Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

617 Sqn Grave Vandalised!

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

617 Sqn Grave Vandalised!

Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:14
  #161 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: front seat, facing forwards
Posts: 1,138
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by flighthappens View Post
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!
It was a Sqn Ops c/s, so unless someone decided to eavesdrop, no-one would hear it. But I agree that in hindsight, not the smartest thing to have done.

You too.
just another jocky is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:20
  #162 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: front seat, facing forwards
Posts: 1,138
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
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
M8, I do understand your point of view, I think. And do understand that someone might be offended by viewing the word, but then surely that should lead them to learning more about it and why it is still there, and not assuming it is just some racist slur. Perhaps they would learn of the heroic deeds of those men and lead them to learn of the heroic deeds of 125,000 mostly young men (average age 22yo) and of the 55,573 who were killed to give them their freedom.

Or they could assume it's just a racist slur, like a lot on here.

We shouldn't be afraid of the past, nor should we assume offence on behalf of others we don't know.
just another jocky is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:24
  #163 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: US
Posts: 163
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by flighthappens View Post
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!
Yet walk around south LA, Chicago, Detroit, New York, the casual use of the N word surrounds you, used by the younger black folks as a throwaway greeting/salutation/derogatory term as the situation(s) require.
They certainly arenít offended by it.


fltlt is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:28
  #164 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: front seat, facing forwards
Posts: 1,138
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BBK View Post
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
M8....a), they messed up the new one by dropping a full stop so it doesn't read correctly now. b) why are we afraid of the past? We should be holding up true examples of racism (and sexism and everything else bad) to show wrong they were. The second we erase, we lose the chance to show how unacceptable these things are today.

Anyone that is a child of the 80's, 70's, 60's and onwards back is aware of how society was then. We all should have known better, but that's easy to say today. Yes, respect to yr Dad, but cultural racism is difficult to erase and takes time.
just another jocky is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:30
  #165 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Near the coast
Posts: 2,201
Likes: 0
Received 53 Likes on 14 Posts
fltlt

We know where youíre going with that comment. But the one vital fact youíve missed is that it would be black people saying it to other black people. That is their prerogative. Though it would be much easier to deter everyone from using it if nobody were to use it.

As a white person I do not have the right to use that word and Iím fine with that.

Please donít use that last comment as your argument in favour of the dogís name. Others have put forward far more eloquent arguments.

BV
Bob Viking is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:35
  #166 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Scotland
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I think the amount of traffic on this thread kind of makes the point for removing the name. Like it or not the word was offensive in the 19th century, it was offensive in 1940 and it is offensive now. For many the word has come to epitomise the subjugation, abuse and marginalisation of an entire race. Clearly many don't care if people are offended by it but you must admit it is a huge distraction from the Dambuster's story.
SOX80 is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:53
  #167 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: front seat, facing forwards
Posts: 1,138
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by SOX80 View Post
....but you must admit it is a huge distraction from the Dambuster's story.
It is when people keep brining up a very minor part of a much bigger story.

Originally Posted by SOX80 View Post
Clearly many don't care if people are offended by it....
Clearly? Who exactly?

And many people may be offended by your implied racism when you have no facts to support it. Woke liberal/left populism and bullying is no substitute for a proper discussion, and neither is attempting to delete the past.
just another jocky is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 18:55
  #168 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Isle of Man
Posts: 0
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by SOX80 View Post
I think the amount of traffic on this thread kind of makes the point for removing the name. Like it or not the word was offensive in the 19th century, it was offensive in 1940 and it is offensive now. For many the word has come to epitomise the subjugation, abuse and marginalisation of an entire race. Clearly many don't care if people are offended by it but you must admit it is a huge distraction from the Dambuster's story.
Agree. 617 is not the only squadron in the RAF. This thread, when read by outsiders, puts quite a spotlight on the institution which clearly does not want to be seen as racist. Removing the plaque and replacing it with a less offensive version does not change the history. Insisting that it is not offensive and should stay does not look good in 2020. We all know the history. If these comments continue it may look easier to disband 617 and go for number in sequence. 617 are way out on their own in the list of active squadrons. The film will never be re-made for one reason. The Squadron could have a short future for that same reason. As I said before - catch up and shut up!
Islandlad is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 19:18
  #169 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Scotland
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by just another jocky View Post
It is when people keep brining up a very minor part of a much bigger story.



Clearly? Who exactly?

