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617 Sqn Grave Vandalised!

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617 Sqn Grave Vandalised!

Old 18th Jul 2020, 12:36
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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Nigger survived for 15 years in a time when political correctness wasn't even invented, a time where the whole country pulled together to fight a common enemy, he was part of hope, that time where the love of a dog kept these brave men from thinking of places where they would most likely meet their deaths even if briefly yet now his name is being pulled apart killed all over again by an enemy just as destructive, political correctness stupidity!
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 13:29
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wensleydale View Post
There was a rumour at the time that the Squadron had used their original callsign on a deployment to the USA and not surprizingly had caused quite a rumpus leading it to be changed.
Heard about this in the mid 1980's from somebody I knew at Marham. Reason was Opsec. Also happened to 27 Sqn apparently who used elephant related Call signs.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 13:31
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MAINJAFAD View Post
Heard about this in the mid 1980's from somebody I knew at Marham. Reason was Opsec. Also happened to 27 Sqn apparently who used elephant related Call signs.
For trunk calls one presumes....

Jack
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 14:12
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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The Sqn flew a formation into Upper Heyford using Nigger as the callsign - it caused a bit of a fuss. Not the best decision of that week and from then on it changed to Black Dog.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 14:16
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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The dogís name.

Nobody has suggested burning copies of books with the offensive word in them. History will always bear the dogís name.

Some of you need to ask yourselves why the name of the dog is so important to you. Are you really a warrior for truth and justice?

If the petition were to succeed (which we all know it wonít) all you will have achieved will be for many, many people to think that you are all (and by association many military veterans) racists.

I donít fling that word around very often and I am not a fan of erasing history but this is one I just donít get.

Maybe it is not an issue for some of us to discuss. Maybe those of us who were never called that word just donít understand how demeaning it is and was.

BV
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 14:31
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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The first action to airbrush the dog’s name from history has just been taken. The Vikings plundered, killed and raped thousands of ancient Britons, yet sensible people are not offended by people of that name.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 14:43
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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Bob, no-one asks 'you' to get it. It's our Sqn and our history. And yes, you should be careful insinuating that just because someone doesn't like history being cancelled, or wont pander to social media bullies by taking a knee or whatever else (ffs, even tv presenters now feel the need to wear 'Black Lives Matter' badges when presenting and where are their badges highlighting the attempt at genocide of Uighur Muslims?) that they are racist (just so you don't think too badly of me, I think ALL lives matter, and I wont qualify that because of race/colour/religion/culture etc and neither do I feel the need to parade my beliefs so that others think good of me). That sort of thing is happening enough on Twatter and the others and let's face it, none of us on here know anything like enough about other members to make that kind of call.

I'd also ask why some members find the name of the dog so important too? Are you feeling offended on behalf of others?

But then it's not the name of the dog that was important, it's the dog that was important....that's a big distinction in this case. The dog was important, still is to those current and ex-members of the Sqn, and it had a name. Yes, it is very unfortunate that it had a name that carried disrespectful, hateful connotations, but it was of the time as has been explained so eloquently on here by others. But it was his name. Why wasn't the name so offensive to you all that you petitioned last year to have it changed, or argued that it should be removed the year before, or even last week? You all knew the name. You mostly knew there was grave commemorating him too.

Don't pander to the Woke/Cancel bullying culture that seems to have gripped so many recently.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 14:46
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by vascodegama View Post
SOX80 I hate to put the fire out but the callsign was Blackdog years ago when the VC10 was still flying! Not only that but I vaguely remember 617 having to change the callsign to Blackdog (as opposed to its name) back in the 80's.
It was still being used in the 90's, and on detachments to the US.

Blackdog came after that.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 15:18
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Bob V, and with the greatest respect, I assume you are familiar with the expression "the thin end of the wedge"?
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 15:36
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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I love how threads such as this arise such angst on PPRuNe, whereas genuine capability threads and policy decisions arise far less interest.....

It may well be, that the demise of the dog altered Gibsonís mindset. That is about as easy to prove as Cognitive Impairment. The part the dog played is but an anecdote (imagine the significance, or lack of, if it wasnít knocked over), and at present distracts from the true story of the vision of one man (Wallis), the Leadership of another (Gibson), and the courage and dedication of many (Aircrew and supporting units).

Lastly, itís pretty easy to see who is able to empathise with some other humans, or put themselves in other shoes.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 16:23
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Well said and I totally agree
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 16:57
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveUnwin View Post
Bob V, and with the greatest respect, I assume you are familiar with the expression "the thin end of the wedge"?

