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July 20, 2005

"Craziest Pilot in the Canadian Forces"

James Doohan, 1920-2005
Captain, Royal Canadian Artillery
Chief Engineer, Starfleet.

All Stations This Net, All Stations This Net - Station Doohan, Close Station, March Order. Return to Assembly Area Fiddler's Green, route Hell. Await further orders. Report to Lieutenant Eddie Albert for TINS exchange.

Lots of email over lunchtime, like this:

This is I suppose, only tangentially of interest to the various denizens of the Castle, but Canadian-born actor James Doohan, best known for having portrayed Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott in the original Star Trek television series and several subsequent films, died this morning at the age of 85.

To which I respond - thank you for letting me know - but, yes, interest at the Castle, at least on the part of the Gunner who is the Armorer, was a touch more than tangential. I honored Gunner Captain Doohan here, in this post, a little over a year ago.

As this Star Trek website notes:

Lt. Doohan successfully led his Canadian troop onto the beach and pushed nland to establish the best possible gun position (along the way Doohan shot two German snipers, never knowing whether he killed them). A field was secured and command posts were established, but not all Germans between the beach and their position had been captured. That night about 11:30, Doohan and another officer were walking between command posts when machine gun fire broke out. Doohan was hit; he fell into a shell hole, looked at his hand and saw blood. Three bullets struck the one finger. Never losing consciousness, he actually walked to the regimental aid post, unaware he also took four bullets in the leg.

There was an eighth bullet, and it was nothing less than a miracle that he's still with us today. It hit his chest, four inches from his heart. But it ricocheted off the sterling silver cigarette case in his pocket, the one his brother had given him for being best man at his wedding. It's like a trite plot twist, he acknowledges - his brother saved his life from thousands of miles away. Jimmy pushed the dent out of the cigarette case and continued using it until he quit
smoking years later. He stayed in the military, learned to fly and came to be known as the "craziest pilot in the Canadian Air Forces."

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance. In Memoriam

For the Scots among us... The Flowers of the Forest.

In Memoriam of an actor with more steel than Alec Baldwin or Tim Robbins ever dreamed of.

John | Permalink | Comments (7) | Observations on things Military
» The Politburo Diktat links with: Scotty has Beamed up
» The Files of the Phantom Observer links with: James Doohan, R.I.P.
» Ghost of a flea links with: The final frontier
» Mistakes Were Made links with: RIP James Doohan