A Dog, A Parachute and a Kick in the Butt

Betty Feng and her dog Bing once he retired

Betty Feng and her dog Bing once he retired

In my last post, I talk about dogs that parachuted into war. Bing was a dog that was given to the army by 6 year old Betty Fetch and her family. They could no longer afford to keep him because of food rationing. He was trained with other dogs and on one of his early missions over Normandy on June 6th, 1944 heavy anti-aircraft rained on the plane. Bing became was so afraid of jumping out of the plane on that they pushed him out with an encouraging boot.

Upon parachuting out of the plane, he landed in a tree, had to be cut down and was later wounded in action. He recovered and went on to have many missions and save many people.
He saved countless Allied lives. During a second jump into Germany, Bing was sent on a dangerous mission to look in a house. As he approached the house, he realized that there were enemy troops and sounded the alarm. His human teammates surrounded the house, took the Nazis prisoner and Bing became a hero. He received the highest military honor an animal can win in the UK for his bravery. After his death in 1955, he was buried in a special cemetery in London. If you visit Duxford, you can see a life-size statue of Bing, complete with a parachute.

How does this dog’s story relate to us today?

We each have unlimited potential. Some of us need a good kick in the butt to get us going, but once we choose to believe in ourselves we can do great things! We are trained to do great things, but when the time comes, we cower in the corner. We forget how great we are. I am thankful to the people in my life that push me to be more. The world is waiting on your greatness. Bing was just a dog that someone had to surrender because they could not feed him. No matter what your past story was, your future can be great. Live it! Be brave! If you are a leader, encourage those around you to live to their potential. If you are growing into a leader, listen to what those around you are saying. Understand that they are pushing you for a greater purpose!!

There is a great page with photos of these dogs here: parachuting dog photos

Take the Jump and Face Your Fear

Did you know that during WWII, dogs jumped from airplanes with parachutes?? Doesn’t that sound crazy? I know a few of my friends (and family) that love the idea of jumping from a plane but for the majority of us the thought strikes fear in our hearts! Dogs instinctively like to be on the ground as well.

As June 5, 1944 transitioned into June 6, the 13th Battalion flew into Normandy. There were three planes, each loaded with 20 paratroopers and one parachuting dog. The planes bumped and creaked.  Heavy artillery exploded around the aircraft, but despite the explosions, Monty and Ranee (two of the dogs) remembered their training and behaved like veterans. However, the third dog, Bing lost his nerve and hid in the back of the plane, too afraid to move. Bing actually had to be thrown out of the plane! On the way down, his parachute got stuck in a tree, where he remained for two hours. He was wounded by German gun fire before troops were able to cut him down.

In life, there those who take the jump and those who don’t. What separates those two groups? I think it has to do with fear and how you handle fear.

Fear of the Unknown

You might not be happy where you are, but not being able to predict what is going to happen is super scary.

Fear of Failure

No one wants to fail, especially in front of others

Fear of Success

This one sounds crazy to me, but I know I have experienced it. What happens if this really blows up big? How will it change my life?

So how do you become more that Monty and Ranee (the dogs that jumped) rather than Bing. The one who got thrown out of the plane?

Here is some vintage video of some dogs parachuting solo!

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4zY1Bwdhic

Face your fears!

Sounds so easy right?!? There are many books that have been written on the topic of this and I won’t be able to address it all in a simple post, but here is my advice in three steps.

Identify what you are afraid of.

Logically mitigate any risks

Determine which fears are rational and which are not.

Make a move!

Decide if it is fear holding you back or if there are some good logical reasons. If it is only fear, push through it. You are an overcomer! The more you overcome fear, the better you are able to manage it.

(BTW Despite his injuries and the incident in the plane, Bing eventually distinguished himself in the field. I will talk about that in my next post!!)