Avitation and Airforce: Luftwaffe, RAF, USAF.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: RC planes, Scale models, WW2 Warbirds, Aircrafts, Aces - Pilots, Female Pilots, Bomber Pilots, Spitfire, Me262, Doolittle Raid, WASP, American WW2 aces, Hurricane.
How high octane gasoline saved untold Allied pilots during WWII
For years Doolittle spent untold hours lobbying Congress and the Army to adopt a 100 octane fuel standard. The Army finally relented and adopted the 100 octane standard in 1938. Now Doolittle had a new problem: how to make 100 octane gas at a cost the government could afford. Initial experimental formulations of 100 octane fuel required a very expensive refining process that resulted in a prohibitively high fuel price of $25/gallon when automotive fuels were less than 20 cents a gallon.
â€˜The Fw 190 was a much more modern aircraft than the Bf-109
The Fw 190 appeared in action over northwestern France in September 1941 and rapidly proved its superiority over the Mark V Spitfire, Britainâ€™s best fighter of that time.
Werner MÃ¶lders: luftwaffe fighter pilot who conceived the finger-four formation
The impact of his new tactics was so dramatic that eventually, all the combatant air forces of World War II would adopt the system of pairs, the finger-four formation, and the crossover turn that had been invented by MÃ¶lders.
The Allies' Had A Grueling Fight To Attain Air Superiority Over Nazi Germany
The popular conception of the struggle in the air over northern Europe during World War II is of squadrons of sleek fighters racing over the German heartland to protect contrailed streams of lumbering bombers stretching beyond sight. It was as far from the truth as it is possible to get at the start of that great aerial crusade. It took until late 1943 before the United Kingdom-based Eighth Air Force mounted strategically significant bombing missions against targets in occupied northern Europe.
DC-3: This Ugly Looking Plane Won World War II
On May 5, 1945, the 10,000th DC-3 was delivered to the United States Army Air Forces; all but 500 were built after Pearl Harbor. Even though, technically at least, it was not a combat airplane, the performance of the Douglas C-47 transport led General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower to label it as one of the most important weapons of World War II.
How The Allied Powers Won The Fight For The Sky In World War II
In the online course, “The Second World Wars,” Professor Victor David Hanson discusses the technological advances in air power made by German, American, and Japanese forces throughout the course of WWII, and how one side slowly achieved air supremacy. Before 1941, there was a clear pattern to the victories achieved by German forces. Germany invaded Poland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Holland, Norway, Belgium, France, and Yugoslavia. Each one of these victories was against an unprepared neighbor and a surprise attack.
The Allies’ big idea: the largest air battle of the Second World War
For D-Day to succeed, the Allies had to wrest control of the skies over western Europe from the Luftwaffe. As James Holland recounts, the February 1944 'Big Week' raids, which collectively made up the largest air battle of the war, helped secure that aerial supremacy
Why Nazi Germany Feared the P-38 Lightning
In 1937, the U.S. Army Air Corp called for proposals for an interceptor capable of flying 360 miles-per-hour and climbing rapidly to high altitudes. Kelly Johnson, designer at Lockheed calculated only a twin-engine fighter could meet such parameters. Johnson’s winning submission stood apart from the crowd: instead of a traditional fuselage, the twin Allison V-1710 liquid-cooled engines on his YP-38 connected at the tail via long booms. The pilot sat in a slender central pod from which bristled four .50-caliber machine guns and a 20-millimeter Hispano cannon. Turbochargers mounted atop the engines enabled rapid climb-rates, increased its service ceiling, and even muffled the engines, with contra-rotating propellers to reduce torque.
The Super Scary Legend of Nazi Germany's Me-163 Rocket Fighters
Nazi Germany pursued numerous ambitious and impractical weapon programs over the course of World War II. One of the few that saw action was the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, the only rocket-powered fighter to enter operational service. The stubby rocket planes were blindingly fast by the standards of World War II fighters—but were in as much danger of blowing up from their volatile rocket fuel as they were of being shot down by enemy fire.
