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WW II Pilot Bernie Sledzick – Little Guy in  a Big Airplane

WW II Pilot Bernie Sledzick – Little Guy in a Big Airplane

Back then, junior year of high school should have been filled with coming-of-age memories, football pep rallies, and homecoming dances. Visiting colleges, choosing high-school sweethearts, and exploring possible careers should have been in the thoughts of soon-to-be seniors. Pearl Harbor changed all that. The very real world war and deciding to fight his country’s enemies […]
A P-40 Fighter Pilot’s Inspiration: six year old Georgie Boy

A P-40 Fighter Pilot’s Inspiration: six year old Georgie Boy

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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Curtis SB2C Helldiver and Ben Case: Bombing in the Beast

Curtis SB2C Helldiver and Ben Case: 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 […]
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 […]

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Multi-Engine Monday: B-25 Mitchells over the Mediterranean

Multi-Engine Monday: B-25 Mitchells over the Mediterranean

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 […]
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 […]

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Friday Aerial Fighters Memories

Friday Aerial Fighters Memories

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 […]
D-Day Fighter Pilot Accounts: Little Friends over the Beach

D-Day Fighter Pilot Accounts: 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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1959 Rocket Mail Balisstic Missile- It seemed like a good idea at the time

1959 Rocket Mail Balisstic Missile- It seemed like a good idea at the time

Even in these days of the Internet, sending paper mail by airplane remains a major part of everyday life. The early efforts to build upon airmail and experiment with rocket mail, however, never quite caught on. There had been earlier efforts at home and abroad, usually over short distances and using handcrafted rockets. It all came […]
HA(L)-3 Seawolves  – Attack of the Navy’s Little-Known Helicopter Squadron

HA(L)-3 Seawolves – Attack of the Navy’s Little-Known Helicopter Squadron

“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 […]
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