Nortrop P-61 Black Widow

Nortrop P-61 Black Widow

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Nortrop P-61 Black Widow

The Northrop P-61 Black Widow was the first dedicated night fighter to be produced for the USAAF. This example is seen with D-Day invasion stripes and was part of the 9th Air Defence Command.

Bombers as Interceptors?

. Considering the wallowing performance of high-altitude fighters being barely able to hit 40,000 feet, I thought (wholly independently) of a Vickers Victory with a ventral twin 20-mm remote-controlled turret. As an alternative and post-attack mission, hunting Luftwaffe high-altitude fighters trying to intercept the returnees. A bastard to dive with, but very nasty if it got near you. The original design had a tail-turret.

Just Leo


Carl Schwamberger


Others have answered as to the rest.
As to the above, the issue isn't having a longer-ranged gun. You may have it, but if at its longest range it is unlikely to hit anything, especially a moving, flying target, then your standoff capability is only theoretical, not practical.

Whence the understandable choice to opt for trues standoff weapons, missiles.

Now, the question is: if a bomber can carry X AA missiles and it is longer ranged than a fighter, why not use that as a platform for AAms?
The answer is: you shouldn't compare aircraft per aircraft, but cost per cost. If a fighter can carry X/3 AAMs but also costs /4 with respect to the bomber, you just send 4 fighters, which can fire the missiles and also have air-superiority performance if need be, and you also have more AAMs.

Naturally, they might still not have the same range as a bomber, per se. But you usually have workarounds for that, like external fuel tanks, aircraft carriers, bases around the world, aircraft tankers etc. Since all of that is useful for other purposes, too, you are still better off than with a bomber used as a missile platform.



. Due to the size of the early radars and the need for a dedicated radar operator. So airframes had to be huge, even at the cost of speed and maneuverability. Therefore the first solution was to take an existing light bomber or heavy fighter and equip it with radar and heavy forward firing guns. Examples were the Messerschmitt BF110 and Junkers Ju88 in Germany and the Douglas Havoc/P.60 in UK/US service. Compare that to the Nortrop P.61 Black Widow that was designed from the onset on as a radar night fighter and ended up a 3-person monstrosity barely smaller then the bomber-conversions it was designed to replace.

By the end of the war however, radar had become considerably smaller, small enough to be fitted in a heavy fighter. So we had the Heinkel He219 in Germany, the Twin Mustang in the US and the De Havilland Hornet in the UK.

The possibility was seriously discussed in the Cold War. The US Navy's LAMP LIGHT study of 1955 recommended development of a Long Range Interceptor from the B-47, to be equipped with a large radar in a rotodome and ten long-range AAMs and launched to investigate penetrations of the DEW line. There again, that study also recommended equipping the Grand Banks fishing fleet with air search radars and the development of a global marine traffic surveillance system that makes today's AIS look amateurish.

Convair also proposed a version of the B-58 as an interceptor, presumably competing with the F-108.


Didn't Nimrod carry Sidewiders during the Falklands war

IIRC early in the campaign RAF Nimrods operating from Acension and Lockheed E3s operating from Argentina came across each other - but other than taking photos and swapping hand gestures were unable to do anything about it.

So the RAF decided to mount Sidewinders underwing on a bespoke mounting in case the meeting occoured again.

Regarding bombers being faster than interceptors in the 1930s - the main issue was one of getting the interceptors into the air and into the right place - as bombers during the 30s got increasingly faster and flew higher this problem of carrying out a sucessful interception became so difficult that experts began to make the oft cited claim that the bomber will always get through.

Air defence networks and Radar proved this to be a lie of course.

The issue was repeated in the 50s when USAF Squadrons equipped with F100 Super Sabres found that they were unable to mount interceptions on formations of Bear Bombers even when said bombers were detected 100 miles or more from the West coast such was the performance of both types of Aircraft.

Having a bomber interceptor would not have resolved this issue - having Jet fighters capable of sustained supersonic flight (and one that didn't fall out of the sky as often as the F100) ultimately resolved the issue.

Today I can see a platform such as the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton mounting an APG 77 and other sensors carrying a number of AIM 120Ds or better - they can stay in the air for 24 hours effectively dominating a large area

Mark Zuckerberg’s obsession with Augustus Caesar might explain his haircut

Posted On April 29, 2020 15:56:42

While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was testifying about Libra cryptocurrency before the House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23, 2019, some viewers were focused on policy — but some were focused on his hair.

One congresswoman, Rep. Katie Porter, even brought up his hair during the hearing.

One person on Twitter pointed out that the short haircut might have something to do with Zuckerberg’s fascination with first century BCE Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar.

In a 2018 New Yorker profile, Zuckerberg revealed his admiration for the emperor — he and his wife even went to Rome for their honeymoon. He told the New Yorker, “My wife was making fun of me, saying she thought there were three people on the honeymoon: me, her, and Augustus. All the photos were different sculptures of Augustus.”

Zuckerberg and his wife even named one of their daughters August, reportedly after Caesar.

All of that admiration may be why Zuckerberg’s hairdo closely resembles “The Caesar” haircut (though the style is actually named after Emperor Julius Caesar, below).

But Augustus, Julius Caesar’s great-nephew and adopted son, has similar hair in most statues.

Facebook did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on where Zuckerberg drew inspiration for his ‘do, so while we don’t know for sure, it’s possible the Caesars’ iconic cuts were the source.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

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Scheme A – Northrop P-61B Black Widow 42-39408 (42-39773) ‘Lady in the Dark’, 548th Night Fighter Squadron, USAAF, le Shima Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan 1945.

This magnificent scheme not only presents one of the most significant aircraft in the history of the Second World War, but also one which enjoys a prominent role in the history of Airfix. First introduced in 1967, this new kit benefitted from spectacular Roy Cross artwork which showed P-61B ‘Lady in the Dark’ going on the offensive and bringing her eight gun package to bear on Japanese aircraft parked at their home airfield. At the time this painting was produced, research information indicated that the serial number of this particular aircraft was 42-39773, with the decal sheet being produced accordingly. Subsequent information gleaned from the actual pilot of this aircraft during its final victory confirmed that the correct serial should have been 42-39408, so for this re-issue, both serial number options will be included on the sheet.

Once again underlining just how difficult it can be when attempting to obtain definitive information regarding aircraft which were used during WWII, the pilot of ‘Lady in the Dark’ who confirmed the correct code for the aircraft, was at the time of the incident in question, was called 1st Lt. Solie Solomon USAAF. He would change his name to Lee Kendall in 1962, so it is quite common to find reports of the incident with both his names used and whilst either are technically correct, you can see how confusion can occur in such instances.

One thing which is certainly not in question is the operational use of the P-61 once the aircraft arrived in the Pacific Theatre. Whilst the Japanese had been mounting single aircraft night raids against US targets across the Pacific, the effectiveness of US Navy and Marine fighter units meant that enemy aircraft could be difficult to locate for Black Widow crews hoping to open their victory accounts. Indeed, it has since been reported that some crews could have successfully completed over thirty missions before they even caught sight of an enemy aircraft, such was the overwhelming superiority of the Americans in the Pacific at that time. This forced P-61 crews to go on the offensive, taking targets of opportunity wherever they presented themselves.

Despite only arriving in theatre towards the end of 1944, Northrop P-61B Black Widow 42-39408 ‘Lady in the Dark’ would certainly make a name for herself with regard to the history of the Second World War. It is thought that this aircraft scored the final two victories of WWII whilst operating from le Shima airfield, both on consecutive nights and both flown by different crews. What makes this all the more astonishing is that both victories were claimed without a single shot being fired.

On the evening of 14th/15th August 1945, ‘Lady in the Dark’ was flown from her base at le Shima by pilot Robert W Clyde and his crew when during a routine patrol, they intercepted a Japanese Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki fighter. When they were spotted by the fighter, it immediately took evasive action, diving for the ocean and flying erratically at wave-top height. The crew reported seeing the aircraft hitting the sea and disintegrating before they had the opportunity to bring their guns to bear and on returning to base, they reported the incident to officials. The war had officially ended at 2400 that night and the victory was therefore not attributed to the crew.

