"Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby astrophotographer » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:02 pm

lost_shaman wrote:Line one and two both appear to have been typed in advance and edited later. So saying that line three that refers to transfer order 1 appears "as if it were retroactive" is a bogus observation IMO.


From my years in the US Navy, these lines were added as each evaluation period or tour of duty was completed. Are you suggesting that the second line was typed BEFORE September 26th? How would they know "in advance" that things were going to change in December 1947?
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby Access Denied » Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:59 pm

astrophotographer wrote:From my years in the US Navy, these lines were added as each evaluation period or tour of duty was completed.

From my years in the US Air Force, I can confirm that is correct. The first line would have been typed in at the beginning of Marcel’s assignment as “Base & Group S-2 Officer” on 1 Jul 47 with the second column (the “To” date) left blank.

[hmm, that’s only a week before the Roswell incident occurred… who knew?]

On or after 1 Jan 48 the second line was added and 31 Dec 47 was entered in the second column of the first line to reflect the fact that Marcel was now assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing (as opposed to the 509th Bomb Group) at Roswell Air Field (as opposed to Roswell Army Air Field) and likely a change from S-2 (intelligence) to A-2 (administration).

It then appears that on or after 1 May 48 per Transfer Order 1 Marcel was assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing (Very Heavy) at Walker Air Force Base (as opposed to Roswell Air Field) to reflect the fact that the transfer from the Army to the Air Force was now complete.

In conjunction with this completion of Transfer Order 1 it also appears Marcel’s transfer to the 509th Bomb Wing (which was part of the Air Force) was retroactively corrected to 4 Dec 47 instead of 1 Jan 48. I’m guessing this was done to reflect the actual date the 509th Bomb Group was transferred to the new Air Force as opposed to the date (1 Jan 48) the name of Roswell Army Air Field was changed to Air Field to reflect the fact it was no longer exclusively an Army base. ETA: It occurs to me this may also have something to do with Marcel’s (contingency?) assignment to the Army Reserve on 2 Dec 47 during the transition period.

Well done Tim, I think any reasonable person could conclude this is proof that the transition from the Army to the Air Force did not occur overnight.
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby lost_shaman » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:14 am

astrophotographer wrote:
lost_shaman wrote:Line one and two both appear to have been typed in advance and edited later. So saying that line three that refers to transfer order 1 appears "as if it were retroactive" is a bogus observation IMO.


From my years in the US Navy, these lines were added as each evaluation period or tour of duty was completed. Are you suggesting that the second line was typed BEFORE September 26th? How would they know "in advance" that things were going to change in December 1947?


No I'm not suggesting line two was typed before Sept. 26th, I'm pointing out that it like line one seems to have been edited after it was originally typed. For instance the the typed "1 Dec" in line two is hand written changed to "4 Dec" and the circled 1 above that change corresponds to the circled 1 in line one above the hand written cross out of "31 Dec". The typed "S-2" in line two is type changed to read "A-2" or vise verse. Line three begins with a circled hand written 6 and circled hand written either 5 or 3 (?) I can't easily tell. Line one contains a hand written 6 and possibly another illegible number.

Since these hand written and typed edits are clearly edits and you have not noted or explained them, then how can "we" as the RU readership accept your personal interpretation of them simply from "(your) years in the US Navy" as evidence of anything much less as it relates to Major Marcel's records 62 years ago or even how those might reflect the reality of the transfer orders that established the (AAF as the) USAF in 1947?
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby astrophotographer » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:48 pm

lost_shaman wrote:No I'm not suggesting line two was typed before Sept. 26th, I'm pointing out that it like line one seems to have been edited after it was originally typed. For instance the the typed "1 Dec" in line two is hand written changed to "4 Dec" and the circled 1 above that change corresponds to the circled 1 in line one above the hand written cross out of "31 Dec". The typed "S-2" in line two is type changed to read "A-2" or vise verse. Line three begins with a circled hand written 6 and circled hand written either 5 or 3 (?) I can't easily tell. Line one contains a hand written 6 and possibly another illegible number.


The point is that in this document, items were entered after September 26, 1947. Not until after the entry which ends the date of April 1948, do we see the reference to the transfer order from the AAF to the USAF. We also have several documents from November 1947, where the officers (including a colonel) signing the documents are identified as being in the air corps and not USAF. In 1948, we suddenly see the officers identifying themselves as being in the USAF. Prior to the November 1947 documents, they list themselves as being in the air corps just as in the November documents. This all indicates the transition from the Army air force/air corps did not instantaneously happen across the board in late September/early October 1947. It appears the rank and file of the AAF were notified sometime after this transfer order.

