Another Space History Resonance From 75 Years Ago

Keith's note: As you may recall last year I posted a story "That Time Wernher von Braun's Rocket Tried To Kill My Father" about my father's near brush with death from a V-2 attack in London in March 1945 and how he - and later I - grappled with the personal impact of a weapon that fell from space. I visited the impact site in Hyde Park 2016. I recently got this email from Brian Roselle who is my age and had parents who lived through part of World War II in London. As it happens his mother was there at the impact area too as the rocket came in. Like Brian, I almost did not exist because of this rocket. In my case, it gave me a career 40 years later.

"Visiting my brother this weekend we looked in a shoe box with pictures and articles from our parents from WWII, and it reminded me of an incident my Mom mentioned years ago. Mom once told me of this incident she had while she was in London, where she had a close call. A V-2 rocket struck the Hyde Park area near where she was at the time and the explosion was extremely big and shook her up quite a bit, to the point where she wasn't sure if she was going to survive whatever was happening. She was OK and subsequently found a fragment that landed in the park, picked it up, and it was still very hot. She ended up keeping the fragment and this was among the items we looked at this past weekend along with a note identifying it as the V-2 piece picked up in Hyde Park. I took a picture and attached it here. I found your article on NASA Watch while looking up more background on V-2 incidents. As you might guess, the article resonated with me. Between my Mom and Dad I think there were probably a few close calls in the European Theater at that time that went my way, so she could become a war bride to an American soldier and I could eventually come along. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience, I have learned a little more."

At the end of my article I described a chance encounter with a young european couple and their boy at the foot of the V-2 at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC. As it happens, they live in the Netherlands a few blocks away from where the V-2 that nearly killed my father and Brian's mother was launched. Small world.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on September 9, 2020 3:08 PM.

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