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Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Tuesday - May 07, 2013

Hero of the Day!!

Charles Ramsey. The video speaks for itself.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 05/07/2013 at 12:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Heroes •  
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calendar   Tuesday - April 09, 2013

a peaceful passing

Former prime minister Baroness Thatcher dies peacefully

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Former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher died in a suite at the Ritz today after suffering a severe stroke.

Britain’s first and only female political leader passed away peacefully aged 87, after battling poor health for more than a decade.

After a minor operation over Christmas, Baroness Thatcher had spent the past few months recuperating at the five-star hotel in central London.

The Iron Lady was given 24-hour care by nursing staff in her suite, after becoming too frail to stay in her Belgravia home.

The grocer’s daughter, who became the longest serving British prime minister of the 20th century, will be honoured with a full ceremonial funeral - one step below a state funeral - at St Paul’s Cathedral next week.

Not since Winston Churchill’s death has a politician been granted such a tribute. His funeral was also held there in 1965.

Her spokesman Lord Bell said: ‘It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning’.

Her daughter Carol dashed from her home in the Alps to London on Sunday morning to be by her mother’s side before she died.

The Queen was sad to hear of Baroness Thatcher’s death and Her Majesty will send a private message of sympathy to the family, Buckingham Palace said today.

The last true Conservative has left the island. Turn out the lights and walk away, and leave the place to the savages.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/09/2013 at 09:18 AM   
Filed Under: • HeroesOBITITUARIESUK •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 27, 2013

A must read…

http://freepatriot.org/2013/02/24/man-kills-home-invader-in-self-defense-perps-family-outraged/?fb_source=pubv1

My favorite line:

Predictably, the homeowner grabbed his home defense pistol and perforated the perp with extreme prejudice.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 02/27/2013 at 01:54 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeGuns and Gun ControlHeroes •  
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calendar   Thursday - November 29, 2012

He flew down the Champs-Elysees at second floor window height

I’m not sure about second floor but it couldn’t have been too high to do that.
Damn but weren’t there guys who did the derring-do things well in those days?  Of course, the opportunities presented themselves in more ways back then.
Whatever it was, many of the guys back then and most especially the flyers, even looked the part.  Like a cross between David Niven and Errol Flynn.
They fought well and for a country that years later isn’t worthy of them or their achievements.  Maybe I shouldn’t say that being a guest here. For now.

I read about these guys now and then, and have had the opportunity to actually hold in my own hands, letters from them to home or from commanding officers with sad news of loss. Then I look around and see how things are now.  Not the same sort at all.  Just sad. 


The RAF pilot who dropped the Tricolor on occupied Paris

The audacious story of how a RAF pilot flew down the Champs-Elysees to drop a French Tricolor over Nazi-occupied Paris has emerged after his medals were put up for sale.

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In a daring raid intended to boost the morale of the French, Wing Commander Ken Gatward flew just feet off the ground to put the wind up the Germans.

After dropping a huge French flag on top of the Arc de Triomphe, the British pilot headed towards the Gestapo headquarters which he raked with 20mm shells.

The attack sent the German SS troops running for their lives, to the delight of Parisians.

Wg Cdr Gatward’s antics were celebrated in British newspaper cartoons and raised the hope and morale among the British and French.

One of the cartoons depicted his aircraft doing a loop around the Eiffel Tower, with the word ‘Hope’ written in the sky using his trail smoke.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and after the war he was hailed a hero by the French government who presented him with a large bottle of Champagne and a Tricolor in Paris.

Wg Cdr Gatward’s medal set, that includes his DFC with bar and a Distinguished Service Order, have now been put up for auction after the recent death of his widow.

Being sold with it are the pilot’s log books and the wooden commemorative Champagne case inscribed with the words ‘In Remembrance of Your Flight Over Paris’.

A souvenir booklet featuring a sketch of the moment Wg Cdr Gatward and his observer dropped the Tricolor over the Arc de Triomphe with German army trucks on the ground is also being sold.