With the American’s worried about how remaining Japanese forces would take the order to surrender and still being fearful of Kamikaze attacks, the 548th Night Fighter Squadron mounted a further patrol the following evening (the first official night of peace) and the ‘Lady in the Dark’ was in the air once more. This time in the hands of 1st Lt. Solomon (who later changed his name to Lee Kendall) and his crew, the airmen were once again expecting an uneventful sortie when ground controllers informed them of a possible bogie approaching the island. Vectoring to the general vicinity and activating their radar, they intercepted another Ki-44 which once again began taking evasive action. Moving in close on four separate occasions to try and obtain a positive identification, the Nakajima was clearly up to no good and whilst continuing to take violent evasive action, it slammed into the ground, scattering wreckage over a wide area. Ground forces later confirmed that it was indeed a Japanese Ki-44 fighter.

Northrop P-61 Black Widow ‘Lady in the Dark’had prevented two enemy aircraft from potentially carrying out devastating raids against American forces, with the reputation of the nightfighter forcing what were probably two novice airmen into taking disorientating evasive action. The aircraft had the distinction of claiming the last two aerial victories (of sorts) of the Second World War, all without firing a shot. As the war was officially over, there was no real desire to corroborate the claims of the two crews, so neither were credited with their unusual victories – post war research has since attributed the last two aerial victories of WWII to the ‘Lady in the Dark’, a rather unusual and historic claim to fame for this Northrop P-61B Black Widow nightfighter.

