World War II is one of those wars that will long live in America’s imagination. A war that was fought in two fronts, against two of the evilest regimes ever known, was won decisively, and ushered in the dawn of the world as we know it today.
Here are five of the strangest photos from that war that you will ever see.
Number 5 is the Beer Collection. Here, the spitfire auxiliary fuel tank is being filled with Pale Ale from Henty and Constable Brewery. They called it XXX Joy Juice and were able to load up 90 gallons of it for transport under the center of the fighter. The modification was used by the British RAF pilots to circumvent thin supply lines to the front line in France following the D-Day invasion. Casks could also be fitted under modified pylons on each wing in a beer bomb configuration. Westerham Brewery attached Bitter on one and Mild on the other.
Flying at 15k feet ensured the beer was cold when it arrived.
Take a look at all five photos in the video below:
Number 4 is Happy Gas, a Disney approved Mickey Mouse gas mask for American children after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After seeing the Japanese Army’s use of mustard gas against Chinese soldiers, the Army Chemical Corps feared attacks on the U.S. In the event of a hypothetical attack, gas masks and warnings were distributed to civilians along the west coast. The Mickey Mouse masks were made in sizes for children under the age of four, intended to make a game out of a chemical attack, which was expected as the Japanese did have plans to send chemical and biological agents via balloon and kamikaze.
Number 3 is the Ghost Army made up of the 23rd Battalion. Their job was to create a false impression of how tough the troops were and to keep their location concealed, even though the troops they referenced never existed. To do this, they set up inflatable tanks, staged loud sounding fire, and even mingled with the locals, spreading lies to beef up the troops to any potential spies.
Number 2 is Mad Jack. Lt. Colonel Jack Churchill was British soldier known for leading commando charges with a Scottish broadsword. He believed that any soldier who went into action without wearing his sword was improperly dressed. Churchill also liked to make sure a set of bagpipes were nearby to rouse his troops. He also liked his troops to carry longbows and arrows. Churchill is credited with the last longbow kill in action. He later fought the Japanese in Burma and wasn’t pleased with the U.S. choice of atomic weapons. He said, “If it wasn’t for them damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years.”
Number 1 is the Battle of La. Is it a weather balloon or a UFO?
After the Feb. 23, 1942 bombardment of the Ellwood oil field by a Japanese submarine, tensions increased. The following night, the city succumbed to “war nerves” when a lost U.S. weather balloon triggered artillery fire from the 37th Coast Brigade. A photo of the battle was published in the LA Times and many believed it proved that the aircraft was a UFO. The Navy and Air Force insisted there was no sign of enemy planes in the area.