James Grinter, of auctioneers Reeman Dansie of Colchester, Essex, said: “Ken Gatwood’s act of bravery is a real Boy’s Own story.

“He was asked to volunteer for the ‘unsafe mission’ which was aimed at boosting the morale of the French and British people as well as undermine the Germans.

“This is June 1942 and the real dark days of war for the French and this was to demonstrate that the Germans weren’t invincible.”

Wg Cdr Gatward was chosen for the sortie as he had demonstrated a skill for accurate flying during low-level attacks on enemy positions after Dunkirk.

The British had been informed the Germans held daily parades down the Champs-Elysees and he was asked to strafe the parade.

He and his navigator, Flight Sergeant George Fern, took off from Thorny Island, near Portsmouth, on June 12.

After reaching Paris, he flew at just 30ft before Ft Sgt released the flag down the flare shute and over the Arc de Triomphe.

Mr Grinter said: “It is an amazing story - one of those that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

“He flew down the Champs-Elysees at second floor window height. It was an incredible act of bravery and a real audacious attack.

“He attacked the Gestapo HQ and SS troops were seen to run for their lives. As he turned for home the Germans came out and shook their fists at him.

“The attack gave Parisians one of the greatest thrills of the war and had a huge effect on the morale of the French and at home.”

After returning unscathed to Britain, Wg Cdr Gatward wrote in his logbook: “Paris - no cover - 0ft. Drop tricolours on Arc Triomphe & Ministrie Marine. Shoot up German HQ. Little flak - no E.A. Bird in STBD oil radiator.

“Returned Northolt and on to command 61 photos. Heavy rain over England. France fair to light.”

The bird in question was a French crow that clattered into Wg Cdr Gatward’s Beaufighter plane as he approached Paris.

Upon his return to England, he removed the dead bird and laid it to rest at RAF Northolt.

Wg Cdr Gatward was awarded a second DFC in September 1944 for taking part in an aeriel attack on a German convoy in Norwegian waters.

He spent 30 years in the RAF before retiring. He lived in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, with wife Pamela and died in 1998 aged 84.

His medals and other items are expected to sell for £8,000 at the auction on Friday.

TELEGRAPH SOURCE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/29/2012 at 05:15 AM   
Filed Under: • HeroesUKWar-Stories •  
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calendar   Monday - May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Well, peiper, I promised not to post anything like my Valentine’s Day post. This one is serious.

I remember well all the controversy when the Vietnam Memorial was designed and built. It was called an insult to our vets. A black gash in the ground, I remember reading.

Actually, it’s turned out to be brilliant.  The Vietnam Memorial has become the American version of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. So this Memorial Day, I’d like to present Reviewing the Troops by Jack E. Dawson.

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And now, allow me to quote from Jack E. Dawson’s explanation:

At first glance, you see George Washington saluting the troops of past and present wars.  Every man and woman who has served our country to preserve freedom is to be honored.  A few are pictured to represent them all.  From left to right the soldiers represent a Vietnam Veteran, a Korean War Nurse, a soldier in Iraq/Afghanistan, a Persian Gulf Veteran, a living Vietnam Veteran, a Continental soldier, a Union Civil War soldier, a World War I Veteran, a Confederate Civil War soldier, a Vietnamese woman and baby, a World War II Veteran.  As a court would review the evidence and reach a verdict, these troops are being honored for their service to our country.  (Notice the word HONOR in the sidewalk.) On further inspection we find the real key to this painting.  It is the Lord (in the upper right corner) who is truly “reviewing the troops”.  We are to be counted as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. He is reviewing our lives.  The ultimate question is do I recognize and trust him?  The little girl is leaving a note at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall.  What do you think she is writing?

I’ve no idea what the little girl is writing. I hope she hasn’t recently lost a father, mother, or older brother or sister. I hope she’s leaving a note for the great-grandfather who died in Korea, or an uncle who fell in ‘Nam. Or maybe she’s not had to face such losses. Maybe she’s just doing what I hope we all do today–remember and give thanks for those who’ve died for us.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 05/28/2012 at 04:30 AM   
Filed Under: • HeroesPatriotism •  
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calendar   Friday - May 25, 2012

I’m not worthy

I feel the need to respond to some emails and Facebook posts I’ve been getting.