13th air force 5th bomb group 394th squadron

Benson, Frank E. 71st Squadron, 38th Bomb Group, Fifth Air Force 173 Benson, R. W. H Company, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division 482 Benson, Roy C Company, 2nd Armored Amphibian Battalion 214 On the 30 April 1945, the 394th Bomb Squadron took off from Guiuan Air Strip, Samar Island, Philippine Islands, for a combat bombing mission on Davao, Mindanao Island, Philippine Islands. Find Usaaf 424th Bomb Squadron, For Sale After its arrival at Roosevelt Field, Long Island, the 104th Aero Squadron demobilized and most of its men returned to civilian life. One bomb bay did have bombs. The 13th Bomb Squadron is a squadron of the United States Air Force. 13th Strategic Missile Division. A war-time portrait of James Owenby. This photo is the B-24D, 'THE VULGAR VIRGIN' - SN #41- 24198 - 9th Air Force, 98th Bomb Group, 344th Bomb Squadron, flown by command pilot Lt Taylor, flying in the center of Flight Five, the last of the four flights behind Col The 394th BS was the training unit for all incoming B-17 Flying Fortress crews and was stationed throughout the Pacific theater. The group was activated in March 1943 and equipped with the Martin B-26 Marauder. In an unusual strategy the Snooper Squadron, B-24 Bombers, flew at night at low altitudes preventing the enemy from resupplying at night. Squadron . 5th Bomb Group Little Queen Mary B-24 13th A.F. The 5th Operations Group (5 OG) is an operational component of the United States Air Force 5th Bomb Wing, stationed at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.Its mission is to manage and operate B-52H Stratofortress bombers serve as part of the Air Force's conventional and strategic combat force.. Thirteenth Air Force, c. 10 Apr 1964 (attached to 405 Fighter Wing, 10 Apr? 31st Bombardment Squadron (H) [5th Bomb Group (H), 13th Air Force] Mission: neutralize the Japanese forces in the South and Southwest Pacific by bombing their shipping, airstrips, personnel and supply areas. In May 1919, the squadron was reassigned to neighboring Mitchell Field the squadron was down to one officer and one enlisted man and was carried by the Air Service as an administrative, unmanned unit. 13th Fighter Squadron. Anyone have a new URL? 11th Air Force. The 49th Bomb Wing flew B-24 Liberators and was headquartered at Castelluccia, Italy. You are here: Gallery » USA » Air Force » B-24 Liberator part 3 » B-24J 44-40543 #543 of the 13th Air Force, 5th Bomb Group, 23rd Bomb Squadron, named “Streamliner” nose art « Next photo B-24 Liberator part 3 image 90 of 245 Previous photo » Brig. The U.S. Air Force was part of the Army during World War II, and was also called the Army Air Forces or the Air Corps. On this web-page you will fink links to web-sites and web-pages that contain casualty lists from World War II. AAAVG_AAC > 340th Bomb Squadron, 97th Bomb Group - 15th AF. Established as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomb group in early 1942. 10th Air Force. This is one of the rarest and most sought after 14th Air Force Flying Tigers squadron patches. 5th Bomb Group, 394th Bomb Squadron The Hempstead Warrior 405th Fighter Group, 510th Fighter Squadron . 13th Troop Carrier Squadron Jersey Bounce [B-17F-20-BO 41-24515] 91st Bomb Group, 324th Bomb Squadron . Ohio Air Force [B-17F-120-BO 42-30737] 385th Bomb Group, 549th Bomb Squadron Ohio Gal 358th Fighter Group 141st Air Refueling Wing. The 740th and 741st Strategic Missile Squadrons operationally controlled the ICBMs and in January 1963, the 742d Strategic Missile Squadron was activated with a third squadron of … 144th Fighter Wing. It moved to England in February-March 1944 and joined the Ninth Air Force. Activated 3 February 1942 at MacDill Field Fl. Brian Bean 308th Bombardment Group China-Burma-India 1942 - 1945 The 308th Bombardment Group (H) was established by Army Air Forces on 28 Jan 1942. 13th Aero Squadron. 5th BG "Bomber Barons": . 23rd BS 31st BS 72nd BS 394th BS 370th BS 371st BS 372nd BS 424th BS 868th BS. 5th Air Force. Thirteenth Air Force Detailed Order of Battle 1 August 1945 (Updated 19 November 2012) References. Trained under Second Air Force before becoming an Operational Training Unit (OTU). The 5th Operations Group (5 OG) is an operational component of the United States Air Force 5th Bomb Wing, stationed at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.Its mission is to manage and operate B-52H Stratofortress bombers serve as part of the Air Force's conventional and strategic combat force.. We represent all of the top aviation artists in the world and we know all the prints that have ever been published - if you are looking for a print, let us help you find it! Air Force Combat Units of World War II by Maurer Maurer, 1983 Combat Squadrons of the Air Force: World War II by Maurer Maurer, 1969. Julie Kossor, S/Sgt, 42001740, 389th Bomb Squadron/386th Bomb Squadron, 312th Bomb Group "Roaring 20's", 5th Air Force, USAAF, WWII Air Force Biographies of The Justin Museum Tzolag A. Aaronian , S/Sgt, 565th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF, KIA, WWII, USAAF (new 5/6/01) 20th Air Force. The squadron operates Boeing B-52H Stratofortress aircraft. At 1313 hours on April 13, 2018, Colonel Brian Gallo, commander of the 509th Operations Group, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri announced the consolidation of its two B-2 squadrons, the 13th and 393rd Bomb Squadrons into one combined squadron, the 393rd BS. Discover (and save!) 12th Air Force. AAAVG_AAC > AAC - 334th Bomb Squadron 95th Bomb Group 8th AF. Pete had several brushes with death during his training and also while flying over ninety hours of combat during nine missions over enemy held territory. Sep 3, 2012 - This Pin was discovered by Jim Sherman. Redesignated 5th Bombardment Group in Mar 1938, 5th Bombardment Group (Medium) in Dec 1939, and 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in Nov 1940. In 1961, the Air Force selected the land around Minot for a new Minuteman I ICBM complex. Airmen from the 394th Bombardment Squadron gather for a group photo during World War II at an unknown location. 390th Bombardment Group (H) 13th Combat Wing -- 3rd Air Division of the 8th Air Force This memorial is the configuration of the tail of a B-17 aircraft known as the Flying Fortress. Also attached to the 394th Bomb Group was the 2146th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon, the 320th Air Service Squadron and the 1025th Signal Company. Following is a narrative on a mission by Arthur Artig. BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. 98th Bomb Group American Air Museum in Britain. 4th Air Force. Capt John C Fitch, 15BS, 12AF walking away from the belly landing he made in an Me110E Oct-43 Italy. Fitch had been flying the captured fighter to train US air gunners, when he was hit and had to belly in. Fitch later flew P-51D's for 4th Fighter Group. The 15th Bomb Squadron was the first US bomb unit sent to UK. 1944 USAAF Serial Numbers (44-40049 to 44-70254) Last revised June 5, 2021 Briefly designated as the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron (4th Recon Squadron). Three of the better 19th Bombardment Group B-17E Flying Fortresses were assigned to the 13th Air Force (13th AF), 5th Bombardment Group (5th BG), 394th Bombardment Squadron (394th BS) including B-17E "Calamity Jane" 41-2440, B-17E 41-2632 and B-17E 41-2658. The 394th Bomb Group. The squadron is equipped with the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. 393rd Bomb Squadron. STICKER US ARMY AIR CORPS 13th Air Corps Ferry Squadron. Other than a mission on April 8, 1944 while temporarily assigned to the 69th Bombardment Squadron, Wayne flew no combat missions until May 1944. Shop 424th Bomb 307th Patch 7th Squadron, Force 13th And Group, Air Bomb Usaaf 100a in stock. Free shipping for many products! Compare. Compare. He had been in South Pacific for two and a half months when he began flying combat missions with the 75th Bombardment Squadron. 6th Bomb Wing . 13th Bomb Sqn 13th Bomb Sqn 13th Bomb Sqn (Unofficial Home Page of the Grim Reapers) . 394th Bomb Group 394th Bomb Group 394th Bomb Group 397th Bomb Group 398th Bomb Group Assignments. The 15th Bomb Squadron flew five light bombing missions in DB-7 A-20 Bostons from the UK before being reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force at Mediouna, Algeria from 15-Oct-1942 to 1-Oct-1943. Wwii Usaaf 556th Bomb Squadron, 387th Bomb Group, 8th And 9th Air Force Patch $740.00 5 Ww 2 Usaaf 75th Bomb Squadron 42nd Bomb Group 5th And 13th Af Patch Inv L189 The 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, along with their Total Force partners in the 131st Bomb Wing of the Air National Guard, won the Fairchild Trophy for the Best Bomb Wing, while the 341st … Usaaf 424th Bomb Squadron, 307th Bomb Group, 7th And 13th Air Force Patch 100a For Sale. The history of the Bomber Barons of the Thirteenth "Jungle" Air Force as compiled by the 5th Group Historical Officer, and released for publication by the 13th Air Force Public Relations Officer Cover title: History of the Fifth Bomb Group Electronic reproduction Master and use copy. Fatal Mid Air Collision over Epinoy, crashed in 42-96207 No MACR as … 5th BG. It is assigned to the 509th Operations Group, Air Force Global Strike Command, stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. Assigned to Seventh AF in Feb 1942. 42nd Bombardment Group — May 1944. 141st Air Refueling Squadron. The Fifth Air Force and the Thirteenth Air Force were combined to become the Far East Air … Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for USAF 394th BOMBARDMENT Squadron (Heavy) Patch (Inactive Bomb Unit) at the best online prices at eBay! 15th Air Force. 393rd Bomb Squadron. ral Sane Volume 3 Pacific and H me Front, toe By Dana Bell _ Ce < : Air Force Colors Volume 3 Pacific and Home Front, 1942-47 By Dana Bell Illustrated by Don Greer Betty Stadt and Dana Bell >=. Uniform of TSGT Joe Fort Byrum. Seller: nchs ️ (40,575) 99.9%, Location: Springfield, Virginia, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 352240744906 b4779 WW2 US Army Air Force 449th Fighter Squadron 23rd Fighter Group Patch R11E. 13th Air Forces Fighter Command was under the command of Colonel Dean Strother. 392nd Bomb Group (H) 394th Bomb Squadron 394th Bomb Group (M) 397th Bomb Group (M) (B-26 Memorial) 398th Bomb Group (H) 401st Bombardment Group 409th Bombardment Group (L) 410th Bombardment Group (L) 416th Bombardment Group (L) 417th Bombardment Group (L) 445th Combat Group (H) 446th Bomb Group (H) 447th Bomb Group 448th Bomb Group 449th Bomb Group My dad was a tail gunner in a B-25 with 78 missions in the south pacific. 6th Air Force. The U.S. Air Force was part of the Army during World War II, and was also called the Army Air Forces or the Air Corps. formed and trained there until end of March 1942 when the unit moved to Sarosota AAB, Fl for training. HQ 57th Fighter Group and the 64th, 65th and 66th Fighter Squadrons move from Muqeibile and Beit Daras, Palestine to Landing Ground 174, Egypt with P-40s. In India, the 164th, 165th and 166th Liaison Squadrons (Commando), with UC-64s and L-5s, and the 319th Troop Carrier Squadron (Commando), with C-47s, are activated at Asansol and assigned to the 1st Air Commando Group. Reproduction WWII US Army Air Force Fighter Squadron patch.449th Fighter Squadron 23rd Fighter Group.Full machine embroidered on WWII style machines, cut edge.Size is 6 inches.Listing is … Group, 5th AAF P-38 Pacific 26th Recon Squadron, Air Corps US Army S.A.A.B, Salinas, California (1942) 27th Bomb Group, 27th Fighter Bomber Group, 27th Fighter Group 29th Bomb Squadron, 40th Bomb Group B-24 31st Troop Carrier SQ., 89th Troop Carrier Group 31st T/R Observation SQ. 140th Operations Group. Equipped with B-17's and B-18's by Dec 1941. Its history dated to 5 May 1917 as the 4th Aero Squadron. Lisa Kay Owenby, b. I have set these links up by Branch of Service, and Unit. 5th Bomb Group Little Queen Mary B-24 13th A.F. He was in the 13TH Air Force–42ND Bomb Group–69TH Bombardment Squadron.His name is George J.Bean Jr. from Linden N.J. His pilot who is still with us is Lloyd E.Davis from Lampasas Texas.He just turned 100 years old. Picture of 3rd Attack Group sign from Bill Swain . China Burma India. 13th Attack Squadron, 3rd Attack Group 2003 Reunion . Discontinued, and inactivated, on 15 Jan 1968. Then on 30 September 1973, the 13th was simultaneously re-designated the 13th Bombardment Squadron, Tactical, and inactivated. 804 13th Air Force 5th Bomb Group 394th Bomb Squadron B-24D 42 40653 9/28/1943 725 13th Air Force 5th Bomb Group 23rd Bomb Squadron B-24D 42 72794 10/1/1943 803 13th Air Force 5th Bomb Group 72nd Bomb Squadron B-24D 42 40210 10/10/1943 1176 13th Air Force 5th Bomb Group 72nd Bomb Squadron B-24D 42 41155 11/3/1943 Photos 1. Bombardment . 