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WWII Eccentric Heroes

Discussion in 'WWII' started by Zemke Fan, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. BT Started a thread entitled: "Golden Era Adventurers, Explorers and Heroes..." that has led to a lot of fabulous posts and photos.

    Picking up on that theme: Name some of WWII's famous, exciting, and ECCENTRIC individuals please! (The more obscure and/or eccentric the better!) Images and/or references are welcome...


    David C. Schilling. Deputy CO of the 56th Fighter Group under Hub Zemke. Schilling was "handsome, debonair, and as popular with his men as he was with the ladies." Schilling was a Rube Goldberg-like inventor who once built a weapon described as "a cross between a machine gun and a pistol." Schilling eventually took over the 56th from Zemke and had a distinguished Air Force career that was tragically cut short when he smashed his sports car into a stone bridge abutment in England in 1954.

  2. Eccentric WWII heroes... Patton.
  3. jake431

    jake431 Practically Family

    No list would be complete without Greg Boyington.
  4. Biggles

    Biggles New in Town

    Got to be Orde Wingate....or possibly Jack Churchill, who,as a commando officer was known to use both Longbow & broadsword in action....
  5. Those code breakers at Bletchley Park must have been kinda eccentric. That many mathematicians in one place! My type of hero - one who uses his brain instead of his muscles. So i nominate all the codebreakers at Bletchley, even though i don't know if they were eccentric or not. Anyone know anything about those guys? I mean, were they eccentric? They must have been ... surely ... Anyone??

  6. Embellish your posts, gents...

    Come on guys... this deserves more than one line posts... let's embellish what you've already posted with photos and justifications!
  7. James Dolittle-Commander, inovator, risk taker, and always think about his men.
    This guy started bombing Tokyo in early 1942 from Aircraft Carriers, this is risking and a new idea, that really scared the Japonisee.


    William "Wild Bill" Donovah-head of the OSS, founded modern US intelgence, a nessicary evil (not well liked) and was good friends with FDR. This guy really brought reallable intellenge and other covert opperations to the USA's arsonal. His department was paid out of the President's Emergency Fund, nothing else.


    Franklyn D. Roosevelt-president, perserved democracy, and also risked it all. Though he was our president, he had to risk so much to beat the axis powers, like making deals with fomer enemies.

  8. Col. H.F. "Frank" Gregory, his eccentric idea during W.W. II was to have these crazy aircraft no one wanted, called helicopters for the Air Corps.

    The guys that were rescued by these vibrating, noisy, contraptions were pretty happy that Col. Gregory thought they'd be useful




  9. ShanghaiJack

    ShanghaiJack One of the Regulars


    Jake, Matt, Mycroft, etc. have certainly nailed
    a few great ones, I'll toss my hat in the ring
    and say C. L. Chennault.

  10. jake431

    jake431 Practically Family

    He was a great one too!

    How about Douglas Bader? Old and a double amputee, but that didn't stop him from making ace, or escaping from POW camps repeatedly.

  11. I like that Bader had one of his artificial legs shortened to improve his golf game, that's real focus. (Even though I don't have any interest in golf)
  12. ShanghaiJack

    ShanghaiJack One of the Regulars


    Jake you always impress me! keep it up!
  13. I'll throw one in, Francis S. Gabby Gabreski :cheers1:

  14. A really INTERESTING story about Bader...

    There is a guy (Kenneth Williams) from England (now living in New South Wales) that claims that he helped Bader with his tin legs in a hotel in Liverpool during the very period (May-June 1942) when Bader was in a German POW camp. He calls his saga "The Douglas Bader Enigma" and it is a very interesting read.

    Check it out >> The Douglas Bader Enigma
  15. Gabby!

    Okay, Hondo, I agree that Gabby was a true hero... but eccentric? He couldn't have been more conventional from what I can tell. BTW, I loved your little vignette! Just what I was hoping would get posted on this thread.
  16. jake431

    jake431 Practically Family

    Thanks Jack! How about the other side? A pilot I'm always sad was lost (even though he was a German) is Hans Joachim Marseille, the Star of Africa. Hell of a learning curve for that one, but when he finally gor going, c'mon! Here's some testimony:

    Hans Joachim Marseille, a young German fighter pilot, was the most amazing, unique, and lethal ace of World War 2. A non-conformist and brilliant innovator, he developed his own personal training program and combat tactics, and achieved amazing results, including 17 victories in one day, and an average lethality ratio of just 15 gun rounds per victory. Marseille was described by Adolf Galland, the most senior German ace, with these words : "He was the unrivaled virtuoso among the fighter pilots of World War 2. His achievements were previously considered impossible."

    158 kills, all but 5 (I think) against the western front opponents not the russians, and all of this before he died in a bailout in Sept 1942. Insane.

    Anyway, look him up, he was a real non-conformist, a very rare thing in the Nazi state. Interesting.

  17. Eccentric? And some of these other guys were? I never heard or read about Gabby until recently, wasn't handsome dude, but knew (okay conventional) what he was doing. I better do some studying. The only real aviator who comes to mind as eccentric would be Howard Hughes if eccentric is what you had in mind, (Yeah Patton leads the list, a great General, but a major nut by that I mean self serving, still an awesome general ) General Dwight Eisenhower might come to mind am I wrong? I mean the risk played out on D-Day, boggles the mind to think about, throw out ?¢‚Ǩ?ìgreen?¢‚Ǩ? troops? I doubt I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢d have the guts to order this without thinking of another alternative plan, but of course I wasn?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢t there, Eisenhower may have had no other choice but to follow through.
  18. No offense meant...

    Didn't mean to be critical, Hondo, just started this thread to learn about some of the guys who were brave and a little wild/crazy. Gabby truly was one of a kind, but very modest and straight-forward. Contrast this with his 56th FG pal Dave Schilling who was brilliant, brave, and way-off-the-scale zany.

  19. Oh its cool, go ahead and be critical :) I'm in a fine mood, didn't mean to sound serious and all, this is a good topic :cheers1:

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