They don't make 'em like they used to.

This is pretty spectacular:
It was June in Donegal, when we stood on a windswept hillside in hard hats and high-vis surrounded by a crowd of locals and watched by an Irish army unit while we filmed an archaeological excavation.

This was the place where, in 1941, Roland "Bud" Wolfe, an American pilot flying a British RAF Spitfire, paid for by a wealthy Canadian industrialist, had experienced engine failure while flying over the neutral Republic of Ireland.

After flying a sortie over the Atlantic, Wolfe was on his way back to his base in Northern Ireland when he was forced to bail out. He parachuted safely to the ground - his plane smashed into the boggy hillside.

Fast-forwarding 70 years and local aviation expert Johnny McNee was able to identify the wreck site. The ensuing dig was accompanied by intense anticipation.


Thanks to a "wild idea" from Lt Colonel Dave Sexton, ordnance technical officer in the Irish army, it was decided an attempt would be made to fire one of the Browning guns that had spent 70 years in the bog.

After assembling one gun from the parts of the six recovered, it ran like a top after a crash landing and having spent 70 years in a bog.

Something tells me you couldn't expect similar results with a "modern" firearm.

... which I suppose is why we've been using the M2 largely unchanged for nearly a hundred years.

posted by Mr. Lion | 11/11/11 @ 10:06 | comments (0)