The Air War Over the Eastern Front Gobbled Up Men and Machines
The Eastern Front was the decisive theater of WWII in Europe. Hitler`s 1941 order to invade the vast Soviet Union mired Nazi Germany in a bloody, grinding conflict. And as Germany bled itself pale in Russia`s rubble-heaped cities and endless plains, the western Allies gathered their strength for a counteroffensive that, by 1944, would see Germany under assault from three sides. At the peak of the fighting in 1943, the Germans deployed 3.9 million troops on the Eastern Front. The Soviets 6.7 million troops. The fighting in the air was no less awesome … and brutal. That`s the subject of historian E.R. Hooton`s new book War Over the Steppes. Taking advantage of primary sources from both sides, Hooton surveys the eastern air war in broad strokes, periodically zooming in to highlight individual pilots and commanders in order to put a human face on the titanic aerial struggle.
Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II
`Deadly Sky: The American Combat Airman in World War II,` takes an in-depth look at the dog fights that took place in the clouds above the European and the Pacific theaters of World War II. The book shares many personal accounts of American combat airmen between 1941 and 1945. Military historian Dr. John C. McManus conducted both archival research and in-person interviews to shed light on training, living conditions, planes, combat missions, getting shot down and leadership in the face of war.
Wild Rides – Seven of the Strangest Bomber Raids of WW2
Both the Allies and Axis would conduct a number of unusual bombing runs during the course of the Second World War.
Animation shows Allied bombing campaign that defeated Nazis
This animation shows the Allied bombing campaign that helped crush the Nazis in the Second World War. It may just look like a few blue and red dots flashing on the screen but once you realise the devastation caused it soon becomes much more ominous. The map, released by the Imperial War Museum (IWM), showed where each of the bombs amounting to 1.6million tonnes fell.
Horten Ho 229 - The WWII flying wing decades ahead of its time
In the last months of World War Two, Nazi Germany tested an experimental fighter more spaceship than aircraft. Only now are we realising how inspired it was. BBC Future looks at the Horten Ho 229, one of aviation`s most futuristic designs.
The RAF in American Skies: How British Pilots Trained in the U.S. during WW2
In early 1941, Great Britain stood alone against Nazi Germany. Outnumbered and under siege, the United Kingdom needed soldiers, sailors and especially pilots. Although much of the Royal Air Force`s pilot training program had been relocated to Canada and other Commonwealth countries under the Empire Air Training Scheme, the demand for combat-ready pilots remained acute. Desperate, Britain looked to the U.S. for help; Washington was determined that it would be forthcoming. Passage of the Lend-Lease Act in March 1941 allowed for the training of Allied pilots on U.S. soil and the formation of British Flying Training Schools. These unique establishments were owned by American operators, staffed with civilian instructors, but supervised by British flight officers.
Warbird Factory: North American Aviation in World War II
John Fredrickson has written a biography of North American Aviation (NAA). In his book, Warbird Factory: North American Aviation in WWII, he has also describes working as well, as the workers, in World War II at NAA factories—in the way they would prefer to be remembered and in the way they would definitely not prefer. Frederickson presents an accurate depiction of the designing, times and events. Warbird Factory does not limit itself to the World War II period with the B-25 Mitchell and P-51 Mustang—it begins with the founders, especially Dutch Kindleberger and John Leland Atwood and designs which predate WW II. Warbird Factory ends with Cold War aircraft, notably the B-45 Tornado and F-86 Sabre.
New study of almost 5,000 Second World War air crashes shows the Nazis weren't the only enemy
Almost 5,000 air crashes in Lincolnshire, which occurred during World War Two, have been documented by a team of historians. Painstaking research by historian Graham Platt and his friends has revealed the human stories behind the 4,864 air accidents in the county during the war Eighty-three aircrew died after their Lancasters crashed in fog in a single night after bombing Berlin, and in separate tragedies, planes crashed into a pub and a house, killing civilians. A German Junkers 88 bomber crashed on the Butcher's Arms, in Bourne, on May 4, 1941. These are just some of the four-thousand plus incidents chronicled by historian Mr Platt, 46 and his team in a new book.
