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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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Old 1st October 2012, 21:36
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Tough (gruesome) question, but maybe someone knows the answer.

Apologies for the awkward question that follows but maybe someone knows the answer?

I was contacted by a P-51 Ace who recalled two crashes he witnessed and for some reason now he has become interested if anyone knows the answer to the following question he asked me:

"On two occasions, I was witness to a GI manning a shovel trying to retrieve enough of a dead pilot's body to qualify it for a burial. There was a minimum requirement that in my mind was 40 pounds, but today I can not recall just where I heard that figure.

Can any of you help me with the correct quantity?

Once, while I was visiting an enlisted cousin at a bomber base south of Foggia in Italy, a British Spitfire did a half roll at 500 feet, and dove straight into the earth, leaving little more than a big hole where the plane hit the ground. When I left that field a British soldier was still pushing soft chunks with his shovel trying to determine what to salvage as pieces of the shattered pilot.

The second time was when a P-51 came apart while practising dive bombing as a member of a four-man flight. The Pilot's body ended as a scattered bunch of shattered mortal. I think there was some problem gathering enough of him to ship off for burial, and I don't know whether his body was buried."


So that's the question. Is there an answer?

Cheers, MP
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Old 1st October 2012, 22:24
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Re: Tough (gruesome) question, but maybe someone knows the answer.

I believe that 7 lbs was the minimum requirement as this is the average weight that most come into this life and it is therefore appropriate that they go out at such a weight. I could be wrong though but am sure that Andy Saunders will be able to put us straight.
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Old 2nd October 2012, 21:05
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Re: Tough (gruesome) question, but maybe someone knows the answer.

Chris, thanks for your answer. It does seem to make sense about the 7lb rule. I hope others can confirm this, but it is really much appreciated, cheers, MP
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Old 10th October 2012, 17:27
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Re: Tough (gruesome) question, but maybe someone knows the answer.

Just wondering if anyone else can confirm the above information? Cheers, MP
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