Monday is Memorial Day. I’ve been getting thanks for being a veteran. From friends and family.

But being a veteran is not what Memorial Day is about. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor those who died in service. I also include those who survived, but lost arms, legs, etc. I bet all of us know someone that fits either description.

Yes, I’m a veteran. I served six years in the Navy. We practiced daily. The worst things I remember was getting relieved of the mid-watch, crashing in my bunk, and 45 minutes later the Captain runs a drill: “Battle-stations. All hands man their battle-stations.” And that was about as close to combat as I ever got. Oh sure, my cruiser used to chase Soviet subs around… just for practice. This was especially fun if I were on Throttles: “Ahead Flank”, “Ahead 2/3rds”, “All Stop”, “Got ‘im! Ahead Full”. Yes, a Throttleman’s job could be fun.

So, this Memorial Day, please don’t dilute the meaning by thanking vets like me. Remember those who gave limb, or life.

(If you do want to thank vets like me, who may be heroes if only because we were there and deterred our enemies: Veteran’s Day is Sunday, November 11th this year.)


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 05/25/2012 at 02:41 PM   
Filed Under: • HeroesMilitary •  
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calendar   Monday - January 02, 2012

A post without riposteI

Darth Vader Is Dead

Well, not Darth exactly. Just the guy who put on his mask and did all his sword fighting. And who happened to be the best cut and thrust choreographer in Hollywood history.

WWII Vet, British Olympian, Foremost Fencing Choreographer Robert Anderson, 89

Great Britain Olympic fencer and movie sword master Bob Anderson died in New York on Monday aged 89.

He took part in the 1952 Olympics and the 1950 and 1953 World Championships. Anderson later wore Darth Vader’s black helmet to fight lightsaber battles in two of the first three Star Wars films.

Anderson, who worked with actors from Errol Flynn to Antonio Banderas during five decades as a sword master, fight director and stunt performer, died early New Year’s Day at an English hospital, the British Academy of Fencing said Monday.
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Anderson, who has died at age 89, donned Darth Vader’s black helmet and fought light saber battles in two of the three original “Star Wars” films, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”
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The scenes worked beautifully, although Anderson, then nearing 60, was several inches shorter than Prowse.

Few knew of Anderson’s role until Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, said in a 1983 interview that “Bob Anderson was the man who actually did Vader’s fighting.”

Robert James Gilbert Anderson was born in Hampshire, southern England, in 1922, and was drawn to fencing from an early age.

“I never took up the sword,” he said in an interview for the 2009 documentary “Reclaiming the Blade.” “I think the sword took me up.”

Anderson joined the Royal Marines before World War II, teaching fencing aboard warships and winning several combined services titles in the sport. He served in the Mediterranean during the war, later trained as a fencing coach and represented Britain at the 1952 Olympics and the 1950 and 1953 world championships. In the 1950s, Anderson became coach of Britain’s national fencing team, a post he held until the late 1970s. He later served as technical director of the Canadian Fencing Association. His first film work was staging fights and coaching Flynn on swashbuckler “The Master of Ballantrae” in 1952.

He went on to become one of the industry’s most sought after stunt performers, fight choreographers and sword masters, working on movies including the James Bond adventures “From Russia With Love” and “Die Another Day”; fantasy “The Princess Bride”; Banderas action romps “The Mask of Zorro” and “The Legend of Zorro”; and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. [ Drew: not to mention all the “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “Highlander” (film and TV versions), and that Lindsay Lohan magnum opus “The Parent Trap” ]

Fencing academy president Philip Bruce said Anderson was “truly one of our greatest fencing masters and a world-class film fight director and choreographer.”

