In our view the Martin B-57 family represents something special; born in another country (Great Britain), the B-57 very quickly became Martin's own, serving in several variations and for several decades (although, it must be admitted, that service didn't last nearly as long as the B-57's sire, the immortal Canberra, did in RAF use) and in a number of roles. We took a brief look at the type a couple of issues ago and figured it was time to look at a few more pictures. You can, and we believe this to be entirely true, never have too many B-57 shots.
email@example.com . Rose
We'll look at a few more B-57s somewhere on down the road, but for now we've got some other interesting things to examine.
If Only He'd Taken a Picture of the Whole Airplane
Everybody's Got the Fever
Everybody but us, anyway. For those of you who might be scale modelers, the fact that Great Wall has recently issued a 1/48th scale P-61 won't come as any surprise; the release of the kit, plus the somewhat astonishing frenzy it's created on the modeling boards of the world, has given the scale modeling world a major dose of Black Widow Fever. One of our readers, Gerry Kersey of 3rd Attack Group.Org (see our links and pay him a visit, ya'll) has provided us with a couple of shots of P-61s from the 548th NFS so we can climb on the Widow Madness bandwagon too! Let's see what we've got:
The Federal Luftwaffe at The Goose
We recently showed you a couple of photos of RAF Tornados photographed on the ground at Goose Bay taken by reader Doug Barbier, and related his air-to-air assault on same. The aircraft you're about to see weren't intercepted by Doug, at least not that we know of, but they did share some ramp space at The Goose and are worth a look. The photos were taken in 1985 during Amagam Brave 85-1. We honestly don't know anything more about them than that; readers who may have some background are invited to comment at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Or Late Warhawks, however you choose to say it. However we decide to break it down, it's been a while since we've looked at P-40s of any flavor---it's time to rectify that particular failing, we think!
What could have been. The P-40Q was designed to perform on a par with the P-51, and came close to doing it in certain flight regimes. Unfortunately, the P-51, as well as the P-38 and P-47, had become a mature weapon by 1944; there was just no demand for another piston-engined fighter in the inventory. Curtiss had been a prime supplier to the AAF as well as to air arms around the world, but the P-40Q was the company's swan song---they managed to stumble into the post-War era, but only barely. In one respect it didn't matter, though. The P-40 family had guaranteed Curtiss a place in history. It wasn't a bad legacy, all in all. Rocker Collection
That "Fighting 22" Hog: The Final Word On a Classic
If you're as old as we are you've seen more than your share of aviation books and periodicals, which means you've also seen certain airplanes illustrated in more than one place. One of those airplanes is an F4U-4 from VF-22 that's shown up in several periodicals, as well as in Jim Sullivan's excellent "colors" monograph (for want of a better word) on the F4U. The airplane was even famous enough to be featured on an old 1/48th scale MicroScale decal sheet, a fact that caused us to build a model of it Way Back When, using the Mania/nee Hasegawa -4 "Hog" as the kit of choice.
To get to the point, more or less, we scratch-built an interior for that kit and did it up in a nice rendition of GSB, put on the decals (which included that tasty little sharkmouth for one of the gas bags), and sat it on the shelf where it languished for a number of years. We decided to spiff it up a couple of months ago and asked Jim Sullivan (who was, after all, the original culprit as far as inspiration to build that particular airplane was concerned) if he had any photography of the bird to substantiate the profile drawings we'd seen of it. It turns out he did, and those photos were a revelation. Wanna see what we mean?
Let's go back to Keflavik for today's Happy Snap, courtesy of Doug Barbier:
The Relief Tube
Today's going to be one of those Scary Days when we don't have that many corrections or additions (those days always scare us, anyway), but we've got a couple all the same. Let's start with some additions to last issue's P-47N feature. First, let's hear from Dave Menard:
Phil, both of the Ns with pre-WW2 rudder markings were from the 56th FG at Selfridge Field, when they had one sqdn of 47Ns and one of 51Hs. Both types got these markings for a while and looked good indeed! The N 140 is from Lockbourne c.1948/9 and was assigned to the 332nd FG, the Tuskegee Airmen, at the time. Cheers, Dave
And from Mark Williams: Phil, I'll bet someone has had to have sent you this already regarding that photo from the 24th. Note in the caption where it was taken.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:332d_Fighter_Group_-_F-47N_44-89140.jpg Oh well, I just read the blog this morning! Have a good day! Mark You might want to check out that link to Wiki that Mark provided; the photo that proves his point is a fine color image from some guy named Menard! It's a small world...
And as long as we're on the subject of those Ns, here's another comment from Mark that's worth reading: Phil, Me again. I think I got a lead on another mystery P-47N from your blog of the 24th. I found this photo in "Warbird Tech Vol. 23, P-47 Thunderbolt" showing 23rd Fighter Group P-47Ns on Guam in 1947. They sure look a whole lot like 44-88569 in your blog! You can see most of these have "L*" codes, and I see one coded "PB" on the far right of the photo. Based on the photographs, info found on the web site below, and assuming this information is correct, I figured out the 74th Fighter Squadron probably used P*, 75th FS used L*, and the 76th FS used B* codes.
This is a pretty amazing database actually! I also found there that 44-88705 belonged to the 414th Fighter Group, 413th FS. On the below site it is listed as a loss on 450907 on Iwo Jima. (Additionally, you can find information including losses for some of the other P-47Ns you have posted photos of on both of these sites.) http://www.accident-report.com/Serials/1944o.htm Hope this helps! (It's raining today, I'm off, and really didn't have anything else to do!) Mark And if you're going to be that productive we hope you keep those rainy days coming, Mark! (It wouldn't hurt our feelings any if you could send a few of them to Texas too...)
Finally, here's a comment from Doug Barbier: Phil, those two P-47N's with the striped tails - 488680 & PE-757 were both from the 56th Fighter Group at Selfridge. Dave Schilling was the 'boss' back then and he and the P-47's went way back. They kept quite a few jugs even after the F-51H's arrived. I've been doing a lot of research on that era at Selfridge lately and it was good to see a couple of new photos. Doug That comment about Schilling's preference for the F-47 is fascinating. Of course, we've heard that he'd had some previous experience with the type...
We ran an F8F-1 Bearcat shot from the Bill Peake Collection at the Greater St Louis Air & Space Museum last time, and Dave Menard offered this comment: Phil, that air to air of Bearcat 201 sure looks familiar as does the ground under her. I would bet real money that this was one of William T Larkins photos as he did a lot of air to air in the late forties/early fifties in USN, ANG and AFRes a/c
out in California and he did shoot 201 during one of the sorties. Try that today! cheers, dave Thanks, Dave!
Finally, our piece on Mom and Pop hobby shops struck a chord with at least one reader: I am an airplane nut thanks to my dad. You might be interested to know he used to have his own "mom & pop" hobby shop back in the late '70s/early '80s, though he primarily specialized in RC. I had to work my tail off for every kit I got off Dad's shelves! Just for fun, here are some photos of my Dad's shops. (He ended up moving the original location twice. Once in our home town of Moses Lake, WA, then to Knoxville, TN before he had to give it up.) Mark Williams Here's the storefronts of one of those shops:
And that's all for this edition. Be good to your neighbor, and we'll meet again soon.