Memorial Day Salute

As I do every Memorial Day, a salute to all those Americans who have lost their lives fighting in foreign wars.  I would add that while it is always nice to celebrate a living veteran, our thoughts today should be turned to those who died in service rather than those fortunate enough to return home alive.

A special salute to Major Brian Mescall, a graduate of the Citadel, who was killed in action in Afghanistan.  And one to Captain Ray Conard, killed in his B-24 during WWII (he was a member of the 734th Bomber Squadron, 453rd Bomber Group in Britain).  This may be the story (though I haven’t been able to verify it) of what happened to Captain Conard:


41 aircraft flew on to bomb a railway viaduct just outside Bielefeld. Using a visual correction through a cloud break on a PFF run, 101 tons fell on the target with fair results.

For the third time in the month, tragedy stalked the 734th Squadron. Capt. Conard, leading mission 182, crashed a few miles from the base. Apparently unable to get his plane to climb, Capt. Conard jettisoned his bomb load. Never over a few hundred feet above ground, the ship lost altitude steadily and headed for two homes about forty or fifty feet apart. Unable to climb over them or fly between them, [Capt Conard stood the big ship on its right wing and cartwheeled between them.]*  Capt. Conard’s action is believed by Major McFadden and Col. Thomas, who investigated the crash, to have been deliberate in order to avoid striking the homes and injuring or killing the occupants. His courageous action cost him his life along with the lives of his crew, but the occupants of the homes were in no way harmed, This, despite the fact that an engine damaged a corner of one of the homes as it was dislodged from the plane. Capt. Conard has been recommended for the DSC, posthumously. 

*added in some versions of the story found on the web

6 thoughts on “Memorial Day Salute

  1. And I, as a son of a Polish soldier rescued by the Americans after five years in German concentration camps, cannot but express my deepest appreciation.

    1. I’d enjoy hearing the story of how your father ended up in that camp (and what he did in the military) if you’d be willing to share (either in the comments or to my e-mail address).

      BTW, I think I saw your picture in the Cato Policy Report. Were you recently talking to John Allison at a Cato event?

      1. My father Tadeusz Brodka, later Tadeusz Kurowski (mothers name) arrived to Auschwitz in Juni 1940 on the first train registered with number 245 and stayed there until October 1944 when then transferred to Birkenau, Heinkel Werken, Sachsennhaussen, Wausleben am see – Buchenwald and from where he was liberated by the Americans April 14 1945.

        He was one of 728 Poles, “mainly young people, youth organizations student, members of the underground independence movement, soldiers of the campaign in September 1939 who were trying to break into Hungary to the emerging Polish Army.” And I am quoting from a site describing the first train to Auschwitz because, my father rarely spoke about it, and we, me and my brothers, felt we should not ask.

        Yes, I was recently talking to John Allison, at a Cato event… as part of my continued efforts to inform on how flawed bank regulations are which, in the “land of the brave”, discriminate against “The Risky”. And yes, I am extremely disappointed at how Cato and others ignore this issue. I do not understand how you can risk the life of your sons in wars and not allow your banks to risk lending to the risky.

  2. As war is a racket,a waste and is the health of the state and is primarily fought for resources,power,corporate interests and territorial expansion it must be honestly admitted that,except for the Revolutionary War, the men who died in all of America’s wars died for nothing.

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