The Millstone Times January 2020

Did you know...? Night Witches Did you know that there were female pilots during World War II, only they weren’t in the U.S.? They were in the Soviet Union. In the spring of 1943, at the height of the war, two pilots, members of the Soviet Air Force were flying their polikarpov PO-2 biplanes, which were flimsily built of plywood and canvas, over a soviet railway junction. It was snowing heavily and the men pilots were sent on to secure a bridge and they were to intercept a lone plane but they were confronted by 42 German bombers and sent their planes into a dive to avoid being hit. They then returned fire directly into the center of the German formation; downing a few planes. Because of the flimsiness of their planes, their maximum speed was lower than the stall speed of the Nazi’s planes, meaning the pilots could out maneuver their crafts more than their attackers. One of the planes was hit but the pilot was able to bail out safely. People on the ground who witnessed the skirmish ran to her aid.They offered her vodka but she refused. When she took her cap off they were shocked to see that it was a woman pilot, Tamara Pamyathykh, one of the members of the 588th Night Bomber regiment of the Soviet Union. She was sad that she was hit and left her friend Raisa Surnachevskaya still up there fighting the Germans alone. Raisa was also hit but managed to land safely in a snow bank. The 588th was most the most highly decorated female unit in the force flying over 30,000 missions over four years and dropping over 23,000 tons of bombs on invading German armies. There were three other regiments with women in them; the 586th and the 587th. The women ranged in ages 17-26 and flew primarily at night with their flexible planes. The planes were pretty much used for training and crop dusting. The pilots often idled their engines as they neared a target and glided in to release their bombs. The plane could only handle two bombs at a time. They made little noise as they snuck up on their target. The noise reminded the Germans of the sound of a witches broomstick sweeping over them, thus they were called the night witches by the Germans, who feared them.

Squadron of 588th Regiment, commanders plan- ning their bombings before taking to the skies.

The Soviet Union was the first nation to allow woman bombers to fly combat missions. These women, with limited technology, flew in the dark at low altitudes with no radar, only maps and compasses. Some from the 586th and 587th worked with the men and had a navigator with them. Their uniforms were hand me downs from the men pilots. The planes had open cockpits which caused frostbit and freezing conditions in the winter. They flew 8 or more missions every night. Still despite all their bravery, they never got the recognition from the male pilots until later on in life; yet they went on to serve their country against the Nazi’s with their very lives same as the men. Tamara and Raisa went on to live good lives. Raisa passed in 2005 , and Tamara passed in 2012.

The Logic of Logos and Catchphrases Phrases are pass d down from one generation to the next, but do we really know what they mean?

Take the phrase- This is just the tip of the iceberg. How many times have you heard it? The phrase usually refers to a situation in which you or someone else is seeing only a small part of what really is a bigger problem. The iceberg is used to refer to the fact that there is a very big problem, and the tip is only a small part of that problem with expectations of more coming. An example, “The money missing from petty cash was only the tip of the iceberg of financial mismanagement.” This phrase alludes to the fact that the bulk of a floating iceberg is concealed beneath the water, leaving only a small portion, its tip, visible. Hang up the phone- a throw back from yesterday yet people still use it. Have you yelled at your child lately to hang up the phone and you were referring to his cell phone? Originally people used to hang up the phone receiver when they were finished talking. We just can’t help saying it, even though your kids are now pushing a button. Want a good laugh, there’s some amusing videos out there where kids from this generation are trying to actually figure out how we used those rotary phones way back when. Are you joshing me? One explanation of how this phrase came about was from the name Joshua and it was used to imply someone who was dishonest, cheating and misleading. Another story involved a deaf mute from the 1800’s named Josh Tatum. In 1883, the U.S. mint came out with a new nickel. It was called the liberty head nickel. On the reverse side was a numeral V on it. It didn’t have the word “Cents”

or “Nickel” stamped on it. Josh Tatum, who might have been deaf and mute, was certainly not dumb, as he noticed that the coin was almost the same size as the U.S. $5.00 gold piece; which at the time was used as common currency. With the help of a friend who was familiar in electroplating, they turned the coins into replicas of the $5 coin. Josh used them at stores being very careful not to purchase anything more than a nickel. In those days a nickel bought a lot of things. The clerk would take the coin and give him back $4.95 in change. That same year after hearing of the deceit, the U.S. Mint added the word “cents” to the liberty head nickel in an effort to bring this type of fraud to a halt. Hence the famous saying, “You’re not joshing me are you?” This is similar to us today saying, “Are you kidding /joking/ fooling me?” What is the meaning of the word Noel? You hear it a lot at Christmas time and there is a famous song titled, “The First Noel” but do you know what they are really singing about? It’s a term synonymous with Christmas, from carols to Christmas cards. The word Noel has multiple meanings. The French say Nouvelles, which means news. The English say Nowel, which means shout of joy. In Latin it’s Natalis, which means birth. The first common usage of the word began in the middle ages of Europe. French and English carols began using the word within the context of songs referring to the birth of Christ. The First Noel Carol was first published in 1823 by William Sandy’s, in his book, Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern. Local townspeople would all gather at Christmas time to sing such carols in worship and celebration remembering the birth of Christ. The song might have been penned in France in the 1200’s but the lyrics that we all know and love were added in the 1800’s. Noel represents the goods news of Christ coming to earth to forgive and save us all.

18 The Millstone Times

January 2020

Made with FlippingBook - Online catalogs