10 of the Most Devastating Bombing Campaigns of World War II
Strategic bombing during WWII was the sustained aerial attack on railways, harbors, cities, workers` housing, and industrial districts in enemy territory. Strategic bombing is a military strategy which is distinct from both close air support of ground forces and tactical air power. It was believed by many military strategists of air power that major victories could be won by attacking industrial and political infrastructure, rather than purely military targets. International law at the outset of WWII did not forbid aerial bombardment of cities despite the prior occurrence of such bombing during World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Target Berlin - The Forgotten Soviet Bomber Raids on Hitler`s Capital
Almost from the start of the Second World War, Berlin was in the crosshairs of Allied bombers. Beginning with the first British raid on the Nazi capital, launched on Aug. 25, 1940, through to the last attacks before VE Day, RAF Bomber Command dropped 45,000 tons of ordnance on the city. American planes were responsible for an additional 23,000 tons in the war`s last two years. In all, the western Allies launched more than 360 raids. Many forget that the Soviet Union`s burgeoning strategic bomber force carried out raids on Berlin too. Although representing a minute fraction of the total tonnage to fall on the city (less than 1 percent in all), the Soviet`s Berlin bombing campaign remains one of the more interesting yet forgotten chapters of World War Two.
The US Air Force shot at real pilots for target practice
As a WWII Army Air Force pilot one could expect to take fire from time to time — but the bullets weren't always coming from Axis aircraft. Sometimes, it was your fellow servicemen and women taking the shots. The Bell P-63 Kingcobra fighter, developed in 1942, never got much love from the American military. That doesn't mean the US didn't put the P-63 into service, though: it ordered a bunch as the RP-63 "Pinball," a modified P-63 designed to be fired upon for target practice. Airmen and women needed to hone their skills firing at the full-scale Messerschmitts they'd be encountering over Europe, which is where the Pinball came in. And real, actual pilots were at the controls as they were taking fire.
The single deadliest air raid of World War II - Bombing of Tokyo on 10 March 1945
In the single deadliest WWII air raid, 330 American B-29s delivered incendiary bombs on Tokyo, unleashing a firestorm that wiped out 100,000 people and burned 25% of the city to the ground. The raid was a tactical shift from high-altitude precision bombing to low-altitude incendiary raids. The Tokyo raid - Operation Meetinghouse - began an aerial onslaught so effective that the American air command concluded by July 1945 that all the targets worth bombing on the Japanese mainland were destroyed.
Bell XP-59A -- America's First Jet Flight on September 12, 1942 (video)
7-minute Youtube video about the first U.S. jet flight on September 12, 1942.
Allied Strafing in World War II: A Cockpit View of Air to Ground Battle by Bill Colgan (book review) (Article no longer available from the original source)
Colonel William B. Colgan started filling in the missing pages of military history with his first book, "World War II Fighter-Bomber Pilot." Now, in "Allied Strafing in World War II: A Cockpit View of Air to Ground Battle," he explains the role strafing had. Flying at low altitudes, pilots raked enemy targets with close-range fire from machine guns attached to their P-40s and P-47s. On book tours for his first book, Colgan realized that most people knew as little about strafing. Their only references were WW2 movies, which did not show the versatility or the accuracy of the pilots.
Mighty by Sacrifice: The Destruction of an American Bomber Squadron, August 29, 1944 (book review)
On August 29, 1944, the 15th U.S. Army Air Force sent 500 bombers against oil and rail targets in central Europe. The 20th Squadron of the 2nd Bombardment Group was sent on what they considered as an easy task: attack the Privoser Oil Refinery and railroad yards at Moravska Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. This "milk run" turned into the bloodiest day in the 2nd Bombardment Group's history: not a single one of the B-17s bombers returned. 40 airmen were killed, another 46 spent the rest of World War II as POWs, and just 4, with the aid of the OSS and anti-Nazi partisans avoided capture.
RAF rival squadrons resort to bombing competition in dispute over 1944 sinking of Tirpitz
On Nov 12, 1944, the Tirpitz, the feared Nazi battleships, was attacked by RAF bombers in a Norwegian fjord and sunk. Two squadrons of Lancaster bombers had taken part in the raid, No 9 and No 617, Guy Gibson's Dambusters squadron. Both scored direct hits on the battleship, and for the past 65 years both claimed to have been responsible for the bomb that ruined the Tirpitz - which survived Royal Navy midget submarine attack in 1943. Now there has been a bombing competition to settle the rivalry. Over the Wainfleet bombing range on The Wash in Lincolnshire, two Tornado GR4s from each squadron took off with 14kg bombs, replicating the WWII conditions.