And many people may be offended by your implied racism when you have no facts to support it. Woke liberal/left populism and bullying is no substitute for a proper discussion, and neither is attempting to delete the past.
I don't actually have a problem with offending people, i don't think people should be banned from saying or using words. But as an organisation we should be aware if and when we are offending people and decide if we want to go down that road. In this case I think the RAF has probably made the right decision. Of course woke/liberal populism can go too far (and often does) and it will always come down to a judgement call which not everyone will agree on. An whilst we are having a proper discussion, here is a question, is the RAF institutionally racist? CDS seems to think we have a problem https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-a9561421.html . I have seen some pretty racist stuff during my time in, whilst out east recently and briefing some SF troops a discussion on PID of enemy combatants came up, "don't worry sir, if the're brown knock em down" was the response, tongue in cheek maybe but only a bit. In the crew room the other day "if blacks want to get in to the RAF they should try harder at school and stop stealing stuff". And I have been guilty of plenty of casual racism in the past.
SOX80 is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 19:49
  #170 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: US
Posts: 163
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
We know where youíre going with that comment. But the one vital fact youíve missed is that it would be black people saying it to other black people. That is their prerogative. Though it would be much easier to deter everyone from using it if nobody were to use it.

As a white person I do not have the right to use that word and Iím fine with that.

Please donít use that last comment as your argument in favour of the dogís name. Others have put forward far more eloquent arguments.

BV
Sorry BV, I wasnít going anywhere with that, just a statement of fact.
The older generation of African Americans, at least the ones I hear, are somewhat bemused that white folks have taken up the BLM message. Add to that their view is that unless the black community itself gets its act together, no amount of slogans/chants/marches/money/wokeness will make any change.
Thats it, no other agenda, sorry.

Old saying, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Not to defend any position for/against, however it does seem an awful lot of folks like to spend their time pole vaulting over mouse turds.

Somewhat curious though, why any color person should anyone be denied using any word in the English language, there are many, many more offensive/vile/demeaning words, should they all be assigned an only x, y, z, color can only say which one?
Having done that, would you then recommend working our way through every other language in the world to remove ours and theirs?

Again, pole vaulting over mouse turds.

If that is your choice, fine.




Last edited by fltlt; 18th Jul 2020 at 20:02.
fltlt is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 19:57
  #171 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Oxford
Age: 84
Posts: 439
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Seems to be getting out of hand (OK, I am of the older generation but I do not condone racism in any form)!. One of my best mates in 1962 at Wyton was a Trinidadian Flt. Lt (AEO), the "insults" flowed both ways and we remained (along with many others) best mates until he died. He must have been one of very few coloured aircrew officers in the RAF in those days but (in my opinion) he was one of the best in all ways and, to my current amusement, a great fan of Gibson and his dog ! Times change, but do not judge anyone by their colour, only by their actions !

Bill
Bill Macgillivray is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 20:07
  #172 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: US
Posts: 163
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bill Macgillivray View Post
Seems to be getting out of hand (OK, I am of the older generation but I do not condone racism in any form)!. One of my best mates in 1962 at Wyton was a Trinidadian Flt. Lt (AEO), the "insults" flowed both ways and we remained (along with many others) best mates until he died. He must have been one of very few coloured aircrew officers in the RAF in those days but (in my opinion) he was one of the best in all ways and, to my current amusement, a great fan of Gibson and his dog ! Times change, but do not judge anyone by their colour, only by their actions !

Bill
Indeed, having many friends from around the world, a few of them in countries not renown for humor, the vast majority will give and take, humor helps break down barriers.

Before anyone jumps on the you are a racist, nope, treat each human I meet with respect, everyone deserves at least that.
fltlt is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 20:24
  #173 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wandering the FIR and cyberspace often at highly unsociable times
Posts: 14,168
Received 89 Likes on 44 Posts
Rick Stein, the famous TV chef, used to have a dog called Chalky. His name was mentioned many times in the programmes, which are still shown.

Surely, in balance, these references should be bleeped out. Somebody, somewhere, must be offended.
ShyTorque is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 21:40
  #174 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 763
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would really like to know the opinions of black people on this matter, that is the people for whom this word would be offensive in current times. I would further sub-divide this into those who are knowledgeable of Operation Chastise and those who are not. Perhaps those who are in touch with black friends could canvass their opinion? Unfortunately, my black friends are all abroad but as soon as I can travel on holiday I will certainly discuss this with them. If they would be offended by the use of the dog's name on the original plaque on the memorial then I most certainly would respect their views and agree that it was right to replace it. However, if they felt that it was not offensive to them then I would consider that it should not have been replaced. I am not a person who is offended on behalf of others but I always respect the views of those who may be offended in situations such as this.

