Tuesday, March 11, 2008


If you haven't seen it already over at Lex's place, this video about VT-8 bears viewing. I especially like the choice of music: "Heat" and Moby's "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters," both from the motion picture "Heat."

I don't think I can beat Lex for commentary, so I'll just steal from him:
I can’t imagine what it felt like to be in that formation, watching your wingmen and squadron mates go down in flames one by one, cartwheeling into the sea. Seeing the nimble Zeros move from one to the next until - knowing that any other choice only delays the inevitable - they finally saddle at your six as you Stay. On. Target. What it felt like to hear their rounds strike home. To see the ocean loom up in the windscreen, the joyous dance of the sun sparkling on the wave tops, through the oil smoke and the pain.

I’ve often wondered what it felt like to be Ensign George Gay, fished out of the water at last and returned to the Hornet. Walking into that ready room; now an empty mausoleum. Personal things in suspense everywhere - a flight jacket draped over a chair. A necktie. A paperback novel left open to its place. Coffee cups hanging from their hooks. Letters from home that would never be read. Stern tactical guidance on the chalk board written in a dead man’s hand. The echoes of fled voices.

That "stern tactical guidance"?

“If there is only one plane left to make a final run-in,” he told his men, “I want that man to go in and get a hit. May God be with us all. Good luck, happy landings, and give ‘em hell.”
–LCDR John C. Waldron