As for the pen and ink changes, I think the explanation has to do with Marcel being appointed as a Lt. Col in the reserve corps. This happened in December 1947. However, the paperwork seems to have been slow getting back to RAAF. Since this was a change in position, the date of the change in status would be reflected in this record. They changed the date after this entry had been made.

As for the little circled number notes, I could not find any reference to them in the document. I will look again to see if they are listed somewhere else.
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby ryguy » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:14 pm

lost_shaman wrote:Since these hand written and typed edits are clearly edits and you have not noted or explained them, then how can "we" as the RU readership accept your personal interpretation of them simply from "(your) years in the US Navy" as evidence of anything much less as it relates to Major Marcel's records 62 years ago or even how those might reflect the reality of the transfer orders that established the (AAF as the) USAF in 1947?


Actually, that's exactly what those of us reading need to do - trust our local experts who have the credentials and background to understand typical edits and markings. Those of us who did not spend time in any branch of the military can't claim that expertise - so we trust these folks here to provide their interpretation based on their experience. Given, there are some folks who served in a military branch that I would not trust because their past writing or actions led to reduced credibility - but AD and Tim are credible experts.

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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby astrophotographer » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:00 pm

On the contrary, I don't trust my memory for squat. I can only speak from experience and, if somebody demonstrates it to be incorrect, I will accept it. This form is similar to what, I recall, was called a "page 2" (edit: After reviewing my microfiche I realized this was not called a page 2 but some other document), which documented your various positions/duty stations (I think mine included evaluation marks but Marcel's document does not). I will have to look at my old microfiche to check up on it. I don't have any hard copies I can find although I am sure they are in the basement somewhere!

Anyway, the page 2's I had (as I recall) were updated throughout my career as things changed (evals/promotions/change of station/awards/etc.). In the case of Marcel's documents, I could not find anything to explain the footnotes (I assume that is what the little circled numbers were). Perhaps they were entered on a page that was on the back of the document and not scanned.

I also think I need to share the entire page with everyone and not just the small section I showed previously. I would not want to be accused of hiding any information.
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby Access Denied » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:13 am

astrophotographer wrote:On the contrary, I don't trust my memory for squat. I can only speak from experience and, if somebody demonstrates it to be incorrect, I will accept it.

Welcome to the club, I just found out I made an error here…

Access Denied wrote:…and likely a change from S-2 (intelligence) to A-2 (administration).

Correction: S-2 = Army Intelligence Staff, A-2 = Air Force Intelligence Staff

That would be consistent with this…

astrophotographer wrote:As for the pen and ink changes, I think the explanation has to do with Marcel being appointed as a Lt. Col in the reserve corps. This happened in December 1947.

Agreed. Based on the appointment letter you posted it would appear Marcel accepted his appointment to the Army Reserves on 1 Dec 47 only to be ordered to (I presume) active duty in the Air Force effective 4 Dec 47. If you notice the letter says…

"This does not affect your current active duty status and you will not perform the duties of an officer under this appointment until so directed by competent orders."

I could be wrong but I’m guessing this was part of a contingency plan put in place to retain personnel during the uncertainties of the transition period. This makes sense because, for example, I would imagine the people who handled Army Air Force personnel matters likely handled the rest of the Army as well (or were part of the same organization) so it would take some time to establish an entirely new and separate personnel center for the Air Force before they could start processing the majority of transfers. Or something like that anyway...

astrophotographer wrote:This form is similar to what, I recall, was called a "page 2" (edit: After reviewing my microfiche I realized this was not called a page 2 but some other document), which documented your various positions/duty stations (I think mine included evaluation marks but Marcel's document does not).

I was going to say, I don’t think things like OPRs/EPRs (not sure what the Navy calls them) are part of a normal FOIA release…

(just as well though as I was practically walking on water in all of mine regardless if you know what I mean)

astrophotographer wrote:I also think I need to share the entire page with everyone and not just the small section I showed previously. I would not want to be accused of hiding any information.

Yes, thank you (and Bruce Hutchisnon)… I see now Marcel had considerably more S-2 experience than just that one snippet would seem to indicate. I’ve always blamed Haut, and more so the press, anyway…

(for the initial SNAFU that is, if you could call it that)
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby lost_shaman » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:53 am

astrophotographer wrote:
The point is that in this document, items were entered after September 26, 1947. Not until after the entry which ends the date of April 1948, do we see the reference to the transfer order from the AAF to the USAF.


