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Charles K. Fletcher

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles K. Fletcher
Charles K. Fletcher (California Congressman).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 23rd district
In office
January 3, 1947 – January 3, 1949
Preceded byEdouard Izac
Succeeded byClinton D. McKinnon
Personal details
Born(1902-12-15)December 15, 1902
San Diego, California
DiedSeptember 29, 1985(1985-09-29) (aged 82)
San Diego, California
Political partyRepublican

Charles Kimball Fletcher (December 15, 1902 – September 29, 1985) was an American banker and Republican politician from San Diego, California.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ ARROWS vs ARMOUR - Medieval Myth Busting
  • ✪ Wellington Strikes: Salamanca 1812


Well this might work too though yeah that's why we're here. Tods Workshop here and today we have got an extraordinary film for you it is arrows vs. armor Agincourt myth-busting. This is something that we've all wanted to see for a long long time and we because I've got Joe the archer Will the Fletcher and Kevin the armorer to help out This is a day that I have wanted to do for so long, so longbows and arrows versus armor. There is so much myth and legend around the longbow it obscures what happened, so we're running a series of tests with the best people in the best equipment that I can find and that we've we put together; they have pulled out all the stops to make the gear for today. First up we've got Joe Gibbs, he shoots a 200 pound longbow he can do that and it doesn't put him to hospital and and I quote, "shooting a 160 pound longbow is easy I can do it all day". I mean the man's like half machine you can't get a different Archer than Joe it has to be Joe. And then we have Will Sherman from medieval arrows he's a full time Fletcher and an Arrowsmith and there are not that many people who are good enough to be able to do that full time and making a living at it you know the passion and the knowledge that he has is extraordinary. So again there is for me, no other choice than Will Sherman to do this. And then of course there's Kevin Legg from Plessis Armories. He's the only armorer I know, who doesn't even own a MIG welder he raises all of his helmets, all of his work is done in the 14th 15th century way, has a really good understanding of the subject and that's not surprising because he does conservation metalwork as well as armory. He's an extraordinary armorer, he's brilliant. We have no predetermined outcome today we're not following a script, as much as you want to know what happens, we want to know what happens as well that's why we're here so we are going to do the tests and what happens is what you're seeing we're not going to go back and do it again until we get the result we want we are learning here hopefully you will be learning here and we're all going to take this knowledge area of what happens with arrows versus armor on to a better level than we have now. Now, when putting the team together to do this I needed people that I could really believe in; the last member of the team is of course Dr. Toby Capwell is an author, a museum curator and importantly a practicing jouster and that gives him an understanding of the armor and the weapons and how they're worn and how they were used. So when Tod called me for this when he's putting this team together to do this experiment I was really excited by that but I also made the point that I think we need to be very specific about a particular moment in history that we're trying to explore. So we've chosen a specific date because armor changes of course over time so this way we can get a meaningful set of results, targeting one date and what better date is there than Agincourt 1415. So this is an evidence-based experiment, but what is the evidence exactly? I mean Agincourt is a good battle to focus on here not only because it's really famous and and and very much mythologized but also because there's a lot of evidence, I mean we know more about the Battle of Agincourt than most medieval battles actually we know the battle site, we know more or less what the numbers were, we know the makeup of the armies we have visual sources of the time which gives us a sense of what these people looked like and how they shot. They're shooting straight, not up in the air we have then the written accounts there are both eyewitness accounts on the English side and on the French side and lots of them. And then we have the material surviving, there's armor from this period surviving and enough of it that we can get a good sense of the metallurgy, the construction and the way its design. One of the reasons i want to do this test today is it's like we can take all that evidence we can take our ideas and then we can see what the real physical world has to say about it. Now we won't answer all the questions that are in our minds but we'll answer some and that's what today is about. The first step was to get some chronograph readings to measure the speed and then the energy of the arrows at different distances. Because at Agincourt we knew there were flat shooting, but we don't know what the distance was. So we're shooting at 10 meters here which is is clearly too short, but it gives us an idea of the maximum power of the bow. So those shots we managed to get a reading for and that's giving us 123 joules or 91 foot-pounds. The next stage will be to do it 25 meters because that's the distance we're doing the breast plate tests over and again we managed to get a chronograph reading off it and that gives us 109 joules or 80 foot pounds. Now unfortunately we did go for a 50 meter one but we just failed to get it through the window I don't know why the the chronology wasn't working but we will come back to this in a later film. So we got readings