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tv   Defense News With Vago Muradian  ABC  November 8, 2015 11:00am-11:31am EST

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commemorate the first world war. first, 75 years ago, britain won the battle of britain. it involved ousands of reddish forces but it was the -- britis forces. are like today and one of them is the only surviving ace with 14 kills. tom neil was a hurricane pilot. his only mishap, bailing out of his plane after his commander collided with them. he commended a training squadron and was the british liaison to the u.s 100 fighter wing. he also fought in the invasion of europe. his career started in 1938. he flew early jet fighters after the war ginger neal was in washington
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recently where he was honored by the museum american foundation. i asked him what is important for future generations to learn from the battle of britain. >> i suppose the outcome of the battle of britain decided the future history of the world really. it's so important. we didn't have the resources to defend the germans off -- to send the germans off. that ischanged and rather important so we have to remember it. it was only a small number of people invved. it was vital aut the history of the world. vago: what arsome of the enduring lessons whether it's about preparedness or strategy? well, we were always catching
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up on the back foot. timeerman army at that wanted war and they were better than us in almost every respect. it took us about three years to catctch up. takes three years to train an iny and for us, it started september 1939. our first success was in 1942. that's the tragedy y of being a democracy, we are always behind. vago: but we do have a lot of benefits. it did take a lot of lives and treasurere to catch up. if you listen -- if you read some oe the histories of that recognize how close to run some of it was but as a fronont-line pilot, did y feel it was as close run of a thing to you guys? >> we knew it was a problem but
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don't forget those of us who , you don'the battle tend to think strategically if you were in the battle. you just go with authority and that's really what happened to me and all of my friends around me. the average age was 21 in my sqdron. very young. vago: did you guys ever consider you might not win it? >> i think the answer to that is we were british and we lost battles but we never lost wars. we convinced ourselves. and it neverhe map occurred to us. we were certainly not going to lose it. vago: you have set the battle
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was a lot longer than sometimes peopleopive itredit for. when did it really start and when did it really end? we shouldagreed that receive an memento because of our taking part in the battle. we have to decide on the day it started and the day it finished. the agreed date was the 10th of july, 1940. no one blew a whistle and it started and finished. it supposedly finished on the 31st of october. but it started before that and it finished much later. vago: what was your first mission like and did you feel fully prepared when you went into it? a volunteer and i had flown nothing.
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i had only flown a huhurricane r about two weeks befefore i encountered my first enemy. it was a lovely day on the north sea as i recall. time looking at this aircraft we had seen in old books with black crosses. i was fascinated by seeing this enemy aircraft. shoot it down but four days later -- that was on the fourth of july, 1940. four days later, we had an unusual experience. aircrafaftred another
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in the north sea. we damaged it quite severely. it decided it couldn't get home so it flew toward the coast. it crash landed and the pilot was killed. the three people in it otherwise managed to scramble out. they wandered around yorkshire trying to find someone to surrender. farm andlly came to a the farmers a wife looking out of the window saw these admirals. she decided britain was being to the so she rushed out pond, picked up a pitchfork, and attacked them. these poor lads didn't want to be attacked. it appeared in the papers the foowing day as she was a heroine. no mention of us at all.
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[laughter] vago: the brits on the ground were as big of a danger to pilots, weren't they? >> the w world was a different place. i don't think people generally speaking had seen an airplane before. there were no airlines flying around. they didn't see any aircraft's. the whole country was obsessed wi the business of being flooded with parachute troops. everyone was an enemy. they didn't t know what was happening to them. everybody was horrified. there's alsohe gre story of yr closeriend ji forced ton, who s
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il. he was actually shot, wasn't he? on the ground? when it make was shot down -- was was shot down, response he shouldn't have been there, that sort of thing. the actual action at the time, we didn't know about until the day after it had occurred. , one ofwo other friends whom was known as king, 19 years old, they were attacked in the southampton. he didn't know he was going to be hit and he was wounded in his left hand side.
