Practical mathematical takedowns of daunting problems.
From Dirac's later descriptions of his early life, we might expect him to have been an unhappy child, but there are no signs of this in the extant descriptions of him at the time. Among the boys Dirac did not get to know at Bishop Road School was Cary Grant, then known as Archie Leach and then living in poverty about half a mile from Monk Road. In the classrooms and playground of the Bishop Road School, Dirac acquired the distinctively warm Bristol accent, which sounds slightly hickish to other native English speakers, evocative of farmers in the south-west of the country. Like other young natives of Bristol, Dirac and Grant added an L to the pronunciation of most words that end in the letter A, a practice that is now dying out, though many English people still recognize Bristol as the only city in Britain to be able to turn ideas into ideals, and areas into aerials. Cary Grant shed this accent when he emigrated to the United States, but Dirac kept it all his life. He spoke with a gentle intonation and unassuming directness that would surprise the many people who expected him to talk like the plummy-voiced English intellectual or popular caricature.
The Strangest Man
The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom, pp 13-14
61 years ago: Ted Williams was John Glenn's wingman flying F-9Fs in Korea
When asked to name the greatest team he was ever on, Ted said, "the US Marines".
The Boston Red Sox slugger who wore No. 9 as a major leaguer, would now be assigned to an F-9 Panther jet as a pilot. Ted flew a 39 combat missions in Korea.
He was selected by his commander John Glenn (later the astronaut, senator, and “septuagenonaut”) to fly as Glenn’s wingman.
While flying an air strike on a troop encampment near Kyomipo, William’s F-9 was hit by hostile ground fire. Ted commented later… “the funny thing was I didn’t feel anything… I knew I was hit when the stick started shaking like mad in my hands. Then everything went out, my radio, my landing gear, everything. The red warning lights were on all over the plane.” The F-9 Panther had a centrifugal flow engine and normally caught fire when hit. The tail would literally blow off most stricken aircraft. The standard orders were to eject from any Panther with a fire in the rear of the plane. Ted’s aircraft was indeed on fire, and was trailing smoke and flames. Glen and the other pilots on the mission were yelling over their radios for William’s to get out. However, with his radio out Williams could not hear their warnings, and he could not see the condition of the rear of his aircraft. Glenn and another Panther flown by Larry Hawkins came up alongside Williams and lead him to the nearest friendly airfield. Fighting to hold the plane together, Ted brought his Panther in at more than 200-MPH for a crash landing on the Marsden-matted strip. With no landing gear, dive brakes, or functioning flaps the flaming Panther jet skidded down the runway for more than 3000 feet. Williams got out of the aircraft only moments before it was totally engulfed in flames. Ted Williams survived his tour of duty in Korea and returned to major league baseball.
PS: Ted missed out flying combat missions during WW II because his flying and gunnery skills were so good that he was kept as an instructor for much of the War. During advanced training at Pensacola, Florida, Ted would accurately shoot the sleeve targets to shreds while shooting out of wing-overs, zooms, and barrel rolls. He broke the all-time record for “hits” at the school. Following Pensacola, Ted was sent to Jacksonville for advanced gunnery training. This is the payoff test for potential combat pilots. Ted set all the records for reflexes, coordination, and visual reaction time. As a result of his stunning success he was made an instructor at Bronson field to put Marine aviation cadets through their final paces. By 1945 Ted got his wish and was finally transferred to a combat wing, but weeks later the war was over. He was discharged from the military in December of 1945. Seven years later, in December of 1952, Ted was recalled to active duty as a Marine Corps fighter pilot.