14th Air Force. The Headquarters for the 13th Air Force were established at Espirito Santo in the New Hebrides, which is located about 560 miles south east of Guadalcanal. The 15th Bomb Squadron was the first US bomb unit sent to UK. Present Whiteman Air Force Base Knob Noster, Missouri, United States. Activated on 8 Feb 1969. Flights were flown over these vast distances with no fighter escorts. The first P-61 Black Widow kill in the CBI theater took place on October 30, 1944, when a Kunming-based Black Widow flown by Capt. Coordinates. $3.00. Three of the better 19th Bombardment Group B-17E Flying Fortresses were assigned to the 13th Air Force (13th AF), 5th Bombardment Group (5th BG), 394th Bombardment Squadron (394th BS) including B-17E "Calamity Jane" 41-2440 , B-17E 41-2632 and B-17E 41-2658 . Compare. 8th Air Force. -- Air Force Global Strike Command announced the winners of the fifth Global Strike Challenge during a score posting event here Oct. 21. The 455th Strategic Missile Wing was activated in December 1962 along with the 455th Missile Maintenance Squadron. . Heden Whiteman Air Force Base Knob Noster, Missouri, Verenigde Staten. For over four decades, we have had the opportunity to provide aviation art collectors and WWII history buffs with special, signed aviation prints. The 390th Bombardment Group (H) flew 301 combat missions out of England during World War II. 13th Bomb Squadron - 509th Composite Group - Roswell UFO incident - Strategic Air Command - Operation Crossroads - Charles Sweeney - John Dale Ryan - 394th Combat Training Squadron - 509th Bomb Wing - 509th Weapons Squadron - 325th Weapons Squadron - Whiteman Air Force Base - 830th Bombardment Squadron - United States Air Force - Missouri - Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit - … The Thirteenth Air Force was also the home of the 868th Bombardment Squadron (the Snoopers). DA: 25 PA: 10 MOZ Rank: 47. Posted on May 31, 2014 by a gray. 13th Air Expeditionary Group. 394th Bombardment Squadron (394th BS) Briefly designated as the 4th Reconnaissance Squadron (4th Recon Squadron). In March 1942 - 42 officers, 62 enlisted men and 24 A-24's were assigned to the 3rd Bomb Group stationed at Charters Towers, Queensland, Australia. They were assigned to the 8th Squadron. The 3rd Light Bombardment Group comprising A-24 Dauntless Dive Bombers, A-20 Havoc Bombers and B-25 Mitchell bombers moved to Charters Towers on 1 March 1942. 140th Wing. The 13th is one of the oldest units in the United States Air Force, first being organized as the 13th Aero Squadron' on 14 … STICKER US ARMY AIR CORPS 394th Fighter Squadron - 367th Fighter Group. The history of the 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), comprised of the 23rd, 31st, 72nd and 394th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), in the … As a professional researcher and World War II historian, Bill Beigel provides research services to genealogists, historians, authors, and civilians who are looking for information found in WW2 military unit records. SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA (SWPA, 5th Air Force): B-17s bomb the wharf and airfield at Rabaul, New Britain Island and airfield on Gasmata Island off the S coast of New Britain Island. The 455th Strategic Missile Wing was activated in December 1962 along with the 455th Missile Maintenance Squadron. 143d Airlift Squadron. Redesignated 13 Fighter Squadron on 1 Jul 1973. The 394th Bombardment Group was a medium bomber unit that served with the Ninth Air Force in Europe, taking part in the D-Day invasion and the campaign that followed. 5th Bomb Group 394th Bomb Squadron Serial #44-40536 Sharpe 23 (Thomas Sharpe Collection) I found the fate of the plane pictured above: Serial # 44-40536 (5th BG) lost Jan 5, 1945, SW Pacific. The history of the 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), comprised of the 23rd, 31st, 72nd and 394th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), in the Pacific and CBI theatres of operations in World War II. TUESDAY, 29 JUNE 1943 (No mention of action by 13th AAF) WEDNESDAY, 30 JUNE 1943 "Smoky Mountain Clans, Volume 3", Donald B. Reagan, 1983, p 94. The 13th Bombardment Squadron was re-activated on 23 September 2005 . 2nd Air Force. 13th. 19 May 1966 (Age 54 years) James D. Owenby served in the Army s 13th Air Force, 5th Bombardment Group, 394th Bombardment Squadron during World War II, one of the most productive squadrons during the war, he said. Bomb Group B-24's were lost … During November 1942, three B-17E's from the 19th Bombardment Group were transfered to the South Pacific (SoPAC). Minot Air Force Base (IATA: MIB, ICAO: KMIB, FAA LID: MIB) is a U.S. Air Force installation in Ward County, North Dakota, 13 miles (20 km) north of the city of Minot via U.S. 83.In the 2010 census, the base was counted as a CDP with a total population of 5,521, down from 7,599 in 2000. SOUTH PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Thirteenth Air Force) The 394th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers with B-24's from the Fiji Islands to Guadalcanal Island in the Solomon Islands. Capt James Donald Robertson was with the 13th Air Force, 5th Bombardment Group (H), 394th Bombardment Squadron (H). Choose Options. As a professional researcher and World War II historian, Bill Beigel provides research services to genealogists, historians, authors, and civilians who are looking for information found in WW2 military unit records. Stars and Stripes Transféré aux États-Unis le 6 novembre 1945, le groupe s'installe sur la base de Roswell Army Air Field (renommée Walker Air Force Base en juin 1947) dans le Nouveau-Mexique où il forme le cœur du nouveau Strategic Air Command.Le 509th Bombardment Wing est créé à Roswell le 17 novembre 1947 et se voit rajouter le 509th Air refueling Squadron sur KB-29M le 19 juillet de l'année suivante. Commanding General: Major General Paul B. Wurtsmith 13th … Flew 8th AFs first heavy bomber mission from United Kingdom on 17 Aug 1942. 509th Mission Support Group. The 69th Bomb Squadron is an active United States Air Force unit. Tail Insignias - Mid/Late 1944 - 1945. Task Group 59.4 was based on Marine Air Wing 4 and was the garrison air force for the Gilberts and Marshalls with the task of pounding bypassed Japanese garrisons in the area. Lineage. Task Group 59.5 was the area tactical transport command. Seller: nchs ️ (40,657) 99.9%, Location: Springfield, Virginia, Ships to: US & many other countries, Item: 351373389831 b4775 WW 2 US Army Air Force 80th Fighter Squadron 8th Fighter Group Patch R11E. 394th Combat Training Squadron. The 13th Bomb Squadron is a squadron of the United States Air Force.It is assigned to the 509th Operations Group, Air Force Global Strike Command, stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.The squadron is equipped with the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.. Unrecoverable. Byrum was crew of the B-24 “Hell from Heaven” part of the 5th Bomb Group, 394th Bomb Squadron, 13th Army Air Force. In October 1941, when Jack Heyn was assigned to the 3rd Bomb Group, it was based at Savannah Army Air Base, Sav., Ga.. In 1961, the Air Force selected the land around Minot for a new Minuteman I ICBM complex. Robert R. Scott and Charles W. Phillips of the 426th Night Fighter Squadron shot down a Japanese twin-engined aircraft. 394th Combat Training Squadron. 5 talking about this. Its combat debut came very quickly, in March 1944. Missing Air Crew Report #11532 Scrolling through the Army Air Corps Aircraft Data Base I found that large numbers of 5th. The 340th Bombardment Squadron head north for Austria in the late summer of 1944. Just across the equator, the squadron encountered a towering storm front. The 394th is the fourth oldest squadron in the United States Air Force. The 5th Operations Group (5 OG) is an operational component of the United States Air Force 5th Bomb Wing, stationed at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.Its mission is to manage and operate B-52H Stratofortress bombers serve as part of the Air Force's conventional and strategic combat force.. $3.00. The 394th Combat Training Squadron was a United States Air Force unit assigned to the 509th Operations Group until inactivated on 13 April 2018. Foto's 1. The flight to, and over the target, was successful. The 5th Bomb Group (the 'Bomber Barons') flew heavy bombers in the Pacific theater during WWII. Commander. The 13th Air Force was placed under the command of Brigadier General Nathan F. Twining. 13th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. It was stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The United States Air Force's 341st Missile Wing is an intercontinental ballistic missile unit headquartered at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.Up until 1 July 2008, it was designated as the 341st Space Wing. Pete was assigned to the 394th Bomb Squadron, 5th Bomb Group, 13th Air Force and was shipped off to fight in the Pacific Theatre in mid-1945. 3rd Air Force. 9th Air Force. 4th Fighter Group 5th Air Force USAAF 5th Army Air Force. dead link! 13th Bomb Squadron. 1944 USAAF Serial Numbers (44-30911 to 44-35357) Last updated February 1, 2021 your own Pins on Pinterest $3.00. 7th Air Force. Choose Options. The mission of the squadron was to train Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit aircrews, a mission now executed by the 13th Bomb Squadron. Military | Corporal | Radio / Gunner | 394th Bomb Group Assigned to 586BS, 394BG, 9AF USAAF. 13 Bombardment Squadron, Tactical on 1 Oct 1955. Bomb … The Fifteenth Air Force 49th Bomb Wing. On June 14, 2000 after over 26 years in hibernation, the Grim Reapers returned to the active Air Force, eager to add to their lineage as the Air Force’s most storied Bomb Squadron. Engaged primarily in search and patrol missions off Hawaii from Dec 1941 to Nov 1942. After being inactivated on 31 December 1993, it was reactivated on 3 September 2009 at Minot Air Force Base, and assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing. Also attached to the 394th Bomb Group was the 2146th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon, the … Bases: Hickam Field, Hawaii Kipapa Field, Hawaii Kualoa Field, Hawaii Pecoa Field, Espiritu Santo Henderson Field, Guadalcanal The 13th is one of the oldest units in the United States Air Force, first being organized as the 13th Aero Squadron… Army Air Forces. Missing Air Crew Report #11532 Scrolling through the Army Air Corps Aircraft Data Base I found that large numbers of 5th. On August 9, 1944, he took off from Momote, Los Negros with the others from the squadron on the last combat mission to the island of Yap. About 15 May, the 104th moved to Fort Bliss, Texas, and during June to Kelly Field, Texas, still manne… However, it was not until the 15th of April that the unit was activated at Gowen Field, Idaho. Recent information reveals that WW II's key Pacific air force was the 13 Air Force. In the pre D-Day campaign it was used to attack V-weapon sites, rail links, bridges, gun positions and Luftwaffe air fields… I saved it from a surplus store, got it for $20. 5th Bomb Group 394th Bomb Squadron Serial #44-40536 Sharpe 23 (Thomas Sharpe Collection) I found the fate of the plane pictured above: Serial # 44-40536 (5th BG) lost Jan 5, 1945, SW Pacific. Formed in August 1943 and not part of any Bombardment Group (although it was initially designated the 394th BS, 5th BG) this unit specialised on long range low-level radar aided attacked, and operated over vast distances across the south-west Pacific. On that same day uthorization for, and activation of, the 373rd, 374th, 375th and 425th Bomb Squadrons occurred, with all of them assigned to the 308th. 13th Bomb Squadron. 97th Bombardment Group. 146th Airlift Wing. 13th Air Force. Gen. William L. Lee. 509th Operations Support Squadron. 142nd Fighter Wing. 13th Bomb Squadron. The Aircraft closest to the camera (42-102938) was lost in a mid-air collision during the mission to Vienna on 16 March 1944Emblem of the 340th Bombardment Squadron (World War II)>> |Source= Mauer,Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force… Flying personnel arrived at Newport without aircraft on 13 May 1942. Reproduction WWII US Army Air Force Fighter Squadron patch.80th Fighter Squadron Patch 8th Fighter GroupHand embroidered on wool.Size is 4 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches.Listing is for 1, stock photos … STICKER US ARMY AIR CORPS 8th Air Force - 398th Bomb Group - 600th Squadron copy. On November 14, 1942 assigned to the 13th Air Force (13th AF), 5th Bombardment Group (5th BG), 394th Bombardment Squadron (394th BS) … The 740th and 741st Strategic Missile Squadrons operationally controlled the ICBMs and in January 1963, the 742d Strategic Missile Squadron was activated with a third squadron … STICKER US ARMY AIR CORPS 14th Photo Recon SQ. Rice, Charles 5th Bomb Squadron, 9th Bomb Group, 313th Bomb Wing 775 Rice, Daun H Company, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division 482 Rice, Earl A Company, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division 156 The 394th Bombardment Group of the 9th United States Army Air Force (USAAF) was activated in February 1943 and during the 2nd World War flew missions in B26 Martin Marauder twin engined medium bombers from Boreham airfield near Chelmsford in Essex before being based after D-Day in France, Holland and finally Germany.

