My Father was a Pilot in WWII

chrysolite By chrysolite, 19th Mar 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

My Dad was born on the 21st of January 1910 and died on the 19th of January 2010, three days before his 100th birthday. A hard life, a rich life and anything in between. I was 21 when he took me on a few walks to tell me the story of his life before I was born. He felt it was his duty to make me understand.

Before the War

When my father saw those first gliders twirling in the wind, he knew he had to learn that and signed up with one of the first flying schools in Germany. He took to flying like a duck to water, much to the despair of his teacher. Once in the glider, it would take my father further and further in the upwind, a hilarious feeling and with a smile in his face my father looked down to the teacher wildly signaling to come down. Then up in the blue sky he looked, a glorious day, no way he would give up sailing through the air like a bird, because of some flying instructor.

Well, he must have come down eventually, because shortly after, he signed up with a proper flying school to become a pilot. In due course he got his license and a job was offered to him flying reconnaissance along the German borders. Nice job, if you can get it, he smiled, the girls love pilots! And of course, it was not allowed to fly low over a village to "dip a wing" for one's favorite frock, but hey! Who cared! And soon my father went into stunt flying.

The War Begins

My father was a convinced pacifist as he said, but explained:

"If there is a war and you don't do as you are told, your superior takes out a pistol and shoots you through the head. They had to do that only once and they had the soldiers in line! What do you think? Do you really think a man wants to fight a war? - Luckily I got out of fighting. As an experienced pilot I got into flying transport planes. The YU52 was my baby, you know, she saved my life! The young inexperienced pilots were put into the bombers and everybody knew they would not come back. Never you mind the movies, the bomber pilots did not come back!

And then they make you a bloody hero! I mean what can you do? One day I was flying a General from Munich to Paris, trusting that the ground fires were informed that I would come across with some VIP, but no, they were not informed and we got shot. The navigator at my side, dead. The gunner in the back, dead. I had a bullet in my right leg and the General had brown trousers. What IS there to do? You are trying to ground a shot plane with 2 dead men and one that STINKS the cabin out! All you want to get this plane down and get rid of this General and get your leg seen to! No way you think of heroism!"

"And then?" - I asked.

"Well, when they had patched up my leg and my bird, I flew back to Germany to my base. The story had arrived already and I was given a heroes welcome."

You see, our family name is "Taube", which means "dove". So they called my Dad "Paloma" or sometimes "Paloma blanca".

"What do you want to eat, Paloma?" - "Well, a chicken would be nice." My Dad said that with all innocence, he was hungry and fancied some chicken. Within half an hour a grilled chicken came up and my Dad tucked in. The ground crew was watching his every bite until he had finished and then they clapped their hands and shouted: "Hooray!" - "What's that for?" My Dad asked and one of them said: "There is no food here, we sort of err mm, acquired this chicken for you!" - "What do you mean, there is no food here? Then you should have cooked this chicken as a soup to make food for all of us!" My Dad was furious! "No," one of them said, "being hungry is o.k., but we do need a hero! Welcome back home, Paloma!"

The War Ends

With the bomber pilots shot down, finally, my father was called to fly bombers as there were no more bomber pilots. Somehow he felt he could not drop the bombs on humans and he also felt that the war was coming to an end - just a feeling - so he took the bombs up in the air and dropped them in a place where there were no villages or towns, somewhere in a forest. And he said to me: "I felt slightly better doing that then dropping the bombs on people, but you know, had they caught me doing it, the officers would have shot me."

After a pause, my Dad continued: "You know, the Russian front. It was heartbreaking. I was sent to fly bread to the kids at the front. Everybody knew they would starve and freeze to death. It was Christmas! 16 years old, the last German soldiers and they were abandoned by their own government. The politicians don't care. Just you always remember that! The parents of those kids were told they died fighting for home and fatherland. Not true. War is business, my child, ugly and very profitable business!

You know, some of the kids shot themselves anywhere just to get on my plane to get back to Germany. But the officers got wind of it and shot them. I will never forget the scene! And I, hero Paloma, had to leave them dying in the ice and snow. I was made to fly back with an empty plane! And it was Christmas!"

My Dad was crying when he told me and I think he was crying back then, too.

And I can't write anymore, I'm so angry now. Maybe another time, I will write about what else my Dad and my Mom told me about the war, the bombings, the concentration camps, the hunger and the despair.

My opinion? - ALL the history books are lying, all of them. Journalists have been paid to write up facts, but if you look into it a bit more closely - all lies! The real truths and sufferings are buried with the soldiers and all the other victims of war.