at 10 meters we've got readings at 25 unfortunately it's too hard a shot for this at 50 to get it in the chrono window. But I mean look at that. Thats very impressive it's gone all the way through, it's still carrying a punch. Well it is it's gone through a pretty new straw boss and still 25 mil, an inch, sticking out the back. But it's not wearing armor yet. So Joe what have you done to make sure that this weapon is the same thing as what they were shooting at Agincourt. Visually this is a pretty impressive looking bow I have to say and it sure looks like the things you see in paintings and manuscripts. The only bows we have left are the Mary Rose bows, so I've been and measured the Mary Rose bows and made a copy of some of the bows that are on that ship. So basically in in your physique in the weapon you've gone through the process from childhood that they went through in the 15th century. Yeah, I grew up with a bow shot since I was 14 ,15 ,sort of like a hundred pounds plus, yeah, and I shoot three, two to three times a week so what's the draw weight on this bow? 160 pounds at 30 inches that's pretty heavy, that's a lot heavier than most people will shoot. Yeah it is these days. And is that your maximum or can you shoot higher? No, I can shoot up to 200 pounds. Okay so if you can shoot a 200-pound bow why aren't we using that for the test? I feel this is probably an average weight for medieval period. With a 200-pound bow after six arrows I'm knackered, can't shoot a bow but with a 160-pound bow I can shoot all day and I can shoot accurately. Right yeah and let's not forget after you shot all your arrows you still have to be in good enough shape to get your sword out or your axe or your whatever, and fight hand-to-hand. Yeah exactly you don't want to be knackered, you want to still have a bit of energy left so you can yes so you can do the business. Excellent OK these are the arrows were using for the test I gotta say just having come in and looked at these for the first time. They're really impressive just as objects, but you know we've got to replicate the right conditions as far as we can, so can you just tell us a little bit about what you've done to make us feel confident that these are the same kinds of arrows that they were shooting at Agincourt. Well the problem we've got is that we haven't got anything from Agincourt to look at, so all we've really got is one arrow from Westminster Abbey which is about 1403 and the arrows from the Mary Rose which number about three and a half thousand. The Westminster Abbey arrow is a really tiny arrow there's no way they were using that for armor penetration, so all we've got to look at are the Mary Rose arrows. They have all, well pretty much most of them I've got a half inch shoulder and they taper to a certain degree and the half inch shoulder allows you to have a fairly large head. So we do have archaeological evidence for the heads separately and we can kind of match that up. Yeah these are from the Museum of London the exact head is a number 7568 from about 1403, so we're in that rough area. And some of those heads that date from the right period would basically fit on the Mary Rose arrows? Absolutely yeah. That's a crucial question; the Mary Rose is still a hundred years later, so you know we have to ask the question how do we know that the Mary Rose is the same as what Henry the fifths archers are shooting. But that's the sort of thing that starts to give us a bit more confidence. Yeah once you take an actual head and you put on an actual arrow shaft and it fits and the weight remains usable and shootable, you know you're in the right area. And they're fletched with goose feathers? These are swan. Swan? Swan primary feathers. Very nice. And they're they're bound into a fletching compound of beeswax, kidney fat and copper verdigris. That goes on first the feathers go on, bind them on, and then you heat up the whole lot and that forms this nice encasing of binding and feather. And the heads are made out of iron? Yes iron. Real wrought iron we've got a non-hardened one here and we've got a case-hardened one here. Just to look at the difference. And we've got evidence that sometimes they were hardened and sometimes they weren't or...... Not really. Is it hard to tell? Yeah, because it's such a tiny amount of carbon that goes on the outside, once it's been in the ground for a few hundred years that's gone. But at least we've got the comparison and you know if there's a drastic difference in performance we can be aware of it. I mean this is not a garden-variety target shooting arrow, this is heavy. How much do these weigh The whole arrow is 80 grams, the head is about 25 and then the shaft makes up the rest of them. I mean I've been shot with arrows in armor for other experiments, and although they didn't penetrate, they hurt and they were a whole lot lighter than this. I mean you know this is this kinda scary. Yeah they are scary. So we've replicated the weapon and now we're here on the other end at the the French Knight being shot at. It's very, very important that we're shooting at something that really closely replicates the reality, so what have we done to get there? The choice of the armor pieces to copy is fairly limited and from this period so so what I found is the Churburg 14 breastplate dated at 13 90. We know the carbon content of the original, we know the thicknesses of the original, the weight and the dimensions. So I've taken all that information and I produced this piece. So the original breastplate is thicker in this central area here just as mine is here it's two and a half millimeters thick in the center, a robust piece of steel right and then the thickness eases off to the side so at the very sight here we're down to one and a half millimeters thick. There's a number of different things that are