Fencers and others who play seriously with swords will sit through yet another viewing of The Princess Bride just to watch the sword fights, especially the one between Inigo Montoya and the mysterious Man In Black (aka the Dread Pirate Roberts), even though it was obviously played for laughs. It really is one of the best ever filmed. Bob Anderson will be missed. Prime, seconde, septime, and octave (the defensive parries*) will never be quite the same.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/02/2012 at 09:11 PM   
Filed Under: • HeroesHollywoodUK •  
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calendar   Friday - December 30, 2011

For any George MacDonald Fraser fans

I present the the second book of his Flashman series. Royal Flash. In toto.


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 12/30/2011 at 11:39 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffHeroesMOVIES •  
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calendar   Saturday - December 17, 2011

Up In The Air, Junior Birdmen

Today is the 107th Anniversary of Powered Flight



Q: If it takes 2 wrongs to make a right, what does it take 2 rights to make?
A: An airplane.


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Orville making history

On December 14, 1903, they felt ready for their first attempt at powered flight. With the help of men from the nearby government life-saving station, the Wrights moved the Flyer and its launching rail to the incline of a nearby sand dune, Big Kill Devil Hill, intending to make a gravity-assisted takeoff. The brothers tossed a coin to decide who would get the first chance at piloting and Wilbur won. The airplane left the rail, but Wilbur pulled up too sharply, stalled, and came down in about three seconds with minor damage.

Repairs after the abortive first flight took three days. When they were ready again on December 17, the wind was averaging more than 20 mph, so the brothers laid the launching rail on level ground, pointed into the wind, near their camp. This time the wind, instead of an inclined launch, helped provide the necessary airspeed for takeoff. Because Wilbur already had the first chance, Orville took his turn at the controls. His first flight lasted 12 seconds for a total distance of 120 ft (36.5 m) – shorter than the wingspan of a Boeing 707, as noted by observers in the 2003 commemoration of the first flight.[3]

Taking turns, the Wrights made four brief, low-altitude flights that day. The flight paths were all essentially straight; turns were not attempted. [ which just goes to show that two Wrights can’t make a left ] Each flight ended in a bumpy and unintended “landing”. The last flight, by Wilbur, was 852 feet (260 m) in 59 seconds, much longer than each of the three previous flights of 120, 175 and 200 feet. The landing broke the front elevator supports, which the Wrights hoped to repair for a possible four-mile (6 km) flight to Kitty Hawk village. Soon after, a heavy gust picked up the Flyer and tumbled it end over end, damaging it beyond any hope of quick repair. It was never flown again.

Pity that today’s anniversary isn’t also the anniversary of the government’s recognition of that triumph. That took until 1942, because of some favoritism in the old Old Boys Network ...

The Smithsonian Institution, and primarily its then-secretary Charles Walcott, refused to give credit to the Wright Brothers for the first powered, controlled flight of an aircraft. Instead, they honored the former Smithsonian Secretary Samuel Pierpont Langley, whose 1903 tests of his own Aerodrome on the Potomac were not successful. Walcott was a friend of Langley and wanted to see Langley’s place in aviation history restored. In 1914, Glenn Curtiss flew a heavily modified Aerodrome from Keuka Lake, N.Y., providing the Smithsonian a basis for its claim that the aircraft was the first powered, heavier than air flying machine “capable” of manned flight. Due to the legal patent battles then taking place, recognition of the ‘first’ aircraft became a political as well as an academic issue.

In 1925, Orville attempted to persuade the Smithsonian to recognize his and Wilbur’s accomplishment by offering to send the Flyer to the Science Museum in London. This action did not have its intended effect, and the Flyer went on display in the London museum in 1928. During World War II, it was moved to an underground vault 100 miles (160 km) from London where Britain’s other treasures were kept safe from the conflict.

In 1942 the Smithsonian Institution, under a new secretary, Charles Abbot (Walcott had died in 1927), published a list of the Curtiss modifications to the Aerodrome and a retraction of its long-held claims for the craft. The next year, Orville, after exchanging several letters with Abbott, agreed to return the Flyer to the United States.