Related Links:

Here are the cool facts - very good writing all of it! After reading the documents, I was ashamed to be a human, ashamed of being part of a species that is capable of producing this:

http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions

http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Hague_Convention

Tags

Aeroplane, Father, Flying, Germany, Hero, Pilot, World War Ii, Wwii, Yunkers 52

Meet the author

author avatar chrysolite
From writing to blogging it's only a small step:

http://whatdoesaremotewriterdo.blogspot.com

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Comments

author avatar James R. Coffey
19th Mar 2011 (#)

A wonderful story! What a lucky man to have had such a rich and long life! (FYI: I'd be very careful relying on Wikipedia for facts. It is not fact-checked and virtually anybody can write for it. There have been thousands of errors found.)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
19th Mar 2011 (#)

They say History is written by the winners... your dads story is his true account I am sure. thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
19th Mar 2011 (#)

What a great story and no doubt a true story. Like my good friend, James R. Coffey I have to advise you to not depend on Wikipedia for accurate information because it is riddled with inaccuracies. No legitimate institution of higher learning will allow their students to use it as a reference source because it is riddled with errors. Most editors will not accept it and warn their writers against using it. Most online work for hire hire sites have black listed Wikipedia.. Wikipedia may be a convenient source but it is not a reliable source.

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author avatar chrysolite
19th Mar 2011 (#)

Yes, thanks, guys! There we go again! Wikipedia got I can't remember how many millions in donations when they called!

This is what I always mean when I write original content. I don't know everything either, but at least I write about my own experience and put them as such!

The internet gets so diluted with hear say mixed with dubious advertising-facts that people take as the gospel.

Nothing we can do except some honest to God writing! Thanks again, guys!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
19th Mar 2011 (#)

oh I sent the info you asked about with the Publication notice I sent, but not every one reads their notices.. so anyhow - wikimedia commons is a great place to get copyright free pictures.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
19th Mar 2011 (#)

I second Mark on that. Morguefile.com is another good source for photos that you can use in your articles.

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author avatar chrysolite
19th Mar 2011 (#)

Thanks, Mark, I don't seem to understand what wikimedia commons want. I hope, the photos I uploaded on this site now are ok.

Just looked up Morguefile.com Looks great and they really, really seem to be free to re-use! Thanks for that Jerry, will use that now. What a jungle! :(

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author avatar Denise O
20th Mar 2011 (#)

As we say in the south her ein the US. Your father sounds like good people to me. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Carol
20th Mar 2011 (#)

Lovely story, many thanks

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author avatar Tranquilpen
26th Jun 2011 (#)

A great read Chrysolite, thank you. "There is a saying that goes something like this: "To the victor goes the spoils". The winners of battles are always the heroes. I was a kid in the fifties and had a best pal in junior school. I still remember his name, Hans Degenhardt, his dad's story reminded me of your dad's Hans' dad was a U boat captain who was conscripted because in his civilian life he was a Marine Diesel engineer. Him and his crew also fired many torpedoes at under-sea outcrops in stead of at British supply ships.A whole lot of other "wolf-packs" were guilty of similar acts, so much so, that S.S.officers were eventually posted on board the submarines. permanently Thank you:-))

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author avatar chrysolite
27th Jun 2011 (#)

Just goes to show, Tranquilpen! So U-boat captains "misfired" as well on purpose. The futility of war, many back then knew it and risked their lives by "not complying". I wish somebody would compile a book of the real thoughts and actions of men like your friend's dad as well. Numbers and official propaganda don't tell the whole truth. Thanks for your great comment!

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
27th Jun 2011 (#)

This is a truly wonderful story about your dad, a most righteous soul. I am sure you are very proud of him. He understood the futility of war. thank you for such a great share.

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author avatar chrysolite
27th Jun 2011 (#)

Ahhh, I don't know if my dad was a righteous soul. He once told me he was a pacifist at heart with no political inclinations. Sometimes he said he was too lazy to take a "wrong" action (hope this doesn't lose in translation!). Thanks for your great comment! :)

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author avatar M G Singh
6th Apr 2012 (#)

A great post. I am a plot as well having flown with the IAF. Great post Chrysolite. I admire your father

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author avatar chrysolite
16th Apr 2012 (#)

Thank you, Madan, I loved my dad very much and miss both my parents so much. We had become so good friends over the years. Oh well, we must go on ...

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th Apr 2012 (#)

You have told what I feel about wars. I have written few articles about it in Wikinut too, but some feel I am rather naive to expound such thoughts. They feel war is inevitable. But the innocents in both sides pay the price. I remember one WWl veteran telling what use loss of precious lives when a piece of paper for peace is signed in the end! And few arms dealers create wars everywhere. Nip the problem in the bud - starting from the mind! We have potent weapons now - media - that transcends borders. North Korea is used by China as a buffer against the rise of South Korea, Japan etc., with their stooge in power for sixty years! My father too was a doctor in WWII, but did not want to talk about his experiences - may be too painful to recall them. Thanks for the share, Chrysolite - siva

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author avatar chrysolite
16th Apr 2012 (#)

Thank you, Siva, for your comment. Yes, nip the problem in the bud, but how? The people who own the media are influencing the masses to their benefit only.

Yes, the internet might connect us if we can manage to see beyond the propaganda.

Starting from our own mind, you said it and that's absolutely correct!

I so understand that your father didn't want to talk about WWII, I just read a couple of books by a German writer, Hans Domizlaff, who went through WWI AND WWII, it was terrible, unspeakable, we cannot even imagine.

... starting from OUR mind might be the only solution.

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