Delmarva Today : Writer's Edition #57

Mar 30, 2018

Credit Nigeria Embassy

Why do people leave home to serve and fight in the wars of other countries? Are they courageous heroes or courageous fools?  This is the question raised by Dr. Herb Howe in his scholarly paper on Swedish pilot Carl von Rosen. “Did Count von Rosen “Do the Right Thing” in Biafra?” 

This Swedish pilot was the first-ever pilot for the International Committee of the Red Cross when he flew for Haile Salassie’s Ethiopia against invading Italy in the 1930’s. He flew for Finland against invading Russia, served as Principal Instructor and Director of the imperial Ethiopian Air Forces and later piloted for the United Nations in the Congo. In addition, von Rosen broke the Nigerian air blockade against the secessionist state of Biafra. In this effort, he foreshadowed the present day humanitarian international organizations such as Médecins Sans Frontières.

Even with all these accomplishments, and the thousands of lives he saved, Dr. Howe raises the question: Was he a courageous hero or a courageous fool.

Dr. Howe is the author of two books and has contributed articles and  chapters to many others. He studied at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. He recently retired as a long time professor at Georgetown University in Washington DC.