Lt. Walter P. Manning, “Come Fly With Me.”

Manning

 

 

COME FLY WITH ME

 

 

 

 

By

 

 

The living breathing James Brown

US Army Veteran

Author

 

 

 

“Son, what’s bothering you such causin u to not care about no sleep?”  asked a worried Mother as she softly stroked the back of the neck of her son.

“Momma, I hear a calling…”

“Son, what kinds of callin?”

“I hear a Callin on the wind.”

“Son, what’s this calling saying to my son?”

“Momma, it is saying-Come Fly With Me…”

And the mother sat there for a long minute trying to come to understand what kind of calling comes to her son in the prime of his life?  She loved her son and their deepness of love was way past that of any blood. It ran much deeper, maybe cause of all the added burdens placed upon Black Families all across the Deep South and lots of other places.  Yes, the deepness was something that only a War Torn Nation of Blackness would ever understand.

“Walter, who bees calling to you saying those words?”

“I hear it on the wind, Momma.  The wind is calling, a voice in the wind calling to me-Come Fly With Me,”  said Walter as he wondered what his mother was now thinking of him.

“Walter, I’ve known folks that had a callin in life and most times, that callin can’t be avoided.  It must be so deep that you cannot live without you doing something about it.  Son, what do you think this callin is meaning?”

“Momma, I’ve got to soar in the Sky in one of those fast flying fighters in this hear World War that we bees a fightin in.”

“But son, they said…”

“YES, THEY BUSTED ME!  THEY FAILED ME! THEY SAID I WAS UNFIT TO FLY CAUSE I HAD A “HAMMER TOE”.

“Son, that ain’t no hammer toe, that is your flipper toe that you got so you can swim fast as everyone else and faster than most.”

“Mom, they failed me on My Physical.”

“Son, there is lots other things that we and you can do.”

“Mom, no, there is NOT!  I got to answer that Voice.  I cannot get it out of my head.”

“Did they tell you any way to fix your flipper toe?”

“Yes, they said I needed an Operation to get it fixed but that they weren’t going to pay for it.”

“Son, I don’t think we got the monies for no Operation.”

“I’ve decided to use My Defense Job Salary and pay for it myself.”

“You gonna have your flipper toe fixed?”

“Yes, and then I will PASS THAT PHYSICAL.”

“Walter, is that what you really want more than anything in the World.  To fly?”

“Momma, it’s what I gots to do and I have to and there is no other way to stop this callin.  I have to.”
“Well then, son, you go ahead and your follow your callin and gets that Operation.”

 

And a young, determined black man that saw a need, a calling beyond the Call of Duty used his own monies to pay for an Operation to fix a Toe that had denied him Military Service during World War Two.  And right now, how many of us would have done that?  Do you know of any that have chosen to accept a Failed Physical and not try to fix the issue that failed them?  Anyone?  I know of none. 

But others may.  And no, the above are not the words that a mother and son had, they are mine and I used them to tell you just one possible conversation that the following man had with his mother or maybe someone else and others about his Failed Physical. 

But would you have done what he did? 

Was flying?

Was “Come Fly With Me” such a drawing force that he forsake all to become one the most Legendary Group of American Flying Aces during World War Two?

But now, please allow me to continue with this amazing tale of one incredibly brave man’s journey into becoming an American Hero when Heroes were not supposed to be BLACK. 

HammerToe

Yes, that last word is still a very disturbing word that does conjure up all sorts of demons and ghosts from the past of America’s Past Conscience, now isn’t it?  A word from a Time Period when Black was not the Right word for American Soldier and it was most definitely NOT RIGHT For United States Airmen.  But the Time Period was World War Two and there were not many generations away from the Civil War in which those feelings were still very much alive and still are in the minds of some. 

But NOT ME!  I am a Writer and I wanted to write a tale of something I found very disturbing and alluring to me.  An amazing tale, yet once again, Our Past is In Our Face Once Again and it’s now in the Faces of Others who took Old West Justice into their Hands in Austria.

