ABOUT THE UNIT
Early in the war, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) experimented with embedding pilots with front line units, equipped with ground-to-air radios to direct air strikes. This provided the opportunity to provide real-time intelligence to the aircraft crews, where previously, enemy locations were often outdated by the time the air strike actually arrived at the target location.
The Americans adopted this strategy, calling these ground teams “Rover Joes,” a play on the British names for their RAF mobile ground crews, “Rover David” and “Rover Paddy.” The team generally consisted of one Air Corps pilot, accompanied by two enlisted radio personnel.
Seeking a portrayal which would allow flexibility and involve little-known aspects of the war, we called upon our own real-world experience in our daily lives to portray an early Forward Air Control unit of the Army Air Force (USAAF). As our unit grows, we will expand to portray the units these FAC units were embedded with, generally line infantry units or armored units.
Our callsign, “Ironclad,” is an actual callsign referenced by an Air Corps after-action report by a P-47 unit. We are investigating the details of this particular FAC team.
We are a group of families who come together to represent the men and women of the generation of our grandparents and great-grandparents – the “Greatest Generation” as they have been called, to honor our heritage and teach the lessons history has for us, so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.
In the period surrounding the 1940s, American culture still retained a sense of the Christian heritage from which our country came, and with it a sense of morality, even though the culture had already begun to lose that sense of moral conscience. In our unit, we unabashedly embrace the Faith of our Fathers, our Christian heritage, and seek to emphasize that heritage in the ways it was still reflected in 1940s America. We involve our families in this living history, portraying life as it would have been on the home front during the war.