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Never Stay Still

Never Stay Still

The Battle of Britain’s Youngest Warrior By Rachel Morris As Hitler’s tanks roll into Poland on September 1, 1939, Europe’s worst fears are confirmed: war becomes inevitable. A thousand miles away, a young man celebrates his first solo flight in a de Havilland Tiger Moth, heading to a quiet English country pub with friends to […]
Caudron C.460 Ancient Speed Demon Reborn

Caudron C.460 Ancient Speed Demon Reborn

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

Ace in a Day

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 […]
The Soccer War

The Soccer War

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

A Wingspan From Disaster

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 […]
Unarmed and Unafraid

Unarmed and Unafraid

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

Two-Hole Killers

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, […]
A Role of the Dice

A Role of the Dice

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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Double Nickel Killers

Double Nickel Killers

Late war aerial combat with the 55th Fighter group by James P. Busha The early strategy of the 8th Air Force fighter groups was to stay with the bombers, escort them, save them, and to not leave them and go chasing after the Luftwaffe. That all changed when General Jimmy Doolittle took over in early […]
Hunting the Hunters

Hunting the Hunters

Memories of a Night Intruder Pilot The seemingly endless air war over Europe did not stop when the sun went down. The skies over England came alive almost every night as British Bomber Command sent wave after wave of medium and heavy bombers to selected targets all over the Nazi-controlled continent. These bomber crews had […]
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