Author Posts

Iconic Firepower: The Ever-Present Sidewinder

Dec 31, 2014 No Comments by

By Barrett TIllman Kern County, California, 1952: a 1949 Kaiser raced down a desert runway with a streamlined object fitted to a crude bracket on the right side. Lacking a wind tunnel, the passengers — engineers in the front and back seats — took notes on the model’s aerodynamic performance. They were testing the XAAM-N-7, [...]

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The Junior Birdmen of America

Dec 31, 2014 No Comments by

A time when aviation was a youth activity By John Lockwood As airplanes ceased to be novelties and became a major part of American life, the 1930s saw an explosion in the number of aviation clubs across the country. Probably the most successful of all was the Junior Birdmen of America, founded by the newspaper [...]

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In Theater: What They Wore

Nov 19, 2014 No Comments by

By Robert F. Dorr and Charles E. DiSipio The P-47 Thunderbolt pilot of 1945 wore and carried lots of stuff, and little of it gave meaning to the military term “uniform.” At Metz, France, in January 1945, the group and squadron commanders of the “Hell Hawks” 365th Fighter Group, posed in their gear in front [...]

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In Theater: In Support of D-Day

Nov 19, 2014 No Comments by

By Stan Piet P-47D UN-V, named “Pat,” from the famed 56th FG, 63rd FS, prepares for another fighter sweep in support of the invasion.  The second mount of Capt. Gordon S. Stevens, it survived until early September, being lost with Capt. Roy Fling at the controls. Stevens himself was lost in a “Pat” replacement on [...]

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Aviation Insider: A Tale of the Times

Nov 19, 2014 No Comments by

We’ll lose the XC-99 and it won’t be alone   By Robert F. Dorr Big, historic airplanes could be the aeronautical definition of “conundrum” for museum people. No one wants to see a truly historic airplane, such as the XC-99 disintegrate into powdery oxide while in outside storage. However, the realities of space and financing determine [...]

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Classics: The Beerfire

Nov 19, 2014 No Comments by

Keeping the cold beer flowing By Budd Davisson Does this picture really need explanation? It’s unknown whether the Axis routinely ferried beer to the front lines in drop tanks, but, reportedly, most of the Allied powers did. What’s more, it wasn’t unusual to top off a Mustang’s or Thunderbolt’s drops with beer, then have the [...]

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56th FG Jugs: Paint Them Anything But Boring

Oct 21, 2014 No Comments

By Stan Piet As the long-lived Thunderbolt group in the ETO, the 56th FG certainly sported some of the most varied camouflage plus squadron and individual markings in England. Upon arrival at Kings Cliffe in January 1943, its first combat-ready P-47C models bore a factory-standard olive drab over neutral gray livery. As the Thunderbolt was [...]

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Post D-Day Fighter Conference

Oct 21, 2014 No Comments

Where Do We Go From Here? By Budd Davisson What we have here is an executive retreat held in Bottisham, Cambridgeshire,  home of the 361st FG, August 1944. It is a get-together of all fighter group COs in the 8th Air Force and represents a who’s who of Post D-Day fighter aviation. Front to back: [...]

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