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Old 07-10-2004, 17:37   #1
Bill Powell
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injured warriors

I was heading over to the shop today, to do a little welding, when I was held up momentarily by a train with about forty cars of M-1 Abrams tanks. As I sat there watching the train, I suddenly realized that not one of the tanks was healthy. About half of them were missing ground wheels, some were missing tracks, s lot had fenders knocked of, and one had most of the track covers missing and one had burned at the engine compartment. I don't know how many, if any, were combat victims, and how many were accident victims. What I do know is that it was sad to see these magnificent beasts limping home, probably to the repair facility. My neighbor had his comera and took four or five photos for me, which I will post here Monday. You know, these two little wars in Iraq is the first time in history that the US has gone into a conflict with the best tank.
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Old 07-10-2004, 21:29   #2
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Bill,
Be sure and post the pics. I would like to see these injured warriors.
Thanks in advance,
apup
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Old 07-10-2004, 21:45   #3
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injured warriors

I'm supposed to get the disc Monday. I'll do it then.
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Old 07-10-2004, 22:07   #4
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I look forward to it. Thanks again Bill.
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Old 07-11-2004, 14:18   #5
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Re: injured warriors

Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Powell
...I don't know how many, if any, were combat victims, and how many were accident victims. What I do know is that it was sad to see these magnificent beasts limping home, probably to the repair facility...
Same feeling I get when I see photos of the planes with battle damage. Those planes I flew in back in the '60s, they had souls. Each was different...

Anyone else know what I mean?
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Old 07-11-2004, 15:38   #6
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injured warriors

Tell you what, RussP, from the A-10 battle damage I've seen from Iraq, I have a new favorite plane.

I read a story about a B-17 in England. A couple of guys were playing golf when a B-17 skimmed over a low hill, and made a perfect wheels up landing on the gold course. Not knowing a lot about planes, it looked fairly normal to them. When a more knowledgeable guy showed up, they inspected the plane and found no crew. They did find ten parachutes sitting on benches. They also found almost 2,000 bullet holes from the wing trailing edge to the nose. They called the unit the "ghost" plane was from, and the crew was already home. The story they learned was that the plane had developed mechanical problems and was told to return home. On the way back it was bounced by some Focke-Wulfes, and attacked time after time, and time after time, they fought them off. When they got close to
England the Germans left, and the crew decided to jump. Evidently their leaving lightened the plane enough it gained a little altitude, and being in perfect trim, it flew til it ran out of fuel, and made the wheels up landing. They scrapped the plane on the spot.
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Old 07-11-2004, 22:16   #7
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Remember that the damage to the tanks may not be from battle OR accidents. There is always a percentage of failure from normal use as well as times where damage will occur due to "operator head space". It's not as bad as it looks....
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Old 07-12-2004, 05:40   #8
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injured warriors

I agree with that. Where they had just come from they were ridden hard and put up wet.
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Old 07-14-2004, 20:52   #9
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I am more concerned about the troops occupying the battle damaged M-1s than the M-1 itself. Let's hope the tank help up well enough to have allowed their crews to go home to their loved ones.
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Old 07-14-2004, 20:59   #10
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I didn't see any obvious battle damage. Non of the hulls were breeched. Mostly broken tracks, ground roller axles sheared off, missing exterior sheet metal, things like that. I've been waiting three days for my photos. I'll post them soon as I get them.
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Old 07-14-2004, 21:10   #11
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Thanks Bill. I appreciate your PM Monday. I am looking forward to seeing them but no rush.
Kevin
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Old 07-16-2004, 23:12   #12
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A sight like that would sadden me, too. But at the same time I would be uplifted in the knowledge that those tanks (the finest tanks in the world) likely kept their crews safe and saved many lives in spite of the damage they received!
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Old 07-18-2004, 17:35   #13
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Re: injured warriors

Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Powell
Tell you what, RussP, from the A-10 battle damage I've seen from Iraq, I have a new favorite plane.

I read a story about a B-17 in England. A couple of guys were playing golf when a B-17 skimmed over a low hill, and made a perfect wheels up landing on the gold course. Not knowing a lot about planes, it looked fairly normal to them. When a more knowledgeable guy showed up, they inspected the plane and found no crew. They did find ten parachutes sitting on benches. They also found almost 2,000 bullet holes from the wing trailing edge to the nose. They called the unit the "ghost" plane was from, and the crew was already home. The story they learned was that the plane had developed mechanical problems and was told to return home. On the way back it was bounced by some Focke-Wulfes, and attacked time after time, and time after time, they fought them off. When they got close to
England the Germans left, and the crew decided to jump. Evidently their leaving lightened the plane enough it gained a little altitude, and being in perfect trim, it flew til it ran out of fuel, and made the wheels up landing. They scrapped the plane on the spot.
The A-10 is the modern day A1-E I flew in. Yep, they can take the hits...

Your story confirms planes have souls...;f
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Old 07-18-2004, 18:08   #14
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injured warriors

I forgot to mention, the parachutes found on the plane were the crew's "inspection" chutes. They did it, we did it, and I'm sure the people keep pristeen inspection gear around. I was lucky enough to live around Phoenix when a company was converting B-17s to full wing sprayers, and we were able to fly on them occasionally. In the late fifties Sky Harbor was a cool, dual purpose airport, not like like that synthetic piece of crap they have now. F-100 Super Sabers used the alternate runway for air guard work, and it was chock full of second world war fighters, and light bombers.
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Old 07-20-2004, 15:36   #15
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I'm gonna try this. Well, I tried. screwed it up, too.
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Old 07-20-2004, 15:41   #16
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I'm gonna try this
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Old 07-20-2004, 21:05   #17
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Thanks for posting the pics Bill. I attempted to view them but my connection is so slow at the moment they timeout before I can see any more than the blue train car. I will try to view them again at the end of the week.

Thanks again for posting them!
apup
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Old 07-21-2004, 04:53   #18
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Don't knock yourself out trying to viewe the damned things. i'm going to send the CD to my daughter today, and she's going to make them smaller. She walked me through to get the size, and they were 1,576,000 bytes per picture. Sorry i'm so dumb with this machine.
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Old 07-21-2004, 18:55   #19
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Thanks Bill. Don't feel bad. After meeting those folks at the Atlanta GT shoot and eat, I feel like a technological moron. That is one smart group of folks. I may know human behavior but now realize I don't know squat about today's technology!
apup
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Old 07-22-2004, 20:19   #20
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While I was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in 29 Palms CA all the equipment we trained with was in really bad shape. Every time I drove past the lot where Alpha Company stored it's tanks I wondered how many of those veicles were actually servicable, because they all looked pretty banged up. Every time we would do a batallion level training exercise I would see tanks, armored personell veichles, 5-tons and especially hummers being towed back to mainside because of training accidents. It was a normal occurance. With all the field training soldiers do it is almost impossible to keep their equipment healthy. I would assume that those tanks were banged up from the wear and tear that occurs during training. I will tell you this however, I fought in Operation Iraqi Freedom and I can tell you those bad boys were a blessing and you always felt safer when you had tanks attatched to your unit. They can really take a beating.

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