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Indianer.
02-09-2005, 12:37 PM
OK

I have just finished witching the film Battle of Britain and was wondering...

Was there any stigma attached to being shot down?

I mean if you got shot down and returned to your unit did the other pilots look upon u as a failure.

I ask this as it seemed to me extremely easy to get shot down in R/L. Also if you were shot down too many times did someone say "hold on a minute old chap, we've got u a desk job cos we are running out of Hurri's http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Indianer.
02-09-2005, 12:37 PM
OK

I have just finished witching the film Battle of Britain and was wondering...

Was there any stigma attached to being shot down?

I mean if you got shot down and returned to your unit did the other pilots look upon u as a failure.

I ask this as it seemed to me extremely easy to get shot down in R/L. Also if you were shot down too many times did someone say "hold on a minute old chap, we've got u a desk job cos we are running out of Hurri's http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

FoolTrottel
02-09-2005, 12:59 PM
If talking about the Battle of Britain, I'd say 'No'
Would be more like: "Glad you're back, here's another Hurri for ya, get in, and get back up there."

In war time, I'd say mates would be very happy to see a downed pilot back in one piece...

Stiglr
02-09-2005, 01:20 PM
The only way that would happen would be if you were seen doing something VERY bad in the air, like firing at your own.

In Kaberov's Swastika in the Gunsight, the author has such an experience, and was worried what might happen to him.

But usually, your comrades are just happy to see you're still alive! Because they can definitely identify with your situation.

There is never shame at being bested in combat in the air. Most people just give you credit for having the cajones enough to climb in the plane and get up into it!

Jester_159th
02-09-2005, 01:23 PM
Definately not a stigma.

However as a joke some SAAF (South African Air Force) squadrons in Africa presented a "Winged Boot" badge to pilots who walked back after being shot down. Definately no stigma attached though since I've seen more than one picture of pilots posing for photos after being presented with this! Being a completely unofficial thing though I've never managed to find much info on it apart from the occasional personal anicdote.

I also have no info on whether the custom was widely adopted or not.

Zyzbot
02-09-2005, 01:26 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jester_159th:
Definately not a stigma.

However as a joke some SAAF (South African Air Force) squadrons in Africa presented a "Winged Boot" badge to pilots who walked back after being shot down. Definately no stigma attached though since I've seen more than one picture of pilots posing for photos after being presented with this! Being a completely unofficial thing though I've never managed to find much info on it apart from the occasional personal anicdote.

I also have no info on whether the custom was widely adopted or not. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Seems like I read somewhere that it was the custom of some German units to give the shot down pilot a "birthday party" upon his return to celebrate his survival.

BigMotor
02-09-2005, 01:29 PM
If you were German, upon returning to your squadron they would celebrate your "birthday". Since you escaped death you were born again on that day.

joeap
02-09-2005, 02:02 PM
I have a feeling that the stats for surviving to bail out were not always good. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif So I agree with the others seeing a comrade and trained pilot survive was more important than losing a plane. But if it happened again and again well the desk job would always be there. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Platypus_1.JaVA
02-09-2005, 02:21 PM
Didn't the US have something called "The caterpillar club"? It was a special club you joined automatically when you saved yourself from certain death by parachute. You got a certificate and a small emblem that you could pin to your uniform.

ednavar
02-09-2005, 02:35 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jester_159th:
Definately not a stigma.

However as a joke some SAAF (South African Air Force) squadrons in Africa presented a "Winged Boot" badge to pilots who walked back after being shot down. Definately no stigma attached though since I've seen more than one picture of pilots posing for photos after being presented with this! Being a completely unofficial thing though I've never managed to find much info on it apart from the occasional personal anicdote.

I also have no info on whether the custom was widely adopted or not. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Looking for some references I've found some interest info. It looks like it started during ww2 with RAF:

http://www.ww2wings.com/wings/britainraf/insignia/images/batemanrafwingedbootfrtsm.jpg

Here is a 'Late Arrivals Club' badge, known to most as the 'Winged Boot'. This one, along with the certificate were issued to Sgt John Harper after he force landed his Beaufighter in the desert and walked back with his navigator. Other allied countries were awarded this semi-official badge, and were allowed to wear it on the pocket of their uniform. It was first given out in June 1941. There is evidence that identical ones were given for bail outs over Burma also. They were sand cast in silver and made by local jewellers and silversmiths.

http://www.ww2wings.com/wings/britainraf/britainrafinsignia.shtml

S!