Yes, “Come Fly With Me” came a calling to many a young person all over the World and it did for me too as I too became a Pilot, but no, I have no past Hero Stuff to talk about to you.  No, this story is about an amazing man and it is still such a Tragedy and I will tell it as I go along, but here, let’s look at what is now currently shown at the Find A Grave Site for

 

 

.Manning2

 Lt. Walter P. Manning

And I promise you, before you finish this complete read, you are going to walk away with some serious thought and more knowledge and more Soul Searching about Our Past-

 

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/56657981/walter-peyton-manning

 

Walter P Manning enlisted into the Army Air Forces Aviation Cadet Program on 15 March 1943 entering at Philadelphia Pennsylvania, a native of Maryland, original ASN: 33592772. After pilot training graduation he was Commissioned a Second Lieutenant, officer ASN: O-828053 Walter deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in August 1944, serving as a pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen operating from Ramitelli Air Base, Italy assigned to the 301st Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, 15th Air Force.

On 1 April 1945 Lt Manning was on a bomber escort mission to St. Polten, Austria flying his Mustang P-51B-15-NA-42-106943 with eight other planes in his flight. In the Wels, Austria area, about 15 miles southwest of Linz, Austria the squadron became engaged in a dog fight with Luftwaffe aircraft. Lt Manning was shot down in the Wels area but was able to bail out, to become a POW. F/O William P Armstrong, ASN: T-66139 was also shot down in this same action, KIA crashing with his plane.

Sadly, two days later Lt Walter P Manning an unarmed POW was murdered by the Nazis, not an uncommon fate for downed allied airmen late in the war. The following is an account of what happened in Lt Manning’s case as investigated by Austrian Historian Georg Hoffmann:
“A particularly tragic event occurred on 1 April 1945 in Linz-Hörsching. Walter Manning, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, was affected. This is an air force organization of the US Army Air Force, in which – due to the then valid racial segregation in the USA – only African Americans served. “These were even more hostile to Nazi propaganda,” says Hoffmann.

“Manning was to be lynched by a local group leader, but this was initially prevented by military soldiers, and he was then given relative safety to the airbornehorst Horsching, and local party officials and Nazi officers attempted to gain access to Manning to take him to the Lynchjustiz Days, Manning was severely mistreated and finally hanged in front of the Horstkommandantur, with a blackboard round his neck, saying, ‘We are fighting back,’ Hoffmann says.

It is particularly tragic that the case was quickly forgotten in the USA. The perpetrators were known, but they were never questioned and never taken. Manning’s mortal remains lie on a French military cemetery.”.

Awards and Decorations for 2nd Lt Walter P Manning include but are not limited to:
European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (EAME), Air Medal, with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters, and Purple Heart Medal.

2nd Lt Walter P Manning, NOK listing was his Mother Mrs. Winifred S Manning, 4200 Powelton, Ave., Philadelphia, PA. Postwar, May 1950 address: 6137 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA.

Lt Manning is interred at the Lorraine American Cemetery, France: Plot K, Row 36, Grave 37,
https://www.abmc.gov/node/537599#.WZRo_eSWyM9

Other sources:
NARA enlistment record
https://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=893&mtch=1&cat=WR26&tf=F&q=33592772&bc=sl&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=4065713

Army Air Forces combat loss, Missing air Crew Report No. 13377 (4 pages)
https://www.fold3.com/image/29431805

Photo source fold3.com
https://www.fold3.com/page/630028880_walter_manning/

2nd Lt Walter P Manning, POW Murder account
http://sciencev2.orf.at/stories/1757096/index.html

Fields of Honor Database page for Lt Manning
https://www.fieldsofhonor-database.com/index.php/en/american-war-cemetery-lorraine-m/78208-manning-walter-p-lor-k-36-37

Also see ABMC
https://www.abmc.gov/node/537599#.WZRn9lGGOM8

Bio and source data compiled courtesy
Vindicator I

Inscription

WALTER P. MANNING
2 LT 301 FTR SQ 332 FTR GP
PENNSYLVANIA APR 3 1945

Gravesite Details Entered the service from Pennsylvania 15 March 1943 .

