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Old 3rd February 2016, 11:16
Adriano Baumgartner Adriano Baumgartner is offline
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Re: Why sons and daughters do not write about their fathers (WW2 biographies)

Dear Johannes, Christian, Nick, Chris, David, Bruce, Andy and Richard

Thank you for taking time to answer. Your own words points to several aspects I thought were part of the equation/answer.

Johannes: thank you for adding details of Obfw. Wilhelm Baumgartner's career.
Christian: I remember what Martin Drewes said once, about Germany not letting the RK's winners meet in one of the Luftwaffe's Station...something like that...their own country did not want to loan them a place to their meeting!...and they all fought for Germany in WW2!!!
Chris: I quite do agree with you...Military and Aeronautical books are just a small part of the huge world that is that of Publishers and Editors of books. Not so many (as I saw on a previous thread here on the Fórum) do have more than 1,000 books on the subject....and not so many youngsters nowadays seems to care about WW1, WW2 and the other shorten wars...in general: of keeping History alive (and preserving it)!
David: Yes, some of them were and always will be true Gentlemen....with bounds of Humility...several answered me that they "were NOT heroes" (DFC winners, etc...).
Bruce: Good point!
Richard: I remember the second book of memories I read, when a 13 years old boy...that of Clostermann, which changed my life....sadly nowadays we do know it is full of mistakes, historical errors and fictional stories...INDEED, some of the veterans do need a Ghost Writer, a Historian or Researcher (or writer, like some of you) to give them a handle and cross-check the files, the archives and put the right thinks on the line. For instance I contacted a former RAF Mosquito airman that believed he was shot down by a Me 262...sadly we showed him that he was claimed by a Bf 109 G with MW50!!! There were NO other claim that day...so...MEMORY is a tricky think...Some of us are former flyers (Chris Goss is a former RAF officer and Wakefield, a former RAF and BOAC Captain, etc..). We certainly do remember our FIRST SOLO, but the third or fourth flight after it, we certainly will remember no more...what I mean is that: after decades, we do remember some of our most memorable flights, some events that were recorded on one's mind...this is why, I guess, to write a full biography of a former airman (WW1 or WW2) one's need to cross-check his Logbook/Flugbuch + some kind of diary + notes + Official Documents (ORB/Squadron Diary, etc..). Sadly, on the German side, some of those documents are lost forever. Martin Drewes told me they buried the III Gruppe NJG 1 Diary somewhere....on a box....it may be lost forever...You are CORRECT by pointing that SEVERAL Squadrons Associations (both in the USA, UK, Germany, etc.) have kept their MAGAZINE, where former veterans were encouraged to keep it alive and tell their stories. It is a most NOTABLE TRIBUTE and, I believe, an immense source of pride for them and of historical background for the next generations (of pilots, youngsters and pilots).

What I was suggesting, with that thread, and showed some good examples (Oxby's son, Sarah V. Mosher and others) is that MAYBE, in the near futur, the relatives (sons, grandsons, etc....) of former WW1 and WW2 veterans will face the thrilling and exciting patch to write about those forgotten heroes.

THANK YOU for sharing your ideas and points of view. I do have, a great admiration for some of you guys and for your Historical work (books, sites, etc..). KEEP GOING!!!

Most humbly yours,
Adriano S. Baumgartner
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