Happy Memorial Day! And, as the currently circulating Internet meme says, it’s not “National Barbeque Day”. It a day of remembrance here in the U.S. for those who have gone before in times of war. It’s a time of parades, observances and speeches at military cemeteries, the laying of wreathes – heck, even Turner Classic Movies is running war films all day. Now I could tell you about my dad, who was a combat aviator (flight engineer on B-17 bombers) in World War II, and who won a ton of medals and decorations (the list is as long as my arm), but he didn’t like to talk much about the war – he hated making a big deal about it. So instead I’d like to remember and share a little-known fact: for every person in a military combat role there were ten more people behind the lines working their butts off and doing their damnedest to keep the wheels rolling, the ships sailing, and the planes flying: mechanics, doctors, nurses, transportation specialists, logistical engineers – the list is endless.

These are the people I’m remembering today, some of whom lost their lives in wartime through enemy action, accidents, disease – the people who didn’t get the medals or the glory, but who gave it all for a cause.

In the 1940’s Holyoke Publishing Company ran an aviation magazine for adults called Contact. In 1944 some brainy mug dreamed up a pretty good idea – a companion magazine for kids called Contact Comics. In addition to the costumed heroes the kids expected (such as Golden Eagle and Black Venus), Contact Comics also carried aviation-based historical and informational features in about 40% of its pages. It ultimately ran for twelve bi-monthly issues from 1944 through 1946. It’s a very cool comic book, well worth a look, and The Digital Comic Museum has every issue except for issue #1 available for free download.

On this Memorial Day 2012, the Big Blog o’Fun is proud to pay tribute to some important “behind the scenes” aviators of the Second World War. My hat is off to these great Joes and Janes who sweated through four of the toughest years in U.S. history, doing their part to bring down the Axis powers. From Contact Comics #3, November 1944, here’s a really interesting short piece on them.

Remember that you can click on a pic to enlarge it. Please read these pages, because you’re liable to learn something fascinating you didn’t already know. I sure did – I had never heard of the stone awesome Women’s Auxilliary Ferrying Squadron.

May the god of your choice bless each and every one of these folks, those who are still with us now and, for those who have flown on ahead of us, in the hereafter.

Contact Comics #3, 1944

Contact Comics #3, 1944

Contact Comics #3, 1944

Contact Comics #3, 1944

Have fun! — Steve

Copyright, 2012, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.

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