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A Tribute to our Veterans: Do It Now

A Tribute to our Veterans: Do It Now

Living history has a shelf life, and the expiration date cannot be extended. I’ve been interviewing WW II veterans since the early 1970s when I got serious about writing history, and it’s been a bittersweet experience. Anyone who’s made a career documenting aviation (or anything else) will tell you the same thing: you make older […]
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 […]
The USAF’s Contract Killers – Rental Bad Guys

The USAF’s Contract Killers – Rental Bad Guys

“Kill the F-16, right-hand turn, 18 thousand feet, over the Farms.” And so another victory is claimed in the perpetual war occurring in the Nevada skies north of Las Vegas. It is not part of some separating-a-tourist-from-his-money air-combat experience but the deadly game of “good guy” Blue Air jets fighting the “bad guy” Red Air […]

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The Pilot’s View of Iconic Aircraft – Fighting Cockpits

The Pilot’s View of Iconic Aircraft – Fighting Cockpits

The combat-aircraft cockpit has some sort of magical attraction to all who fly and those who would like to fly. It is the throne room in which aerial warriors, both past and present, sat and engaged in that rare form of combat that is built around the third dimension. It was—and is—man and machine wielding […]
History: First President to Fly

History: First President to Fly

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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Caudron C.460: Ancient Speed Demon Reborn

Caudron C.460: Ancient Speed Demon Reborn

Speed has always been a drug, of sorts. It has captivated mankind for as long as he has stood on two legs and nowhere has the urge to see who is the fastest been stronger than in aviation. And at no time has that competition been more fierce than during the 1930s, the uncontested golden […]
Fixin’ the Boat: Of Splinters and Tail Hooks

Fixin’ the Boat: Of Splinters and Tail Hooks

The reason why the earlier U.S. aircraft carriers had flight decks covered with wood as opposed to steel has been a mystery to many. Most will tell you that all of the decks were with teakwood. This may have been the preferred material, but beginning in 1941, most of the world’s teakwood was found in […]

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Wingman to the Aces

Wingman to the Aces

There are no great aces without great wingmen and young Lt. Floyd Fulkerson from Little Rock, Arkansas, was one of those wingmen. Although he had four confirmed victories, so he was nearly an ace himself, he sees his primary contribution to the war effort to have been the protection of his lead pilots, some of […]
10  Aviation  Myths  of World War II Fact vs. Fiction

10 Aviation Myths of World War II Fact vs. Fiction

Seventy years later, the Second World War remains the defining event of the 20th century and for the generations who experienced it. It led to the half-century Cold War and still shapes the geopolitical map today. Decades of lies and legends still swirl around the crucial events of mankind’s greatest conflict, and many of them […]
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