Monday, July 5, 2010

Twice in One Week!, Some Corrections and Additions, More on the Destroyer, That Danged Stratojet,

It's Me Again!

Yep, call the Headline News; it's two, count 'em, TWO, of these things in one week. Who'd-a-thunk it? This one is a real short one, but still; how long has it been since we've done a Twofer Week? Hot dog!

Letters; We Get Letters

Which are a Very Good Thing in my world, correcting and adding to my somewhat limited knoweledge as they do. Rick Morgan had some comments about a couple of the things we ran on Saturday night:

Phil: Fascinating photos, as always, in the latest edition. The B-66s shown at what I presume is Kelly would appear to be part of the EB-66E mod line- note the long tail section being grafted onto 519, which is one of the RBs that were converted. (Note: The B-66/EB-66 photos came from the folks in Tulsa, although the shot wasn't captioned so we aren't sure where it was taken. Kelly's a good guess given the size and configuration of the hangar, but there's a fairly good chance it was taken at the old Douglas/Tulsa facility too. pf)

As doe the VF-121 FJ-3Ms, there were probably shot during the 1957 deployment in Lexington. Air Group 12 had four primary squadrons, 121, which had the day fighter mission, VF-124 with F3H-2 night fighters, VF-123, F9F-8 day fighter/light attack, VA-125 AD-6 prop attack. They also had, of course, the usual dets from VAW-11 (AD-5W), VFP-61 (F9F-8P), VAAW-35 (AD-5N), VAH-6 (AJ-2) and HU-1 (HUP). This would be their last deployment as the Group was pulled out of the fleet in 1958 and made the Replacement Air Group on the west coast.


Thanks, Rick!

And in that same light, here's one that was lost in the shuffle last week:

This shot was on the file but I'd skipped right past it. Tommy Thomason had the photo in his collection too and sent it along for our enjoyment which is, I think, a reminder for me to pay better attention to these things! The photo shows a couple of 121's FJ-3Ms in company with a VF-123 F9F-8 Cougar, all with Air Wing 12. Those were the days!  Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried and Tommy Thomason Collection!

And another one I'd missed! Aside from giving a great side view of a Fighting 121 FJ-3M, it also shows a little bit of a VAW-12 F3H-2 from VF-124 as well as the aft section of a VF-123 F9F-8. If this photo doesn't make you wish for someone to give us decent kits of these aircraft nothing ever will! Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

Ever Been to Tulsa?

Douglas had a major production and mod facility there until the unfortunate demise of that icon of American military aviation, and there was a lot going on in that part of Oklahoma, particularly during the Vietnam War.

Here's a small sample of what was happening at Douglas/Tulsa during December of 1967. This tantalizing photo shows what I presume to be an ERA-3B (Morgo?), three EB-66s, and what seems to be an EC-121. That "Connie" is particularly interesting because of its markings; note the "ARMY" legend painted on the aft fuselage. Sure wish this picture could talk!  Tulsa Air & Space Museum via Mark Nankivil

How to Ruin Somebody's Day

Once upon a time American bombers were equipped to defend themselves against fighter attack through the medium of radar-predicted tailguns. (Yes, I know B-52s had tail gunners for a long time, but we aren't talking about B-52s here so cut me some slack, ok?) Here's a fine shot of that sort of installation in a B-47:

Here's how you slave the radar to the gun installation on a B-47. Although the notion of tailguns in a jet bomber seems ludicrous, they were used in air-to-air combat at least once when a recon Stratojet was jumped by Soviet MiG-17s during an early-60s Cold War overflight. The subsequent hassle and running gunfight resulted in the use of those obsolescent tail guns, which evidently provided discouragement to the aforementioned MiGs if nothing else. This shot was taken on the ramp at Douglas/Tulsa.  Tulsa Air & Space Museum via Mark Nankivil

I LIKE B-47s!

And here's a classic shot of them to end our day.

I grew up in an Air Force family, and used to hear these guys coming and going at all hours of the day and night. Look on this as a nostalgia shot!  Tulsa Air & Space Museum via Mark Nankivil

And That's All she Wrote

For this week, anyways. We'll see you again in a few days, but in the meantime, be good to your neighbor!

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