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From the Magazine

Eyewitness to History: A Childhood Interrupted

Eyewitness to History: A Childhood Interrupted

By W. Joan Hawgood Hall, Former ACW.2 On September 1, 1939, my brother, Berkley, and I were being evacuated from London. Almost everything we owned was in our backpacks that Daddy had made for us, our gas masks in their boxes around our neck, our names on our coats. Mum and Dad came down to […]
Post D-Day Fighter Conference

Post D-Day Fighter Conference

Where Do We Go From Here? By Budd Davisson What we have here is an executive retreat held in Bottisham, Cambridgeshire,  home of the 361st FG, August 1944. It is a get-together of all fighter group COs in the 8th Air Force and represents a who’s who of Post D-Day fighter aviation. Front to back: […]

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56th FG Jugs: Paint Them Anything But Boring

56th FG Jugs: Paint Them Anything But Boring

By Stan Piet As the long-lived Thunderbolt group in the ETO, the 56th FG certainly sported some of the most varied camouflage plus squadron and individual markings in England. Upon arrival at Kings Cliffe in January 1943, its first combat-ready P-47C models bore a factory-standard olive drab over neutral gray livery. As the Thunderbolt was […]
Nocturnal Hunter — the first Corsair equipped with radar

Nocturnal Hunter — the first Corsair equipped with radar

Hunched in the cockpit of an F4U-2 Corsair in the darkest, blackest night he could remember, Second Lieutenant Frank Lang peered at the 6-inch scope in the center of his instrument panel and saw nothing significant to break up the green-yellow line inscribing a circle around the dial.

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Fighter Pilot: The Hero Comes of Age

Fighter Pilot: The Hero Comes of Age

The movies and the fighter pilot were made for each other. The motion-picture concept is generally credited to Thomas Edison in 1889, and he continually improved it through the 1890s into the next century. By the time World War I had begun, crude commercial movies were available, with the first heroes frequently being cowboys with […]
WW II Snapshot: A Moment Frozen in Time

WW II Snapshot: A Moment Frozen in Time

What do you see in this picture? Sharper than most WW II images, this one is of a fairly tranquil scene on the deck of CV-6, USS Enterprise. The shot was taken on May 15, 1942, and the red circles in their insignias had been painted over. That’s barely five months after Pearl Harbor and […]

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Iconic Firepower: Aircrew Sidearms

Iconic Firepower: Aircrew Sidearms

The last ditch defense By Barrett Tillman Murvaux, France, September 29, 1918. The mortally wounded American ace slid from his SPAD and staggered into the tall grass. As German infantry approached he drew his Colt M1911 pistol and prepared to die fighting. The Arizonan fired at least three rounds in the dusk encounter before he […]
Belgian Rattlesnake  – The long-serving Lewis Machine gun

Belgian Rattlesnake – The long-serving Lewis Machine gun

Today the name of Isaac Newton Lewis is little known outside of firearms circles, but he exerted a major influence on aerial combat. In 1911, Colonel Lewis, a U.S. Army ordnance officer, adapted a machine gun design patented by inventor Samuel McLean. With a soldier’s eye toward utility, Lewis worked with the Automatic Arms Co. in New York to simplify the original design as a workable weapon. Light and potent, it was a revolutionary design.

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Drones: Technology Changes the Face of Combat

Drones: Technology Changes the Face of Combat

Drones are not, as is often assumed, a 21st-century develop­ment. Far from it. Their history goes back more than 100 years, but the rate at which they are changing our everyday life continues to accelerate. So we thought it is worth looking back and seeing where the concept came from, how it developed, and where […]
DC-3 Gooney – Memories of First Flight

DC-3 Gooney – Memories of First Flight

Everyone has a first flight: Mine was in a Gooney Life is a million episodes stitched together to form a ragged continuum. However, regardless of how many episodes are involved, there is always the first one. This is especially true of those of us who have lived a sizeable portion of our lives in the […]
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