PILOT’S HEROIC, TRAGIC FATE

 

Florian Rochat's book cover - The legend of Little Eagle
 Book Cover

THE LEGEND OF LITTLE EAGLE

« The Legend of Little Eagle » is a novel about destinies that intersect. It is based on a true story which involved an actual American pilot – Lieutenant LeRoy Lutz – whose warplane was hit by anti-aircraft fire while strafing a German train. He then made the decision of purposefully crashing into a clear area instead of dashing into a French village called Mardeuil in Champagne, in June 1944. He did not survive to his feat, but the villagers did.

LeRoy Lutz has been turned into « John Philippe Garreau », and LeRoy Lutz flew a P-38 Lightning whereas Garreau is on a P-51 Mustang for the novel.

Here is further information about this book from a post written by Florian Rochat – the book’s author – published in French on January 24th, 2012:

In 1999, while I was in Montana researching my novel « Cougar corridor », I discovered a letter mailed from France in 1947. It said how a pilot of the US Army Air Force, Lieutenant LeRoy Lutz, had avoided a tragedy by staying on his damaged plane in order not to fall on a small village of Champagne, Mardeuil. It was in June 1944. Having renounced the bail out option while still able to do so, Lutz (picture below) had paid with his life this heroic act. His Lightning P-38 crashed in a field.

I told in a previous article of this blog how this letter led me to write my latest novel, The Legend of Little Eagle.

But now I have found its author. His name is André Mathy and he lives in Epernay, France…

…Time passes by, History is forgotten, but for the old inhabitants of Mardeuil LeRoy Lutz is always a hero whose sacrifice helped avoid civilian casualties in their village. « This story keeps coming to my mind, » said André Mathy.

I have been able to find him, which moves me. For this endpoint in the long story that was the writing of The Legend of Little Eagle highlights a surprising phenomenon on which I return repeatedly – over the reconstruction of the life of my hero who experienced a similar fate to LeRoy Lutz – in this story in which the notion of fate is perhaps the theme: the meaning and weight of stories, as explained in several books by William Kittredge, one of the great writers of Montana. According to him, our lives are ceaselessly intertwined with narrative, with the stories that we tell or hear told, those that we dream or imagine or would like to tell, all of which are reworked in that story of our own lives that we narrate to ourselves in an episodic, somewhat semiconscious, but virtually uninterrupted monologue. We live immersed in narrative (have you noticed?) These stories allow us, according to him, to situate ourselves in the world, and find meaning in our existence in the chaos of life. « We live in stories. We are stories, »  he asserts.

“We tell stories to talk out the trouble in our lives, trouble otherwise so often so unspeakable. It is one of our main ways of making our lives sensible. Trying to live without stories can make us crazy. They help us recognize what we believe to be most valuable in the world, and help us identify what we hold demonic,” Kittredge adds.

Seventeen years ago, when he finally learned about his father’s display of courage, Richard Lutz, LeRoy’s son, declared: « I was twelve years old when my mother told me that my father had died in France. I always thought he was the bravest pilot on earth. But now I know. »

 This book has already had 4.7 stars out of 13 customer reviews on Amazon.fr. It is a breath-taking novel according to them. The readers did love Florian Rochat’s talent and style. The synopsis made them believe that it was a book on aviation. It is, with many scenes of air combat during John Philip Garreau’s missions over Germany and France. But there is more to it. As mentioned above, it mainly deals with puzzling questions on destiny and fates bound within a same tragic event. However, these readers loved reading this unbelievable story. Air combat is not swept out of sight as the act of gallantry when LeRoy Lutz veered away from the village to save lives is well highlighted. Moreover, the hero amazingly meets with a famous WWII aviator.

Many reviews, and articles have been posted about this book, especially in French since it was first written in French. Here are two of them:

https://baugelitt.eu/florian-rochat-la-legende-de-little-eagle-le-passe-tenace/

You can read Florian Rochat’s biography on Xavier Cotton’s blog « Passion pour l’Aviation« . Special thanks to Xavier who passed the information on.

« The Legend of Little Eagle » is on sale as an ebook on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.UK, Amazon.ca, and Amazon.com.au, Smashwords and other digital platforms, and as a paperback on all Amazon bookstores. Author’s website: http://www.florianrochat.com

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GREETINGS from C-5 AIRCRAFT, SHAKESPEARE, AND… CHUCK NORRIS

Hi there!

Dear readers, it’s high time I sent season’s greetings, and a happy new year to you through this video:

In this amusing video, a voice-over quotes Hamlet, act 1, scene 1:

Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike;
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.

Then, the voice-over adds:

So, I brought you that… Merry, merry Christmas, and happy new year to you all.

The voice-over quotes Marcellus’s cue from the original version of Hamlet:

It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long.
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad.
The nights are wholesome. Then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is that time.

…, which roughly means:

It faded away when the rooster crowed. Some people say that just before Christmas the rooster crows all night long, so that no ghost dares to go wandering, and the night is safe. The planets have no sway over us, fairies’ spells do not work, and witches cannot bewitch us. That is how holy that night is.

Here below a translation from François Maguin’s bilingual book in both old English, and French:

Il a disparu au chant du coq.
On dit que toujours, lorsque vient la saison
Où l’on célèbre la naissance de Notre Sauveur,
L’oiseau de l’aube chante toute la nuit.
Alors, dit-on, nul esprit ne se risque à sortir,
Les nuits s’en trouvent pures, nulle planète ne frappe,
Pas de fée ni de sorcière qui puisse jeter un sort,
Tant la grâce vient sanctifier ce temps.

Video from Valentin Bajkov © Delov Digital, www.delovdigital.hu

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SUPERB French Navy RAFALE Video

Make your life a dream,
and this dream a reality.

Fais de ta vie un rêve
et de ce rêve, une réalité.

(Antoine de Saint Exupéry)

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European Drone Dassault nEUROn UCAV MAIDEN FLIGHT


The news was broken this morning (December 1, 2012) thanks to this tweet:

 


 
Dassault-Aviation released the news a few minutes later:

 


 

 

 


 

 

The stealth drone demonstrator « nEUROn » designed by Dassault Aviation, performed her maiden flight this morning at Istres Dassault Flight Test Center.

Dassault along with DGA – French Defense Procurement Agency, and nEUROn customer – successfully conducted this first flight test of the European UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle).

The nEUROn project FCAS (Future European fighter Combat Air System) , launched in 2005, involves France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Greece and Switzerland. Some parts or elements of this aircraft – flight controls maybe – would come from the Dassault Falcon 7X.

nEUROn Drone - June 2007 © Xavier Cotton

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