
    Luckydog
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    Many thanks all for your kind words. .

    Hitler: "How long will it take you to destroy the Royal Air Force Hermann"?
    Goering: "About two weeks, my Fuerer"

    (Several weeks later )

    Hitler: "You have failed Hermann. What do you need to destroy the RAF"?
    Goering: "Spitfires, my Fuerer. Spitfires"............
    Last edited by Luckydog; 15-12-2007 at 10:05 PM.

  18. #18
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    I thought the German planes were better than Spitfires?

    Regardless, great story, LD.

    Edit

    Just had a look & it was, apart from its turning circle (which I imagine is pretty important in a dogfight) & visibility.

    The Germans were terrified of them.

    I sat in a Spitfire once. I was amazed by how rickety it was.

    Last edited by Silent Orchestra; 15-12-2007 at 10:17 PM.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
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    There is one mounted on a pedestal outside Christchurch airport, I would marvel at its purity of design and sheer beauty evey time I passed it.
    I wonder if its still there?

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat

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    Of course I'm proud of my father, he has been an excellent role model for me. Sadly I have never really followed suit until the last few years.

    He came from an interesting background. My grandfather was a 'player' he owned 9 (or more/less by one or two) bookies in Scotland and Ireland. He had a national haulage firm, dog tracks, horses, dogs, the police and many other things on the go.
    My grandfather died young, the bookies et al stayed going by his wife (haulage firm was sold off). On my father's 16th birthday his mum asked him what he wanted to do and he said he would run the shops. My grandmother sold them all within the next year and said he would have to go to university and work like the rest of the world.
    And he did. He was poor, my mother and father were skint for years really skint. They had three kids (me being an accident) and were skint. It wasn't until my grandmother died in '84 that she left enough money to clear all the families debts and start moving forward. He went from a technical manager of a smelter to being shipped to Canada as a manager at HQ back to the UK where he retired at 60 as a big boss for Europe.
    He might not have been a fighter pilot or a general but he managed to raise two kids who have turned out like him and one who is a bit of a bum.

  21. #21
    The cold, wet one
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    Totally, off topic - I apologise LuckyDog - just clicked your CMN link, MrsQ. If I hadn't just greened you, I would for that. Very funny.

    A short angry Welshman with no hair and a fetish for car door based violence.....


  22. #22
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    I can't say I'm proud of him but at the same time I'm not dissatisfied with him as a father. He took care of the family and kids the best that he could. We had good lives growing up. Could he have done more? Of course. He did do some foolish things at times and later in life ended up cheating on my mom which led to a divorce. I guess the thing that impresses me the most about my father was that he was very successful as a business owner. The thing that annoys me the most is the fact that he is a firey rightwing pro-bush supporter. I'm his complete opposite when it comes to politics.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    Indeed, I'd imagine every poster that has contributed, would love nothing more than for this thread to be 20 years in the future. (are you listening?)

  24. #24
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    I'm not particularly proud of my dad, but I'm not ashamed of him either. I would've liked to have got to know him better as I got older, but it wasn't to be.

  25. #25
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    My dad is and always has been a good man. But he was lucky to have a good woman. That's my mother by the way.

    I regret that my kids will never look up to me the way I look I up to my father. Because even though their mother has been a bitch - they have never really seen that and I will always be the adulterous bastard.

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