"Shoo Shoo Shoo Baby" Comes Home
Not all of the enormous number of bombers and escort
fighters that the Allies sent over Germany during the Second World War
came home. Many became casualties due to
enemy action or other causes, U.S.A.A.F alone losing some 4,000 bombers. In addition, hundreds of aircraft, either
heavily damaged or with seriously wounded crewmen or merely lost, or due to
faintheartedness, ended up landing in neutral countries, primarily Switzerland,
where nearly 175 American aircraft landed, and Sweden, where over 100 landed. Naturally, the crewmen of these aircraft were
interned. This was not exactly an
unpleasant situation. Although internees
had some restrictions placed on their movements and activities, they were
provided with some pocket money through diplomatic channels and generally
treated well. Naturally, some of these
men tried to get home, and Uncle Sam made some efforts to expedite this. Of course, given the proximity of German
military power, neither Switzerland
took a benevolent view of efforts to get interned airmen back into the war.
In 1944, however, it was becoming clear that not only was Germany going
to lose the war, but that it was unlikely to take military action in the event
that one of the host countries released some of the interned airmen. Anxious to get its men back into the war, the
a deal it couldn't refuse. In return for
releasing about 300 airmen, the U.S.
agreed to sell the Swedes nine of the 68 B-17s interned in their country for
the princely sum of $1.00 a piece. The
Swedes readily agreed, and the exchange was made. Now the Swedish Air Force decided it really
didn't need all those bombers, so it turn gave seven (three B-17Fs and four
B-17Gs) to the Swedish Intercontinental Airways (now part of SAS). Converted to 14-seat airliners by Saab, these
aircraft remained in service into the early post-war years, when they were
replaced by DC-4s. Two of the converted
then sold to the Danish National Airline, including the former B-17G-35-BO (USAAF 42-32076), of the
401st Bombardment Squadron, 91st Bombardment Group, which had landed in Sweden on its
24th combat mission, on May 29, 1944.
Of course, the Danes soon began acquiring new aircraft, and in
1948 B-17G-35-BO was sold to the Danish Army Air
Corps. The following year, the DAAC
transferred the airplane to the Danish Royal Navy, which, in 1952, turned it
over to the Danish Royal Air Force. The DRAF used the plane for utility
missions for while, but laid it up in late 1953. Two years later, the airplane was sold to the
French Institut Geographique National, becoming part of a fleet of converted B-17s
fitted out to conduct geophysical surveys. Eventually, the French relegated the airplane
to a bone yard, where useful parts were taken for use in other aircraft and it
was left to slowly deteriorate.
In 1972 the United States Air Force reacquired the rather deteriorated
airframe. Since restored, B-17G-35-BO "Shoo
Shoo Shoo Baby" is on display at the National Museum
of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio.
"Mad" Anthony Wayne, Physician
In the early 1790s, a confederation of the Miami, Shawnee,
and Delaware nations under the inspired leadership of the war chiefs Little
Turtle, Blue Jacket, and Buckongahelas, inflicted two devastating defeats
on the United States, first crushing a column of nearly 600 regulars and
militiamen under Maj. Gen. Josiah Harmar in the Battle of Kekionga (October
19-22, 1790), and then virtually annihilating Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair's
1,000-strong column at the Battle of the Wabash (November 4, 1791).
These two humiliating disasters prompted President
Washington to turn to the best commander he could find, Maj. Gen. Anthony
Wayne, who had earned the nickname "Mad Anthony" for his exploits
during the Revolutionary War [See "Bon repos!."
The army that Wayne took command of in
early 1792 was a pitiful one. Numbers
were low, desertion rife, there were few trained troops, and morale was abysmal. Wayne
promptly began kicking these men into shape, as they would have to become the
cadre around which to build a new army.
Among the problems that Wayne noticed when he assumed command was the
large number of troops who were claiming exemption from duty due to
illness. Clearly, if this
"illness" was not cleared up, there would be little hope of building
a disciplined force. Wayne promptly hit upon an excellent
"cure." He ordered that anyone
on the sick list was to have his daily whiskey ration replaced by an additional
serving of vegetables. Almost instantly,
virtually all of the ailing men reported themselves much improved, and returned
Using these men, Wayne
established a training camp known as "Legionville," not far from Pittsburgh. There he created the "Legion of the
United States," a brigade-sized force
of about 4,000, organized into four "Sub-Legions," each of two
battalions of infantry and one of rifles, a troop of dragoons, and a battery of
artillery. By mid-July of 1793 the
Legion had taken the field, and on August 20, 1794, crushed the Ohio tribes at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
Wayne may have been "Mad" but his
craziness was like that of the fox.