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Circus over France

Hurricanes of 312 Squadron escorting Short Stirling bombers on a ‘circus’ operation to Lille, 5 July 1941. The use of heavy bombers instead of the more usual Bristol Blenheims was a further attempt to encourage Luftwaffe fighters into the air.

The Mk Vb was the principal Spitfire variant in service during 1941 and 1942. This particular aircraft (serial R6923) was shot down by a Messerschmitt Bf 109 near Dover on 21 June 1941.

The Battle of Britain was over. Operation Sealion, Hitler’s projected invasion of England, had been postponed indefinitely. The Luftwaffe’s bombers now came at night, striking at Britain’s cities in the cold, interminable darkness of the war’s second winter.

It was time for Fighter Command to turn from defence to offence. On 20 December 1940, two Spitfires of No. 66 Squadron, flown by Flight Lieutenant G. P. Christie and Pilot Officer C. A. W. Brodie, took off from Biggin Hill and set course across the Channel under a low cloud base. Crossing the enemy coast at Dieppe, they swept down on Le Touquet airfield and shot up several installations. There was no opposition from either flak or fighters and both Spitfires returned safely to base.

During the next few days, Spitfires and Hurricanes from other squadrons, operating in twos and threes, made short dashes into enemy territory. Their pilots reported that the Luftwaffe was absent from the sky. Encouraged, Fighter Command decided to try something bigger. On 9 January 1941, in brilliant sunshine and perfect visibility, five fighter squadrons penetrated thirty miles into France. There was no sign of movement on the snow-covered airfields they flew over not a single Messerschmitt took to the air to intercept them.

The following day, the RAF decided to stir up a hornet’s nest. That morning, six Blenheims of No. 114 Squadron, escorted by six squadrons of Hurricanes and Spitfires, attacked ammunition and stores dumps in the Foret de Guines. This time, the Luftwaffe took the bait, but only to a limited extent. There was some skirmishing, in the course of which one Hurricane was shot down. Two battle-damaged Spitfires crash-landed on return to base, one of the pilots being killed. It was an inauspicious end to the RAF’S first combined daylight bombing raid and fighter sweep, known as ‘Circus No. 1’.

Nevertheless, offensive sweeps were carried out whenever the weather permitted during the early weeks of 1941, and Luftwaffe opposition gradually increased. It was clear that the Germans, following the policy adopted by the RAF before the Battle of Britain, were reluctant to commit their fighter defences in strength. There was also another reason in January 1941, several first-line Luftwaffe fighter units on the Channel coast had begun to re-equip with an improved model of the Messerschmitt, the 109F-1, but early in February three 190Fs were lost when the complete tail assembly broke away, and the remainder had to be withdrawn for structural modifications.

By March 1941, fighter sweeps over the continent were becoming organized affairs, with the Spitfire and Hurricane squadrons operating in wing strength. A Fighter Command Wing consisted of three squadrons, each of twelve aircraft. There were Spitfire wings at Biggin Hill, Hornchurch and Tangmere, mixed Spitfire and Hurricane wings at Duxford, Middle Wallop and Wittering, and Hurricane wings at Kenley, Northolt and North Weald.

The Biggin Hill Wing, in the spring and summer of 1941, comprised Nos. 72, 92 and 609 Squadrons, all of which had achieved impressive records during the Battle of Britain. It was led by Wing Commander Adolf Gysbert Malan, a redoubtable South African with eighteen confirmed victories to his credit, a DSO and two DFCs. Known to all and sundry as ‘Sailor’ because of his pre-war service in the Merchant Navy, he was one of the RAF’S foremost air combat tacticians, and his famous ‘Ten Rules of Air Fighting’ were displayed on crew-room walls throughout Fighter Command. Their message was brutally simple.

  1. Wait until you see the whites of his eyes. Fire short bursts of 1 or 2 seconds and only when your sights are definitely ‘ON’.
  2. Whilst shooting think of nothing else brace the whole of your body have both hands on the stick concentrate on your ring sight.
  3. Always keep a sharp lookout. Keep your fingers out!
  4. Height gives you the initiative.
  5. Always turn and face the attack.
  6. Make your decisions promptly. It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best.
  7. Never fly straight and level for more than thirty seconds in the combat area.
  8. When diving to attack leave a proportion of your formation above to act as top guard.
  9. Initiative, aggression, air discipline and TEAMWORK are the words that mean something in air fighting.
  10. Go in quickly — punch hard — Get out!

Sailor Malan was not a talkative man. His business was killing the enemy, and the basic skills of his trade were hammered home hard to those who found themselves under his wing. During the Battle of Britain, when he first rose to fame, the popular Press did its best to surround him with an aura of glamour. War reporters found him uncommunicative, and on the few occasions when he did open up his forthright manner often shocked them. Once, he was asked how he went about shooting down a German bomber. ‘I try not to, now,’ was his reply. ‘I think it’s a bad thing. If you shoot them down they don’t get back, and no one over there knows what’s happening. So I reckon the right thing to do is to let them get back. With a dead rear gunner a dead navigator, and the pilot coughing up his lungs as he lands. If you do that, it has a better effect on their morale. Of course, if you just mean to shoot them down — well, what I generally do is knock out both engines.’

