Sign in to follow this  
Guest

Charles Lindbergh Medal of Honor??

Recommended Posts

Ok, I did not know that Lindy was a MOH recepient. I was over at www.medalofhonor.com just browsing and saw his name. I was curious as to what military action he participated in to be awarded the MOH. I went to read his citation:LINDBERGH, CHARLES A. Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve. Place and date: From New York City to Paris, France, 20-21 May 1927. Entered service at: Little Falls, Minn. Born: 4 February 1902, Detroit, Mich. G.O. No.: 5, W.D., 1928; act of Congress 14 December 1927. Citation: For displaying heroic courage and skill as a navigator, at the risk of his life, by his nonstop flight in his airplane, the Spirit of St. Louis, from New York City to Paris, France, 20-21 May 1927, by which Capt. Lindbergh not only achieved the greatest individual triumph of any American citizen but demonstrated that travel across the ocean by aircraft was possibleNow I have absolutely no doubt that Lindy was a very, very brave man. However, I cannot understand how his solo flight from NY to Paris qualifies him for the MOH. The Act of Congress authorizing the MOH states:The Medal of Honor, established by joint resolution of Congress, 12 July 1862 (amended by Act of 9 July 1918 and Act of 25 July 1963) is awarded in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of the Armed Services, distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty [bold]while engaged in an action against any enemy of The United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which The United States is not a belligerent party.[/bold] The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of service is exacted and each recommendation for award of this decoration is considered on the standard of extraordinary merit.I don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Mark,Charles Lindbergh was, as stated, a Captain in the US Army Air Corps Reserve at the time of his flight and his flight in 1927 was considered so significant to the placement and perception of America in relation to our fundamental position in the world, it was by a special vote in Congress that the MOH was awarded to him. In the 75 years since Lucky Lindy's flight, we've lost the basic feeling or understanding of just what he accomplished, because its only natural to recant historical events thinking in today's terms. The fact is, the two most significant events of the 20th Century, events that best define our culture as humans, humans with an unstoppable level of curiosity, was Lindbergh's flight and the American Apollo Space program. Was Lindbergh's flight dangerous, absolutely, as there had already been 10 deaths associated with the attempt to fly nonstop across the Atlantic in the few weeks or months just prior to his flight and up until Lindbergh, every attempt had been made by a flight crew (at least 2 or more pilots) flying a biplane that was in all, but one case, a floatplane or flyingboat. For a single person to even consider that flight, flying alone, and in a single engined monoplane was nothing short of impossible, as the effort required to overcome the fatigue, the sleepiness, and the solitude, flying an aircraft that had been designed using unproven technology, yet still manage to maintain precise navigation over water was quite extraordinary. It was quite astonishing that Lindbergh was only 1.5 miles off his planned course, when he crossed the Irish Coastline, after near 24 hours of flying using only his Earth Inductor Compass and making wind drift corrections by watching the wave action on the ocean below. You also must understand that every attempt at the nonstop flight had been made by Europeans, flying from Paris to New York, so in a sense it was war, not a shooting war mind you, but a war of national prestige, honor, and political perception.So, was Charles Linbergh deserving of the Medal of Honor, .....absolutely!(I might also mention that the vote in both the House and Senate was unamious for awarding Lindy the MOH)Bear!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bear you must have misunderstood my point.Was his flight dangerous? No question about it.Was his flight significant? Also no question about it.Was Lindy a very brave man? Yes he was.Did his actions in preparation for the flight, during the flight and after the flight warrant a medal? Yes it did!! The Medal of Freedom comes to mind (the highest award authorized by congress for a civilian, or for action in "other than military action".Did all of this add up to a Medal of Honor? Negative. Why?Very simply. The authorization for the Medal of Honor specifies, "distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of The United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which The United States is not a belligerent party."His flight does NOT qualify. Sorry. No "action against any enemy" was involved. At the time of his flight Lindy was a reservist, not on active duty, not flying for the military and, once again, definately not in combat. If Lindy got one, how come Neil Armstrong didn't (Medal of Freedom recepient), or any of the other members of the Apollo program?I just did some further research on the subject and in fact the medal for Lindy was in its entirety a political act of congress. The same holds true for Chuck Yeager. Must be just me, but the awarding of our nations highest medal for military service for a civilian endeavour, is a slap in the face for people and their families who actally earned the medal.Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty shabby to be honoring someone with his pro ###### sympathies!!-:-fumeSherm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, he accomplished his flight before the dark shadow of ###### Germany started to fall over Europe. Second, "pro-###### sympathies" is a little strong. It would be more accurate to characterize him as a strong isolationist and an admirer certainly of German aviation accomplishments. In these views he was far from alone. The isolationist stance put him squarly in the majority of Americans in the late 1930s who wanted no part of yet another war on the Continent. The United States' record in the late 1930s in opposing ###### Germany is abysmal. Let's not forget that our country refused to relax immigration quotas to allow European jews to immigrate here in the years leading up to the war, even thought the Germans were more than willing to let them leave. Our refusal and the world's refusal to take these people was their death sentance. It is easy to forget that Roosevelt ran in 1940 on the promise that he would not let the country become involved in the war in Europe. There was even some question about whether we would even declare war on Germany after Pearl Harbor. a really bad dude made the decision for us by declaring war first. My point in all of this is that it isn't fair to single out Lindbergh - one must be critical of an strong and at times almost self-defeating isolationism bent that is deeply ingrained in the American psyche.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points CW. Just one correction, or better yet addition. While it is true that the ######'s were more than happy to let Jews leave ###### Germany, there was one big condition that prevented most from taking advantage. They could NOT take ANY of their assets with them. In fact, Linbergh (who did have an afinity for the ###### tough disciplinarian state, but abhorred their anti-Semetic policies) was awarded the Verdienstkreuz der Deutscher Adler (Service Cross of the German Eagle), the ###### Germany equivalent of the Medal of Honor for civilians, at a meeting he helped arrange between Goering and America's ambassador Hugh Wilson. The purpose of the meeting was to try and convince the ###### government to allow Jewish emigrants to take at least some of their assets with them. A point which was completely denied by ###### Germany.Anyhow..I think that Linby was completely within his rights to have whatever view he wanted to have. I too think Pro-###### is too strong. However, I still call into question his being awarded the Medal of Honor in the US, only because of the requirements as laid down by Congress to be able to get the Medal. I think that he should have been awarded the Medal of Freedom. If the MOH's given to Lindy and Yeager are seen as valid, I can think of a WHOLE bunch of them that need to be awarded.1. Every astronaut that goes into space.2. At least certain passengers on the 3rd plane that was forced to crash on 9/11/01.3. Everyone of the firefighers/policeman who perished on 9/11etc.etc.etc.,Now many of these people would be deserving of a Medal of Freedom, but none qualify for a MOH, and all showed at least as much bravery as Lindy. Once again, this is not a knock against Lindy, but more to the people of Congress who make a law and then run around it to their own benefit.I was so excited when I saw that Lindy had won the MOH. When I went to read his citation, all manner of heroic deeds popped into my head. I was thinking, what on earth could this guy have done to win the MOH. Not once did I think he was awarded the medal for his flight to Paris. There are two other recepients for which the same thing applies. Billy Mitchell and Chuch Yeager. Mitchell got his for "FOR OUTSTANDING PIONEER SERVICE AND FORESIGHT IN FIELD OF MERICAN MILITARY AVIATION", Yeager for advancing "aerospace science a quantum step by proving that an aircraft could be flown at supersonic speeds. He dispelled for all time the mythical "sound barrier"...." I just don't think that these three situations warrant an MOH.There are many other anamolies, mostly from the Civil War. However go to www.medalofhonor.com and read some of the post-civil war citations and judge for yourself (not you in particular CW, anyone reading this) how these three stack-up.Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this