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Thread: Chapter 441 Member Colonel Joe Jackson Passes

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Chapter 441 Member Colonel Joe Jackson Passes

    A fellow member of EAA Chapter 441, Colonel Joe Jackson, has passed. Colonel Jackson earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam (note: You don't "Win" the MOH. It's earned.) by rescuing American soldiers pinned down by the enemy. The three previous attempts to rescue them had been shot down. Col. Jackson landed his C-123 (a large, ungainly cargo airplane) under hostile fire and brought the men out. He told the story once; describing watching rockets bounce across the PSP in front of his airplane.

    There's a bridge near where I used to work named after him. At a Chapter 441 meeting, I once mentioned to him that I occasionally drove over "his" bridge. He jokingly asked if I'd been sending him a quarter for each run.

    There's another aspect of Colonel Jackson most folks aren't aware of. During WWII, a German fighter pilot came across a shot-up B-17. None of the guns on the American Fortress were working, two engines were out. It was obviously going to try to make it to the nearest neutral country, Sweden.

    It was the German's duty to finish off the American bomber...but he didn't. He let the plane go. Never told anyone, because then he'd be arrested.

    Forty years later, the German pilot still wondered whether the B-17 had made it to Sweden. He talked to an American pilot he'd met after the war, to see if he could get in contact with the bomber's pilot or crew. It was Colonel Jackson he spoke to...and Joe found the pilot of the B-17. He helped the two men meet. This is documented in the great book, "A Higher Call."

    Blue skies, Colonel.

    https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/y...ur171fCP0egLlY

    Ron Wanttaja

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Guy on another forum posted this great video of Col. Jackson talking about his flight.



    Ron Wanttaja

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    Not only did Franz allow the wounded B-17 to continue flying but he actually escorted him across the Atlantic Wall, a heavily defended and fortified flak gun battery. Page 205 of the book "A Higher Call" by Adam Makos points this act of chivalry out in what is truly an epic book about WW2. I would also recommend " Devotion" by Adam Makos. This is about the friendship between two Navy pilots during the Korean conflict despite their very different backgrounds.

    Hans

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