The Wright brothers hailed from Dayton Ohio, so my guess is that Christopher is at the parade today. Dayton does have an annual Wright brothers parade, don’t they Chris?

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Please note that the Wrights were the first to actually fly a manned, self-propelled, sustained, heavier than air vehicle that they could (at least in theory) control. Other folks had been gadding about in other vehicles that managed short hops, bounces, or fairly long glides for about 78 years before them, in various things with wings on that didn’t meet the full definition; “powered flight” had been around since 1783, with the Montgolfier brothers and there hot air balloons. 1783 was also a great year for brandy, right Brenda?

Oh, and of course jizzlam claims credit 1100 years earlier, because back in the year 800 or something some loonie muzzie got tarred and feathered, then leaped off a tall building, managing a sustained but uncontrolled flight. Straight down.

Here’s a neat video of a modern copy of the Wright Flyer showing that it can still get the job done:

It was not until 1908 that Louis Blériot figured out that the control surfaces really belonged on the back end of an airplane. The Wrights and several others of the early era (Curtis etc) put the elevators in front.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/17/2011 at 04:30 PM   
Filed Under: • HeroesHistoryNeat Inventionsplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Thursday - September 01, 2011

Surviving Irene - Local Vermont Hero

Git ‘er done!


Killington VT excavation company rebuilds road,
opens town to outside world



Awarded:

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the bronze Balto

a BMEWS award for saving lives during emergencies
or at least really helping lots of people all at once
without taking much personal risk




A little less trapped

KILLINGTON — Craig Mosher looked up the road and saw his next job. It wasn’t one he asked for.

The owner of Mosher Excavating, Inc. on Route 4 in Killington has been lauded by Killington townspeople for his rapid response to historic flooding that washed out a huge section of road just north of his home and business.

Since Monday, Mosher and four of his employees, who rode into work on ATVs, have used the company’s own excavating equipment to completely rebuild the road and redirect a brook into its normal path at the key intersection of Route 4 and River Road.

They’ve worked sunup to sundown.

Because of Mosher, more than 300 out-of-towners got out of Killington Wednesday morning and headed toward Woodstock and the interstate, and food and supplies can be delivered into town from the east.

Because of him, water isn’t flowing into the Kokopelli Inn, Goodro Lumber or into the rooms of houses anymore.

Because of him, the town feels less trapped.

“I’m not a hero, I just own an excavating company,” Mosher said, eating a salad for lunch as he leaned on his bulldozer Wednesday.

Mosher was given the go-ahead by the state to rebuild the road for access and redirect the brook as best as he could.

[Prior to the repair work] there was no way into town and no way out, the result of raging water that grew in otherwise calm brooks after the area received upwards of 6 inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

Smart move getting the Ok from the state ahead of time, but I kinda doubt that would have stopped them from doing what was necessary. Real Vermonters fix the problems then get back to work.

Mosher excavating owns about a dozen pieces of heavy equipment from diggers to graders to rollers and dumptrucks. They’ve been building roads and ponds, terracing hillsides, digging foundations and putting in septic tanks across Vermont and New Hampshire for years.

A dusty one-lane road out of Killington was open for three hours today. At least 400 cars packed with stranded tourists from Manhattan to Moscow slipped out, according to town Selectman Jim Haff.

“Craig is definitely a local hero,” said Roger Rivera, 33, an emergency worker with the state. “This is what Vermonters do. We don’t wait for help. We get it done ourselves.”

Residents had yet to be visited by FEMA workers, Haff said this morning. They are using public and private equipment to jury-rig as much infrastructure as possible, he said. Route 4 beyond Killington, while passable, is dangerous and few warning signs have been posted.

“FEMA is trying its hardest,” said Rivera. “But the whole state is a mess, and they can’t be everywhere.”

Refugee tourists were grateful for the escape route.

