Air Force plaque

Transitioning from the Wonderful World montage, Bowling shows a B-52 memorial at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Moore intones:

“The plaque underneath it proudly proclaims that this plane killed Vietnamese people on Christmas Eve 1972.”

The editing that puts this scene in sequence directly following the conclusion of the “Wonderful World” montage which ends with footage of the airplanes hitting the Twin Towers implies that the United States government and Al-Qaeda both perpetrate murder by airplane. This phrasing intentionally insinuates that the plaque praises the bombing of civilians.

In fact, the plaque on the B-52 at the AFA is not as Moore describes it. The plaque says :

“B-52D Stratofortress. ‘Diamond Lil.’ Dedicated to the men and women of the Strategic Air Command who flew and maintained the B-52D throughout its 26-year history in the command. Aircraft 55-083, with over 15,000 flying hours, is one of two B-52Ds credited with a confirmed MIG kill during the Vietnam Conflict Flying out of U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield in southern Thailand, the crew of ‘Diamond Lil’ shot down a MIG northeast of Hanoi during ‘Linebacker II’ action on Christmas Eve, 1972.”

Hardly sounds like a proud proclamation of Vietnamese killing. But Moore brushes it off. According to Ebert, Moore’s response to this criticism was as follows: “I was making a point about the carpet bombing of Vietnam during the 1972 Christmas offensive. I did not say exactly what the plaque said but was paraphrasing.”

However, offering no evidence to support the claim that this historical account was in any way bragging about civilian death – Moore boldly deceives the audience here. Since he supports his opinion of the plaques supposed inferences with nothing, we must rely on grammar – none of which has a hint of anything that denotes pride in death. He of course doesn’t show the plaque so he can get away with the deception, and didn’t expecting anyone to check him on this fact, and thus gets away with it.

The truth behind the plaque is a much different story, as told by David Hardy of

“The particular feat was accomplished by Airman First Class Albert E. Moore, who brought down a MiG-21 which was closing to attack ‘Diamond Lil.’ The reason its MiG kill was so celebrated was that a B-52 which got within range of a fighter almost always lost the fight. B-52s were built on the assumption that enemy fighters would be kept at bay by their own fighter escort, and so they had minimal defensive guns.

A WWII B-17 carried, oh, 10 to 14 (depending on model) .50 machineguns facing in every possible direction; they flew in dense formations so that there were hundreds or thousands of guns covering each direction. Facing WWII fighters, the B-17s still took severe losses.

A B-52 had only one defensive gun position, in its tail, which could cover no direction save rearwards: early models had four .50s in it, later ones a 20 mm. It had, in short, a lot less defensive capability, yet was up against modern jet fighters with hundreds of knots speed advantage, air-to-air missiles that could kill from miles off, and heavier guns for close-in. If an enemy fighter closed on a B-52, odds of survival were low.

Diamond Lil was thus commemorated for its rare feat of downing the attacking enemy fighter, instead of being downed by it.

A feat which Moore apparently finds appalling.”

Moore thus confirms the absurdity of the blame-America-first position popular among the Hollywood Left, by showing that such views require the ignoring of obvious facts — such as the difference between financial aid to a dictatorship and humanitarian aid to refugees, or between fighting enemy pilots and perpetrating war crimes against civilians.


Special notice from :

The DVD captures Moore exaggerating this still further, saying during a speech at the University of Denver on February 26, 2003 that the B-52 participated in the massive Christmas Eve bombing campaign. “And they’ve got a plaque on there proudly proclaiming that this bomber, this B-52, killed thousands upon thousands of Vietnamese — innocent civilians.”

In both cases, his representation of the plaque is extremely dishonest.


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