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I'd love to hear what you think of the site, what brought you here, and where you hail from.  If there's something you'd like to see on the site that you don't see under "More to Come," or that you're looking forward to more than the rest, let me know.  Thanks for stopping by.

Clint Hayes

 

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7 entries.
Christine Christine from Boyertown wrote on December 4, 2022 at 8:48 am
THANK YOU!

For telling this story, for letting me know listening to “Lucky 666” is a waste of my time & money that will fill my head with untrue and inaccurate information.

Please, write AND PUBLISH the non fiction account of the Zeamer Crew. I don’t have time to read/listen to fiction. Why read a historical fiction when I can read the non fictional history???

What’s the point?

I love WWII history for many reasons. The human drama and the lessons one can learn from the experiences of people from all over the World. Every day we lose the people I admire most for their values, morals, conduct, courage, and their love of God, Country, and Family, which might be from anywhere in the World.

If one does not recognize the value of learning WWII history, they are at a distinct disadvantage. While human nature/behavior does not change because those evolutionary changes evolve over millions of years not decades, times do change. History repeats itself because of human behavior and the desire for power and the control over others, wealth, and sex.

Nothing upsets me more than to discover that the WWII history I’m reading/listening to is inaccurate. When one knows nothing about a subject it’s like a blank page. It’s easy to lie to someone who knows nothing about the subject.

Which brings me to a life lesson that I urge everyone to live by, no matter the subject: Go to the source. There is a reason courts require cross examination & without it, evidence is not allowed to be introduced (except under extraordinary circumstances) Signed testimony is not allowed because “you cannot cross examine a piece of paper”

Thus the use of log books, morning reports, etc combined with interviews helps filter out the misinformation & allows the truth to be told.

Far too many people allow themselves to be manipulated into voting for a candidate, donating/supporting an issue, buying a product, or accepting a story because they do not know the MOTIVATION of the entity who is trying to convince them to accept/believe whatever it is they are selling.

THAT MOTIVATION IS OFTEN NOT IN THE END USERS BEST INTEREST.

People are made to believe it is, when the reality is they are simply being used to make $$$, attain power, or sex.

Understanding a subject - just as Zeamer understood the capabilities of the plane he flew allowed him to excel at flying the plane, rather than just fly as an average pilot who was nothing more than a number in war ( some might use the analogy of a pawn in a chess game )-allows one to intelligently articulate a subject.

I prefer the educated, understanding and intelligent individual versus the individual who accepts the marketing campaign, slick campaign slogans, propaganda, or the sales pitch.

My desire to learn more, my curiosity piqued about the story told in “Lucky 666” led me to your website, and Thank God it did.
Admin Reply by: Clint
Christine,

Messages like this make the thirty years of work I've put into researching and writing about this crew, revealing the real story, worth it.

I'm with you: I'd rather not read about a person or event if what I'm reading isn't accurate. It is literally a waste of my time. Sometimes, of course, it can't be helped because no one has uncovered the real story yet, and getting to the real story can be an enormous amount of work. I know this first-hand now. But that's not the case here anymore, so it is much harder to excuse.

I do agree with you, too, about taking the same care with history in general and current events. My view of human history is that it's really no different from our personal history: its value is in the lessons we can learn from it for guiding our actions now, which means it can only be as helpful to us as our knowledge of it is complete. Incomplete information yields incomplete knowledge yields incomplete lessons. That's why I always go to primary sources, and try to gather as much information and analysis as I can, even from sources that I might disagree with, or at least challenge my understanding of something, because I know that confirmation bias is a real thing.

If I'd not taken that approach on the story of the Eager Beavers—if I hadn't listened to my inner skeptic or historians who were skeptics of various aspects of the story—I couldn't have uncovered the real story. Ditto the crew members themselves; memory is a fickle thing. The documentary record—not just official records but including what crew members said and wrote at the time—served as a necessary correction to their later recollections. It takes judgement calls on my part, to be sure, and some of it will necessarily remain speculative, but at least it's informed speculation, as much so as I'm capable of at the moment. And the search continues: there remain some records that may yet refine/correct my own understanding of the story. I hope to get at them soon.

But that process can't happen if your priority is a particular narrative rather than completeness. I believe that was the main failing of Lucky 666. As I say in my reviews of the book here on the site and on Amazon, I can't and don't fault the authors for not knowing what I only know from being able to have interviewed the crew members themselves before they passed. But they can be faulted for not using the sources they already had, and aspects of their narrative don't align even with those, which indicates to me either that they were too rushed to do due diligence, or they made a conscious choice to go with a particular narrative rather than the reality. Either case is unfortunate for the reader. Most unfortunate is that without doing his or her own research, the reader can't know this. But that's one of the major reasons my website exists, to serve as a corrective to all the mistaken and mythical accounts.

