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Hi Everyone am posting here as you all would appreciate better than some others,
People have amazing stories to tell and sometimes they get documented really well. I felt compelled to tell/remind you about Dieter Dengler (Lieutenant, USN) after recently showing my wife the documentary made about his amazing life. “Little Dieter Needs to Fly”
You don’t have to be born in America to become an American Hero. He most certainly is an American hero.
His lust to fly aircraft meant he left his ancestral home in Germany after WW2 to move to America to become a pilot. What happened to him is simply amazing and without a doubt one of the best stories I have heard to come out of the Vietnam war.
I won’t spoil it for anyone as I am not a good story teller and recommend purchasing the Documentary as it is Dieter Dengler himself who narrates and describes what happened to him in first person and his enthusiasm in explaining gives an insight about how passionate he was about flying. It was made by Werner Herzog in 1997 who is one of the most accomplished directors/movie makers of our time. Part of Dieter’s life was also made into a feature film as well “Rescue Dawn” (2007)
If you can’t do the movie thing, there is a Wikipedia page and many tributes/info pages about him online.
After cheating death many times he sadly passed away a few years ago after becoming ill with ALS. (true to form though, he died when he chose and where)
His gravestone photo, with permission, credited to www.arlingtoncemetery.net
dieter-dengler-section60-042304 by www.arlingtoncemetery.net, on Flickr