important here we've got the shape we got the thickness what about the steel itself I mean what it what is this supposed to be made out of. Now the original steel was a lot more varied than our modern homogeneous steel it had a varied carbon content but the maximum carbon content we had was a point six percent. Which seems like a really small amount but that's enough to make it hard but not brittle. That was the peak so what we've done is we've backed off from that slightly and we've gone for a point five percent carbon steel. And you have heat treated it? The original, was air cooled so the whole piece has been heated and then just allowed to cool naturally which I suppose in a modern term would be normalizing the steel. So this has gone through that same process so the hardness of the steel is exactly the same as the original. What's underneath? Now underneath this you're still going to be wearing a full shirt of maille; now the maille that we've reproduced to go under here is riveted mail. Every single link is riveted together and that will increase the strength. Beneath that we've got our representation here of the arming doublet which again is layers of fabric. Now arming doublet is the foundation garment that you wear over just a shirt or even next to the skin. That's what supports the whole armor, but it also adds a crucial layer of padding and protection underneath as well. Well that's it it's a sturdy garment. And then even after all those layers, everything you're wearing, it's still got to go into the human body underneath to make a difference that the ballistic gel itself yeah if I press you can see it compresses just as the human body does it's mounted so it it'll give. It gives like a human just like getting shot. It wouldn't get us anywhere to just bolt the breastplate solidly to to a target would it? That would have an adverse effect because it would constrain the force. You need that force to be able to dissipate just as it would when hitting a person. It's just moving the person back, rather than going through them. It's giving that that inertia. OK, First time shooting at the armor. So which heads are we shooting now? So these ones are the wrought ones that haven't been case-hardened, so you could refer to them as the soft ones. Basically the easier ones to make. And there's likelihood is that there were lots of those around. I think so, I mean we simply don't know is the bottom line. Okay well this might work too, though we don't know. It might yeah, that's why we're here. That's the sort of one we want to see what's happened we should carry on Yeah I think so. Nice. That was full on. That was cool. That went did he see as well I couldn't see where but the arrowhead flew. Yeah I mean the shaft went right but the arrowhead went up somewhere. The noise, its really loud. So first shot through the maille, through the jack, through the body. So it hit the turned edge and just made a bit of a mark and then skipped down underneath it. That's the next hit; there's a real deep dent there, but it's then skated off without without punching through. That's kind of a weird one though because it hit really hard but it's not made a mark. Really it's just kind of hit at a steeper angle and skidded off. It does show completely what that V is for though to try to stop those ricochets coming up because that's exactly where that would have gone. I mean it's doing did its job both of those times. And so that's with the soft head, lets go again with the hard. yes I think what I'll do though is I'm gonna mark off the soft so that we know. Just make a mark of what's what. So that's soft number one, here really, soft number two. So that was the the softer, the wrought-iron heads and we're gonna have a go now with the case-hardened wrought-iron. Ok. And just see if they're extra hardness the hard jacket just needs to bite a bit more they're just skating off I wonder if that will make a difference. We'll see I mean it should mark the steel better if nothing else, whether it penetrates is a different thing. Whoa! Square you don't have to worry about them shooting them back at you. No you're right because there's always that myth about you go and collect them and then you reshoot them back and all that. No. Not if they hit anything. No. Wow So low and left, so I mean that's absolutely what the curve is there for. It took a left, absolutely straight left turn didn't it? Wow. Can see the dent from here. Holy cow. That was a big one. Well there's a message in that isn't there? Blimey, look at that. So, that was the first. You just feel a little bit, but there's a definite mark. It has scored the metal a lot more than that one did yeah and there's this one yeah they are biting more. There's not enough data yet to really say but it seems like they're behaving differently. Yes, well the obvious thing obviously that we haven't mentioned is they haven't gone through. Right there's that, there is that yes. Mustn't forget that. H1, h2, so H for 'Hard' and that's the central section Kevin was saying that's 2.5 is that, so that's somewhere between 2.5 and let's say 2 and its done that to it. Wow. I'm think we're just going to review the footage see what we can learn from that, see if we can find the arrow heads. Where's the rest of them? So, that one's half disappeared, heads have completely gone. There's a crack in...right in there. God, I wasn't expecting that. it's like it's crumpled and part of its broken this broken again. Yeah well when we look at the footage it might be that that's struck something on the way past. Got one. That is interesting, I mean look at the point on that. You know how steel changes color depending on how hot it gets? And what color are you seeing on the center of that? Where it is blue. it's blue yeah so that's like 350 centigrade, Idon't know what that is in Fahrenheit 500 or something. That's interesting because when musket shooting tests against armor you can see there's a there's an instant of superheating when there's contact. Well that's what that's what's happened here, so there's enough energy in that strike, that it has heated the the iron so hot it's turned blue. how cool is that? Yeah, I don't know what to make of that but it's neat. I don't know if it matters, but I didn't think it ever happened. So here we got the first of the arrows which is wrought, unhardened. Just clipped underneath you see that wobble shockwave got the gel straight through the maille and the jack, just, just clipped the bottom edge of the breastplate. Ruining somebody's day. You see that. It moved back a bit and the wave on the gel went right up through the chest. So got the second one coming and that, it's just a strike right in the edge where the armor is so curved that it's deflecting it, which of course, exactly what the armor should be doing. As you can see the arrow hit and then glance up and it's hitting that V rib. Guiding it away from what would be the the throat. There's still a fair amount of movement in the gel and that shot too. I mean it definitely knocks our guy back a bit as well. Wow Here we go, case-hardened. Shattered the arrow completely obviously. Can't shoot that back at anyone. Did it hit the V though Tod? Lets look at that again......and it just follows it up doesn't it right over the shoulder. I mean it does show though the mechanism of lucky shots though doesn't it? If they're not going through the plate, which I think we've shown that they're not. uh-huh People are getting hurt in another way. Glancing. You saw the arrow head go actually, I wonder how far? Again you saw the head separate from the shaft and go spinning off, but the shaft actually stayed in contact and slid across the surface. Wow, that was good, lets look at that again. It rebounds basically straight off. Yeah it did, but maybe it's the case hardening, but it didn't skate. But also if you look at the amount of movement on that when this strikes I think that's moved more than any of the others. So I mean you can see that I guess from the dent, it really has transferred the energy on that one. Hasn't gone through, but wow there's some force in that. And again you can see the armor flex, the ripples through the gel, the carriage moving back, it's all doing what you'd expect it to do. So Joe, you're looking at that from the archers point of view, what you seeing? Looks to me like with that that type of arrowhead hardened or not there's no way that's going through that that breastplate. If you're out there where you targeting? I would just try and get as many arrows into him as I can and hopefully one of them will find the soft part of the whole amor. So volume of arrows frankly. Yes that what I would do. So Kevin what are you seeing? I'm seeing a really really well-designed piece of armor. I mean that's experience that's put the thickness right in the center that you need. it's experience that's put that V in the front of it to deflect exactly what we saw in the footage. Perfect design engineering really. That breastplate is obviously thick at the front and it's a good quality steel even if it's not hardened so what about legs arms. You move out onto the limbs and the armor is half this thickness that makes it more vulnerable, but the curves are a lot tighter so to get a square shot is harder there's another video in there. So again the volume arrows and I suppose. We've killed a few of your arrows today Will, so what do you make of what you saw? I could just echo what people are saying we're looking at something designed to stop arrows and it does exactly what it's meant to do. Whether the head could be more case-hardened we don't know we can look into that perhaps. It's going through maille, it's going through the flesh, obviously it's going through textile armor, but that is doing what it was designed to do. And it's destroying arrows at the end of it, you can't shoot them back at people and they are ruined that's it. Toby what are you what are you thinking? Well I'm not surprised because I knew that the armor was gonna do its job. I think this is this is useful though because it's a reminder that we're dealing with a really complex physical situation. There's all kinds of secondary effects going on and I'm amazingly impressed at how basically all of the arrows just explode. But then you've got all this wood flying around and you've got heads flying around and and the noise. I think this this experiment helps the imagination, as well just trying to flesh out the real human experience of this, because ultimately that's what matters. Looking at that breastplate and the damage that it's received, I can't see the arrows going through that now. It's not to say they won't go through weaker bits of armor, like leg armor or a back plate or something, but I think we can put to bed 'do they go through the breastplate?' Perhaps occasionally, but generally no. So that brings us to the mechanism of what happens. How do people get killed? How do people get injured? So, it's got to be the lucky shots hasn't it so it's got to be; a strap is broken and your arm is open, or you get one under the armpit. We saw that with the maille and in the doublet I wonder about the role of the jupon. The English knew about them and there are depictions of English knights wearing them but it's it's it's not typical where it is typical in France so there's this this usefulness in having more thickly padded textile armour over the plate armor. I mean that's that's a big thing in this period. Well lets go an have a look at that. So here we have a upon that's been made by Chrissi Carnie from The Sempster. Again, like everything else, made as authentically as we can. so with the layers of the linen and the cotton wadding and the silk over. This is a really important part of the test, because we know that thickly padded textile armors or jupons were a special French fashion in this period and it was typical for French Knights to wear these these textile armors in addition to their plates they didn't always do it but they tended to. It's certainly more common in the French army than it is in the English. So we need to add that to the equation and nobody's ever done that before well it it does really strike me as a key element that they wore them over the plate armor; I know you were saying that sometimes they wore them under, but you wear it over and it's gonna radically change what happens when you impact it with things. As well as swords and maces and such things it'll take some of the sting out but I think it will make a massive difference with the way the arrow strikes as well. Let's see. Interesting, looks like you're right. That it has absolutely captured it. Absolutely captured it and for once we've recovered an arrowhead as well. Did the head stay in? I don't know I think we'll find out. So I mean that was square on center of the breast all the other arrows have just exploded. So far no blowing up. Yeah. Fascinating Wow Now look at that, so this is with the jupon over the breastplate there's very clearly something quite different happening, they're behaving in a completely different way. Should we open it up? The heads again just mangled. What we got here? So those are those two strikes there. And the other one didn't make much it didn't make impression, this is a new scratch there, I think that's what's going on here. Not much but I mean that really did completely change the characteristics of what happened. but it's not I mean they're not deep dents, they're not worrying. No not remotely. I mean they're shallow compared to this one. The fact that it's come out its come in here. Is that this one here? Now that is interesting because that's exactly the lucky shot thing that we are talking about. If it does that through the it's it's gone, it's hit the plate, it's turned and it's gone up under, but again that's heading straight up under the aventail. I think it has hit that actually because it's traveling up at that same angle again, you know if you if you marry it back up it lines right up with the stop rib it's right on the stop rib. The exploding flying debris is very impressive but the the greater risks of the individual that it's hitting is the deflection into some other gap of some part of the arrow. In sword combat in Lance combat, the skating weapon is one of the paramount risks in armored fighting. I mean certainty it's gonna help take some of the spank out of a sword blow or a mace blow but I would say quite clearly that's also massively reducing the fragmentation the arrows. Imagine if you had 40 of those sticking out. I know it's quite look isn't it? Quite the fashion accessory. Souvenirs for Will. So there did appear to be a bit of a difference between the case-hardened and the uncase-hardened, but it's difficult to tell on that so I how did what was the process how did you K suddenly the heads that we made for this test were forged in wrought iron and in the half that we case-hardened were heated to 850 Celsius or 1500 Fahrenheit and then they were quenched in a compound of organic material like hoof, horn and sugar and that forms a layer of carbon. There's a lot of variation in there and a lot of cooking times changed, the level of carbon that you get on these arrowheads and there's an awful lot of information that we need to learn about that. So to try and put that one to bed I've got a modern arrow of Joe's here so it's a modern steel case hardened so this is as good as we can get it. We've shortened the range now to 10 meters to give us everything, the best possible chance of being able to achieve this and we'll see what it does. Give it a go Lets have a look Well the arrow didn't fare any better. Its clearly made a deeper impact, not by much, but a deeper impact. My take on this is that the breastplate is maybe about two millimeters thick at that point and given it our best shot pun intended, with a modern steel case hardened it's still not doing it. It doesn't do anything here, great it doesn't go through, but on the thinner areas of the armor like the size of the legs or something suddenly it might start to make a difference and I think that's where we've got to go looking. I think what we're looking at here is an unanswered question, is does the case hardening really work is it really worth all those extra man hours and the time and the materials it takes the case hardened your heads and we need to go away really and have a look at that and really look into what you can do how far you can take it. The problem unfortunately that you've got, is you can't go to a book and look at it, it was never written down. It's that master and apprentice thing, you do it the way it's always been done and you go "oh great" and because of that we have to go away and we have to do practical testing and see how far we can take it. Wow, what a day guys I mean this has just been absolutely fantastic to see this and thank you so much for your input I mean really it's been great and it's answered a lot of questions for me. It's quite clearly brought up a lot of other questions that we need to come back an answer; helmets Kevin! So we need we need to look at that about piercing the breaths and sights of a helmet. Again with the case hardening but it's it's been fantastic this. But really it's it's you guys I hope you've enjoyed it too and make sure you comment on it, you know we like to discuss this we read your comments we try to reply when we can and we learn from it so it'd be good to see you there. Thank you very much


Early life

Fletcher was born 1902 to "Colonel" Ed Fletcher and Mary C. Fletcher in San Diego and graduated from San Diego High School where he set several swimming records, including an unofficial world record time in the 220 yard breaststroke.[1] Fletcher went on to Stanford University, where he was captain of the school's water polo team, which won the national championship in 1924, the year he graduated.[2] He is a member of both the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame and the San Diego Hall of Champions.[1][2]

Fletcher also attended Pembroke College, Oxford University, England, in 1934.[3]

Business career

After graduation, he went into the savings and loan business. He founded Home Federal Savings & Loan Association in 1934, serving as its president until 1959 when he became chairman of the board of directors.[3]

During World War II, Fletcher served as a lieutenant with the United States Naval Reserve from 1943 to 1945. He served as a member of California Commission on Correctional Facilities and Services from 1955 to 1957.[3]

Political career

Fletcher was elected to the 80th United States Congress, serving one term from 1947–1949. He lost his bid for reelection in 1948.[3]

Personal life

Fletcher married and had at least one son, Charles K. "Kim", Jr., who later was chair of Home Federal. He lived in San Diego until his death from cancer in 1985. He was cremated and the ashes were scattered off the coast of Del Mar, California.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Charles K. Fletcher". San Diego Hall of Champions. Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Charles Fletcher". Stanford University. Retrieved September 5, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress". United States Congress. Retrieved September 6, 2012.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Edouard V. M. Izac
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 23rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Clinton D. McKinnon
This page was last edited on 16 September 2019, at 01:09
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