Hell Hawks: The untold story of the American fliers who savaged Hitler's Wehrmacht
An excerpt from "Hell Hawks" by Robert Dorr and Thomas Jones. --- From the cockpit of his own P-47 Thunderbolt, Robert Lewis Coffey Jr. looked down at a sight few men would witness and all would remember forever. It was 5:50 a.m. on June 6, 1944, still almost dark, a gray, murky daylight beginning to define itself off Coffey's left shoulder high over the English Channel. Coffey was looking down at thousands of ships and boats in the armada, the main thrust of the Allied invasion of France... From the roomy cockpit of his robust fighter, leading 47 planes into battle, Coffey took in the size and scale of the armada.
Stalin's British heroes: The RAF aces of the 151 Wing who fought for the Soviet Union
The Messerschmitt was coming towards him, but Micky Rook calmly pressed the firing button of his Hurricane and the Me-109 blew up in mid-air. Another kill for the RAF in the early years of WW2, but this was no part of the famous Few's dogfight over Kent. Under Rook's plane were the icy Barents Sea off Murmansk. Rook was part of 151 Wing, a RAF group who fought against the Nazis Side by side with the Russian pilots, for 4 vital months in the winter of 1941. Code-named Force Benedict, it has been mostly forgotten - until the chance discovery of a medal (Order of Lenin) granted to Wing Commander Henry Neville Gynes Ramsbottom-Isherwood, who led 151 Wing.
Man claims: U.S. super-fuel enabled Spitfire and Hurricane pilots to win the Battle of Britain
A US science writer has claimed that Spitfire and Hurricane were not as significant in beating the Luftwaffe as we think. Tim Palucka says that the British fighters were able to outmanoeuvre their Nazi opponents because they were running on a high-octane fuel created in the US. "Luftwaffe pilots couldn't believe they were facing the same planes they had fought successfully over France a few months before. The planes were the same, but the fuel wasn't." The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) invites experts to challenge the claims: "If it's refutable we want it to be refuted. The Spitfire is ... an icon... but the possibility should be aired."
US Navy to recover World War II Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber from Lake Michigan
A WWII bomber plane resting at the bottom of Lake Michigan off the Chicago shoreline for over 60 years will be brought to the surface. The Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber was credited with winning the Battle of Midway and turning the tide of the Pacific Theater. The plane crashed in Lake Michigan during aircraft carrier qualification training in the 1940s. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency approved the salvage operation. The recovery is the continuation of a program initiated by the National Naval Aviation Museum in the 1990s to recover Navy craft lost in Lake Michigan during the Second World War.
Bomber Command tours take off in Lincolnshire, explore wartime aviation history
A tour of 5 WWII airfields includes climbing aboard a Lancaster, Just Jane, and sitting in all the crew positions: from the scary perch of a Tail End Charlie to the hot seat of the pilot. The bomber is based at East Kirkby's Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre. Clients also take a trip down a runway at Metheringham once used by Victoria Cross winner Norman Jackson, a flight engineer who climbed onto the wing of his Lancaster to put an engine fire out while being shot at by a night fighter. The tours are run by Lindum Heritage, whose manager Mick Purvis said: "The whole tour is all about rekindling the wartime atmosphere."
WW2 veteran recalls Jericho raid: Dive-bombing French patriots out of Gestapo prison
On the 65th anniversary of a daring World War II bombing raid on a Gestapo prison, one of the few survivors has talked about of his part in the mission. Operation Jericho was organized to give 100 French patriots the chance to escape the firing squad, scheduled for 19 February 1944, at Amiens Prison in France. Mosquitos of the 2nd Tactical Air Force were ordered to fly as low as possible over the Channel and then on to Amiens. Once there they were to to dive-bomb the high prison walls. Pilot Officer Cecil Dunlop was on one of the first bombers to fly over the location and drop his payload.
Team want to dig up buried German Heinkel 111 bomber
A team of military historians is seeking permission to excavate a Second World War bomber that crashed in Widnes in 1941. Nick Wotherspoon and Mark Gaskell, of the Lancashire Aircraft Investigation Team, are interested in excavating the German Heinkel 111 bomber buried in King George V playing fields and putting any unearthed relics or memorabilia on public display. "We believe that all history needs recording and therefore propose to carry out an initial metal detector search to precisely locate the site."
