July 26, 2007

WHICH IS WHY THEY USED TO RULE THE WAVES (via Genevieve Kineke):

Captain 'Pug' Mather (Daily Telegraph, 26/07/2007)

On January 5 1953 Mather was a member of 801 Naval Air Squadron, flying from the carrier Glory, when his Hawker Sea Fury was struck by flak and blew up. His wingman watched the aircraft go into a vertical spin without engine or tail, and saw Mather thrown from the cockpit, apparently lifeless.

But Mather recovered consciousness in freefall to pull his parachute ring and float downwards while the Koreans continued to shoot at him. He was so incensed that he fired back with his pistol.
advertisement

On hitting the snow he threw away the gun, and stood up to surrender to the waiting soldiers. This was "unwise", he recalled, as they were still firing, and he had to fling himself to the ground.

Months of imprisonment in appalling conditions followed. Although his first guards were "reasonable fellows", when he was force-marched 50 miles to Pyongyang, he was locked up with 10 others in a room so small they had to take turns to lie down to sleep.

They were fed only a bowl of rice at dawn and dusk. There was no medical treatment for those suffering burns, frostbite or gangrene, and no washing facilities. Mather soon became lousy.

The Koreans tried to extract operational information from him, but he refused to give more than his name and rank (naval officers did not then have numbers). During the interrogation, he was made to stand outside, lightly clad in freezing weather, and placed in solitary confinement before being passed on to the Chinese to be "re-educated".

Mather protested that he wanted to go to a prisoner-of-war camp but was told that he did not qualify as he was an enemy of humanity and would be treated as a war criminal; this meant that he would not be subject to the Geneva Convention until he renounced the Queen.

After refusing to oblige, he was kept in a cell six feet long and five feet high so that he could not stand upright; and he was not allowed to sleep. On several nights he was taken out to dig his own grave in the frozen ground.

But on being moved to a new cell Mather found a pile of old airmail copies of The Daily Telegraph. On being given tobacco, he found the Telegraph made better cigarette paper than the Communist newspapers he was given to read.


As Ms Kineke says, "They don't make Brits like they used to..."

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 26, 2007 12:16 PM
Comments

Those genes are still out there waiting to burst forth.

Posted by: erp at July 26, 2007 2:41 PM
« JUST WAIT 'TIL THE FOURTH "I" GETS ADDED: | Main | THE BUREAUCRATIC MIND (via Gene Brown): »