Paula Noonan

Paula Noonan

The words loser and sucker share a common colloquial definition now. They are terms the president uses to describe men and women who have sacrificed their freedom and in many instances their lives in military service to their country. The president cited U.S. Senator and POW John McCain as an example. 

The president also has a unique analogy for a person such as a police officer shooting a weapon while under stress. It’s a form of “choking,” as in a yippish golfer missing a three foot putt needed to win a bet or club championship. 

By the president’s meaning, Army Air Force navigator Lieutenant Paul Noonan and the four other men in the World War II B-24 bomber known as L for Love that was downed by Germans shooting flak at the 31 B-24s flying over Weiner Neustadt’s Messerschmidt airplane factories were losers.  Lt. Noonan was in the front half of the bomber from which he, the pilot, co-pilot, bombardier, and nose gunner parachuted and survived. The five gunners in the back of the plane didn’t make it. Four other planes were shot down on that day, May 10, 1944. 

Once captured, the five Army Air Force suckers were taken to the Gestapo jail in Weiner Neustadt, put on a train to nearby Vienna, then on another train to Zagan, Poland about 90 miles south and east of Berlin where they were imprisoned in Stalag Luft III, the POW camp of Great Escape fame. For several months, Lt. Noonan was declared MIA, much to the worry of his parents, sister, and new wife, Betty Noonan. These loser POWs, along with Polish, British and Russian officers and suckers imprisoned since 1940, spent about 10 months in Stalag Luft III until the Russians surging from the east got close. 

The American POWs left the camp in early April when thousands of other losers, including extermination camp survivors from around Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the eastern borders of Germany, were tramping west, herded by German soldiers trying to escape the wrath of the Russians and facing the pinch of western allied forces.

The American POWs arrived at Stalag VII-A, a POW camp in Moosburg, Germany about 30 miles from Munich on April 20. The camp served up French, Polish, Dutch, Belgian, Greek, and Russian losers for the German economy, mostly working on repairing railroads around Munich and as farm laborer-suckers for Bavarian agriculture. 

Stalag VII-A was built in September 1939 to house 10,000 men but at the end of WWII, about 120,000 losers were stuffed into the barracks behind the barbed wire fences. The camp was run by SS guards.

The Moosburg stalag was about 15 miles from the Dachau Extermination Camp that held an estimated 188,000 losers and murdered an estimated 44,000 suckers such as political dissidents against the fascist Nazis, gays, Poles, Jews, Catholic priests, Jehovahs Witness, Romani, and Nazi-defined criminal types. 

American soldier-losers from General George Patton’s 14th Armored division fought the German 17th SS Panzer Grenadiers and 719 Infantry Division leftovers at the Isar River on April 28, 1945. The Germans, with no tanks and only small arms, surrendered. Stalag VII-A and the Dachau Extermination Camp were both liberated on April 29. The day after, April 30, the biggest choker of all time, Third Reich Fuehrer Adolf Hitler, killed himself by swallowing cyanide and shooting himself in the right temple with his service pistol.

The fascists among the once victorious German blitzkriegers took the places of the long-suffering POW losers who survived the WWII brutality in Stalag VII-A. The prison became Civilian Internment Camp #6 for 12,000 German men and women suspected of Nazi criminal activity. 

The millions of stories of the losers and suckers who fought in WWII combine with many million more stories of losers and suckers from WWI. The father-in-law of Lt. Noonan fought as an engineer in the Argonne Forest in France. He had mustard gas burns from his battles. That WWI sucker Corporal Carlos Ames returned to his fruit farm in Sacramento, California, the much-despised-by-the-president blue state, and never left until at age 96 he moved to the Yountville Veterans Home in Napa Valley where he died at age 99. 

Lt. Noonan died at 81, a loser who finally received POW therapy in the last year of his life in 2002. A grateful nation, it is assumed, honors their memory even if the current commander in chief does not.

Paula Noonan owns Colorado Capitol Watch, the state’s premier legislature tracking platform.

Paula Noonan owns Colorado Capitol Watch, the state’s premier legislature tracking platform.

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