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Re: Marine Raiders
Lord Louis Mountbatten, royalty, charming, suave, actually quite a good
officer too, was often Churchill's "point man" in selling the commando
concept to Roosevelt and the Pentagon. It was he, for example, that got the
Canadians to support the U.S.-Canadian First Special Service Force concept.
Turns out the key Canadian political figure was an uncle of his, don't you
Just got an amazing phone call from someone who read my interview on Devil
's Shadow in the local mullet wrapper. Ret. USAF Lt. Gen. "Bones" Marshall,
F-86 ace from Korea. He's here in town, and as it turns out, he's on a
committee that is translating the Russian papers of a Russian MiG ace from
Korea. Amongst all the interesting goodies Bones just dropped on me is that
there is a "secret cemetery" just outside the former MiG base at Antung (just
north of the Yalu River, in Manchuria, as you probably already know). It's
filled with some 150 Russian pilots killed during the war. Uncle Joe didn't
even want their bodies shipped home.
Bones also mentioning that one day he pulled up alongside a MiG
formation, looking into the cockpit of one of them, and sitting there without
helmet or headset on was a red-haired caucasian. When he reported that (and
a couple of other incidents indicating the presence of Russians in the MiGs),
the Air Force threatened to send him back to the U.S. He was strictly
forbidden to discuss the subject further.
Bones told me that the main reason he called me was a single sentence in
my interview. I was describing the "seductive nature" of technology to
persuade the current active duty crowd that it doesn't really need to study
military history because technology will keep them from repeating past
mistakes. Bones liked that, and added an interesting note. He's just come
back from a tour of the USAF fighter bases in Korea, where he talked to the
pilots about fighting MiGs. He said that one of the principle fighter
maneuvers now taught at Top Gun/Red Flag--something involving deflection
shooting--will not work against Soviet aircraft and tactics. I wonder if
anyone was listening, after their "validated" experiences against hotshot MiG
pilots like the Libyans and Iraqis.