Airmail109
02-09-2005, 02:39 PM
My parents know an ex-raf pilot who wrote off 3 fast jets before he retired! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

3.JG51_BigBear
02-09-2005, 03:03 PM
Anyone could get shot down, pilots were bounced all the time. I have a lot of respect for the guys that had the presence of mind and the guts to jump out or ride their crates to the ground. Either way there were plenty of risks and a lot of things to keep straight. There's a great story of a German pilot getting shot down attempting to land on the front lines to get a recon report during the Belgium campaign. He fought with the Wemacht and when he got back to his unit he was given a comondation by the commanding gerneral praising him for his skill as an infantry man. That must have given him some bragging rights.

Jester_159th
02-09-2005, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the extra info EdNaver.

Great site BTW

horseback
02-09-2005, 05:18 PM
There were several top LW aces shot down over 10 times in the course of their careers. Joe Foss and the majority of the aces in the Guadalcanal campaign hit their chutes more than once, as did a startling number of RAF veterans.

There was no shame attached to being shot down, or losing your plane to mechanical failure. Wrecking it through stupidity or neglect was another matter, however. The standing rule of the 4th Fighter Group was "he who prangs (wrecks) his kite, goes home." Don Gentile, the Group's leading ace, in fact the 8th AF's leading ace at the time, was sent home a bit early for crashing 'Shangri-La' while making low-level passes for the benefit of the newsreel cameras.

cheers

horseback

VW-IceFire
02-09-2005, 05:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Platypus_1.JaVA:
Didn't the US have something called "The caterpillar club"? It was a special club you joined automatically when you saved yourself from certain death by parachute. You got a certificate and a small emblem that you could pin to your uniform. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I believe there's such a thing with the RCAF too. I have a great uncle who had to bail out and he (obviously) survived to tell of the tale. He somehow in the crazyness of life lost the award and was able to get a "new" one reissued to him a few years ago. It was a great little family ceremony.

Indianer.
02-10-2005, 08:51 AM
Wow so many replies.

Thanks guys and cool site Ed. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Sturm_Williger
02-10-2005, 09:34 AM
To follow on what Horseback said - I worked with a woman who's father had flown in the desert and she let me read his logbook.

The last entry ( before he was sent back to "become an instructor" ) was :

"Crashed into L-M taking off from the opposite end of the runway !" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I don't know how close he was to the end of his tour or whether it had anything to do with him being sent home, but I always chuckle at the thought of the expressions on each of their faces when that tail came up and ... there he was. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

altstiff
02-10-2005, 11:18 AM
Even BOB ace Future Wing Commander Doug Bader crashed a plane on take off (had the pitch set to fine). Not to mention losing his legs in a non combat crash.

In his book (reach for the sky) he said he had fears that his crash would lose him a recent promotion, of course that didn't happen.

LEBillfish
02-10-2005, 11:55 AM
Though having no proof, just guessing, I'd assume it would be much like any result in combat action. Unless it was simply due to outright foolishness (like deciding to "against orders" fly behind the lines and straffe enemy bases), it would seem to me to be much like being wounded in action.

Think about it, you dive in to clear the tail of a bomber with a fighter on it, knowing if you don't they're gonners....And his 3 wingmen capping get you as you get him.... What ya gonna do, punish him for risking his life?

Point blank, I'd say if you fought best you could that earned all the respect there is to give, win or lose. Those that only fight to suit them, doesn't do much for the others on their side that need them at a particular moment.

IMLTHO

DuxCorvan
02-10-2005, 12:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stiglr:
Most people just give you credit for having the cajones enough to climb in the plane and get up into it! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ehem... Stiglr:

'Cajones' is a plural Spanish word that actually means 'drawers' and you don't want to have many unless you have too many socks and slips to keep. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

I guess the word you wanted to use was 'cojones' ('testicles'). http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

TROOPER117
02-10-2005, 02:39 PM
Replying to your question ref stigma for any pilot for bailing out, especialy during the Battle of Britain. The main problem for the RAF was the amount of trained pilots available. There was never a real problem in the amount of replacable aircraft, but getting pilots back to flying duties after being shot down would have been a priority, not the stigma of getting shot down or 'pranging' a serviceable aircraft.
Regards....Dave S