ATA pilot Eric honoured for role in Bristol squadron
Eric Viles has been honoured by the PM for the part he played in a Bristol-formed civilian unit. Wing Commander Viles served in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) during World War II, playing an essential role transporting planes to and from maintenance units and front-line squadrons. The ATA was set up at Whitchurch airfield in Bristol and ATA pilots had flown over 309,000 war planes by 1945. Its first 28 pilots were recruited in Bristol. 5 years later there were more than 650 pilots in the unit. 1/3 of the pilots were women (known as the Spitfire Women) and included aviator Amy Johnson.
Melbourne airport opens aviation museum
Melbourne International Airport once trained over 2,000 pilots during the Second World War. That history, not widely known, is a key element in a 1,000-square-foot aviation museum that showcases the airport's past. Operating from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., the museum is open to the public but mainly is for travelers at the airport. Items on display include a World War II-era Link Flight Trainer - used to train over 500,000 pilots during the war.
On the trail of a missing aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry : The last pieces of the puzzle
After the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, the death of Saint-Exupéry (in self-exile from Vichy France) has been one of flying's great mysteries. On July 31, 1944, he took off from Corsica in a Lockheed P-38 Lightning, one of many French pilots who aided the U.S. war effort. A Messerschmitt fighter plane wreck located near the remains of Saint-Exupery's plane belonged to Prince Alexis von Bentheim. With the Jägerblatt, a magazine for Luftwaffe veterans, men who had flown in the Jagdgruppe 200 were tracked down. Luftwaffe pilot Horst Rippert told he shot down a P-38 with French colors, and only days later learned of Saint-Exupéry's disappearance.
Mystery solved: German fighter ace Horst Rippert shot down Antoine de Saint-Exupery
"If I had known it was Saint-Exupery I would never have shot him down." German fighter ace Horst Rippert shot down Antoine de Saint-Exupery, a pioneer aviator known for his book "The Little Prince." He said he had been flying a Messerschmitt Me-109 near Toulon on July 31, 1944, when he spotted Saint-Exupery's twin-tailed Lightning. "I saw his markings and manoeuvred myself behing him and shot him down." Rippert, 28 victories in WWII, only found out for sure recently who it was he had killed, when he was tracked down by Luc Vanrell and Lino van Gartzen, authors of "Saint-Exupery, the last secret."
Enthusiasts restoring a World War II airbase boosted with £130,000
History buffs aiming to restore a World War II airbase have been encouraged with over £130,000 in funding. The old control tower at Carew airfield in Pembrokeshire has been brought back to how it would have looked in the 1940s. Work is underway on restore a Stanton air-raid shelter and an Avro Anson plane of the type based there and used for detection German U-boats. The airfield was first built in 1915 as an airship base to counteract the German U-boats in World War I. With Welsh Assembly Government funding volunteers will further develop it as a tourist and educational centre.
3D plane wreck image aids to raise WW2 Sunderland Flying Boat from the seabed
Enthusiasts planning to raise the wreck of a World War II aircraft from the seabed have a better idea of the task ahead of them, after a sonar survey combined with digital technology led to the 3D images of the Sunderland Flying Boat under 60ft of water off Pembroke Dock. A trust aims to recover, restore and display the Mark 1 Sunderland, which sank in a gale in 1940.It's the only surviving Mark I Sunderland. There are just 3 other military Sunderlands left, all later Mark V versions. The unique aeroplanes played a central role in the Battle of the Atlantic and Pembroke Dock became the largest flying boat station in the world.
John Myers, American World War II Test Pilot, dead at 96
John W. Myers, a leading civilian test pilot in World War II, who helped develop the first American fighter plane designed for night combat, died. He joined Northrop Aircraft as its chief engineering test pilot in 1941 and was renowned for testing its P-61 Black Widow fighter, then teaching military pilots to fly it. His skills brought him the nickname Maestro. The radar-equipped twin-engine Black Widow was almost as large as some bombers and covered with machine guns and cannons. Flown by a 3-member crew, it started combat operations in mid-1944, the first American craft intended to find enemy planes at night and in bad weather.