Dave - can you please tel us what you mean by this? What terrible future do you for see?? people having to rename their cats perhaps??
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 17:00
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Originally Posted by esa-aardvark View Post
Used to be able to get 'Darkie' toothpaste in Thailand, then the name was changed to Darlie.

So why not just change the name of the dog. Apart from its original short name the name
'Nigel' comes to mind.
As a Nigel, I would be honoured!
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 17:12
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Originally Posted by flighthappens View Post
I love how threads such as this arise such angst on PPRuNe, whereas genuine capability threads and policy decisions arise far less interest.....

It may well be, that the demise of the dog altered Gibsonís mindset. That is about as easy to prove as Cognitive Impairment. The part the dog played is but an anecdote (imagine the significance, or lack of, if it wasnít knocked over), and at present distracts from the true story of the vision of one man (Wallis), the Leadership of another (Gibson), and the courage and dedication of many (Aircrew and supporting units).
As has been said, if it was your Sqn history that was being erased, your opinion would be important.

Originally Posted by flighthappens View Post
Lastly, itís pretty easy to see who is able to empathise with some other humans, or put themselves in other shoes.
The arrogance of that statement is astounding.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 17:16
  #155 (permalink)  
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if it was your Sqn history that was being erased, your opinion would be important
Have they banned the whole story of Chastise and the subsequent history of 617? If that’s the case, I take back all I’ve said and I’m triggered.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 17:26
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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JAJ

I understand how Sqn history and loyalty works. I am also an avid reader of all VC exploits and have undying respect for all who have earned it. Indeed as a past member of 6 Sqn and 419 Sqn I know what it is like to serve on a Sqn who can boast a VC among their alumni.

I have total respect for Gibson and fully respect his right to have called his dog whatever he wanted. My opinion of him is not changed by his choice of canine epithets. My opinion of you for standing up for what you believe in is also unchanged (though some people may well form a different opinion).

I just cannot abide the N word and all it stands for in the modern era. I honestly do not think a memorial plaque with that word on it belongs on an RAF station in 2020. It should live in a museum, where it can be viewed in a better context and contribute to a wider discussion.

I realise we will never agree on the matter but, just as I promise not to view you as a racist, please donít see me as a modern luvvie, snowflake who wants to erase history. Far from it. But I draw the line at the N word in this context.

BV
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 17:47
  #157 (permalink)  
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If I understand it correctly these are before and after photos of the gravestone. Iíve taken them from earlier posts so I canít vouch for their authenticity.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 17:56
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by just another jocky View Post
As has been said, if it was your Sqn history that was being erased, your opinion would be important.



The arrogance of that statement is astounding.
The fact that the word was being used as a C/S in the 90's, but particularly on CONUS shows a lack of understanding. For the record, I didn't get it either (I just knew it was a naughty word, not to be said) until I moved to the US and understood the deep hurt inflicted across multiple generations, and the continued lack of social equality.

Have a great day!

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Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:12
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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Certainly Asturias. The dog's name has been deemed offensive by some and airbrushed from history. Its name is a fact. Not necessarily hugely relevant or pertinent, but a fact nevertheless. Now, imagine that in five years time someone decides that the raid was a war crime, and henceforth it will be recorded as such. You OK with that? Then Gibson's VC is removed because he committed a war crime. You OK with that? After all, what's worse? Deliberately setting out with the intent to drown hundreds of men, women and children, or a dog's name? Who decides? You? Me? Bob V? Get it now? Some of you will be saying "its not the same" - but it is. It's just a question of degrees. Those who reference 1984 and 'cancel culture' are spot on, IMHO.
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:12
  #160 (permalink)  
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Re the before and after photo

What Iím trying to illustrate that the gravestone was not vandalised at all. The new one, assuming that the one shown is that on the right, has the same text as previously. Only the name of the dog has been omitted. Does that qualify as rewriting history? All this outrage over a minor change that in my opinion was quite sensible given the evolving political climate.

Bing and Tashengurt made a very good point that it would be unacceptable for a serving member of the RAF especially from an ethnic minority to be faced with such a racially abusive word. Also, like Bob V I just find it unacceptable and insulting.

One last point Iíd like to make is that itís disingenuous to suggest that this word has only become unacceptable recently in the light of pc or woke culture. I first heard the name of the name of the dog probably in the late seventies from my late father. He was Vulcan ground crew on 230 OCU in the fifties so was well aware of the history of 617 squadron. He was quite clear to me that it was highly insulting to use that word. There you go, a lesson in treating your fellow men and women with a modicum of decency and respect from someone who would now be 86.

BBK

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