Killington? Yeah, the place that has had the big ski resorts. Had. Oh they’re still there, but it’s doubtful that they will have a season this winter. When Irene hit the area she dropped a foot of rain on the mountains in short order. In winter that all comes down as snow and is a blessing for the ski industry. In summer that’s rain, and what makes it to the bottom of the hill is mud. The Killington base lodge is in a sea of mud, and reports are that at two of the main buildings has foundation damage. Nearby Pico ski resort is also saying “closed for the season” before the season even gets close to beginning. Here’s a reverse color satellite image of the Killington resort. Red is trees, gray is mud:


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For more on the ski resort story, see Bruce Sussman’s blog


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/01/2011 at 02:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherHeroes •  
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calendar   Tuesday - June 14, 2011

Blimp Crash In Germany

Blimp Pilot Sacrifices Himself To Save Passengers


It is with great sadness that we report the death of Captain Mike Nerandzic, one of the world’s most experienced Airship Pilots. With a total of 26 years airship piloting experience covering more than 18,000 flight hours in 24 countries, Mike has been a leading Chief Pilot on Lightships for 20 years. Our thoughts at this time go to his wife and family, his colleagues past and present and his many friends worldwide.

- Lightships.com


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“Safety Together” read the message on the blimp. Moments later it was a crashing fireball



AN AUSTRALIAN blimp pilot has been hailed a hero after he saved three passengers by ordering them to jump from the burning airship only to then die himself.

Michael Nerandzic, from Balgownie in Wollongong, was attempting to land the A60 Goodyear airship at an airfield at Reichelsheim in Germany, when the blimp caught fire during descent. The 53-year-old and three journalists with him were returning from a local music festival.

It is understood the passengers smelt fuel and heard a loud whirring noise before the blimp caught fire. Realising the airship was only moments away from disaster, Mr Nerandzic then made the heroic decision to put his own life on the line to save those of his passengers.  Hovering 2m above the ground he yelled for the three passengers to jump from the gondola to safety below.

That decision reduced the ballast weight of the airship which is believed to have caused it to shoot 50m into the air where it exploded with the burning wreckage falling to the ground. Mr Nerandzic was unable to escape and died in the wreckage.

Witnesses said they heard loud noises coming from the air before spotting a “fireball” moments before it crashed into a meadow near the airfield.

“We could hear the cries of the pilot as the fire surrounded him. It was terrible,” one said.

Amateur video of part of the crash here; news report video at links above and below.

Witnesses - the passengers and ground crew I’d guess - reported smell fuel and hearing a loud whirring noise from one of the engines.


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The wife of a Wollongong blimp pilot, who died saving three airship passengers in Germany, has said her husband was “larger than life” and “a character”.

Speaking to the Illawarra Mercury today, Lyndy Nerandzic said she was not surprised to hear of husband Michael’s heroic actions in the last minutes of his life.

“When they told me what he had done for the passengers, it didn’t surprise me one little bit,” she said.

imageBlimps are filled with helium, which is a gas that does not burn. Blimps do not have any internal support structures like the framework in the old Zeppelins. Once mostly filled with helium, the bag (ie the “envelope") is kept firm by the assistance of an inner bag called a ballonet, which contains regular air. As the blimp rises and the helium expands, the ballonet deflates. When the helium contracts, the ballonet inflates and takes up the volume.

I could not find detailed information on blimp design, but from the way this crash happened I do not believe that they are built with a big dump valve on top like hot air balloons are. Such a valve might have saved this pilot. Or maybe not; we’ll never know.

While helium by itself is fairly rare in nature, large amounts of it are freed as part of the natural gas purification process.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/14/2011 at 08:00 AM   
Filed Under: • HeroesNews-Briefsplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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calendar   Tuesday - December 07, 2010

DECEMBER 7, 1941, because we need to remember

There are 110 photos in this collection. Many you may have seen, but there might be some you haven’t. The photos are really HUGE at the link.

Here are just a few, and they’ve been reduced for space. 