The pilots of Malan’s Biggin Hill Wing were proud to belong to what was generally recognized as an elite formation. One of them was Sergeant Jim Rosser of 72 Squadron, who flew his first sweeps in the spring of 1941 and whose experiences were typical of many young pilots.

‘We would cross the Channel in sections, line astern, climbing all the time. We always climbed into the sun, which was absolute hell your eyes felt as though they were burning down into your head and within a few minutes you were saturated in sweat. It might have been just coincidence, but on every sweep I flew we always seemed to head for Lille, which we hated. It was our deepest penetration at that time, and there was flak all the way.

‘I will never forget my first operation. Seventy-two Squadron was flying top cover I was “Yellow Two”, in other words the number two aircraft in Yellow Section, and quite honestly I hadn’t a clue what was going on. We flew a sort of semi-circle over France, still in sections line astern, and then came out again. I never saw a single enemy aircraft but we must have been attacked, because when we got home three of our Spits were missing…’

No. 72 Squadron’s commanding officer was an Australian, Desmond Sheen, who had begun his operational career with the squadron before the war. In April 1940 he had been posted to No. 212 Squadron and during the next few months had flown photo-reconnaissance sorties all over Europe in specially modified Spitfires, returning to 72 Squadron just in time to take part in the Battle of Britain. He was to lead the squadron on sweeps over occupied Europe for eight months, from March to November 1941.

Sheen’s opposite number with No. 92 Squadron was Jamie Rankin, a Scot from Portobello, Edinburgh, who had originally joined the Fleet Air Arm but later transferred to the RAF. When he was appointed to command No. 92 in March 1941 it was the top-scoring unit in Fighter Command, and its score increased steadily under Rankin’s dynamic leadership. Rankin himself opened his score with No. 92 by destroying a Heinkel He 59 floatplane and damaging a Bf 109 on 11 April. This was followed by another confirmed 109 on the twenty-fourth, and in June — a month of hectic fighting over France — he shot down seven more 109s, together with one probable.

It was Jamie Rankin who provided Jim Rosser with the latter’s first Messerschmitt 109. Rosser was now commissioned, with the rank of pilot officer.

‘We didn’t always fly operationally with our own squadrons. On this occasion Jamie Rankin was leading the wing and I was flying as his number two, which was a considerable privilege. The Luftwaffe was up in strength and there was an almighty free-for-all, during which the wing got split up. I clung to Jamie’s tail like grim death, and as we were heading for the Channel he suddenly called up over the R/T and said: “There’s a Hun at two o’clock below — have a go!” I looked down ahead and to the right and there, sure enough, was a 109, flying along quite sedately a few thousand feet lower down. I dived after him, levelled out astern and opened fire. He began to smoke almost at once and fell away in a kind of sideslip. A moment later, flames streamed from him.’

A lot of young pilots got their first break that way, while flying with Rankin. And most of them felt the same as Jim Rosser: with Jamie guarding your tail, you didn’t have much to worry about except shooting down the Hun in your sights.

Leadership of this kind emerged in more than one way during that spring and summer of 1941. ‘Once,’ Jim Rosser remembers, ‘we were on our way back home after a sweep, heading for Mansion as usual to refuel, when the weather clamped down. I knew Manston well by this time, and I just managed to scrape in, together with four or five other pilots. Many of the others, however, were relatively new boys and they were in trouble. Then one of our 72 Squadron flight commanders, Ken Campbell, came up over the radio and told everybody to get into a circle and stay put above the murk. One by one he guided them down, wingtip to wingtip, until they were safely on the ground. When he eventually landed, I don’t think he had enough fuel left to taxi in. More than one pilot owed his life to Ken that day.’

By May 1941, fifty-six squadrons of fighters and fighter-bombers were regularly taking part in offensive sweeps over occupied Europe. Of these, twenty-nine still flew Hurricanes, but the earlier Mk. Is had now been almost completely replaced by improved Mk. IIAs and IIBs. Before the end of the year, however, the Hurricanes were to assume the role of fighter-bomber, the actual sweeps being undertaken exclusively by Spitfires. In June, the Spitfire II began to give way to the Mk. V, which was to become the most numerous of all Spitfire variants. The majority were armed with two 20mm cannon and four machine guns, affording a greater chance of success against armour plating. The Mk. V was powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin 45 engine, developing 1,415 hp at 19,000 feet against the 1,150 hp of the Merlin XII fitted in the Mk. II. Nevertheless, the Spitfire V was essentially a compromise aircraft, rushed into service to meet an urgent Air Staff requirement for a fighter with a performance superior to the latest model of Messerschmitt. The service debut of the Spitfire V came just in time, for in May 1941 the Luftwaffe fighter units on the Channel coast had begun to receive the Messerschmitt 109F, its technical problems now resolved. On 11 May, a group of bomb-carrying 109Fs attacked Lympne and Hawkinge, and one of them was shot down by a Spitfire of No. 91 Squadron.

The Spitfire V, however, failed to provide the overall superiority Fighter Command needed so badly. At high altitude, where many air combats took place, it was found to be inferior to the Bf 109F on most counts, and several squadrons equipped with the Mk. V took a severe mauling during that summer.

Several notable RAF pilots flew their last sorties in a Spitfire V. One of them was the near-legendary Douglas Bader, who flew with artificial legs as a result of a pre-war flying accident. In 1941 Bader commanded the Tangmere Wing, which comprised Nos. 145, 610 and 616 Squadrons, all flying Spitfires, and by the end of July his personal score stood at twenty-two enemy aircraft destroyed. Bader had an aversion to cannon armament, believing that it encouraged pilots to open fire at too great a range, so his personal aircraft was a Spitfire VA with an armament of eight machine-guns. The Germans always knew when the Tangmere Wing was involved in a sweep, for Bader’s callsign — ‘Dogsbody’, taken from his initials — was easily identifiable.

Bader came from Duxford to take command of the Tangmere Wing, and with him, as station commander and fighter controller, came Group Captain Woodhall, considered by many to be the finest controller produced by the RAF during the war. Together, they made a formidable team. ‘Johnnie’ Johnson, who flew with the Tangmere Wing in 1941 and who later became the official top-scoring pilot in the RAF, wrote of Woodhall:

Over the radio Woodhall’s deep resonant voice seemed to fill our earphones with confidence and assurance. When we were far out over France and he spoke into his microphone it was as if the man was in the air with you, not issuing orders but giving encouragement and advice and always watching the precious minutes, and the headwind which would delay our withdrawal, and the low cloud creeping up from the west which might cover Tangmere when we returned, tired and short of petrol. Then he was always on the ground to meet us after the big shows, to compare notes with Bader and the other leaders. Always he had time for a cheerful word with the novices. And whenever a spontaneous party sprang up in the mess, after a stiff fight or someone collecting a gong or for no valid reason whatsoever, Woodhall was always in the centre of the crowd, leading the jousting with his expensive accordion, which he played with surprising skill, his monocle still held firmly in place. We were a very happy family at Tangmere in that spring and summer of 1941.

Handling the large fighter formations which were being pushed across the Channel that summer called for a high degree of skill on the part of men like Woodhall, whose vital role is all too often ignored, or rather eclipsed, in headier stories of air combat. And by July 1941 Circus operations were very large affairs indeed, with as many as eighteen squadrons of fighters covering a small force of bombers. Getting six wings of Spitfires airborne, to the rendezvous at the right time and place, and shepherding them into and out of enemy territory, was something of a nightmare for everyone concerned, and it began on the ground. Three squadrons of Spitfires — thirty-six aircraft — might make an impressive sight as they taxied round the perimeter of an airfield, but with propellers flicking over dangerously close to wingtips it was all too easy to make a mistake. A late starter would add to the problem as its pilot edged around the outside of the queue, trying to catch up with the rest of his squadron.

