Author Posts

Caudron C.460 Ancient Speed Demon Reborn

Jul 26, 2014 No Comments

Speed has always been a drug, of sorts. It has captivated mankind for as long as he has stood on two legs and nowhere has the urge to see who is the fastest been stronger than in aviation. And at no time has that competition been more fierce than during the 1930s, the uncontested golden [...]

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Ace in a Day

Jul 22, 2014 No Comments

The kills and claims of the top shooters On the morning of April 7, 1943, American fighter pilots on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands responded to a red alert. More than 100 Japanese aircraft were inbound, sending Wildcats and P-40s scrambling to intercept. In a prolonged combat, the defenders claimed 39 victories and actually got [...]

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The Soccer War

Jul 21, 2014 No Comments

I was seated in first class enjoying a cocktail at 33,000 feet, looking west at the vast Pacific Ocean en route to Guatemala on a Pan Am 707 when a thought passed: “I sure hope this isn’t a one-way trip.” It was the summer of 1969. But while the Vietnam War proceeded, an unlikely feud [...]

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A Wingspan From Disaster

Jul 21, 2014 No Comments

BY CHARLES O’MAHONY Our Martin B-26 Marauder crew arrived on the island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea to begin our combat tour in July of 1944. We joined the 320th Bomb Group, and we were assigned to one of the four squadrons, the 441st. The Group was operating off Decimomannu airfield, a one-of-a-kind dirt [...]

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Unarmed and Unafraid

Jul 21, 2014 No Comments

RA-5 Vigilante: Going to war with a camera The Vigilante was doing 650 knots near the North Vietnamese port of Hon Gai when there was a huge explosion behind the tail from either heavy caliber antiaircraft fire or a SA-2 missile. On fire and with the flight controls failed, the crew, Lt. Cdr. James Bell, [...]

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Two-Hole Killers

Jul 21, 2014 No Comments

The Tradition of the Two-Seat Fighter By Barrett Tillman FRANCE, OCTOBER 5, 1914. Sergeant Josef Frantz and mechanic Louis Quenaut were in a Voisin III biplane returning from a bombing mission along the Belgian border. En route home, they engaged a German Aviatik B observation plane over Johchery-sur-Vesle near Reims. The French crew immediately attacked, [...]

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Medal of Honor Fighters

Jul 21, 2014 No Comments

The Highest Award for Extreme Service By Barrett Tillman Captain Henry T. Elrod did it all. In the 16-day defense of Wake Island in December 1941, the 36-year-old Marine shot down at least one Japanese aircraft, sank an enemy warship, and conducted the ground defense on his part of the 1,400-acre sandspit when the invaders [...]

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A Role of the Dice

Jul 21, 2014 No Comments

A lucky Liberator crew survives When Allied airmen strapped on their aircraft for a combat mission during World War II, especially when piloting a heavy bomber like the B-24 Liberator over the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, the situation usually provoked the same thoughts from pilots and crew members alike. “Will we get this overloaded [...]

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