The Long Arm of the US Strategic Bombing Survey - USSBS
When the report was first issued, 2 months after the WWII, Time magazine did not hold back: "Awesome and Frightful ...The definitive source on man’s inhumanity to man, pre-atomic style." General Carl A. Spaatz, the wartime head of US Strategic Air Forces and later the first Chief of Staff of the new US Air Force, allegedly refused to read it at all. "It" was the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, a controversial look back at the 1940s air wars that the Allies waged against Nazi Germany and Japan. Few documents can brag its staying power. For 60 years, the USSBS has distorted opinion about the efficacy of airpower and the value of the Air Force to the nation.
Civil Air Patrol: World War II's Minute Men of the sky (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Civil Air Patrol is a nonprofit corporation that serves as the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. It was set up Dec. 1, 1941. During the Second World War, its main task was protecting ships from attacks from Nazi submarines. There was a time in 1942 when Axis subs were sinking 2-3 vessels a day along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. America's navy was spread too thin along a 1,200 mile coast to keep the Nazis at bay. U-boats sank 12 vessels in January, 42 in March, and by May the losses were so bad that the govt released no stats. German u-boats were so bold, that when the u-boats surfaced, sailors hung out their wash to dry and took sunbaths on deck.
WWII relics (11 Japanese aircrafts) to be removed, sold in Solomons
News on sale of World War II relics in Shortlands and having them removed from their resting places has caused public protest. The government has agreed for the sale of all WWII relics at the community of Balalae to an international group. The signed agreement gave way for removal of 11 remains of Japanese planes that has been in place since after the Second World War. The relics are said to be too old and not of much value for tourism, but the move has stirred anger among the community as it is not just the physical removal of relics, but also the removal of history for the people of the province.
Honoring eastern front French pilots: Normandie-Niemen air regiment
Sarkozy and Putin will honour the legendary French pilots who fought in World War II by unveiling a memorial to the Normandie-Niemen air regiment at Layfortovo Park in Moscow. They became the most decorated French fighter unit ever. The regiment - called the Normandie squadron - was formed in 1942, when Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free French resistance movement, sent over 70 volunteers to fight with the Red Air Force on the eastern front. The French pilots and mechanics spent a bitter winter learning how to fix and fly soviet Yaks. In late March 1943 the squadron headed to the front. By April it was upgraded to a fighter regiment.
The American Air Force on the Eve of World War II
In the years leading up to WWII, the US was well down on the list of military powers. In 1939 the US Army (174,000 men) was 19th in the rankings of ground forces. In 1939 the Army Air Corps had 1,200 bombers and fighters, mostly obsolete. Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s "Ace of Aces" from WWI, said the US was 10 years behind Nazi Germany in military aviation. In 1939 Luftwaffe had 4,100 first-line combat aircraft. US pursuit airplanes were no match for the Messerschmitt Bf-109. The Ju-87 Stuka was better than the standard American attack aircraft - and the British Hurricane and Spitfire were superior to the best American fighters, as was the Japanese A6M Zero.
Bomber Command's mission: Efficient bombing stopped Nazi production
Some claim the resources expended by Bomber Command were wasted. But Richard Overy maintains the resources used by Bomber Command were modest: "Measured against the totals for the entire war effort, bombing absorbed 7%, rising to 12% in 1944-1945." The bombing destroyed all of Nazi Germany's coke, ferroalloy and synthetic rubber industries, 95% of its fuel, hard coal and rubber capacity, 75% of its truck producing, and 70% of its tire production. It also generated huge aircraft and armoured vehicle production losses. Because of bombing oil targets German pilot training suffered, and eventually there was no fuel to power aircrafts or battle tanks.
World War II Bristol Blenheim bomber recovered - after 65 years
65 years after a World War II plane crashed at Pawlett, killing its crew, the aircraft has been recovered - thanks to a 10-year research by plane enthusiast Tim Hake, who is "obsessed" with aviation archaeology, finding, researching and recovering aircraft from war-time crash sites. He is part of a group called Somerset Aviation Enthusiasts, and in 1996 he and historian Colin Parish set out to locate and recover a Bristol Blenheim bomber thought to have crashed at Pawlett Hams. Tim's research has provided him with a full history of the aircraft, the crash report, and pictures of the crew.
