For years, some liberals have complained about the military’s longtime habit of naming helicopters after Native Americans, claiming that names such as the Apache, the Black Hawk, the Lakota, etc. count as slurs.
But these simpleminded bellyachers know absolutely nothing about the beautiful history behind these meaningful names. Thankfully, the staff at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum in Fort Rucker, Alabama, is able to fill in the blanks.
Speaking three years ago with Medium contributor Maj. Crispin Burke, an active duty U.S. Army aviator, the museum’s staff explained that the tradition began with Army Gen. Hamilton Howze, a 20th-century military figure and a towering force in the development of the U.S. copter strategy, according to The New York Times.
“According to the museum director, early Army helicopters had relatively benign names like Hoverfly,” Burke reported. “That apparently didn’t sit well with Gen. Hamilton Howze, one of the pioneers of air-mobile warfare.”
Bob Mitchell, the museum’s curator, pointed out that Howze “envisioned the helicopter as a fast, mobile, stealthy machine on the field of battle using terrain and vegetation to an advantage similar to the Warrior Tribes” that fought the U.S. Army in the Plains and mountains of the West.
Because of Howze’s influence, the Army commissioned a copter in 1947 that wound up being called the H-13 Sioux.
“The rest is history,” Mitchell said.
“Piston-powered whirlybirds like the Shawnee, Choctaw and Chickasaw soon followed,” Burke wrote. “In 1959, the Army christened its first turbine-powered helicopter the UH-1 Iroquois, although aircrews would universally refer to their beloved ride as the Huey.”
However, in the 1960s the military broke with this newfound tradition and introduced a new helicopter, the HueyCobra, that it named after a snake.
Here’s the kicker. Burke wrote: “Nevertheless, some Native American leaders were actually taken aback that the new aircraft wasn’t named for a Native American tribe. Indeed, though Army officials broke with tradition in an effort to not offend Native American tribes, the gesture actually backfired.”
Because of the backlash, the military wound up returning to the tradition of naming helicopters after Native Americans — much to the tribes’ approval.
Since then the military has continued to name new helicopters after “tribes that historians have noted for their martial prowess,” Burke wrote.
That’s right — despite claims by leftist lunatics like Simon Waxman — who wrote one of the dumbest pieces in human history for The Washington Post three years ago — naming helicopters after Native Americans has nothing to do with slurring them and everything to do with honoring them for their performance in battle.
Of course, Waxman, who apparently considers himself some sort of anti-racist, doesn’t buy “the myth of the worthy native adversary.”
“(T)he conquered tribes of this land were not rivals but victims, cheated and impossibly outgunned,” he opined for the Post in 2014.
Who’s the real racist, ladies and gentlemen? Is it the military, which has been honoring Native Americans (with their approval, I might add), or is it the leftist loudmouth who views all Native Americans as nothing but “victims”?
You tell me …
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