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By Micky Wood

A coaching guide for the forces» by way of Micky wooden. Contents: Nerve centres and very important issues of the human physique. stability. holiday falls. risky holds. harmful throws. Strangle holds. Unarmed assault opposed to rifle and bayonet. education.

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Officers and enlisted men alike certainly realized that there were worse fates than being part of the 8 1st TCS. Furthermore, we were all what President John F. Kennedy would later call “children of the Depression,” born shortly after World War I: just old enough when the Crash came in 1929 to have strong feelings about mass unemployment, bread lines, and the sight of your father on relief. ” rang all too true. Regular chow, plentiful clothing, free amusements, and a chance to improve oneself through technical training, were not to be despised-though we all pretended to do just that to save our pride.

Troop carrier might well have been restricted to moving freight, transporting troops inside non-combat zones, and providing a few small commando-type paratrooper raids. For demonstration maneuvers, leaves were canceled, our base was restricted so that civilians could not enter, and everybody was kept on his toes. For one of these air shows, “Base security was being tested and guns were popping off all over the place. ” (Carlisle Jordan, Squadron Airplane Inspector). The strain was particularly hard on our flight chief mechanics (a “flight” was three planes) and crew chiefs (aircrew mechanics), who often had to work around the clock to keep the planes in good shape.

The air seemed filled with planes taking wild evasive action, loosed gliders frantically seeking a relatively safe way down, bursting puffs of flak, and machinegun tracers filling the dark sky. Of the 144 gliders in LADBROKE pulled to Sicily that night, seventy-two came down in the sea. High waves battered at the struggling men and smashed gliders. Some of the soldiers were picked up by British seaborne assault craft on their way in, but more than 200 were drowned. This horrible fiasco was made even more humiliating by debriefing reports given by American pilots when they got back to North Africa: virtually every one of them claimed “a good release,” and XI1 Troop Carrier Command announced that at least half of the gliders had made it into their designated LZs.

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