So, let's get right to the point of things. This is our Very First Special Christmas Issue and there are some particularly spiffy things inside, or at least I think there are. Fact is, this little ol' blog of mine seems to catching on with folks, at least if the Google stats can be believed, and that's a present to me for sure. Whether Christmas is your thing or not, look on this issue as my way of giving back to you with a couple of things you might not have expected to see.
I Don't Know Anything About It But I Sure Do Like It!
When last we met I mentioned that valued friend Jim Sullivan has a new book coming out on the Corsair, which I firmly recommended that you buy. Jim's been working on that particular volume for quite a while and hasn't been the frequent contributor to these pages that he once was, but the book is now done and Jim's back with us with a vengeance.
You may recall that we ran a shot of a Coastie C-123 a while back. It's a neat airplane, and I'd sure like a decent kit of the type in a scale larger than 1/144th. There isn't one, of course, but we've got a couple of photos from Jim to spark your interest in building one should such a miracle ever come to pass. I can't tell you much about the photos, but here's what Jim knows:
When I saw the Kodiak C-123 in your latest edition, it made me think of a series of shots that I took of C-123B 54-0683 landing at Shaw AFB, SC on 26 SEP 68. When I sent the shots to Don Jay, he commented that it was a with the IE markings and that the Provider belonged to either the 319th ACS or SOS. I'm sure there must be some interesting stories about the 'catcher' device mounted on the nose. Hope you enjoy the shots. Jim
Well, folks, I know I enjoyed them. I think you will too.
We Haven't Run Any Sort of Jet Fighter Material Lately, Have We?
So maybe it's time to do that today. There's a lot to choose from, but we've got a few more FJ Fury images that haven't been run yet, at least not by us. That must surely mean It's Time.
Mark Called Them Land-Locked Neptunes, and That's Good Enough for Me!
Mark Nankivil was doing a little housecleaning in his photo collection last week (Lordy, I just love it when he does that!) and found these really choice images of the Lockheed P2V Neptune. VO-67 operated a little-known variant of the type, the OP-2E, in combat in Southeast Asia during the late 60s. Do you think you might have some interest in that sort of thing?
Where's My Christmas Present? You Said This Would Be Special...
And it is special. How about starting with
A Couple of Jugs
Way way back, not quite forty years ago, we ran a couple of what we considered to be really neat pieces on the P-47N Thunderbolt in the Pacific. A friend of ours, retired Air Force major Paul Jahant, was on Ie Shima flying P-47Ns with the 463rd FS/507th FG, and he had a camera. He didn't take any full-length photos of airplanes (or if he did he didn't share them with us), but he did manage to shoot some pretty neat nose art. We ran some of it in our second issue (November 1972). I was going through the files looking for something else earlier this week (ain't it always the way!) and found the photos again. Enjoy!
It Probably Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
Ryan was one of those companies who were never afraid to try the unconventional. Some of their products became famous and achieved a degree of immortality in the annals of aviation. Our next airplane wasn't one of them.
Let's Get Bombed
I think we've had a pretty fair little Christmas so far, but there's one more present to unwrap. Here's some background:
When Jim and I started RIS Way Back When, we knew we didn't want to do what all the other guys were doing, and one of the things a whole lot of people were doing was building neat model airplanes, painting the bombs (if appropriate) black, and hanging them off the model. It looked awful, and it didn't fit our philosophy at all---remember, we called ourselves Replica in Scale. That meant everything, bombs included.
Jim had always had an interest in aviation ordnance, had been collecting photos and documents regarding same for several years before we met, and had always had the notion that he would someday publish a book on the subject. That book is still in work, and we can only hope that it gets published one of these days because I've got no doubt it'll be the absolute last word on the subject and become the ultimate reference on such things. In the meantime, we have (or had) a magazine article on same, written by Jim and myself and published in our combined Spring and Summer 1974 edition of the magazine. I'm not going to run the entire article here, although I'm certainly tempted to do it; that's because I haven't had a chance to discuss it with Jim first and I'm funny that way. What follows is my portion of the article, concerning modeling only (and please don't laugh---this was written a very long time ago!), but with the added bonus of Jim's bomb drawings in what were then all the popular scales. It's a time machine of sorts, and a pretty fair Christmas present, I think.
One of these days maybe I'll re-publish the entire piece, although I'd much rather see that Ultimate Book get done. For now, I think we can safely say that Jim did a pretty amazing job with the piece. It's still cited as a major reference in periodicals and on aviation web sites to this day---36 years; that's not a bad run, ya'll...
The Relief Tube
Yep, we correct mistakes even during the holidays. Here's one to end the year with:
First, a couple of comments from reader and contributor Mark Nankivil regarding Rick Morgan's question regarding that F8U-1 shot, and also correcting a series of photo credit errors that I made:
VF-154 Crusader was on the Hancock as they were sister squadron to my Father's VF-23. This was the first Crusader squadron to take it on a cruise - check Gilchrist book for more on that from their perspective. VF-23 did its CarQuals on the Hornet just prior to the cruise on the Hancock.
The Douglas/McDonnell Douglas Tulsa stuff is from the Tulsa Air & Space Museum archives - please credit them accordingly. GREAT people there - I just want to make sure they get proper credit.
'Til Later! Mark Thanks, Mark!
And finally, courtesy the US Navy, here's a photo that doesn't require a caption.
Here's wishing everybody who reads this blog a very merry Christmas! We'll see you again in 2011. Meanwhile, be good to your neighbor!