You are neglecting the fact that his record does specifically state that he was transferred to the USAF via transfer order 1 on Sept. 26, 1947. This validates the things I've pointed out on this thread. Considering that all Officers and enlisted men would need to have this transfer entered into their records would probably create a backlog and you are not considering that here either.

The 'footnotes' as you point out are not available to us and these seem to be relevant as two of them occur in the same line and may or may not shed light on the 'transfer'.

You argument then is to ignore these issues, despite what Marcel's record specifically states because your own records 50+ years later looked different.

As far as I'm concerned his record which I had not seen until you posted it, which doesn't prove what we are discussing one way or the other in the first place, tends to validate what I've uncovered and posted that the Officers and enlisted men of the AAF were transferred to the USAF on Sept. 26, 1947.


astrophotographer wrote: We also have several documents from November 1947, where the officers (including a colonel) signing the documents are identified as being in the air corps and not USAF. In 1948, we suddenly see the officers identifying themselves as being in the USAF. Prior to the November 1947 documents, they list themselves as being in the air corps just as in the November documents. This all indicates the transition from the Army air force/air corps did not instantaneously happen across the board in late September/early October 1947. It appears the rank and file of the AAF were notified sometime after this transfer order.


That's nonsense. I've explained the situation with the Air Corps (which you ignored the first time). The Air Corps was itself transferred to the USAF on Sept. 26, 1947.

[/quote]by lost_shaman on Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:57 pm

The Air Corps was established by congress and could therefore only be disestablished by act of congress. While this disestablishment was taking place the Air Corps and it's Officers and enlisted men were under the department of the USAF after Sept. 26, 1947. The use of 'Air Corps' after that date therefore can not simply be assumed to be a reference to the AAF (the AAF became an independent Branch now named the USAF).[/quote]

Your argument here is meaningless unless you can show that the Air Corps was not transferred to the USAF on Sept. 26, 1947 and remained assigned to the at that time non-existent "AAF" which was then the newly independent "USAF".
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby lost_shaman » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:40 am

ryguy wrote:
lost_shaman wrote:Since these hand written and typed edits are clearly edits and you have not noted or explained them, then how can "we" as the RU readership accept your personal interpretation of them simply from "(your) years in the US Navy" as evidence of anything much less as it relates to Major Marcel's records 62 years ago or even how those might reflect the reality of the transfer orders that established the (AAF as the) USAF in 1947?


Actually, that's exactly what those of us reading need to do - trust our local experts who have the credentials and background to understand typical edits and markings. Those of us who did not spend time in any branch of the military can't claim that expertise - so we trust these folks here to provide their interpretation based on their experience. Given, there are some folks who served in a military branch that I would not trust because their past writing or actions led to reduced credibility - but AD and Tim are credible experts.

-Ryan


Ryan,

It's your POV to trust and distrust whomever you wish. That said endorsing Tom and Tim as "credible experts" in the middle of this type of discussion, when I've shown that the available literature on the transition of the AAF to the USAF disagrees with their POV, simply because they are RU members is worthy of evaluation.

I honestly don't think that being former members of the Military or current members of RU qualifies anyone as being "credible experts" on 50+ year old military records during the transition period that took place after the passage of the National Security act of 1947.

I'll ask you just as I asked Tim (Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:15 am) if you are really ready to endorse and support an alternative history of the USAF? And do so for no other reason than just to support the idea that Allen Grant and his wife were confused about a date where Grant was flown into the desert and saw nothing July 7, 1947?

It's one thing to say I'm wrong, but it's totally different to say the accepted history of the USAF is wrong! If you guy's accept the former as true , then you must not only evidence but prove the latter!

As I told Tim doing so would be a much bigger story than any New Mexico trip Allen Grant ever made.
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby ryguy » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:33 pm

lost_shaman wrote:I honestly don't think that being former members of the Military or current members of RU qualifies anyone as being "credible experts" on 50+ year old military records during the transition period that took place after the passage of the National Security act of 1947.


Anyone with military experience will have greater insight into military documents - regardless of the generation they are from - more than civilians would, that's all I am saying. To say someone's military background has no bearing isn't really fair.