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fireurricane was set on and the story went that in an attempt to get out of the the aircraft came up in front of him. cockpit andinto the shot it down and got out a second time and he came down blinded. this was 18,000 feet. iremember some years after, was known as a ginger in those days. he said i sat there in my parachute watching the skin flapping in my hand. he said i couldn't see but i smelled a powerful smell of
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roast pork. ground, peoplee or watching this circle going on above their heads. frightened of being inundated with parachutes and enemy parachutes. and fortunately, had his backside pointed to the enemy. he fell in a heap on the floor with his parachute around him. meanwhile, a fight at developed on the ground. the amusing thing was one of the
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evelyn's first arrived -- arrived, theyt shot him in the same hand. numr twohing was his who had flowmy aircrt which i ved like a brother, he came down in a parachute and was also shot. better job on him. they killed him. he fell into someone's backyard. we lost two friends, two aircraft's. the third man was also shot down. two weeks later, he was shot down when he commanded another flight. lost a lot of friends on that. flight. lost a lot of friends on that. tom: coming up, more with
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somehow it felt like everything was moving in slow motion.. if i didn't react, things could have gotten messy in a hurry. i mean just got that sweet ride with a great rate from navy federal. i was not about to let anything happen to her. just looking out for my wingman. he's still in training. open to the armed forces, the dod and their families. navy federal credit union.
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vago:e are ntinuing our
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conversationon with retirered wd air force wingommander t neneil whoown n 14 planes during worlrld war ii. i asked him what it s like to be in such aloody business. what ever you shot at th until 200the ground or 30 or 40 0 milesway. wh your frie disappears the , didn't really mean anything because youou shot at e aircraft, not at peopl your friend usually turned up the follllowing day. so you never know precisely who had gone. you never know precisely who you were shooting at.
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i learned their names 50 years later. it was a fairly impersonal thing. it waso imperson. aircraft's. at va: did it have an effect o morale sometes when y're losing that many p people? >> not really but were young.g. between 19 a 25. it's only later when you looook back at the rather dicey business. pilots ha said it was one of the most extraordiry things in air combat where all of the sudden there are hundndrs of aircraft around you and the other second, you are absoluly by yourself.
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what was a like being in those massive air engagagements and tl about your closeall, the one-time you a almost got shot down. >> there were many times. . was never really savaged i lived a a charmed life. i neveltr felt really threatened but 95 5 people were shot down into the sea. fighting was aransnsitory business. you were just busy getting on with theighting. it allappens in seconds.
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you haveve to go home,e, rearm, reel and it up in midairir again. vago: you have always talked about this since, that you sense the other aiaircraft in ththe a. one of tm got your atttion. really thones on the south coasof england. lights psing by myeft ear. i realized thihis was a german behind me. he paid d the price for doing that. it happened so qcklyly. everything happenened so quickl. go: for moroner intview, ensenws.m. d check out our talk with m dunc. he was committedy the whoary y jean flunky
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conducucted t the f first rocket attack from a submarine e and landnded t the only u. troopon paneseoi we m met withh duncan. i asked him about the spirit of innovation. >> he did not like to go submerged. an in anse air was patrol he wanteded to be on thte surface and his reasoning for it is simple with a high periscope on t surface, you can see 10 times as m much as you can submerged from the periscope. in tho days, our sonar was not what it is today. that's another example. patrols except in very heavy asw areas, we patrolled on the surface. vago: for more of heher interviw with capta dunca go to d de
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fensews.com.
