Back in the Kennel Again
OK, it's a corny title. Even I'll admit it; on a Clever Scale of one to ten it's about a three, maybe. Trouble is, that's the best I've got, so it's what you get, at least this time.
Once you get past the name of the piece, though, we're in pretty high cotton. Marty Isham has shared a few more "Sabre Dog" images with us, and Dave Menard has kicked in some special birds from the Far East to add a little added spice to the mix. It is, all in all, a pretty good way to start a week. Let's take a look.
Up to this point we've been looking at aircraft assigned to the ZI but, as you may recall, your editorial team has a thing for aircraft once assigned to Misawa AB, having lived there ourselves. We mention that because we're going to close out today's pictorial on the F-86D with some images of the 4th FIS while they were assigned there in the late 1950s. Hot Dog! SABRE Dog!!!
Another Legend is Gone
You've probably seen Bill Peake's work before in various and sundry publications. He was an historian and a photographer of exceptional abilities and, like so many others before him, has gone West. He passed back in February but is still with us in spirit by way of his remarkable photo collection, which his niece donated to the Greater Saint Louis Air and Space Museum. He was Mr. F-4 to a great many people and, thanks to the kindness of Mark Nankivil, we'd like to share this image of a very special Phantom with you today.
An Unexpected Mustang
Everybody knows the P-51D made it to Japan after the War, and that it was a common fixture there right up to the start of the Korean fracas. It wasn't just the fighter outfits that flew the immortal Mustang out of Japan, though, as shown by our next photo.
It Gets Really Cold in Iceland
Ask anybody who's ever been stationed at Keflavik or, if you don't know anybody who fills that particular bill, just hang around here and take a look at some more photography from Doug Barbier, a frequent contributor who flew out of Kef while flying F-4Es with the 57th FIS. Here's a quick lead-in from Doug:
Kef 1979, ASA 25 film. Low light. Yes a couple are soft... oh well ... 2-fers coming and going on takeoff, Winter & Spring of 1979 from the RSU unit. Take a look at that slab as the nosewheel comes off the ground. 3 bags worth of gas was a lot of weight to lift...
All five of the proceeding photos are by Doug Barbier
Hang Out Here Long Enough and You'll Be Amazed At What Turns Up
And what's turning up today is a photo we've run once before. A couple of issues ago we ran a shot of a mystery F-86L submitted by one of our readers up in The Great White North with the comment that the unit was unknown. Last issue we mentioned in our Relief Tube that, based on the aircraft's conspicuity markings and tail stripe, we were fairly certain the airplane was with the New Hampshire ANG. We still feel that way so we went back and dug out the photo that pointed us in that direction:
The Name Was Appropriate
The Army Air Forces got in the habit of naming their airplanes during the late 1930s, giving birth to such monikers as Tomahawk, Mitchell, Flying Fortress, and so on and so forth. Some (probably most, if the truth be known) were the offspring of some PR type, and most were allegorical. One name proved to be prophetic in the war soon to come, however. We'd like to finish up today's edition with a quick photo essay on Douglas Aircraft's aptly-named A-20 Havoc.
Everything Old is New Again
Yeah, I know... I just said we were done for the day, but we aren't. Rick Morgan sent in a few images of some special Navy birds that are all painted up in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Naval aviation. Here are Rick's comments about the photos: Phil: If you haven’t been following the CONA birds, there are quite a few more out there. I was up at Whidbey for the VAQ-132 homecoming (the first EA-18G return) and was able to shoot these guys. Credit for the CONA schemes goes almost entirely to CAPT Rich Dann USN Reserve, who has worked from the AirPac staff to get drawings and concepts out to units and companies to make this happen. The P-3C is the “bounce bird” (trainer) for VQ-2. Rick
We're going to start out today's Happy Snaps with a request to all of our ex-military aviators; we're always looking for photography, and would like to invite any of you who might like to share yours with our readers (for Happy Snaps or otherwise) to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Full credit is always given and we can pretty much guarantee that our readers will enjoy your work. Here's a somewhat exceptional example of what we mean:
The Relief Tube
We've got a couple of comments to share, so let's get right down to it:
Phil, LOVED the Dogs and USAFE Thuds! Here are some comments now on latest blog:
1. that "97th" bird isn't, but is a 93rd FIS bird out of Kirtland AFB NM, not Nellis (no Sunrise Mountain range in background like most Nellis shots show).
2. 30931 of the 56th taken on Wright Field, probably on Armed Forces Day(remember those, third Saturday of every May?).
3. 30792 & 30891have same badge on fins but I wonder if that is 30th Air Division or 4708th Air Defense Wing? 792 was a 94th bird enroute to or from Yuma from Selfridge for a gunnery meet.
4. 598 does indeed have masking tape on that radar access panel on top of nose forward of cockpit, but no tape on that blue area under intake which is white bordered. Notice the difference in coloring. I suspect the tape was put on the top panel lines so the bird could get a wash down before open house?
5. That light colored fabric covered aileron on that P-40 was not finished in zinc chromate (no reason for it on linen!)but either clear or silver. Just love your blogging, even on Navy a/c! cheers, dave That's high praise indeed---thanks, Dave! (And to our more alert readers: Yes, we did go back last week and fix a couple of those captions after reading Dave's comments. You aren't really going crazy, or at least you aren't going crazy because of this!) And, for those of you who are too young to have been around back in the 50s, here's a somewhat unusual contribution from Dave. To a young boy growing up loving airplanes it was the stuff dreams were made of:
And from Doug Barbier: Absolutely OUTSTANDING stuff in the latest blog. I love Thuds.... and Sixes... I have to agree with Dave Menard on a couple Sabre issues though.. to wit:
23814 is 93rd FIS bird out of Albuquerque. I would bet a whole bunch of $$ that the reason it doesn't have tanks is that the air density at the altitude there wouldn't allow him to get off of the ground safely with them. Even today, the airliners have to down load passengers, fuel or both, to be legal for takeoff in the summer. Been there, done that. (my record is an 11,500' takeoff roll from Delhi India in the summer with a max gross weight B-777. Hot & heavy makes for an interesting day - or night, as the case may be.)
30891 of the 47th FIS at Niagara Falls IAP has a 30th Air Division badge on the tail, as does 30792, which is from the 1st FIW at Selfridge. Those with really sharp eyes can see the yellow & red portions of the arrow that goes through the 30th Air Div Shield on the tail. Red for 71st, Yellow for 94th. And I'll agree with Dave - it's a 94th FIS bird headed for Yuma.
30641 - hmmm Red, 71st FIS OK. But note that the tail has been painted out with aluminum lacquer. And 71st FIS "L" models are really rare. According to the Air Force, they never got them. They did.... just like the 94th (almost) got F-104A's. Saner minds prevailed however and the jets went to the 56thFIS down at W-P instead. I don't think I would have been very happy trying to land a zipper on a slick 9,000' runway in the winter, with a crosswind to boot, at Selfridge. But I know that they had pilots already checked out before the change was made. Wouldn't THAT have been something to see!
Keep up the great work. Doug Thanks, Doug, and keep those corrections and additions coming!
Next, a Head's Up for our readers. Osprey have just released a new title called F-100 Super Sabre Units of the Vietnam War by Peter Davies and Dave Menard. We have yet to see the book but have no doubt it will be a must-have for most of our readers and we're looking forward to it.
And that's all we've got for today. Thanks for stopping by, and be good to your neighbor. We'll meet again real soon.