This picture, taken by a Japanese photographer, shows how American ships are clustered together before the surprise Japanese aerial attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941. Minutes later the full impact of the assault was felt and Pearl Harbor became a flaming target. (AP Photo)

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THE OTHER 106 PHOTOS ARE HERE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/07/2010 at 06:21 AM   
Filed Under: • HeroesUSA War-Stories •  
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calendar   Saturday - October 23, 2010

most unusual obit story I’ve posted since doing this. rip…brigadier dennis rendell, one of a kind

For certain, of all the stories with much derring -do, this soldier comes closest to a movie that might star Errol Flynn. This is an incredible history of a soldier’s story.  It isn’t as though there weren’t brave people on all sides.  And since I unfortunately only speak and read English I am limited to a great degree.  I mean, if I could read other languages I might be reading of stories like or similar to this one.  But from the reading I have done over the years there’s something I keep bumping into.  Brit derring-do.  A daredevil attitude if you will.  It’s as though they were always testing themselves and proving themselves.
It’s as if the Brits had an entire army of Otto Skorzenys.  And often it came from very ordinary appearing people. And btw ... even the women in cases where they were allowed to show what they were made of, did this country proud.  Once upon a time.
Nothing I’ve said here should be taken as diminishing the valor and guts and fighting ability of those boys and girls in the current fight in Afghanistan.  Different kind of war, different sort of opportunities and a very much different kind of fragmented home front. 

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Brigadier Dennis Rendell (RIP)

Brigadier Dennis Rendell, who has died aged 89, had an adventurous career in the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Military Police, rising to become Provost Marshal, one of the most ancient of Crown appointments.

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Rendell, flanked by two unsuspecting Germans, tries his luck at a fair while on the run in Italy

In November 1942, 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment (2 PR) dropped at Depienne, Tunisia, with orders to destroy the enemy landing ground at Oudna. During the initial attack Rendell, then a lieutenant, led his platoon under heavy fire from armoured vehicles. Ignoring the dangers, he went forward alone to ascertain the best approach and played a notable part in the capture of the railway station.

After four days and nights of fierce fighting, Rendell’s platoon covered the battalion’s withdrawal. Despite being surrounded and virtually out of ammunition, with Rendell wounded and most of his men casualties, they fought on, enabling the remnants of the battalion to disengage. Rendell and the survivors were captured and taken to a German regimental aid post. Rendell was subsequently awarded a Military Cross.

After his capture, Rendell made two unsuccessful attempts to escape. On being moved to Italy he failed twice more but, in September 1943, eventually got away from a camp at Sulmona.

With the onset of winter, travel in the mountains became too hazardous, and he returned to Sulmona to hide out and wait for the spring.
One day in November, a travelling fair set up in the main square of the town.

Among the sideshows was a short shooting range where customers could try their luck with an air rifle at hitting a plate 20 yards away. If they succeeded, the impact of the slug “triggered” an automatic flashlight photograph of the marksman. Rendell and six of his fellow escapees could not resist visiting the fair. Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe servicemen were at the range, but their shooting was poor and the camera seldom flashed.

Two Luftwaffe men put up such an abysmal performance that Rendell, exasperated beyond endurance, could stand no more. He grabbed the rifle, rammed a slug up the breach, aimed and fired. A satisfying clang followed by a large flash signalled a bullseye. The fugitives, rather shaken by attracting so much attention, collected the film and slipped away quickly – leaving the Germans to pay.

Soon after this adventure the organisation was betrayed.

On one occasion Rendell, whose highly proper manner masked a daredevil streak that erupted from time to time, approached several senior German officers at the opera house. In execrable Italian he asked one of them to sign his programme. When Rendell returned to his comrades they asked him if he had gone off his rocker – the German officer in question was the Military Governor of Rome.

READ IT ALL HERE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 10/23/2010 at 04:38 AM   
Filed Under: • HeroesOBITITUARIESUK •  
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calendar   Saturday - August 07, 2010

Vietnam Homecoming

This one’s a tear-jerker.

H/T The Jawa Report


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Posted by Christopher   United States  on 08/07/2010 at 08:52 PM   
Filed Under: • HeroesMilitary •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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