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Hawk 33 – A Day in the Life of a Vietnam Cobra Pilot

Hawk 33 – A Day in the Life of a Vietnam Cobra Pilot

March 20, 1971, was not a good day for American and Vietnamese forces engaged in Operation Lam Son 719. Originally billed as the operation that would prove the success of “Vietnamization,” that the South Vietnamese Army and Marines were capable of taking on North Vietnamese main force units successfully, the incursion into Laos was becoming […]
Teddy’s Excellent Adventure

Teddy’s Excellent Adventure

Roosevelt Wasted No Time Being the First Prez to Fly The very name of Theodore Roosevelt brings up an image of a man of limitless energy, always seeking new adventures. In 1910, he added another one to his list when he flew in an airplane. Roosevelt started life as a sickly child, but he didn’t […]

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Underwater Aircraft Carriers

Underwater Aircraft Carriers

Sneaking Up On America … Again Pearl Harbor was the first. The American West Coast was to be next for a sneak bacteriological attack. Then, bomb New York City and obliterate the Panama Canal. According to the Japanese High Command, that was all to be accomplished early in the conflict—and they were deadly serious about […]
Little Friends Over the Beach

Little Friends Over the Beach

They must have been a sight for sore eyes to the soldiers on the beach as wave after wave of fighters, bombers, and paratrooper-stuffed transports, some towing gliders, passed overhead, all of them adorned with black and white painted stripes. The invasion was on, and many of the fighter pilots expecting a Luftwaffe slugfest were […]

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Georgie Boy – Inspiration to a Fighter Pilot

Georgie Boy – Inspiration to a Fighter Pilot

The “greatest generation” as a whole did not need a reason to fight. Provoked by a ferocious Axis that threatened to enslave the world, hundreds and thousands of young men answered the call to arms.  Preserving freedom, peace and security for future generations were the primary reason men signed up for service. Others saw it […]
Bombing in the Beast

Bombing in the Beast

Ben Case and the SB2C Helldiver. We were launched while our fleet was 180 to 200 miles northeast of Manila. My group was assigned to hit Japanese ships in Manila Harbor. As we approached our dive area at 10,000 feet, big, black puffs of smoke from anti-aircraft fire began popping all around us.” Leslie Bennett […]

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The Mighty Eighth

The Mighty Eighth

What a difference a year can make The changes came unbelievably fast. On January 1, 1943, the U.S. 8th Army Air Force in Britain numbered six bomb groups and one fighter group. Twelve months later the lineup had expanded to 26 bomb groups and 10 fighter. But even that was incomplete. Through 1944, the Eighth […]
Milton Caniff & The Art of War

Milton Caniff & The Art of War

Milton Caniff never served in the military, but, his spirit was on virtually every battlefield of WW II. His artwork on the nose of fighters and bombers and in thousands of military papers touched those in combat in ways nothing else could.     Born in 1907, Caniff moved from Ohio to New York in […]

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Geoff Wellum: Teenage Spitfire Pilot

Geoff Wellum: Teenage Spitfire Pilot

One of the “Few” Remembers. The mood was, “We’ll have a go at you.” You didn’t allow yourself to dwell on the losses, or the seriousness of the situation. You had tomorrow morning to look to. You made a resolve to do the best you could. The thought of defeat never entered our heads. Nobody […]
Oops! Wrong Carrier

Oops! Wrong Carrier

Other than a ramp strike, probably the most embarrassing error in carrier aviation is landing on the wrong flight deck. That’s what happened to this VF-111 “Sundowners” pilot who returned to his home, USS Lake Champlain (CVA-39), with a billboard’s worth of non-regulation markings applied to his F9F-5 Panther. During the period immediately after the […]
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