A War Hero Dies...

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Xracer
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1572
    (2/2/02 7:35:08 pm)
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    Col. Francis "Gabby" Gabreski, USAF, died today at age 82.

    Gabby was the top scoring American ace in the ETO during WWII with 28 enemy aircraft to his credit. He flew P-47 Thunderbolts.

    He went on to fly F-86 Sabres in Korea, and once again become an ace, being credited with 6 1/2 enemy jets destroyed.

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
    I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air.
    Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
    I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
    And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand and touched the face of God.


    Rest In Peace, Gabby

    WyomingSwede
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 191
    (2/2/02 11:39:26 pm)
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    God Bless him.... swede
    Wyoming Swede

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2917
    (2/22/02 10:25:55 am)
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    The pride of Franklin/Oil City, PA...

    Spent the end of WWII as a POW, too, or his total may have been higher...I would have bet that he would have been the only 47 driver to pop a 262 sooner or later if he hadn't gone in.

    And the reason he went in? Damaged his prop by pulling out of a gun run too close to the ground!

    Now THAT is a "low-level" strafing run!!!

    Not too many people knew he had a quite a bit of Spitfire time too...he was a liason pilot to a couple of Polish squadrons that were transferred from the RAF to the 8th AF in 42....and he said he preferred the Bolt to the Spit for dogfighting...

    Some good stories of mock dogfights he had with Spits after bragging it up...the Brits were right, the 47 COULDN'T turn worth a crap....





    But BOY could that baby roll! They could not figure out HOW Gabby always ended up on the INSIDE of them in turns, in a plane that "could NOT" turn!


    A tiger never changes his spots.

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 1717
    (2/22/02 11:34:17 am)
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    Polish....the 47s had more than just MOCK dogfights with the Spits and Hurricanes.

    I had a friend in the CAP, (an older man) who flew with the 306th (Polish) Squadron in the RAF. He told me that when the 47s first arrived in England (only a short time after the FW-190s started showing up in numbers), there was a lot of mis-identification of the 47s and actual combat dogfights took place.

    Normal tactics for the Brits was to turn toward any potentional enemy and attack.....and of course, the Americans did the same.

    The RAF had been trained that "if it's radial, it's German!" 47 pilots were then told that if they encountered Brit fighters, they were to turn sideways and bank to show off their eliptical wings.

    Counter-intuitive, but I guess it worked.
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