l dA Portfolio
Something very peculiar happened to me this evening.
I am currently reading the autobiography of the late General James H. Doolittle, United States Army: www.goodreads.com/book/show/11…
You'll understand in a moment why that is significant.
In his book, the General tells of his friendship with Ernst Udet, the W.W.I. German Flying Ace. Udet was second only to the revered Manfred von Richthofen, aka "The Red Baron."
Well, in this book I'm reading, Doolittle recounts that due to circumstances that spiraled out of his [Udet's] control, Udet took his own life on today's date...17 November 1941
Though he was a fighter for the enemy, Udet was a gallant, heroic pilot. I think that this quote from an Amazon review of Udet's autobiography says it best:
"This war in the air was the last gentleman's war, where your opponent was not a faceless evil but another man serving his country just as the author was serving his own. For a while, this was recognized and the courtesy extended even while you were trying to kill each other is very apparent in Udet's book."
I read an INCREDIBLE article on Ernst Udet's life here: www.historynet.com/ernst-udet-…
And here is his autobiography: www.amazon.com/Ace-Iron-Cross-…
I tip my hat to Udet...give credit where credit is due, I say. RIP to a brilliant pilot and chivalrous combatant.
Here is an excerpt from the article above:"On July 2, JG.I had its first encounter with the U.S. Army Air Service and shot down two Nieuport 28s of the 27th Aero Squadron. One of the pilots, 2nd Lt. Walter B. Wanamaker, was brought down injured by Udet, who gave him a cigarette and chatted with him until the medics arrived. On a whim, Udet cut the serial number, N6347, from the rudder of Wanamaker's plane. When the two met again at the Cleveland Air Races on September 6, 1931, Udet returned the trophy to his former opponent. It can still be seen at the U.S. Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio."
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