Lost Squadron Pilot Brad McManus Recalls Ill-Fated WWII Flight
In July of 1942, 6 Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighters and 2 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers took off from the US bound for England - but the entire squadron was forced to land on a Greenland glacier. Brad McManus, the last living member of the "Lost Squadron," was the first to land. "I elected right at that point I'm getting out of here, I got to get down while I have gas and power." On landing, the nose wheel of his P-38 dug into the ice causing the aircraft to flip on its back, but he escaped with only minor injury. "We slept in the B-17... When you're young... you don't worry about the negatives. We really believed we would get off."
The Lost Squadron: Glacier Girl to complete flight across Atlantic
Operation Bolero: On July 15, 1942, a US Army/Air Force Squadron departed American soil to support US allies in the war torn Europe. Due to weather-related problems en route, the squadron of 6 P-38s and 2 B-17 bombers was forced to make a landing on a remote ice cap in Greenland. "The Lost Squadron" drifted miles from its location... and only one P-38, encased in 268 feet of ice, was salvaged. 10 year recovery mission brought this P-38 Lightning, Glacier Girl, to her original flying glory... and on June 22, Glacier Girl will complete her transatlantic mission in Operation Bolero II - when she departs from Teterboro Airport bound for Duxford, England.
Archives of the legendary Eighth Air Force collected
The Eighth Air Force is alive and well at Penn State. But, there is a sense of urgency in the Special Collections Library, where history of the "The Mighty Eighth" is being collected. During World War II, under the leadership of Ira Eaker and Jimmy Doolittle, it formed the greatest air armada in history. By mid-1944, it had a strength of more than 200,000, and could send more than 2,000 bombers and 1,000 fighters on a single mission. "The Mighty Eighth" ran America's daylight strategic bombing against Nazi-occupied Europe, compiling an impressive but high priced war record, suffering about half of the Army Air Force's casualties.
U.S. trained Chinese pilots for a top secret WWII mission
Six Chinese military officers came back to Austin to receive honors for their bravery during World War II. The six were members of the elite FAB-100, officers brought over from China in 1945 to serve as interpreters for Chinese pilots. The United States worked to train the pilots for a top secret mission. "I think the top secret part was before we came down to train the cadets. I think they had something else in mind for us to do," Tommy Cheng said. To this day, nobody knows what that something was. The end of WW2 cut their project short. The bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and the FAB-100 mission was all but forgotten.
Guernica honours Times man for telling its story
George Steer, the journalist for The Times whose report of the German bombing of Guernica outraged the world, is honoured in the Basque town where the massacre happened. Exactly 69 years after the Luftwaffe Condor Legion squadron attacked the civilian population of the Basque town on a busy market day, a bronze bust of Steer will be unveiled and a street named after him. Steer was among the first journalists to reach Guernica just hours after more than 1,600 civilians were killed by the bombing and subsequent firestorm on April 26, 1937.
Bernt Balchen: Rescue missions from Greenland
Norwegian Bernt Balchen was America's greatest Arctic expert of modern times, most notably he was the first pilot to fly across the South Pole. In WWI he served as a cavalryman in the Finnish Army, which fought against the Russians. In 1921, he became a pilot in the Norwegian Naval Air Force. At the beginning of the WWII, he spent the next two years building air bases in Greenland so that aircraft being ferried from the US to Great Britain would have airports to refuel. From a base in Greenland he flew many spectacular rescue missions, saving the lives of numerous U.S. flyers whose planes had gone down on the icecap.
WWII Victories of the Army Air Force
WWII Victories of the Army Air Force is the most complete work ever done on WWII fighter pilots. It lists 7,299 pilots, by assigned group and individually, who achieved aerial victories. It lists all 80 Fighter Groups, a total of 7,299 pilots, who had pilots that achieved aerial victories. The pilots within each group are listed in alphabetical order listing their rank, serial number, squadron and the number of victories earned while assigned to that squadron. The book is fully indexed for ease of use.
Airman who destroyed Queen Wilhelmina's palace used as a SS headquarters
Air Commodore Robbert "Bergy" van Zinnicq Bergmann, who has died in Holland aged 87, escaped from that country during its occupation to become a Typhoon pilot flying with the RAF. The rocket-firing Typhoons of Bergmann's squadron, No 181, were detailed for a special operation on November 4 1944, in which they were to attack the north wing of the Dutch Royal Family's summer palace, which was being used by the SS as a headquarters.