Sunday, March 6, 2011

the return of the WWI fighter ace

so i got a new game i've been playing. those of you who are gamers know it's an old title, but it is new to me, and i really enjoy it. BLAZING ANGELS-SQUADRONS OF WWII is a first person shooter game which allows you to" fly" lots of different aircraft from the war, in air to air combat, and ground attack/bombing missions.

i grew up reading as much as i could about the aces like GABBY GABRESKI, CHUCK YEAGER, BUD ANDERSON, RICHARD BONG, PAPPY BOYINGTON and JOE FOSS. i also read about the german aces, like RUDI GALLAND and GUNTHER RAHL. the stories they tell are fascinating, funny and frightening. if you get a chance pick up one of these guys books and prepare to be wowed.

i got to meet an ace who lives here locally, HORST PETZSCHLER. the old gent came into where i work one day, and we struck up a conversation over his accent. he was somewhat reluctant to talk about his past until i told him about my german jump wings. i found out that he was a german ace with 26 victories to his credit, who had to survive 4 years of soviet captivity, before he was able to emigrate to canada and then the STATES. he's a really neat guy and he even gave me an autographed photo.

HORST used to be a fixture at the local gun shows with lots of folks gathered around asking questions and having autographs signed. i understand he is in very poor health now so he can't come out any longer. it's very sad when you think about all the veterans on both sides we are losing daily. so much history.

i really like the old warbirds and attend airshows as time allows. of course the kids like to go which right now makes for long hot days. can't wait 'til they're a little older. the last time we went the youngest fell asleep as the thunderbirds were preforming.

in another life, i thought about staying in the army when the military was kicking around the idea of transferring the A-10 from the air force to the army. probably a good thing for me that idea fell through.

for now i'll have to content myself turnin' and burnin' in the recliner as the kids cheer me on.


  1. I did a little more research into Herr Oberfeldwebel Petzschler and he had a pretty colorful career, flying both the ME-109 and the FW-190. I think that's great that you got to meet him.

    And now you can't give the wife crap about harvesting imaginary corn since you shoot down imaginary Messerschmitts.

  2. he told me his favorite plane to fly was the gustaf version of the 109. he had some real reservations about talking about his victories over U.S. aircraft. i imagine he has met some folks who were pretty hostile when they found out what he used to do.


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