Saturday, November 19, 2011

One cool gun

From Chad Love at Field and Stream comes a fantastic story about a 1941 Spitfire crash, the Irish bog the wreckage sat in for 70 years, and the Browning machine gun that, when recovered, worked flawlessly. Check it out. 

Supermarine Spitfire. Photo from Wikipedia 

On the Scottish moor where we fly the eagles there is also a 1941 aircrash site, this time a Defiant. I wrote about it here. In this case the pilot did not survive and the bulk of the plane was forced several meters underground when it smashed into the hillside. But there are large pieces of wreckage scattered about - weathering the snow, rain and storm of the moor for 70 years. If one could do a decades-long time-lapse video of the site, you would see the sun rise and set over twenty five thousand times, but only the occasional gamekeeper minding the land, the handful of grouse shooters in the fall, and a few falconers in the winter giving pause to consider the history of that small patch of hill. 

Last year, I spent snowy November afternoons chasing rabbits with a red-tail around a former WWII training camp. It was surreal. The buildings still bore the marks of their war-era use. I wonder if some hawk-obsessed recruit chased blackbirds with a sparrowhawk or rabbits with a goshawk around those same mess halls and those same billets.

The force of history is everywhere.

2 comments:

Kitty Carroll said...

My dad was a navigator in WWII on B17's and later on the B-24's. He told us many stories of his years in Britain during the war.

steveo_uk said...

if you go to the moors just north of Manchester (Saddleworth) you will see many plane wrecks from the same period