Friday, July 3, 2015

Someone once asked me about the Confederate Air Force.

He was one of those dimwits that generally misses the point. He wanted to know if they were a bunch of people that were still fighting the Civil War.

Of course, I saw I had a live one here and told him a story of the exploits of the original Confederate Air Force.

In late1862 the CAF started a campaign of strategic bombing of the North that was unprecidented and the record lasted until it was broken by the 8th Air Force in 1943.

The biggest mission they ever flew was on July 18, 1863 and it's called the Gandy raid.

The Gandy Tool Company had factories in Chicago manufacturing railroad equipment which the North needed to build railroads to supply Yankee troops. The South believed  strategic mission would help in cutting Northern supply lines.

A squadron of B-16s, predecessor to the famous B-17s of WW2 fame took off from Rebel Field, Texas. They proceeded toward Chicago on the long mission loaded with bombs and auxillary fuel tanks. When they reached Chicago the target appeared to be socked in so they tried a lower level approach.

They braved anti-aircraft musketry on the second pass and successfully obliterated the target. This in effect cut Union suppy lines for the rest of the war. 

The planes headed for Kansas where, under the protection of Quantrel's raiders, they landed and refueled. They then took off and returned safely to Rebel Field. The only causalty of the raid was that one plane suffered a single bullet hole. This was believed to have come from a well placed shot from a Sharps buffalo rifle.

During the entire Civil War the Union never managed to shoot down a single Confederate Air Force bomber. Their hot air balloons proved to be very ineffective against the B-16s of the CAF. 

In fact, the CAF had and still has the only perfect safety record in the history of military aviation. They never lost a single airplane in either training or combat.

Of course, watching the look of growing confusion on they clown's face was very satisfying. He looked lost.

I continued.

On St. Patrick's Day, 1864 the CAF pulled another daring raid. They plastered the whaling port of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Whale oil was used for lighting at the time. They successfully fired all of the storage tanks of whale oil, plunging the entire northeast part of the country into darkness for quite some time. They didn't recover until long after the war.

This later led to a search for an alternative energy source and led to the Rockefeller empire as he got the monopoly on kerosene, but I digress.

The fact that the raid was pulled on St. Patrick's day had far reaching consequences. Morale in the Irish enclave of nearby South Boston went down into the basement and enlistments into the Union army dropped to nothing. Five hundred dollar enlistment bonus offers were ignored.

President Lincoln finally had to resort to paying Clancy, the Southie bartender off to give free beer to enlistees to get enlistments out of the demoralized Irish of South Boston.

Incidentally, early in the war a number of South Boston Irish mistakenly thought that Southie was a part of the South. They hopped on their horses and rode down I-95 to Virginia and enlisted in the Confederacy.

The look of confusion on the man's face turned from confusion to embarrassmant to anger.

"The airplane wasn't invented until the 20th century!" he shouted. "There was no Confederate Air Force!"

"You don't say!" I replied. "Really? Whoda ever thought such a thing?"

"You can't go around changing history like that!" He shouted.

"Why not? The left has been revising it for decades," I replied. "Besides, before you start bad-mouthing the Confederate Air Force you might hit the keyboard and Google it to see what it's all about. Either that or buy mint flavored shoes. That way you won't have to taste the dog $hit you stepped in every time you put your foot in your mouth!"

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY


  1. I believe it was Hunley (of CSA u-boat fame) who pushed for an earlier strategic bombing attack on Ganby..he was ignored. If the CSA bombed Gamby one month earlier the Union victory at Gettysburg may well have been a defeat and altered the course of the war......"wink"

  2. Many people think the Gandy Tool Company raid was simply too late. Had they pulled it off a few months earlier it very well may have changed the tide at Gettysburg. Incidentally I failed to mention that the Confederate airborne units suffered no casualties whatsoever during the war, either in training or combat. Incredible!