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Spitfire Deserters

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by The_Historian, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    This is a strange one. Not entirely sure the person who wrote this article actually read the book.
    "Incredible vintage photographs documenting the mysterious disappearance of an American pilot who went missing during the Second World War before being found in Britain have been unveiled in a new book.
    Bud Walcott disappeared on April 20 1942, when 47 Spitfires launched from the deck of the American aircraft carrier, the USS Wasp.
    His plane was the only one not to land and a signal was sent from Malta to London which stated that the pilot had 'intended to desert'.
    Launching from a position just north of Algiers, the planes were headed for Malta, with the island under heavy siege by Axis forces at the time.
    Salvatore 'Bud' Walcott's Spitfire never made it and he crash-landed in North Africa, part of Vichy France, and was interned.
    After trying to escape, he was liberated at the end of 1942 and returned to the UK, where he joined the US Army Air Corps and continued to serve as a pilot until the end of WW2.
    He continued to serve with the US Air Force after the war, too, taking part in the famous Berlin airlift."
    Mystery of US airman Bud Walcott who took off for Malta | Daily Mail Online
     
    PzJgr and JJWilson like this.
  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Strange indeed, deserting is probably not what went on at all, maintenance issues, navigational errors, or even loss of focus could have been the reason for his unintentional detour and crash landing in Algiers. Although, the Vichy French would probably be my first choice in Axis countries to become a prisoner of War with. They were never emotionally involved in the war against the Allies, there certainly was hostility towards the British who fired on French forces at Mers el Kebir, but they had no reason to be hostile towards an American.
     
  3. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    While I have not read the apparently breakthrough tome, and, frankly, have little intention of doing so, it appears to have all the hallmarks of another stellar example of what you get when journalists write history and still other journalists write puff pieces for it.
     
  4. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Did you notice the photograph captioned

    "Huge plumes of smoke from exploding bombs could be seen during a raid on Malta while it was under heavy siege by Axis forces at the time"?

    It's actually of a British light cruiser, Dido class, with another cruiser laying a smoke screen while steaming at speed in open ocean, probably the Second Battle of Sirte.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Wrongway Walcott?
     
  6. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Wonder how long it took him to live it down?
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    Who gets another aircraft after essentially stealing one?
     

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