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   xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Sep 24 08:48 PM

Sept 25th, 2016: Judas Goats

During the big one, WW II, bombing was a serious deadly business, so what is this a clown plane?



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I'd never heard of this.



classicman  Sunday Sep 25 08:39 AM

Nor I - Bizarre.



Snakeadelic  Sunday Sep 25 09:28 AM

I'd never heard of these guys either, although I do know what a Judas goat is. Fitting nickname, really.



Carruthers  Sunday Sep 25 12:01 PM

I hadn't heard of these aircraft either.
Once the bombers had formed up, I imagine that it was a quick dash for home.
Given their conspicuity they'd make an easy target for an enemy fighter that had crept in once the formation was out of the way.
One reference noted that they were unarmed.



Diaphone Jim  Sunday Sep 25 12:03 PM

Tired aircraft and crew members who had served their time in battle performing a vital task.
I wonder if they were really seen in a negative way.



Pamela  Sunday Sep 25 07:14 PM

I knew of this from my studies of the Eighth Air Force in Britain. Still, a fascinating sidelight to a long saga.



Snakeadelic  Monday Sep 26 07:58 AM

Diaphone Jim, if a farmboy calls something a Judas goat, that thing is not perceived in a happy or friendly light, so at least some of the flight and ground crews weren't happy about the job these planes did. I've been around enough farms, boys, and goats to have picked up a few details...



Carruthers  Monday Sep 26 09:03 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamela View Post
I knew of this from my studies of the Eighth Air Force in Britain. Still, a fascinating sidelight to a long saga.

Have you read 'Secret Squadrons of the Eighth'?

There's a copy going on Amazon US for $0.99 + $3.99 shipping.
Has 5 x 5* reviews. A good read for under five bucks.


Beest  Monday Sep 26 09:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakeadelic View Post
Diaphone Jim, if a farmboy calls something a Judas goat, that thing is not perceived in a happy or friendly light, so at least some of the flight and ground crews weren't happy about the job these planes did. I've been around enough farms, boys, and goats to have picked up a few details...
why the animosity though, there just doing a job, important in it's own way.


xoxoxoBruce  Monday Sep 26 09:55 AM

Because the odds of not coming back were pretty high. Those hundreds of crews all knew that, but everybody was in the same boat... except the Assembly ships.
I'm sure the troops in the trenches felt the same way about the officer who yelled, "everybody over the top", and stayed in the trench.



footfootfoot  Monday Sep 26 11:43 AM

Sorry, I thought you said go...

Oh, you did say goats. Never mind.



SPUCK  Monday Oct 3 03:12 AM

I've seen those planes many times! But I never knew what they did. As a kid I had an "Airplane Book". It had those planes in it but it just identified the type of plane.



Snakeadelic  Monday Oct 3 08:57 AM

For anyone who hasn't looked up "Judas goat" yet, it's an animal trained to lead its own kind quietly and calmly up the kill ramp at the slaughterhouse. The clown planes and their crews got to stay at the relative safety of the base while the other fliers ran enormous odds of horrible fiery death. That's why the animosity.



Diaphone Jim  Monday Oct 3 12:12 PM

Actually Judas Goats were (are?) trained to lead sheep. They provided a necessary, even humane, function at the facilities.
I could not find first hand reports of animosity toward the crews of the Assembly aircraft. Getting lost or otherwise failing to join your formation worried pilots much more than the job the guidance pilots were doing.
The term says more about airman humor than resentment.
Fiery death was more often delivered than received.



SPUCK  Tuesday Oct 4 12:01 AM

I agree Diaphone and those crews were "assigned" not skating or shirking hazard. I'm sure it was quasi-dark humor and an important moral tool.



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