These were some hardcore dudes;
Do what you've always done, get what you've always got. ----- Have gun. Will travel.
What a generation of losers we've become. I bet if these guys saw what we've become, they'd be rolling in their graves. I'm embarassed.
God bless those guys, those must have been some tough times.
Only the dead have seen the end of war. ~Plato
Definitely hard core stuff. Getting jumped by ME-109's on a training mission with no armament on-board. They had it really rough for sure.
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery - Churchill
Thanks for the link. That's the kind of document that you ought to make your kids read.
truly amazing stuff. loved the part about eating dinner next to the German soldiers.....
The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed -- where the government refuses to stand for re-election and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake free people get to make only once." Judge Alex Kozinski, 9th District
Just googling around, I found some more of his personal story:
Joel D. Punches 1915 - 2004
Joel D. Punches, 88, passed away at his home, April 26, 2004. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday, April 30, 2004, at the Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary. Military honors will be rendered by the Vandenberg Air Force Honor Guard. A private reception will be held at the Punches residence following the services.
"Joe" was born in Wymore, Neb., in 1915. He attended college in Greley, Colo., and soon after, he met and married Margaret Locke in 1940. After a couple years of teaching in Colorado, the U.S. Air Force beckoned him. He flew 24 bombing missions into Germany, and on this 24th venture his plane was shot down. Parachuting over Holland, Punches evaded Germans for nine months with the aid of anti-Nazi Dutch farmers before finally being rescued. His patriotic duty to serve continued by becoming a member of the Air Force Reserves. He served a total of 33 years for his country.
He accepted a teaching position in 1949 at Santa Maria High School. Mr. Punches joined both the teaching and coaching staffs where he was an educator until his retirement in 1975. The SMHS Saints, under the track guidance of Coach Punches, were league champions nine of 10 seasons (only season not won was to San Luis Obispo High and Coach Bob Punches - Joel's older brother). In addition to the track coaching duties, Punches headed the cross country team, assisted with the basketball and wrestling programs, and instructed P.E. and math classes.
After his double retirement of Air Force Reservist and SMHS instructor/coach, both in 1975, Punches and his late wife Margaret; enjoyed traveling in the states and abroad and also spending time farming on some acreage at Nipomo on a site which was affectionately named "The Puncherosa." Growing avocados, and raising tomatoes and onions absorbed many, many enjoyable and relaxing hours.
Punches was an avid Santa Maria Country Club golfer and also a longtime member of the Santa Maria Elks Lodge.
He is survived by sons, Joel Punches, Jr. and wife, Lili of Nipomo, Brian and Joylen of Grass Valley, Calif.; grandsons, Marcello Punches, 17, of Nipomo, Kolby, 9, of Grass Valley; brothers, Harold of St. Louis, Mo., and Dick of Georgetown, Texas. He was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret in December 2002, and brothers, Bob of San Luis Obispo and Max from Idaho.
Ashes will be placed in the burial plot of wife Margaret in the Santa Maria Cemetery.
Santa Maria lost a dedicated and legendary coach and also one of the few remaining World War II heroes. We salute you airman Major Joel D. Punches as "Off we go, into the wide blue yonder, Flying high, into the sky."
Arrangements are under the direction of Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary and Crematory.
My Mom actually attended Santa Maria High School for a year (until they built the new Righetti High School across town) while he was a teacher there. Her Dad (my grandfather) was very active in that same Elks lodge, too. It also looks like my Dad may have been (not sure if there was a couple years overlap there) a teacher at San Luis High during some of the same years Joel Punch (and his brother) was teaching. I'll have to ask my folks if they remember him.
Truly amazing stuff.
Don't confuse enthusiasm for competence
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Great read. I've got an old VHS tape of a show that my dad and I taped from a PBS show many years back. It's of a WWII fighter pilot and his old letters to his girl and vice versa all throughout the war. He talks about going through training and flying his first combat mission, on D-Day no less. Then becoming one of the first air liaison officers controlling forward air controllers and talking the planes into their targets.
When I was down in San Antonio retraining, the billeting on post was full up so most of us got sent downtown. At the hotel was a reunion for one of the bomber squadrons in the old 8th Air Force. Seeing us come back after class still in uniform they all wanted to talk to us. The stories they told, those guys made history.
Fascinating stuff. And this is the generation that went and did these great things and came home to work in factories and whatever other jobs and never spoke much of it. "I went over there just like everyone else. It was expected of us." is about all you ever get from them.
When have any of our plans ever actually worked? We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose.