Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Flying Hellfish squad
The Flying Hellfish squad was a fictional army unit from The Simpsons. It served in World War II and was the "fightingest squad in the fightingest company in the third-fightingest battalion in the army".
All the members of the unit were from Springfield.
- Unit Commander: Sergeant Abraham Simpson
Burns was the unit's troublemaker. The Hellfish got stuck with Burns because he obstructed a probe from J. Edgar Hoover. He faked his own death several times and even ruined Simpson's chance to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
In the final days of the war, the unit was removing Germans from a castle when Burns discovered several paintings. The group agreed to place the paintings in a crate and gave each member a key. When all but one of the members died, the final member would inherit the paintings. This type of inheritance is called a tontine. Ox was the first member to die because of a hernia he got while taking the crate with the paintings out of the castle. Five more were killed in a parade float accident in 1979. After Phelps died, only Burns and Simpson remained.
With help from his grandson, Bart, Abe and Bart took Burns' key and went to recover the treasure. They discovered it lay in the middle of a lake and borrowed Ned Flanders' boat. The Simpsons recovered the paintings, but were confronted by Burns. After throwing Bart in the lake, Abe rescued his grandson and gave chase to Burns. When the boat hit land, Burns was dismissed and given a dishonorable discharge for trying to kill his commanding officer. Bart and Abe rejoiced, but the paintings were confiscated by the US State Department, which had been trying to find the paintings for 50 years. The State Department then handed over the paintings to their 'rightful owner', a young German late for a Kraftwerk concert in Stuttgart.
The Flying Hellfish story of stolen Nazi art parodies many true cases of valuable art disappearing during World War II. Several lawsuits from German heirs have sought to recover missing art. On November 29, 2004, the Supreme Court of the United States let stand a lower court ruling that allowed the US Army to maintain possession of four watercolor paintings and approximately 2.5 million photographs removed from a German castle during the War. The art belonged to late German photographer Heinrich Hoffmann Sr. This ruling would appear to end the nearly 20-year-long battle over the seized art. The case is Hoffmann v. U.S., case no. 04-425.
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