I try to track down that serial number... do all U.S. military aircraft have the numbering scheme that includes the financial year, or is that a newer invention?
was formed in 1947. The C-53 is emblazoned with "EUROPEAN AIR TRANSPORT SERVICE", together with the 1943-1947 USAAF roundel. The Z68846 number can be found on the photos, like here: http://www.lw.admin.ch/internet/luft...ory/premier/alpine_flugrettung.htm
- so, is this a civilian plane, just operated by USAAF personnel?
The strains between U.S. and Switzerland - I very much suspect the Marshall plan. Although Switzerland received a tiny little bit of the U.S. aid, Switzerland profited from the war (by providing things like fine mechanics, bomb timers and financial services to both Allies and Axis forces). Switzerland could have supported the Marshall plan, as there were still huge financial assets parked here.
Another idea is that Switzerland could have opened another front in the war, fighting against the Axis - at least when Patton, Patch, Simpson, Devers, Montgomery and their colleages were crossing the Rhine. Either way, the Swiss aren't seen as people that sacrifice something for a higher cause. We're rather a bunch of opportunists...
Now I'll do some proper research...
explains some things. The U.S. wanted to force Switzerland to take part in economic sanctions against the Axis forces, among other stopping railway transportation for the Germans and Italians (...for example, the famous "singing coal waggons" - German troop transports across Switzerland). Then, the U.S. wanted to secure any German assets in Switzerland, something we were not willing to do.
Another aspect were the bombings of Basel, Schaffhausen and Zurich. Some sources say that the U.S. bombed these cities - although the deaths were numbered only in dozens - deliberately to punish the Swiss for their passivity in the war.
[Edited 2012-02-13 14:55:33]
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.