Thurman P. Woodfork and Per Cod


That sounds like it could be a great idea for a poem right there.

Of course, I’m sure that none of the other soldiers or sailors here have ever been in a bar fight. Well, Woody might be offended that all you swabbies were picking on the flyboys, but other than that… Especially the Aussies might be shocked by this behavior. You know what gentle and loving teetotalers they all are.

That might be an idea for a monthly theme: bar fights caused by Inter-service rivalries.


Did I miss something here? Who was picking fights with airmen in bars? That’s a patent falsehood…nay; stronger language is called for here: it’s a scurrilous lie! Everybody knows that airmen are too gentlemanly to frequent bars; leave alone engage in common brawls. The very idea!

I am, however, reminded of an incident where a member of my radar squadron in Spain was *alleged* to have thrown an Ensign in charge of a Shore Patrol crew down a flight of stars. The story goes that the (innocent) young airman was escorting a young lady back from the opera when they somehow got drawn into the Bar PanAm, a dancing and drinking emporium located on the Ramblas in Barcelona. It’s unclear exactly how they got sidetracked into this dive – er – establishment. As luck would have it, some inebriated naval person mistook the young lady for a trollop who’d relieved him of his wallet sometime earlier that evening. Of course, since she’d been at the opera with my friend, this virginal young maiden couldn’t possibly have been involved, which the sailor would have realized had he been, even minimally, sober.

At any rate, harsh words were spoken; the Ensign intervened, in the ensuing confusion, tripped, and fell headlong down the stairs, breaking his leg. Of course, the Navy blamed the whole thing on my poor, guiltless friend, who’d only been out seeking an evening of cultured diversion. They even hauled him aboard a destroyer in the Port of Barcelona and held him there for over a week before our commander could secure his release. What a shocking injustice. But there was one bright spot; the hapless airman was chosen squadron Airman of the Quarter while he was being unfairly held in that naval brig. And that’s the truth, so help me.


Aww shucks, the fight I’m talking about wasn’t much of a fight anyway. A friend of mine was leaving for a mine-clearing mission in a place full of camels and caves and sand, IYKWIM, and we decided to go out for a few drinks.

The bar we went to is a typical hang out for servicemen from all branches and is owned by a former Navy Commando. Great place to hang out, good music, cheap beer and you get to discuss guns and tell lies all night without the intrusion of “civvies”. Unfortunately, some less then fortunate words were said about the Sailors’ ability to treat women in a gentlemanly manner, witch of course resulted in equally unfortunate comments on the Air Force’s lacking abilities (can’t say I remember exactly what they couldn’t do, but it wasn’t a nice thing to say…).

It’s all right though; I pulled my friend out of jail the next morning and put him on a plane. By Monday evening I had spoken with the bar owner and agreed to cover all costs. The airmen, being gentlemen, had no objections to the costs being divided equally between all involved parties. Since my friend was the only one arrested, and the bar owner has difficulties remembering things (you know what vets are like…) it looks like this will all go away. After all, my friend cannot be blamed for being beat up, can he?

I don’t think the girl will come around that bar anymore.