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Riders on the Storm – Attack of the Navy’s Little-Known Seawolves

Riders on the Storm – Attack of the Navy’s Little-Known Seawolves

“Riders on the storm. Riders on the storm. Into this house we’re born. Into this world we’re thrown.” —The Doors, 1971 Seawolf Formation In 1967, the U.S. Navy established Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three, commonly known as HA(L)-3, unclassified call sign: “Seawolf.” The in-country formation and disestablishment in 1972 was a historic first. The Navy […]
Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster – Right Idea, Wrong Time

Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster – Right Idea, Wrong Time

Aviation’s evolutionary tree is littered with thousands of different approaches to taking man to the skies and above. Combinations of thrust and lift to achieve flight have and continue to be constantly under revision and research. The old adage that under the right conditions you can make a kitchen sink fly probably could be demonstrated, […]

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America’s Aerial Warriors Today

America’s Aerial Warriors Today

Life begins at 40 or 50, or … It’s a sure fact of life that we all reach a point where we can’t begin to guess how long ago something in our lives happened. Did such and such happen five years ago? Or was it 10? We get to the point where we can’t even […]
Pivotal Tactics

Pivotal Tactics

Behind the legendary Battle of Britain In the classic 1969 movie The Battle of Britain, Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding (Sir Lawrence Olivier) reviews the impending clash with a cabinet minister. After an unsatisfactory discussion, the minister exasperates, “So I tell the cabinet that you’re trusting in radar and praying to God?” Dowding retorts, “More […]

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Out for a Sunday Ride

Out for a Sunday Ride

Civilian Pilots Caught in History’s Path Six civilian aircraft were airborne during the Pearl Harbor attack. Three were students with their instructors, and three were rented by sightseeing pilots and passengers. All but one came under attack by Japanese aircraft. Two planes were shot down, and those three airmen are still missing. In Hawaii, the […]
Banshee Wail!

Banshee Wail!

Flying Skulls over Burma By the time I graduated from high school in Oklahoma during 1940 at the ripe old age of 19, I could see that the United States was going to get dragged into a world war. I had grown up in a farming family during the Great Depression and had felt the […]

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Mitchells in the Med

Mitchells in the Med

Wavetop warfare: Skip-bombing and Big Guns When the North American NA-62, officially dubbed B-25, first flew in August of 1940, it was less than a roaring success. The UK and France had just chosen the smaller Douglas DB-7 Boston (A-20 Havoc) attack bomber over the North American design. However, in the years leading up to […]
Like Father, Like Son – Confessions of a second-generation fighter pilot

Like Father, Like Son – Confessions of a second-generation fighter pilot

There were two things that got me interested in aviation while I was a kid growing up in the 1930s, model airplanes and my father Howard. My dad, of course, was the bigger influence, not because of his job in the banking business, but what he accomplished years before I was even born. Although he […]

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The First Bridge – The Vietnam War Had to Start Somewhere

The First Bridge – The Vietnam War Had to Start Somewhere

General Curtis E. LeMay, Air Force Chief of Staff, was not happy. First line U.S. fighters had been in South East Asia in small numbers since 1960. By mid-1964, more fighters began rotating through bases in South Vietnam and Thailand, as a show of force. Reconnaissance missions, with a pair of fighters as escorts, known […]
D-Day: Planning the  Aerial  Assault

D-Day: Planning the Aerial Assault

Today the numbers involved in Operation Overlord are unthinkable: 6,000 bombers, more than 5,000 fighters, some 1,600 transport aircraft, and 2,500 gliders. All crammed into scores of airfields throughout Britain, but mainly in southern England. All were serviced, armed, and assigned aircrews, eager to take off on the day called “D.” That spring, the American […]
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