Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


This is coolbert: Obituaries today from the Chicago Tribune.

"Colonel" Bob Denard. [1929-2007]

"Ex-mercenary led African coups"

"Bob Denard, a mercenary who staged coups, battled communism and fought for French interests and his own across Africa for more than three decades, has died . . . He was 78."

"he had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular problems.'

"Mr. Denard was among a group of post-colonial French mercenaries known as les affreux - - the horrible ones."

"born Guilbert Bourgeaud . . . the son of a non-commissioned officer in the French colonial army."

Had a long and storied career as a mercenary. To include:

* Belgian Congo.

* Nigeria. [Biafra??]

* Angola.

* Rhodesia.

* Iran. [served the Shah?]

* Yemen.

Led an unsuccessful coup in Benin [1977]. Led several coups, successful [1978] and unsuccessful [1978] in the Comoros Islands.

Was a convert to Islam??!! Nominally so??!! The obituary does not mention this.

"He was the father of eight children and had been married seven times (polygamously), after converting to Islam."


Nolan 'Sue' Herndon [1918-2007]

"Doolittle Raider held by Soviets during war"

"Navigator and bombardier theorized that his flight after the 1942 U.S. air raid on Japan had been diverted on a classified mission"

"Nolan 'Sue' Herndon, a member of the Doolittle Raiders who was held captive in the Soviet Union after participating in the bombing run on japan that gave Americans a morale boost four months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, has died. He was 88."

"Mr. Herndon's plane was the only one of 16 B-25 bombers to stray from then-Lt. Col. James Doolittle's orders to fly to China . . . Officially, the U.S. War Department blamed a shortage of fuel for the plane landing on a Soviet airstrip outside Vladivostok."

"late in his life Mr. Herndon . . . shared another theory: His plane had been on a classified mission to catalog airfields that might be use for attacks on Japan and to test the Soviet Union's resolve as an ally"

"Mr. Herndon once asked Doolittle why his plane unexpectedly - - carried - - navigational charts to the Soviet Union and a Russian-speaking crew."

[YES, it does sound fishy!!]

"Doolittle, by then a General, said" 'You'll have to speak with somebody higher than me,'" [regarding the charts and Russian-speaking crew!!]



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