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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 […]
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 […]

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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 […]
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 […]

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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 […]
Fairey Swordfish: The Hundred Knot Warrior

Fairey Swordfish: The Hundred Knot Warrior

It’s impossible to look at the Fairey Swordfish, affectionately known as the “Stringbag,” and not say, “You have to be kidding! This was one of the Royal Navy’s most effective weapons of WW II?” A gigantic, bi-winged personification of the word “anachronistic,” as the saying goes, the Swordfish may have been ugly, but it was […]

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Pearl Harbor: the Sleeping Giant Awakens

Pearl Harbor: the Sleeping Giant Awakens

War was coming to the ocean called “Pacific.” Imperial Japan, in need of oil to feed its growing ambition, squirmed under the stricture of an American embargo (implemented because of Japan’s aggression toward China). Japan would not be denied its self-proclaimed destiny, so Tokyo’s warlords cast covetous eyes southward to the petroleum-rich Dutch East Indies, […]
P-51 Mustang

P-51 Mustang

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang was an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II, the Korean War and in several other conflicts. During World War II Mustang pilots claimed 4,950 enemy aircraft shot down, the most of any Allied fighter. It was conceived, designed and built by North American Aviation […]

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Bob Hoover, Flying Legend, Goes West at 94

Bob Hoover, Flying Legend, Goes West at 94

News of the death of legendary test pilot and aerobatics pioneer Bob Hoover this morning has brought grief to the aviation community. Hoover, known among his many fans as the “pilot’s pilot,” died at about 2 a.m. Pacific Time, according to reports. He was 94 years old. Hoover’s flying career began when he was a […]
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Revisiting the Doolittle Raid

When vintage World War II bombers known as North American B-25 Mitchells thrill fans on the U.S. airshow circuit, they honor the legacy of one of the most daring military missions in American history. At Georgia’s Perry-Houston County Airport on Friday, a B-25 named “Show Me” sat at the end of Runway 36. Its powerful […]
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