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Thread: Translation Needed

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  1. #1
    Looking Guest

    Default Translation Needed

    In a letter to my grandfather there was a saying written "SEMPA IN EXCRETA". I am not sure if it is Latin like the Marine 'Sempa Fi"? Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    I think you will find it means something like 'Always in the s--t' (Brown smelly stuff)

    Eddie

  3. #3
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    Default Translation

    G'day Chaps

    'Sempa in excreta solus solum profundum variat' - "I'm always in the S**T, only the depth varies".

    Cheers...Chris

  4. #4
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    Default Semper Fidelis

    The United States Marine Corps use "Semper Fidelis" which translated from Latin means "Always Faithful".

    Cheers...Chris

    Life Member
    Detachment 155
    Marine Corps League
    Flint, Michigan

  5. #5
    Looking Guest

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    Great, thank you........Knowing the stories of my grandfather, it fits. ;)

  6. #6
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    Good day Looking. I suspect your grandfather might have been at Bircham Newtob circa 1941/2 when he wrote that letter.

    1403 Met Flight was formed at Bircham Newton in March 1941 (in truth it was simply a renumbering of 403 Met Flight that had formed there the previous November). Equipped with Blenheim IVs the unit flew met reconnaissance flights over the North Sea, even in ZZ weather weather that grounded all other units - it was not unknown for the crews to take off in fog.

    The CO of 1403 Met Flight was Flt Lt Douglas Bisgood, previously a Hurricane pilot who had been fortunate to survive a head-on collision, although with severe injuries. To reflect the conditions in which 1403 was expected to operate Bisgood designed an unofficial Flight Crest, an umbrella over a skull and cross bones with the motto "SEMPER IN EXCRETA" below, and this was painted on the sides of the Blenheims. (Source: Eric Kraus (the pioneer of meteorological air observing) in "How the meteorological reconnaissance flights began", published in the Meteorological Magazine in 1985. A very brief summary of the article appears in "Even the birds were walking" by Peter Rackliff.)

    I hesitate to say this was the first time the term was used, but I think it would be a pretty good claim. 1403 Met Flight was absorbed by 1401 Met Flight in Jan 1942, so that might mark the end of the period the crest was used.

    If you contact me off-board I can scan a photo of the crest for you.

    Brian

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