Lord Banks, wikinut:
The American Liberator or B24 fore saw this problem and installed a ball turret which could return fire to any aircraft attacking from below. This turret hung below the aircraft and could be retracted for landings and take off, or if the gunner was hurt.

I sometimes wonder why someone would volunteer for this duty and the answer is patriotism and a want to try to save their aircraft and buddies from being shot down over enemy soil.

I can only imagine the shear terror of being suspended in a Perspex bubble underneath an aircraft flying at over 20,000 ft. My absolute admiration goes out to those gunners who had the courage and bravery to fill the ball gunners position all those moons ago.

Following 30 bombing missions over Europe with the Army Air Corps in World War II, Chuck Bednarik attended the University of Pennsylvania. He was a two time All-America selection. Chuck finished third in balloting for the Heisman Trophy in 1948. He was the top pick in the 1949 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. As a rookie, Bednarik would be a member of the Eagles' championship team. The Eagles shutout the Los Angeles Rams in the title game, 14-0.

The last man to play offense and defense on a regular basis in the NFL was Chuck Bednarik. He was the 60 minute-man and wore number 60 for the Philadelphia Eagles . Playing center on offense and middle linebacker on defense, Bednarik led the Eagles to the 1960 NFL Championship title in a 17-13 win over the Green Bay Packers. It was the only loss in 10 career playoff games for legendary Packers head coach Vince Lombardi.

The Philadelphia Eagles had an intense rivalry with the New York Giants. It was ranked by NFL Network as the #1 rivalry of all-time.

On November 20, 1960 at Yankee Stadium, in the final regular season game, Chuck Bednarik's vicious hit on Giants' Frank Gifford knocked out the star running back. Philadelphia recovered the fumble on the pass reception, and went on to win the game, 17-10. Frank Gifford suffered a deep brain concussion, and was out of football for 18 months. Bednarik sent a basket of fruit to Gifford at his hospital room. "I didn't bear him any resentment and never have," said Gifford.

In the 1960 NFL Championship Game, Chuck Bednarik makes a game-saving tackle on Packers' FB Jim Taylor at the Eagles' 10 yard line, and prevents Green Bay from running another play by sitting on Taylor. Only Philly fans remember this play. The rest of us only recall the ferocious hit on Frank Gifford, and Bednarik waving his arms and shaking his fists over his fallen enemy.

Washington Post:
Bednarik, who frequently criticized modern athletes, said he played on all but two kickoffs against the Packers. “The positions I played, every play, I was making contact, not like that . . . Deion Sanders,” Mr. Bednarik said. “He couldn’t tackle my wife, Emma. He’s back there dancing out there instead of hitting.”

No stranger to controversy, Chuch Bednarik rooted against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX with the New England Patriots. Chuck was bitter about the treatment of retired NFL players. Chuck resorted to pawning his championship ring and his Hall of Fame ring in order to make ends meet.

Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.

Follow me on Twitter at @_prmurphy

For more of my articles, click here.

Paul Murphy 3/23/2015 08:48:00 AM Edit

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