Flowers • 14

Rest in peace.

Left by Margaret Rose on 14 Feb 2020

Left by Kolibri Forensics on 27 Sep 2019

Leave a Flower View All

See more Manning memorials in:

  1. Memorials

 

  1. Region

 

  1. Europe

 

  1. France

 

  1. Lorraine

 

  1. Departement de la Moselle

 

  1. Saint-Avold

 

  1. Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial

 

  1. 2Lt Walter Peyton Manning

 

Walter had the Operation to fix his Hammer Toe and then he went on to become a Flyer with the Tuskegee Airmen and here is some of that story-

But first, here is an Actual DOD Video Recording of words spoken by a fellow Tuskegee Airman-The Austrian government held a memorial ceremony for 2nd Lt. Walter Manning and hosted Lt. Col. Harry Stewart (ret) who was flying with Lt. Manning on that fateful April day in 1945.  This is only part of this never-ending story-

1105191155n_compress14

 

  https://dod.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/Videos/?videoid=596735

Tuskegee2

 

Tuskegee2 (2)

 

And what started me investigating more about Lt. Walter Manning was the following Article sent to me from a friend from NYC.

 

https://www.inquirer.com/philly/columnists/mike_newall/tuskegegee-lynching-walter-manning-philadelphia-austria-nazi-20180420.html

GermanCartoonWWII

A German Cartoon of the Impression of Black Airmen by Germany during World War Two.  (Look closely at it, don’t worry, it won’t bite you, it’s a sad reminder of a past that did take place)

But one word, yes, one word was very sinister and explained so much-

 Fliegerlynchjustiz!

And exactly what does this one word mean? 

 Aviator Lynching!

And in Austria, this one word came to describe the one thing that Lt. Manning had done upon himself by an Austrian Mob!  Yes, they Lynched him and you can read all the Lynching Stories and Tales and they are all the same-Some People Taking what they Perceive as Justice into their Own Hands, and put a Hanging Knot from a Rope around the Victim and then Hang them until they cannot breath any longer.  And while other American Flyers were being beaten to death and SHOT, Lt. Walter Manning wasn’t just Hanged.  No, not hanged at all, no, nothing remotely close to a Trial, not by a Jury or Trial, but Lynched by a MOB!

World War Two saw all forms of atrocities by all sides and most come out, but then the ones that really creep us out or force us to take a long look at the Past of Our Elders, yes, OUR ELDERS cause they were the ones that were the holding the Corner Market on Racial Hatreds.  But, how the learned what hatreds deeply learned, well, a whole lot of them had to be unlearned from the World War Two Generation and my generation for a whole lot of us, well, we tossed that crap to the side and we did not teach out KIDDOS RACIAL HATREDS. 

And I love it when a Story comes out that truly compromises many a belief on so many things and this one takes the Cake.  But why?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Lt. Walter Manning was the Only Black Aviator that was Lynched by a Mob in Austria!

“A particularly tragic event occurred on 1 April 1945 in Linz-Hörsching. Walter Manning, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, was affected. This is an air force organization of the US Army Air Force, in which – due to the then valid racial segregation in the USA – only African Americans served. “These were even more hostile to Nazi propaganda,” says Hoffmann.

“Manning was to be lynched by a local group leader, but this was initially prevented by military soldiers, and he was then given relative safety to the airbornehorst Horsching, and local party officials and Nazi officers attempted to gain access to Manning to take him to the Lynchjustiz Days, Manning was severely mistreated and finally hanged in front of the Horstkommandantur, with a blackboard round his neck, saying, ‘We are fighting back,’ Hoffmann says.

Wir wehren uns     

WirWehenUns   

“We are fighting back”

written in German on a blackboard hung around his neck after his Lynching!  An unbelievable degrading contempt for human life and for one of our very own.  Yes, OUR OWN!  OUR VERY OWN!  A PROUD MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN FAMILY and baby, that Family is for all of us.  

 

Shocking words if I have ever read any.  I know that we were at War and People and Armies were doing all forms of Atrocities and nothing makes it Okay.  Nothing.  It was what they did and guess what-

FallenAirmen (2)

THEY OWN IT!  Austria and Germany OWN IT!