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the firstd war i was truly modern conflict involving advanced firepower aircraft takes, submarines, chemical weapons with devastating results, claiming the lives of 11 million military personnel and 7 million civilians. nearly 5 million americans served in uniform and while the u.s. involvement was brief, america suffered 375,000 casualties including more than 116,000 dead. the war reshaped the world and planted the seeds of a second and deadlier world war. it also gave birth to artemis day, which became veterans day. in 2013, the centennial commission was founded to
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commemorate what is seen as a forgotten war. joining us now is edwin fountain, the commission's vice chairman. thank you for joining us. why is it so important we commemorate world war i? our country's was most consequential war. it was a nation transforming and world transforming event that shapes the world we live in today. too fewhat, americans realize we had more casualties than in vietnam and korea combmbined. this is our last opportunity to raise american consciousness of this war fundamental to history. vago: so many things that came after it. chemical weapons conventions and all of that involved syria as well. washington is running out of monument space. the park near the white house is
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roughly one of the places designated for this. you've had 350 entrants come in to help you design with five finalists. update us on the design and what you are trying to achieve. >> were trying to achieve a memorial that stands shoulder to shoulder with the three other national memorials to the three later wars. starting with vietnam, we've been working backward. now are getting to a national memorial for world war i. the mall is considered a work of civic art so we took the next best one block from the white house. we wanto achieve a memorial that does two things -- it hononors the service and sacrifices of the million servicemen and women and the 116,000 that gave their lives and it inspires americans to educate themselves about the war. one is it going to be
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completed and how much will it cost and where are you on fund raising? >> the ideal schedule is to complete it on veterans day 2018 markn the 100 ananniversary of the end of the war. us schedulembitio but we are working at it. we are about parking $30 million -- ball p parking $30 million. we have been kick started wiwita generous contribution. we're waiting until we select the final design before we start serious considerations. vago: the cultural landscape foundation is in opposition to the plan, arguing the park is a modern art masterpiece. how do you sort that? processs part of the for establishing a memorial. we are about to undertake a determination of eligibility
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with respect to pershing park to determine whether it's a historically significant and must be respected in any design process. viewss a lot of different on the ongoing value of the park but we have that in mind as we go through the design process and work with the designers. vago: you are responsible for events, music, programming to commemorate the war. talk to us about how you are coordinating that with similar commissions. alexi two main missions are education and commemoration. we have a comprehensive education plan intended to reach 11 million american middle and high school students over the next four years. ofre working with a variety people around the country on a multitude of different filters to look at the war from the military history to its effect on arts, social and cultural history.
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so much of our best work is done from the ground up in thisis cotry. there are state and local activities around the country we are supporting. the federal agency that runs the cemeteries around the world, we are working with our counterparts in europe to schedule e event and kicking off next april when we rededicate the lafayette memorial in paris. thank you very muchch of luluck on the oject. , personal finance expert jeanette mac tells us what an ira conversion is and how benefits work. >> most people do't know they can convert a traditional ira. maybe it's because most aren't sure they completely u understad how an ira works. they just know they happen. converting can be a smart tax move that can save you money. you are b being taxed on the
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contributions now rather than down the road. think about transferring thehe money in your traditional. like when you'rere taking a brek after your military retirement and just before yo second career. that way y are in a lower tax bracket and won't pay as much on the conversion. the longer the money stays after converting, the better. if your time to true retirement is less than five years away, any withdrawal can be penalized ue to a five-year aging requirement. situation is different to us because they trusted finaial and tax advdvisor to figure out if converting is a smart move for you. vago: thank you very much. see you next week. if you have any financial questions, p
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woo! maui!! boom open to the armed forces, the dod and their families. navy federal credit union. y years, americans allies in asia have wanted washington to challenge beijg's claiaims to the south and east asia sees. they have converted tiny islands into magnet military bases. bebeijing says these islands all
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clmed by other nations and the waters around them are sovereign territory. the region noticed and enraged china threatened war. said america will continue to operate freely in the region. he flew aboard the carrier teddy roosevelt and ththe south china sea run by malaysia's defense minister. the region is relieved america is standing up to china, a country so conceited by economic and military growth, it thinks it can get away with anything. china must realize bullying and threats won't work and that i depends on the world for its economic survival. washington must send crystal-clear messages and think far ahead to counter china's future moves. thank you for watching. visit us at defensenews.cneom.
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