Making rendezvous with the bombers — usually over Manston in Kent — was another critical factor. A Spitfire’s tanks held only eighty-five gallons of petrol, and every minute spent in waiting for the Blenheims to turn up reduced a pilot’s chances of getting home safely if he found himself in trouble over France. And over enemy territory the Luftwaffe always seemed to have the advantage. No matter how high the Spitfires climbed, the 109s usually managed to climb higher, ready to dive on the ‘tail-end Charlies’ of the fighter formations and pick them off. There was no dogfighting in the original sense of the word the Messerschmitts fought on the climb and dive, avoiding turning combat with the more manoeuvrable Spitfires wherever possible, and life or death were measured in no more than seconds.

One of the biggest fighter sweeps of 1941 — code-named Circus 62 — was carried out on 7 August, when eighteen squadrons of Spitfires and two of Hurricanes accompanied six Blenheim bombers in an attack on a power station at Lille (always Lille!). The whole force made rendezvous over Manston, with the North Weald Wing, comprising the Hurricanes of No. 71 (American Eagle) Squadron and the Spitfires of Nos. Ill and 222 Squadrons providing close escort for the bombers. Behind and above, as immediate top cover, came the three Spitfire squadrons of the Kenley Wing: Nos. 452 (Australia), 485 (New Zealand), and 602. High above this ‘beehive’ of nearly eighty fighters and bombers came the target support wings, flying at 27,000 feet. There was the Biggin Hill Wing, with Nos. 72, 92 and 609 Squadrons the Hornchurch Wing, with Nos. 403 (Canadian), 603 and 611 Squadrons and Douglas Bader’s Tangmere Wing, with Nos. 41 (the latter having replaced No. 145), 610 and 616. The target support force’s task was to assure air superiority over and around Lille while the attack was in progress.

On this occasion, however, the Luftwaffe stubbornly refused to be drawn into battle in large numbers. Six weeks earlier, the Germans had invaded the Soviet Union, and many fighter groups had been transferred from the Channel area to the eastern front. Those that remained, seriously outnumbered in the face of Fighter Command’s growing strength, had been ordered to conserve their resources. The 109s stayed well above the Spitfire formations, shadowing them. From time to time, small numbers of Messerschmitts broke away and darted down to fire on the odd straggler, always disengaging when the rest of the Spitfires turned on them. Nevertheless, the 109s succeeded in shooting down one of 41 Squadron’s commanders.

The bombers, meanwhile, had found Lille obscured by cloud, so had turned back towards the Channel to attack a concentration of barges at Gravelines. A fierce air battle was already in progress over the coast, where two Polish squadrons of the Northolt Wing — Nos. 306 and 308 — had been waiting to cover the Blenheims during the first phase of their withdrawal. No. 308 Squadron was suddenly ‘bounced’ by about eighteen Messerschmitts, and in the ensuing mêlée two Spitfires were shot down. The Blenheims made their escape unmolested, but the rear support wing, comprising Nos. 19, 257 and 401 Squadrons, was also attacked and lost two Spitfires and a Hurricane. The RAF had therefore lost six aircraft a result which, set against a claim of three 109s destroyed, could hardly be considered favourable, considering the far smaller numbers of enemy aircraft involved.

Another large operation — Circus 63 — was mounted two days later, on Saturday 9 August. This time, the Blenheims’ objective was a supply dump in the Bethune area. Once again, Bader’s Tangmere Wing formed part of the target support force, but things went wrong right from the start when No. 41 Squadron failed to rendezvous on time. The remainder, unable to wait, carried on across the Channel. For a while, all was peaceful then, just a few miles short of the target, the 109s hit them hard. For the next few minutes, Bader’s pilots were hard put to it to hold their own, the wing becoming badly dislocated as the Messer-schmitts pressed home a series of determined attacks. Bader misjudged an attack on a 109 and suddenly found himself isolated. Six enemy fighters closed in on him and, by superb flying, he destroyed two. The end came soon afterwards, when a third 109 collided with him and severed his Spitfire’s fuselage just behind the cockpit. Bader managed to struggle clear of the plunging debris, leaving one of his artificial legs still trapped in the cockpit. His parachute opened, and he floated down to a painful landing and captivity.

On 12 August, three days after Bader was shot down, the medium bombers of the RAF’S NO. 2 Group made their deepest daylight penetration into enemy territory so far when 54 Blenheims bombed two power stations near Cologne. They were escorted by Westland Whirlwind fighters of No. 263 Squadron, the only fighter aircraft with sufficient range to carry out this task. The Whirlwind was highly manoeuvrable, faster than a Spitfire at low altitude, and its armament of four closely-grouped 20mm nose cannon made it a match for any Luftwaffe fighter of the day. As it was, the Whirlwind experienced a spate of troubles with its twin Rolls-Royce Peregrine engines, and only two squadrons were equipped with the type. Eventually, it was used in the fighter-bomber role with considerable success.

As August gave way to September, some senior Air Staff members began to have serious doubts about the value of Circus operations. Fighter Command losses were climbing steadily, and the results achieved hardly seemed to compensate for them. The only real justification for continuing the sweeps, apparently, was to ensure that Fighter Command remained in a state of combat readiness.

The morale of Fighter Command, however, was soon to take a serious blow. On 21 September 1941, Polish pilots of No. 315 Squadron, on their way home after Circus 101, reported being attacked by ‘an unknown enemy aircraft with a radial engine’. A few days later, Jim Rosser of 72 Squadron was on a sweep over Boulogne, flying No. 2 to Ken Campbell, when he too sighted one of the mysterious radial-engined machines and went down after it, opening fire at extreme range. The enemy aircraft dived into the Boulogne flak barrage and Campbell called Rosser back, but not before the latter had secured some good gun-camera shots.

All sorts of wild rumours circulated in Fighter Command, the favourite among them being that the strange aircraft were Curtiss Hawks, captured by the Germans and pressed into service. Then RAF Intelligence examined all the data and came up with the answer. The Focke-Wulf 190 had arrived in France.

The first Luftwaffe unit to receive Focke-Wulf 190s on the Channel coast was Jagdgeschwader 26, followed by JG 2, and by October 1941 the RAF was encountering the type in growing numbers. Within weeks, the FW 190 had established a definite measure of air superiority for the Germans. It completely outclassed the Spitfire VB at all altitudes, and Fighter Command losses rose steadily that autumn. Not until the advent of the Spitfire IX — resulting from the marriage of a Merlin 61 engine to a Mk. V airframe — was the balance restored but the first Mk. IXs did not enter service with No. 64 Squadron until June 1942.

As far as Circus operations were concerned, the crunch came on 8 November 1941, when the Blenheims of No. 2 Group and their escorting fighters suffered unusually heavy losses. The whole ‘show’ went wrong from the start, with poor visibility making it difficult for the bombers and fighters to rendezvous as planned. Combined with a general lack of co-ordination, this meant that the attacking forces entered enemy territory piecemeal, and the Focke-Wulfs and Messerschmitts were waiting for them. The Intelligence Summary of No. 118 (Spitfire) Squadron gives a typical account:

It was decided in the afternoon to carry out a most ill-conceived scheme, designated Rodeo 5, in which the Middle Wallop

Wing rendezvoused with the Whirlwinds of 263 Squadron over Warm well and carried out a sweep of the Channel Islands area. The whole sortie seems to have been one long muddle. The Whirlwinds led the Spits much too far south and then returned right over the flak area. 501 Squadron were sent out to deal with a few Huns that put in an appearance when we were on the way back. 118 went back to help, but 501 were not located. The net result was at least three planes damaged by flak and enemy aircraft, and one shot down, and all we could claim was one enemy aircraft damaged…

It was the end. Winston Churchill himself decreed that there should be no more large-scale sweeps over the Continent in 1941 it was now the duty of Fighter Command to gather its strength for the following spring.

By that time, although no one yet dreamed it, Britain would no longer stand alone. On the other side of the world, events were moving to a climax that would soon make Pearl Harbor a household name, and bring the unparalleled resources of the United States into the battle.

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Nortrop P-61 Black Widow - History

Italian submarines in the Battle of the Atlantic

The Italian submarine fleet of the Second World War was the largest in the world at the time, with 116 submarines. It mainly saw action in the Mediterranean Sea. During the conflict 88 submarines , some two-thirds of its total strength, were lost. Half of the Italian submarines later returned to the Mediterranean, or were converted to transports, for operations in the Far East.