But nothing will ever change how America poked and prodded their own views about People onto everyone.  Yes, our Elders were told one way, but that was the Wrong Way and now, for more- He was Posthumously awarded the congressional Gold Medal in 2007.  But is that good enough for us today?

I mean, 2007 was 13 years Ago and folks, I believe an even Higher Award needs to be in place on this one-But why?  No, I don’t believe the End of This Tale is Over yet.  Do you?

Lt. Walter P. Manning should be Awarded the Medal of Honor because he went above and beyond the Call of Duty.  I mean, when he paid for the Operation to have his Toe fixed, the man right there proved his Desire to do more than Fly, he was a natural Driven American Hero who took up Arms against a Enemy by flying an amazing WarBird and by his Actions, he saved countless Men and Women by shooting down Enemy Planes and Protecting American Bombers.  PROTECTING American Bombers!  There, you have and how he went Above the Call of Duty like many flyers, but he went one more step-His Death Deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor for Bravery beyond the Call of Duty.  Folks, how Brave does a man have to be when he is taken out by a Lynch Mob and he is Lynched?  About the bravest any of us could ever be and he was full blood American.

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration that may be awarded by the United States government. It is presented by the President of the United States, in the name of Congress, and is conferred only upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty:

  • While engaged in action against an enemy of the United States;
  • While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
  • While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

There are three distinct versions (one for the Army, one for the Air Force, and one for the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard.

But what Awards did he receive?

Awards[edit]

 

I am convinced that the Lynching takes the cause for a Congressional Medal of Honor to the Forefront of all Medals, to an entirely Higher Level of Authority and the main reason that Lt. Manning should now be posthumously Awarded.  The Lynching of an American Fighter Pilot on Foreign Soil while conducting what?  Replay the Video?  Does that not explain all Aspects of Deserving the Medal of Honor being explained?  And yes, the Lynching changes the playing field.  It dramatically shows why Lt. Manning needs to be Awarded this Medal and be an Alert to all United States Armed Forces Members that the Highest Medal of Honor now takes on a whole new weightiness of HONOR that can possibly be bestowed upon them.   Yes, I understand the unbelievable bravery of those that have received the Medal of Honor and I have read many of them.  But now, I think this is one exception to the complete understanding of what qualifies a person for it.  And yes, this is that one exception.

Yes, fixin and makin things right is what future Generations do and this one is a very Doable Item if Our Higher-Ups can take a moment to Review the entire gravity of this matter.  How about you?  You feel Lt. Walter P. Manning is deserving of the Congressional Medal of Honor?

I know you do.  And so do I and it needs to be addressed because so many other things were not addressed and Honors were not given when they applied to a Black Person during World War Two.

But Walter was not a nobody.  He attended Howard University-

Howard University (Howard or simply HU) is a private, federally chartered historically black university (HBCU) in Washington, D.C. It is categorized among “R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity” and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

From its outset Howard has been nonsectarian and open to people of all sexes and races. It offers more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Howard tied for 104th among national universities, and second among historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) for 2020.[5] Howard is the only HBCU ranked in the top 40 on the Bloomberg Businessweek business school rankings.[6] The Princeton Review ranked the school of business first in opportunities for minority students and in the top five for most competitive students.[7] The National Law Journal ranked the law school among the top 25 in the nation for placing graduates at the most successful law firms.[8]

 

Lt. Manning was a man. Manning was born in Baltimore, Maryland but grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He loved swimming and growing up he always wanted to fly planes. He was engaged to Dicey Thomas before he left for war.[1][6]

 

But Lt. Walter P. Manning was A Hero.  A flyer. 

Tuskegee2 (2)Tuskegee2Manning2

A Tuskegee Airman flying one absolutely badass ride in the sky. 

God Bless Lt. Walter P. Manning and his family and God Bless his Soul.

So, yes, Walter did answer his calling and he did

COME FLY WITH ME! With the Wind!

God Bless…the living breathing James Brown, US Army Veteran, author-

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