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"A.C. Wedemeyer Here!"

When I was in graduate school in 1984, I took a class that assigned Michael Walzer’s book, Just & Unjust Wars for class discussion. It was around the same time that I took note of an article in the American Legion magazine that General Albert C. Wedemeyer wrote discussing the ethics of warfare. Wedemeyer was one of the last surviving generals of World War II and a man who was regarded as one of the chief planners of the D-Day Invasion. Reading that article provided me with a great opportunity that I will never forget. Wedemeyer graduated from West Point in 1919 and had been sent to Germany before World War II to study at the Kriegsademie in Berlin. He also observed the German military ma

RAF Balloon Command

The RAF Balloon Command was established in November 1938. The Command was subdivided into five groups - similar to wing commands - that operated throughout England. This original and unpublished photo depicts a Balloon Command crew with a barrage balloon. These barrage balloons were deployed in the skies over England and grounded by thick metal cables that were intended to protect against low flying fighter aircraft. The balloons were used extensively during the war and even were flown from floating barges and ships to help protect Allied shipping channels in the Atlantic. The Balloon Command was disbanded in 1945. During the war, women serving as WAAF personnel also assisted Balloon C

Geoffrey Wellum: The 93-Year-Old “Boy”

Geoffrey Wellum, who wrote the Prologue for What the RAF Airman Took to War, is one of the last surviving fighter pilots to have flown in the Battle of Britain. Wellum achieved the rank of squadron leader and earned a DFC. At the age of just twenty-one, he has survived the Battle of Britain and all that came afterwards in the Second World War. Wellum is also an author, having written a marvelous memoir of his wartime experiences titled, First Light, as well as a credited actor, who appeared in the special BBC TV presentation that was made of the book. Back in 1940, an 18 year old Wellum wrote to the Air Ministry asking for a job. Within very short order he was in the sky, in a Spitfire

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