I'll ask you just as I asked Tim (Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:15 am) if you are really ready to endorse and support an alternative history of the USAF? And do so for no other reason than just to support the idea that Allen Grant and his wife were confused about a date where Grant was flown into the desert and saw nothing July 7, 1947?


I wasn't attempting to take sides - in fact I find the entire discussion a bit too academic and I lose interest quickly, I admit. I don't see the major relevance to the transition date, but that's probably only because I've not carefully followed each post closely enough, but Tim's statement:

The point is that in this document, items were entered after September 26, 1947. Not until after the entry which ends the date of April 1948, do we see the reference to the transfer order from the AAF to the USAF.


And your statement that the transition took effect in September, doesn't really seem like a significant disagreement to me...more like splitting hairs?

Tim also wrote:
We also have several documents from November 1947, where the officers (including a colonel) signing the documents are identified as being in the air corps and not USAF.


In my mind this is *some* evidence that the air corps was still a legitimate entity in November, at least in the minds of the officers signing those documents. I still don't see the relevance of a September/November/December transfer in the big picture...maybe someone could explain it to me - that would be very helpful probably for other readers as well.

Tim also wrote:
This all indicates the transition from the Army air force/air corps did not instantaneously happen across the board in late September/early October 1947. It appears the rank and file of the AAF were notified sometime after this transfer order.


You wrote:
It's one thing to say I'm wrong, but it's totally different to say the accepted history of the USAF is wrong! If you guy's accept the former as true , then you must not only evidence but prove the latter!


I'm not going to say your wrong because it appears everyone at least agrees the transfer took place. The disagreement here is pretty minor - the precise official date of the transfer. But still, forgive my ignorance here, but I've lost why the difference of a month or a few months is relevant.

Could someone please help clarify?

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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby ryguy » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:41 pm

Ahh...nevermind, I looked back and found the relevant post from Seth a few pages back. I'll repost for readers who may also have lost the plot within the last couple pages of discussion debating the exact date of transition:

Understanding the history here is the first step, now that I believe this is resolved the next step is to point out that Major Phillips as an Officer in the AAF (July '47) and USAF (Nov. '47) would have been assigned a Military aircraft to preform his Liaison duties as CAP Liaison Officer for Kirtland field/AFB. This is evidenced in part by the fact that the photograph in question shows Allan Grant and Major Phillips in front of an AT-6 Texan 'trainer' where "AAF" appears prominently.

Also the courts describe the relationship between the Civil Air Patrol and it's Military Liaison officers in the case of 234 F2d 861 United States v. M Alexander (1956) here even after the passage of Pub. Law 80-557 (May 26 1948) that established CAP as the USAF Auxiliary it is described that Liaison Officers assigned to CAP are USAF Officers that are part of the Headquarters Squadron and not subject to the orders of the CAP Wing Commander or his staff (CAP being a civilian nonprofit corporation). As a Liaison Officer (USAF) to CAP Lt. Singleton (in 1950), like Major Phillips in 1947, was assigned a USAF aircraft to preform his Liaison duties.

Clearly Liaison Officers assigned to CAP are Military Officers and are assigned Military Aircraft and are subject to the Military not the CAP and these Aircraft are owned by the Military and the carriage of passengers is subject to Military regulations. While there may have been some changes between 1947 and 1950 by and large the above would have been true for Major Phillips in 1947.

Understanding the history that no such thing as the "AAF" existed in November 1947, the idea that Major Phillips is flying an aircraft that says "Grant in the AAF, Read the Story" (November 1947) as Tim Printy suggests makes no sense. The arrangements for Grant to fly with Maj. Phillips would have to be approved in advance by regulations and the Meteor event itself only occurred on Oct. 30, 1947. Dr. La Paz started planning the search Nov. 2nd so there was only 3-4 days were Grant could be included and authorised. The idea from a historic stand point that his name was placed on Maj. Phillips AT-6 Texan and "AAF" was used rather than "USAF" is seriously questionable and flawed if not utter nonsense.


Now I understand why the exact month of transition is important. However, to call the use of "AAF" as "utter nonsense" and "seriously questionable" is a bit extreme. I think if this thread proves anything it's that the precise transition date (when everyone was aware of the official transition) is pretty much in question throughout the latter part of 1947. So the reference doesn't seem like utter nonsense to me... If it was an error at all, it was a fairly insignificant one.

