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Photo courtesy of Stan Piet

Pearl Harbor – A Greenhorn relates his experience

Back in the mid-1930s, when I was a teenager in California, I used to spend a lot of time fishing off the municipal pier at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I was standing on the pier one day when a flight of 16 to 20 Boeing P-26s came roaring by fast and low in tight formation. I will never forget the look of the pilots, with their heads sticking out of the cockpit and their white silk scarves billowing behind them, all looking like Eddie Rickenbacker.
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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Pearl Harbor – Civilian Pilots Caught in History’s Path

Pearl Harbor – Civilian Pilots Caught in History’s Path

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 […]

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Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker: 1929’s Heavy Hauler

Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker: 1929’s Heavy Hauler

We only have roads into town three months of the year, while all the lakes and rivers are frozen. Otherwise the only way into Norman Wells and many of the other communities around us is by airplane. Usually float planes. That’s why I had the Bellanca CH-300 restored. In the 1930s it was one of […]
B-25 Mitchell Bombers in the Mediterranean

B-25 Mitchell Bombers in 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 […]

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WWI and WWII Ace Aerial Fighters share their memories

WWI and WWII Ace Aerial Fighters share their 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: 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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Maxim Machine Gun – WW I’s revolutionary advance in weaponry

Maxim Machine Gun – WW I’s revolutionary advance in weaponry

If you do an Internet search for “chattering Spandaus,” you only get 89 hits, but that stock phrase has become synonymous with World War I aviation. Generations of moviegoers have seen the image: the leering Teutonic ace, hard eyes gleaming behind squared-off goggles above the blazing muzzles. The fact is that there is no such […]
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 […]
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