“Memphis Belle” was a Boeing B-17F-10-BO Flying Fortress and one of the first B-17 to complete 25 combat missions. It was named after pilot Robert K Morgan’s girlfriend Margaret Polk, a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. After completing its tour of operations, the aircraft returned to the US for a war bond tour and propaganda. After…Continue reading The most famous aircraft of all time ?
The Spitfire Mk V was used by several Norwegian-manned Royal Air Force squadrons during the war. Here are a few profiles created for Phil Listemann’s book on the topic, Squadrons ! No 32 The Supermarine Spitfire Mk V – The Norwegians.
I’ve recently finished creating the template of one of World War II’s most maligned aircraft design: the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, also known as the Beast due to its size and looks. Studying the SB2C’s history was very interesting, and shows that some (but not all) of the criticism against the Helldiver and Curtiss was truly…Continue reading The Beast has arrived
I recently had to revisit “Nooky Booky IV”, the fourth and last Mustang assigned to Leonard Kyle “Kit” Carson when he was with the 357th Fighter Group. I had already made a profile of his aircraft, P-51K-5-NT serial number 44-11622, nearly a decade ago: There are many pictures of “Nooky Booky IV”, which show interesting…Continue reading Revisiting “Kit” Carson’s “Nooky Booky IV”
I’ve recently been working on the Spitfire’s two-seat variants. Some of the resulting profiles will have to wait a bit before they can be published, but here are already two profiles of the most famous twin-seat Spitfire : ML407, also know as the “Grace Spitfire”.
This profile is oddly pertinent in the current climate of social distancing, lockdowns and isolation. This is P-51D-20-NA serial number 44-63289, which belonged to the 531st Fighter Squadron, 21st Fighter Group, and was named “Is This Trip Necessary ?”. Starting in April 1945, the 21st Fighter Group was escorting B-29 Superfortresses over mainland Japan in…Continue reading Is This Trip Necessary ? – A good motto for the day and an ever better mystery
Last summer, I presented a work in progress of the SOCATA TB-30 Epsilon, but never got around to showing the finished work. I’ll correct this omission now, with a series depicting the Epsilon in French air force service. France operated 150 of these nice-looking trainers from 1983 to 2019. They were a crowd favorite at…Continue reading The TB-30 Epsilon, a little late !
This Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat was photographed as it was stopped by the USS Lexington’s crash barrier on 25 February 1945. The aircraft was substantially damaged, the photo showing the right wingtip being torn off while cables tear through the left wing and rear fuselage. I was not able to find much more information regarding this…Continue reading A hammered Hellcat
Carrier Air Group 83 (CVG-83) was assigned to the USS Essex in early 1945 and was composed of several squadrons: VF-83 (F6F-5, F6F-5N, F6F-5P), VBF-83 (F4U-1D, FG-1D), VB-83 (SB2C-4E) and VT-83 (TBM-3E). The Air Group saw action in the Pacific theatre from 10 March to 15 September 1945, participating in raids on Kyushu, supporting the…Continue reading Corsairs of VBF-83
Known as the “Blayd Zero”, this A6M2 Model 21 was built by the Blayd Corporation in the 1990s by reproducing original A6M parts purchased by Robert Diemert. The aircraft also used some original Zero parts in the landing gear, thereby earning it the status of restored rather than a replica or restoration. This of course…Continue reading The “Blayd” Zero