From 10 June 1940, submarines of the Regia Marina took part in the Battle of the Atlantic alongside the U-Boats of Germany's Kriegsmarine. Code-named BETASOM, the Italian submarines were based in Bordeaux, France. While more suited for the Mediterranean Sea than the Atlantic Ocean, 32 Italian submarines operated in the Atlantic, equaling the German numbers at the time, and sank 109 Allied ships for a total of 593,864 tons.

Three Italian submarines were sunk the RCN during the Second World War:

(Betasom Photo)

6 Nov 1940, Comandante Faà di Bruno , sunk by HMCS Ottawa and HMS Harvester on a patrol protecting Convoy HX 84 in the North Atlantic, 51-05N 17-32W.

Comandante Faà di Bruno , also referred to by its shortened name Faà di Bruno , was a Marcello-class submarine built for the Regia Marina in the 1930s.

In an article by James Brun, the sinking of the Comandante Faà di Bruno , is detailed as follows:

On 6 Nov 1940, the freighter Melrose Abbey was attacked by a surfaced submarine and issued a distress call. The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) warship HMCS Ottawa and the Royal Navy’s HMS Harvester were detached from escort duties to provide assistance. HMCS Ottawa , a C-class destroyer under the command of Commander Rollo Mainguy, and HMS Harvester , an H-class destroyer , arrived in time to engage the submarine on the surface. This was the first time a Canadian warship gained contact with the enemy at sea during the Second World War.[1]

HMCS Ottawa fired five salvoes with her gun before the submarine dived.[2] For five hours the two ships hunted and attacked the submarine. During this time, HMS Harvester and HMCS Ottawa together committed nine attacks on the enemy boat, dropping 83 depth charges in the vicinity of the submerged enemy.[3] Underwater explosions were heard, contact with the submarine was lost, and a subsequent oil slick formed on the surface.[4] HMS Harvester and HMCS Ottawa claimed victory, and returned to their escort duties unable to remain at the scene of the battle for more decisive evidence of the destroyed submarine, due to the risk of further attacks by enemy patrols. Without the sighting of wreckage, body parts, or survivors, the Admiralty assessed that the submarine was “probably damaged” by the joint Canadian-British action.[5]

The attack occurred west of Ireland, between Bordeaux and Faa Di Bruno ‘s patrol area.[6] In the 1980s – over 50 years after the encounter – the Admiralty reassessed the action based on its own records, and those of the Italian Navy, and awarded a decisive kill to HMCS Ottawa and HMS Harvester . With this reassessment, Faa di Bruno officially became the first enemy warship destroyed in action by the RCN.[7] The official Italian position is that the nature of Faa di Bruno ’s demise is unknown, “lost on an undefined date between 31 Oct 1940, and 5 Jan 1941.”[8]

HMCS Ottawa and HMS Harvester were both torpedoed and sunk by German U-boats before the war was over.

[1] Marc Milner, Canada’s Navy: The First Century (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999), 88.

[2] Fraser M. McKee, “Some Revisionist History in the Battle of the Atlantic” The Northern Mariner, No. 4 (October 1991), 29.

[3] McKee, “Revisionist History”, 30.

[6] McKee, “Revisionist History”, 30.

19 Jan 1943, Tritone, sunk by HMCS Port Arthur and Escort MKS 6 in the Mediterranean Sea, off Bougie, Algeria, 37-06N 05-22E.

Distinguished Service Medals went to Able Seaman Gerry Boyer, HMCS Port Arthur's HSD, and Ordinary Seaman Donald McLean, the submarine detector who was on watch and picked up the Italian submarine contact. Lieutant E. T. Simmons, DSC, RCNVR, who commanded HMCS Port Arthur when she sank the Tritone, was awarded the DSO for his "outstanding skill and judgment". Sub-Lieutenant Peter Cowan, RCNVR, anti-submarine control officer of HMCS Port Arthur, was awarded the DSC for his part in the submarine sinking.

8 Feb 1943, Avorio, sunk by HMCS Regina and Escort KMS in the western Mediterranean Sea, north of Phillipville, Algeria, 37-10N 06-42E.

‘One small step for man, one giant leap for modellers’

No conspiracy theory here, the classic Airfix Apollo 11 Eagle Lander is back in the range as part of the 50th Anniversary moon landing gift set

Coming on the back of the centenary of the end of the Great War and RAF 100 last year, 2019 will be another year of significant anniversaries, including the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon, one of the most significant human achievements and a source of fascination for millions over the years. For anyone who is old enough to remember watching the Eagle Lander on the surface of the moon and the crew of Apollo 11 being the first humans to set foot on earth’s natural satellite, it is difficult to imagine any event having more impact on their lives as this – the entire world was glued to their television screens for the duration of this mission and absolutely everyone must have been talking about it. In commemoration of this lunar achievement, the 2019 range includes the re-introduction of a trio of classic space models, each one with links to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the intrepid crew of Apollo 11 – a Saturn V rocket, a moon landing gift set and an astronaut figures and accessories set. These fantastic models represent some of the most famous releases in the history of Airfix and many Workbench readers will undoubtedly have fond memories of building these kits over the years. As our skills have increased with time, perhaps attempting these models once more will result in the most accurate scale representations of the actual craft most of us will have ever achieved and will undoubtedly rekindle an interest in the fascinating subject of space exploration.

Many modellers will be delighted to see the return of a decent selection of Airfix ship kits in 2019, including the magnificent 1/600th scale HMS Hood – a true Airfix Vintage Classic

The new 2019 range also marks the welcome return of several nautical model kit releases, which will be great news for the many modelling enthusiasts who regularly request the re-release of some of our ship models during the Telford weekend or directly via our usual e-mail address throughout the year – as you can see, we really do take notice of your requests! The latest model range includes an impressive selection of ship kits, from the stunning RNLI Severn Class Lifeboat to three different versions of Titanic and a selection of classic sailing ships, to the impressive HMS Hood, which was the pride of the Royal Navy at the start of WWII. What with this collection of classic ships and the return of some space related releases, there will be plenty of Airfix modelling nostalgia doing the rounds during 2019.

Русская военно-промышленная политика. 1914—1917. Государственные задачи и частные интересы.

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Состояние военной промышленности может служить показателем уровня экономического и культурного развития страны. Насколько успешно Российская империя снабжала свою армию винтовками, орудиями, боеприпасами? Чем были вызваны провалы в этой области? В какой мере удавалось возместить недостающее союзническими поставками? Поиск ответа на эти вопросы до сих пор является исследовательской задачей. Требуется отделить точно установленные данные, обоснованные источниками факты от надуманных построений, проследить реальную судьбу крупных замыслов и проектов, взаимодействие государственных структур и независимой от власти общественной инициативы. Развитие военной промышленности рассматривается в книге в связи с политическими и стратегическими решениями, в свете духовных традиций русской монархии.
Книга рассчитана на специалистов в области военной и экономической истории, а также на всех, кто интересуется историей российских вооруженных сил, причинами кризиса власти накануне 1917 года.

Российский флот Тихого океана, 1898-1905 История создания и гибели

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В работе известного российского историка кораблестроения и флота рассказывается о становлении российского военно-морского присутствия на Дальнем Востоке на рубеже XIX–XX вв., сосредоточении в водах Тихого океана полной оперативно-способной боевой эскадры, занятии Порт-Артура. Подробно описывается рост и укрепление японского флота, разбираются причины и составные части военно-морской силы Страны Восходящего солнца, анализируются тактические приоритеты японских флагманов. Подробно рассматривается ход боевых действий на море, анализируются причины побед и неудач российских морских сил. Значительный объём сведений заключается в 24 таблицах, позволяющих полнее представить состав соединений противоборствующих флотов, ТТХ и особенности кораблей и оружия, характер и уровень подготовки личного состава. Издание иллюстрировано схемами кораблей, картами боевых действий и многочисленными фотографиями, в т. ч. публикуемыми впервые.

Watch the video: P-61 Black Widow Night Fighter (December 2022).

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