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View Full Version : Aces who got airsick. Could it be done?



XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 02:49 PM
salute all.

i know that werner m√¬∂lders was one for sure who got airsick all time time he would get into his plane.
do you know of any other pilots who suffered from the same problem?

do you think that it was possible to fight airsickness and combat the planes simultaneously? how the did they do it?

plébános

"Der ganze Revierkreis muss total schwarz sein"

Erich Hartmann

XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 02:49 PM
salute all.

i know that werner m√¬∂lders was one for sure who got airsick all time time he would get into his plane.
do you know of any other pilots who suffered from the same problem?

do you think that it was possible to fight airsickness and combat the planes simultaneously? how the did they do it?

plébános

"Der ganze Revierkreis muss total schwarz sein"

Erich Hartmann

XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 03:17 PM
I know it was common to get airsick while in training. I hope that eventually it could be gotten over.



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XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 04:02 PM
Chuck Yeager barfed all over himself during his first combat flight.

A "pilot's breakfast" during the war was a cigarette and a puke.

Yep, I think barfing was common.

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XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 04:03 PM
I remember hearing that Yeager vomited all over his cockpit after one of his flights and he vowed to never let it happen again. It was indeed quite common to get sick in training and it could happen to just about anyone, including future aces like Yeager.

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XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 04:16 PM
Although some pilots DID get sick during training, most got over it by the time they were sent into action. If a pilot was throwing up all over himself during a dogfight I really don't think they would have let him end up in a flying position, but thats just my opinion.

XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 04:17 PM
My Grandpa who was a navigator on a Lancaster told me about one of his fellow navigators who during training never failed to throw up. Apparently just the smell of the Lanc got to him.

XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 04:20 PM
Hi there!

Yes, there were many pilots/aircrew who experienced airsickness and some of them were aces. I seem to remember reading the memoirs of a British ace many years ago, who commented on it, but I can't remember who now. Possibly, it was Stanford Tuck, but I'm not sure.

In any case, the experience is definitely not incompatible with flying and fighting, because many managed it. In general, from what I've heard and read, it was something that you went through for a short while, like sort of a 'barrier', sometimes from the motion of flying but often it was a reaction to fear. Generally, once you'd done the 'technicolour yawn' you were OK afterwards.

I can relate to the fear bit, from my years of military parachuting. I rarely chunder just from flying, but when I was in a plane waiting to jump, very often I'd do the nasty - but then I'd be OK from then on, and for all subsequent jumps that same day. Then a couple of months would pass before the next parachuting session and I'd go through it all again!

Best regards to all,
panther3485

XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 04:50 PM
Early on airsickness is not unusual.

I have a feeling a queasy stomach before combat is more common than we might think. It just goes unmentioned alot.
Panther's example is probably the norm. It's easy to forget just how much fear these pilots had to deal with, because they don't often dont' talk about it.


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XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 05:27 PM
in 1944, Luftwaffe Pilot Kurt Graf from 7/JG3 was killed due to airsickness.

25.02.1944 they started with 27 Me109 (Alarmstart) and had a fight with 30 B-17's at M√ľhldorf ( 15.USAAF ).

They shot down 5 B-17s in a half hour in the south of Regensburg.

After the battle they landed at Stuttgart Echterdingen to take gas and munition. At 2 o'clock they had another Alarmstart . The fight was over the south of Stuttgart against B-17s escorted by P-51's . They shot down 4 B-17's and 1 P-51 . On the way home to Leipheim over Schw√¬§bisch Hall Kurt Gr√¬§f crashed due to "H√¬∂henkrankheit" (deadly air sickness).

Kind of sad as he was with the Luftwaffe since 1941...he left behind a wife and child...





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XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 08:03 PM
In almost all the stories I've read says that pilots who have been shot almost always barf, but then again, that's probably shock or something and not airsickness



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Duh!

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XyZspineZyX
07-30-2003, 11:25 PM
I remember reading the biography of BoB ace Ginger Lacey- it records that he was sick every time he heard the 'scramble' klaxon sound- it became an involuntary reflex- a la Pavlov's dog. Such was his state of nervous tension.
10 years ago I spoke to a former BoB Hurricane pilot about his experiences (he's dead now). Amongst other things I recall him saying that he spent as much time as possible drunk, in the local brothel- and that he literally sh*t himself on three separate occasions in the cockpit (his words). You won't find testimony like that in books because it's not a pleasant thing to admit to. Would you?

XyZspineZyX
07-31-2003, 06:14 PM
We had a Jaguar Pilot on my Squadron in Germany that used to suffer from it every time he looked over his shoulder, he would fill his oxygen mask /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

They cured him by putting him into a centrifuge and made him look over his shoulder for about 8 hours in total over a period of about a month. Worse bit was he said he had to take the mask of clean it then put it back on and the smell of puke used to trigger it again, all this while trying to fly a Jet Fighter.