WC vs. History: The Ring's the Thing (May 23, 2011)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Fans of the Wing Commander movie may remember that Paladin proves his loyalty to the Tiger's Claw crew early on by showing a ring given to him by Admiral Tolwyn. Captain Sansky explains that the "ring has been in Tolwyn's family for sixteen generations and any man who carries it has the admiral's full confidence!"

While we only catch a glimpse of Tolwyn's ring a few times during the film, you can get a pretty good idea of what the prop used in the movie actually looks like in the next batch of screenshots from the HD version of the movie. For those keeping track you can catch a glipse of it, first, when Paladin gives it to Sansky, then when it's on Sansky's desk immediately after Manaic and Rosie's stunt on the flight deck, and then Sansky is wearing it during the Tiger Claw's jump into the Ulysses Corridor and a little later during the Claw's ambush.





So--what is that ring? The novelization, based on the shooting script, explains:
Between his fingers rested a gold class ring, its surfaces worn, its emerald dull. Sansky held it to the holograph's light and read the inscription: Annapolis Naval Academy, 1941.



... and now that we know that, whe can rightly ask the big question: what does a 1941 United State Naval Academy ring really look like? Take a look! The stone here is a sapphire instead of an emerald (that detail doesn't exist in the script at all--it was added by Peter Telep):

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Original update published on May 23, 2011
 
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Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
"Fair winds and following seas..."

Great detective work here.

The bigger question is whose 1941 USNA ring was it? :p
 

Victorinox

Ensign
Interesting...

I would have assumed that Tolwyn's family being british would have attended one of the Royal Navy Colleges.

I don't know if they have official graduation rings, but I found this one on a quick google search.

RN-bezeltop.jpg

RN-sideanchor2.jpg


Vic.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
You would think! The script does specify Annapolis, though.

Actually, it's not clear whether the ring belongs to his ancestor or not--just that his family has owned it for '16 generations'... which going by the average is far fewer generations than there should be between 1941 and 2654... maybe they bought it on future eBay in 2250 and just really like it. :)

Tonight's update will show a far more British aspect of Tolwyn's history, though!
 

Victorinox

Ensign
Sorry Bandit, I understand that the novel says Annapolis. I was just wondering why would they choose that instead of a British equivalent :eek:

Maybe one of Tolwyn's ancesters was an exchange student in the US :D

I like a lot the latest updates. And I have one in mind which is easy to remember. I won't mention it until you finish your series, as I am sure that eventually you will talk about it ;)

Vic.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I like a lot the latest updates. And I have one in mind which is easy to remember. I won't mention it until you finish your series, as I am sure that eventually you will talk about it

Please do suggest anything! I don't think we really have an end date planned--we'll probably switch between these and other updates and just keep doing them as we come up with ideas. (Dundradal and I did spitball out a dozen or so on Google Wave and we're putting them together as we have time).
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Sorry Bandit, I understand that the novel says Annapolis. I was just wondering why would they choose that instead of a British equivalent :eek:

Maybe one of Tolwyn's ancesters was an exchange student in the US :D
Look at it this way - nobody would be surprised to hear that some present-day US admiral has ancestors sixteen generations back who served in the Royal Navy. So, who's to say the opposite process doesn't happen with Tolwyn? There's no reason why an American family couldn't migrate back to the UK at some point between 1941 and 2600.
 

Victorinox

Ensign
Please do suggest anything!

Ok you asked for it!. Rather appropriate considering tomorrow is another anniversary of the Battle of Midway.

At the beginning of Action Stations, when Admiral Bambridge visits Commander Winston Turner’s office, he looks at a print in the wall... “of a naval battle, back when fleets still sailed on water”.

Skip asked Turner “You had an ancestor in that one, didn’t you?”...”Squadron Leader, Torpedo Eight” Turner said.

“And all they got shot down, but not one of them wavered from the attack on the Japanese carriers. Their heroic sacrifice pulled the fighters down to sea level, allowing the dive-bombers to slip through” Skip said.

The print was about the Battle of Midway, and Commander Turner was referring to Torpedo Squadron 8 (“VT-8”), a United States Navy squadron of torpedo bombers assigned to the Air Group operating from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in World War II.

VT-8's first and best-known combat mission came during the Battle of Midway on 4 June 1942. Flying 15 vulnerable Douglas TBD Devastator, they were all shot down during their unescorted torpedo attack on four Japanese aircraft carriers. The squadron did not destroy any enemy aircraft with their rear .30-caliber machine guns, nor did they damage any of the Japanese carriers.

All but one member of Torpedo Squadron 8 (29 men) who flew from Hornet on that day perished in the action. The lone survivor was Ensign George Gay.

Torpedo Squadron 8 was also the first squadron equipped with Grumman's new TBF-1 Avenger, a bigger, faster, longer-ranged replacement for the TBD. Six of the squadron's Avengers were flown to Midway under the command of Lt. Langdon Fieberling to participate in the battle. Attacking from the island without fighter cover, five of the Avengers were shot down, with only Ensign Albert K. Earnest and CDR (then Radioman 2/c) Harry Ferrier surviving.

Although nearly wiped out by the defending Japanese fighters and antiaircraft fire, they drew off enemy fighters, leaving the skies open for dive bombers from USS Enterprise and USS Yorktown. A group of Douglas SBD Dauntless bombers from Enterprise bombed and fatally damaged carriers Kaga and Akagi, while other group of Dauntless from Yorktown bombed and wrecked carrier Soryu.

To put their sacrifice in perspective, at the end of the battle, the Japanese had lost the four large carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor, while the Americans only lost one (Yorktown). More importantly, the Japanese lost over one hundred trained pilots, who could not be replaced. The Japanese offensive in the Pacific was derailed and their plans to advance on New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa postponed. The balance of sea power in the Pacific shifted from Japan to equity between America and Japan. Soon after the Battle of Midway the U.S. and their allies would take the offensive in the Pacific.

Torpedo Eight Squadron Leader was John Charles Waldron, who held the rank of Lieutenant Commander, and was awarded the Navy Cross, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Purple Heart for his actions in combat.

As Admiral Bambridge said... “Damn, what guts they had then”.

Was this Winston Turner’s ancestor?

LCDR John C. Waldron
LCDRWaldron.jpg


LCDR Waldron & Torpedo Squadron 8
jcwaldron1.jpg


LCDR Waldron taking off from the USS Hornet on June 4, 1942
jcwaldron3.jpg



Sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT-8
http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq81-1.htm
http://www.usswaldron.org/picts.html
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
HAH! We have pretty much that exact update in our queue. including what we think is the picture Turner has on his wall...

(We have for Midway updates, one for each day of the battle--Torpedo 8 is the second one.)
 

Victorinox

Ensign
HAH! We have pretty much that exact update in our queue. including what we think is the picture Turner has on his wall...

(We have for Midway updates, one for each day of the battle--Torpedo 8 is the second one.)

Yeap... That was what I though :(

I look forward to reading the updates.

Vic.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Yeah I have about 1/4 of the VT-8 update written. Last night I was gathering a few more tidbits to add.

We do have quite a few of these in the pipeline, so once the great news quiets down we'll be back to them. Especially this weekend as tomorrow is the 69th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.
 
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