We were driving through Hagerman, Idaho yesterday after visiting our grandkids in Seattle. We have a set of triplets up there plus their 4-year-old sister. The two boys think they are Stuka pilots.
For those of you who don’t know or remember what a Stuka was here is a description from [http://www.angelfire.com/ab4/airplanes/Stuka/Junkers_Ju87_Stuka.html:]
The Stuka was the most famous of all planes used by the Germans as a sturzkamfflugzeug (divebomber).
The Stuka was designed strictly as an army cooperation divebomber at the urging of General Ernst Udet. It is instantly recognisable with its inverted gull-wings, and fixed-undercarriage. The Ju 87 was ugly, sturdy, accurate, but very vulnerable to enemy fighters.
The Germans learned in the Battle of Britain that its use demanded air superiority. It was too slow, unmanoeuverable and underarmed, but its effectiveness in destroying vehicles, fortifications or ships, or just scaring people, was undoubted. Its accuracy was high when in a full dive that was up to 80 degrees.
Once the bomb was released it used an automatic pull-up system to ensure that the plane pulled out of the dive even if the pilot blacked out from the high g forces.
The Germans fitted the wheel covers with sirens that were used once the planes went into a dive to shatter the morale of enemy troops and civilians.
They also fitted whistles onto the fins of the bombs to ensure that the recipients knew just when the bombs were released and could track them on the way down.
Like the article says, the Ju 87 scared the hell out of everybody. That’s what my 19-month-old grandsons do to me when they climb to the highest elevations and then take a flying dive into my lap, or to the floor if they miss. My grandsons do not have the sirens nor the automatic pull-up system. The screams you hear are from Grandma, not the sirens.
Back to Hagerman
Hagerman is a small town on the Snake River. The area is known as Idaho’s “Banana Belt” because it can be a bit warmer there in the wintertime.
Driving though the town at 25 miles per hour we didn’t notice that anything was different. Maybe a tree down here or there but we didn’t see it. It certainly didn’t look like a tornado had buzzed through there the evening before.
We learned at the grocery store where we stopped before we got home that indeed a tornado had hit Hagerman.
We bought a newspaper and watched the news.
Well, it had been hit.
A couple of trees were down and a garage was shattered and scattered here and there. But we lived in Iowa for eight (8) years and we were not impressed. A television weather guy looked at the damage and said it looked like a 60 mile per hour wind had passed through. It was a Class Zero tornado, 5 being the highest.
The television news station said that Idaho gets about 5 tornados each year but that nobody ever gets to see them. They touch down out in the mountains or in the boonies somewhere and only the rattlesnakes get a good look. So having one hit near people was exciting indeed.
One family took video. Sure enough, the clouds were near tornado configuration, but not in the perfect configurations we got used to in Iowa. The vortex was there and the wind and hail were whipping things up including the family member who thought it was fun being out in the storm.
I wasn’t sure how to spell “hail,” there are so many ways, so I poked the word into Google Search. There I learned that hail is mentioned in the bible:
Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Psalm 148:8 See http://bible.cc/psalms/148-8.htm.
Hagerman got two of the four.