There has been no direct statement as to who made the decision to replace the plaque. I have seen one comment that it was the West Lindsey Council but cannot confirm this. Does anyone on here know?

What has happened to the original plaque? It is a historic article that should be preserved in an appropriate context. My suggestion would be that it should be kept by 617 Squadron with their other memorabilia but I am sure that there are other very suitable places.
LOMCEVAK is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 21:42
  #175 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: midlands
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some proper dinosaurs on here. Its just a dog, its name is offensive now and was back then to those offended by it. History is just history, stop looking back on it with rose coloured specs. Its nice to look back on and an easy motivational tool but dont pretend the influence of anyone involved in this story changed the world, it was small potatoes. Move on, the vast vast majority of you werent there.
somewhereout is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 22:23
  #176 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: York
Posts: 44
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK View Post
What has happened to the original plaque? It is a historic article that should be preserved in an appropriate context. My suggestion would be that it should be kept by 617 Squadron with their other memorabilia but I am sure that there are other very suitable places.
It would be best kept safely in the RAF Museum stores along with thousands of other historic artefacts.
Blue_Circle is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 22:34
  #177 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: LGW Overhead
Posts: 169
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Islandlad View Post
Agree. 617 is not the only squadron in the RAF. This thread, when read by outsiders, puts quite a spotlight on the institution which clearly does not want to be seen as racist. Removing the plaque and replacing it with a less offensive version does not change the history. Insisting that it is not offensive and should stay does not look good in 2020. We all know the history. If these comments continue it may look easier to disband 617 and go for number in sequence. 617 are way out on their own in the list of active squadrons. The film will never be re-made for one reason. The Squadron could have a short future for that same reason. As I said before - catch up and shut up!
Comments like these on Sqn numbering demonstrate quite clearly that you have no idea what you are talking about. Please stop labelling those who have served as racist, as it is obvious you have not.
Vortex Hoop is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 22:36
  #178 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Age: 53
Posts: 1,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One thing I have observed us that the discussion on this thread is much healthier than the current trend of just labelling every contrary view as an 'ism' or shouting it down without any engagement.
Tashengurt is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 23:12
  #179 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Spain and Gibraltar
Posts: 145
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"A person of Colour", is a ridiculous term!
I am a person of colour, I happen to be a fair skinned easily sunburned pinky colour:

I received a whatsapp today from my sister in law that her son (a serving officer) has just paid £1000 for a black labrador puppy.
The veterinary check has revealed that it has only one testicle!
Should he name it Adolf?
Nil by mouth is offline  
Old 18th Jul 2020, 23:13
  #180 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Yorkshire....God's Country
Age: 58
Posts: 441
Received 19 Likes on 7 Posts
Originally Posted by Islandlad View Post
I have though about not responding to this thread. What I write will not be received well by many contributors. Here we go.

What the men of 617 did that night was heroic. They deserve the title. Sadly their memory and legacy will be tarnished because of a racist name given to a dog and the code word used that night. Any attempt to defend it and say it is not racist by some convoluted arguments will put you in the racist camp today. If you try to defend it you are quite simply a racist.

By all means argue with me. It is your right. A right the men of 617 and all the others who fell to protect that freedom , and still do, have given us. But I send you a warning. If you carry on down this path, the attention will turn from the 'grave' of a dog, to the Squadron itself. If you push back on the grave marker, I predict that 617 squadron will be the next target.

Was Guy Gibson a racist? Probably. But one of the 'soft' racists who gave his dog a controversial name. It's what the world was like then. We can all think of examples of our own 'soft' racism and that of previous generations. Let's see it for what it was. Don't defend it and accept the world has moved on for the better. If you argue with me you will turn the spotlight on the Squadron itself. The days of 'soft' racism are long gone. Today you are just a racist.

And by you I mean anyone who attempts to defend any of this today. Do so if you wish. Others are trying to address histories racist undertones. Changing the grave marker goes some way towards that. It does not change history, it recognises that the past was not always a great place. It's the same past that men and women gave their lives for, fighting the evils of Naziism.

The world has moved on. Catch up and shut up.
Very kind of you to allow anyone to argue with you................and then you tell them to "shut up"! Freedom of speech is okay, so long as it's yours, right? Cheers mate............I bet you're a right laugh on a night out!
mopardave is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.