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P-47 Thunderbolt In Theater: In Support of D-Day

P-47 Thunderbolt In Theater: In Support of D-Day

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 […]
On a Flying Wing and a Prayer

On a Flying Wing and a Prayer

Spring, 1944. My head wound had healed but my back was still killing me when I jumped off the train in occupied France. I had recently escaped from neutral Switzerland after being blown out of my B-24 Liberator while making my 20th bomb run into Germany. Although I landed on the German side of the […]

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ITA 1/72 Shawnee "Flying Banana" - 600x120

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Luftwaffe’s  Bf 109E “Emil”

Luftwaffe’s Bf 109E “Emil”

Apart from its combat record, the Bf 109 remains a historic aircraft for sheer numbers produced. More than seven decades after WWII, only the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik exceeds the Messerschmitt’s total of 34,000 produced, even under the pressure of continual Allied bombing. Nothing else comes close. Frequently, the Soviet Yakovlev fighter series is compared to […]
Today in Aviation History: Corky Meyer Test-Flies the F9F Panther

Today in Aviation History: Corky Meyer Test-Flies the F9F Panther

Sixty-seven years ago today, Flight Journal’s old friend and former Grumman test pilot Corwin H. (“Corky”) Meyer took off from the company’s 5,000 foot runaway at Bethpage, Long Island, New York, in the first prototype XF9F-2 Panther, Bu. No. 122475. In this article, he takes the reader along on some wild rides. Corky was world renown as […]

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ITA 1/72 Tornado "Gulf War" - 600x120

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No Tailhook? No Way!

No Tailhook? No Way!

Out-of-fuel Spitfire and a Carrier: No options As the Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vc approached the stern of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-7), Pilot Officer Jerry Smith, RCAF, knew he was quickly running out of options. His first approach had been high and much too fast, and the 21-year-old fighter pilot knew that unless he […]
A Pilot’s View of D-Day

A Pilot’s View of D-Day

In his memoir, Lt. Col. Richard E. Turner recalled D-Day for the Ninth Air Force’s 354th Fighter Group at Maidstone, Kent. He described the “Pioneer Mustangs’” rare D-Day missions: night escort of troop carrier aircraft and gliders. Since the 25th of May, the group had been informed that it was on a six-hour alert status, […]

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Silent Targets

Silent Targets

The glider gang behind the lines During the National WW II Glider Pilots Association’s 41st reunion in Oklahoma City in October 2011, glider pilots George L. Williams of Idaho and Norman C. Wilmeth of Oklahoma shared memories of their D-Day glider missions with the author. MISSION ELMIRA Normandy D-Day Flight Officer George L. Williams flew […]
Tally-Ho!

Tally-Ho!

A young man, his Hurricane and the Battle of Britain

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Runt of the Litter

Runt of the Litter

I was only 5 feet 4 inches tall when I graduated from flight training in 1943, but my instructors saw something gigantic inside of me. I was one of 60 Second Lieutenants selected out of 400 to go into fighters—P-47 Thunderbolts to be exact. When I first saw the airplane I would fly in combat, […]
What if WW II had lasted two more years?

What if WW II had lasted two more years?

Gott mit uns. It was imprinted on the buckle of every German soldier: “God with us.” And so it seemed that day in 1946. From the abyss of disaster in late 1944, the Third Reich won a seemingly heaven-sent reprieve in the wake of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s assassination. With Russia descending into civil war, […]
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