When it comes to historical figures, I can only be inspired by the reality. Without knowing the person's actual character and achievements, it's hard for me to feel the connection I need to relate and be inspired. So to the degree I feel there's a layer of myth in what I'm reading, I remain ambivalent, and interested only to the extent that either my historical curiosity is piqued or the story is potentially inspiring.

That's when the trustworthiness of the guides, the authors themselves, becomes critical, and why I've gone to great lengths to ensure that my own facts are in order. Some would say too great, but again, the danger is that any mistake establishes some doubt in the reader. It depends, of course, on the importance of a fact to the overall conception you've constructed of your subject, but the difference between a mistake being trivial or significant is its context, is how much is built on it. An event happening in January rather than March might change nothing, or it might change an entire narrative. (That sort of thing happens more than once in Lucky 666.)

It really is all about trust. It truly is unfortunate how fractured that's become in society at large when it comes to current events, and the presentation of history both in education and popularly, depending on how much it touches current events. One bright spot, I think, is that when it comes to history that isn't perceived to connect to politics—something like this—I do believe there is a growing desire and appreciation for accuracy and authenticity. I think that's carrying over more into film and TV adaptations, too. It's easier for people to find out when a screen story gets something wrong, and I'm seeing more pushback against ones that do. I think that's only a good thing. And I even see positive signs that that's carrying over into general news coverage, too, with nonpartisan news sources and opinion site gaining popularity. Hopefully those trends are lasting and self-fulfilling.

Thanks again for taking the time to leave such a kind and thoughtful comment.

Clint Hayes

P.S. You might be interested in my new foray into applying the above principles to examining current events. It's going to be a website soon, but for the moment it's a FB page. You can find it here: Walking the Premises
Frederick Just Frederick Just from Astoria wrote on May 27, 2021 at 1:54 pm
Dad was in 100th service sqd
Admin Reply by: Clint
Thanks for signing! I'll e-mail you.
Shanna Irwin-Coury Shanna Irwin-Coury wrote on May 23, 2021 at 2:20 pm
Well done! Most heroes vanish into history with few remembering what they did and who they were. It's so awesome that you've taken up the task of honoring these guys in the way they deserve. Bravo!
Admin Reply by: Clint
Thanks so much. There were so many who fought just as bravely beside them and whose names will never be known, but at least in bringing this story to light, the more the public will know about their particular corner of the war. It's one that's never been appreciated.
Commander Cobra Commander Cobra from New England Territories wrote on May 11, 2021 at 1:17 pm
Absolutely outstanding work on this website to the "Eager Beavers". Very impressed with Mr Hayes work and hope to see it continue. Look forward to contacting him for a guest interview on Mack Maloney's Military X Files (MMMXF) where I co-host with Mack. This is one of the greatest warrior stories hardly anyone really knows. Checking with a number of military aviation historians, amazed few knew any of the facts. Great work and look for my support in anyway. Respectfully, "commander cobra"
Jay D Jackson Jay D Jackson from Taylorsville wrote on February 20, 2021 at 7:44 pm
My father is T/sgt. Jay W. Jackson (Stoney)(94th/19bg)(63rd/43bg) 6/42-3/44 I have been reading anything I can get my hands on about the 19th,bg, and 43rd bg for a few years now I've read a couple different accounts of this story, and yours is the most detailed I've encountered. I've put my email in several times and your system rejects it as invalid I'm very interested in following this site. I would love to access any research you have as I'm trying to learn all I can about my father's involvement in the Pacific. His records were lost and he died in 73. He was one of those that didn't talk about the war. Please sign me up to follow your sight.
Brendan Harpur Brendan Harpur from Co.Roscommon-Ireland wrote on January 8, 2021 at 12:34 pm
All the best of luck,to Clint hayes
As he tremendous amount of work into his projects,
And hopefully he wil do the eager
Beavers story justice ,and all other aeroplane crews in ww2.

Brendan Harpur
Ireland
Tom Williamson Tom Williamson from Durango wrote on July 19, 2020 at 9:41 am
What a wonderful web site. A real tribute to these men and their comrades. Al these unescorted B-17/B-24 recon flights in the Bismark or Solomon Seas during 1942-1943 were so risky - so many losses with some crews and planes simply never heard from again.

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