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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby astrophotographer » Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:05 pm

This is really getting down to splitting hairs on this issue. The whole idea is that the side of the plane states AAF. LS indicates this means it could not be a photograph from November 1947 because the AAF did not exist at the time. However, what I have been trying to demonstrate repeatedly was that while the transfer of the AAF to the USAF did occur in September 1947, the rank and file seemed to be somewhat confused on what part of the service they belonged. We have senior officers signing their names as being in the air corps in November 1947. This was how the officers wrote their correspondence before September 1947. It was not until after January 1948, did they start identifying themselves as being in the USAF. We also have Marcel's record ammended after April 1948 (or at least December 1947) that he was transferred to the USAF in September 1947. Finally, we have all the AF bases being called AAF bases in November 1947. All of this indicates the state of transition could have resulted in the words AAF being placed on the side of the airplane in November 1947. That is my only argument. I do not dispute the transition occured officially in September 1947, I only am proposing why the photograph (if taken in November 1947) would have the words AAF on it's side.

I also have stated that this photograph could have been taken in July 1947 but not because of Roswell. The CAP was active with Aviation Week fesitivites in late July 1947. They flew around the state to various locations (which included a flight to White Sands to view a V-2 launch, which was cancelled) and air bases. One can see that if Grant was involved in that event (which would explain the publicity logo) he would confuse the November 1947 meteorite hunt (edit: We know that Grant was present at this event) and this jaunt around New Mexico with the CAP as one event associated with Roswell. A similar thing happened with Sgt. Rickett and his Roswell story.
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby Zep Tepi » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:56 pm

Now I understand what the fuss is all about, thank you Tim for the clarification, and thank you Ryan for highlighting it all in one (more or less!) place.

When it is put into context like above, it is pretty apparent why (to some) it becomes important to split hairs.
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby lost_shaman » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:41 am

astrophotographer wrote:This is really getting down to splitting hairs on this issue. The whole idea is that the side of the plane states AAF. LS indicates this means it could not be a photograph from November 1947 because the AAF did not exist at the time. However, what I have been trying to demonstrate repeatedly was that while the transfer of the AAF to the USAF did occur in September 1947, the rank and file seemed to be somewhat confused on what part of the service they belonged. We have senior officers signing their names as being in the air corps in November 1947. This was how the officers wrote their correspondence before September 1947. It was not until after January 1948, did they start identifying themselves as being in the USAF.


Yes, Tim. You are still neglecting the fact that the 'Air Corps,' as I've explained, was also transferred to the USAF on Sept. 26, 1947. That, as I've explained, the 'Air Corps' was established by act of congress and therefore was separate from the 'AAF'. It was in fact the 'AAF' that gained it's independence from the Army and became the 'USAF' officially on Sept. 18, 1947.

During the War 'Hap' Arnold became the Commanding General of the AAF, but he was also at the time the head of the 'Air Corps' and instead of stepping down from the 'Air Corps' he merged the commands. That being said the 'AAF' and 'Air Corps' are not one and the same nor are they interchangeable. The 'Air Corps' is mandated by act of congress in 1926 and the 'AAF' was a part of the Army.

I know this seems confusing but it is relevant to say that the 'AAF' became a separate branch (USAF) of the Military via the National Security act of 1947 and that the 'Air Corps' was transferred to the USAF on Sept. 26, 1947 at noon on that day when SECDEF Forestall signed transfer order 1.

Tim's argument now is that use of 'Air Corps' is the same as considering oneself a member of the 'AAF'. This simply is not true. Transfer order 1 specifically transferred the 'Air Corps' to the USAF on Sept. 26, 1947.
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Re: "Stalked by a UFO Skeptic" [Anthony Bragalia]

Postby lost_shaman » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:00 am

ryguy wrote:Now I understand why the exact month of transition is important. However, to call the use of "AAF" as "utter nonsense" and "seriously questionable" is a bit extreme. I think if this thread proves anything it's that the precise transition date (when everyone was aware of the official transition) is pretty much in question throughout the latter part of 1947. So the reference doesn't seem like utter nonsense to me... If it was an error at all, it was a fairly insignificant one.

-Ryan


Ryan, if your Commanding General AAF was sworn in as the Chief of Staff of the USAF and the law stated that you were under his command then would you still consider yourself an 'AAF' officer if the transfer order 1 stated you were a USAF officer?

Does the fact that no-one replaced Gen. Spaatz as Commanding General AAF not prove the 'AAF' no longer existed?

The office of Commanding General AAF didn't exist after Sept. 26, 1947.
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