Saturday, August 13, 2016

Smokey Stover could be the most used cartoon character in nose art across different types of bombers, he was on 3 types of WW2 bombers, B 17, 24, and 29

thanks Steve!

The Columbus Chronicles: Tales From East Mississippi By Rufus Ward

Their many fruitless attempts to track nocturnal targets may have left the young pilots of the 415th feeling like Smokey Stover's "False Alarm Fire Company."

I posted about the Smokey Stover "Foo Mobile" 2 months ago

but I've no idea if the character had an airplane somewhere in those comics

the Snuggle Bunny, 35 missions in WW2, and 65 more in Korea

An HH-43 Pedro (Huskie) helicopter is used to rescue a downed airman from an enemy infested jungle in Southeast Asia

1950's Piasecki helo

A HUP-2 Retriever of Helicopter Utility Squadron (HU) 2 pictured on the flight deck of the carrier Saratoga (CVA 60), circa 1958.

I posted about Piasecki helicopters

Medical and maintenance personnel waiting out the return of the bombers.

Disney military mascots and nose art

the 676th bomber squadron had some better than normal nose art

Better N Nuttin -  25 bombing missions, 24 hump missions, 2 mining missions, 1 Jap shot down, ship hit 8 times.

the ability of the soldier to sleep anywhere, anytime, should not be underestimated

thanks Steve!

I-55 at the Mississippi/Louisiana state line...

Friday, August 12, 2016

Happy Jack's Go Buggy....

Jack got into the Army Air Corps to fly, influenced by his father, a WW1 fighter pilot, and was assigned P 38s after graduation, which happened to be 5 days after Pearl Harbor was bombed.

After he earned his wings at Luke Airfield, Arizona, in December of 1941, Jack protected the California coastline in a Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Sent to England in the spring of 1942 with the rest of the 1st Fighter Group, Jack and his fellow squadron mates made combat sweeps over occupied France in their P-38s.

Later that same year the group was sent to assist in the invasion of North Africa. Jack was forced to make an emergency landing in Portugal in November 1942, on a ferry flight from England to North Africa, Ilfrey diverted to an airfield in neutral Portugal because of a malfunctioning drop tank. The Portuguese seized his P-38 and Ilfrey was to be interned. However, while sitting in the cockpit showing the Portuguese how to fly the now refueled aircraft, Ilfrey quickly started it up, took off and flew it to Gibraltar.

He was sent to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) and became the first ever P 38 ace, did 72 missions, then was sent back to the states to be an instructor of P 38s. Then he was assigned as Operations Officer of the 79th Fighter Squadron and sent back to the ETO in April 1944, where he also flew the P38s again.

His 2nd escape from capture was on June 12, 1944, six days after the Allies invaded Normandy, Capt. Ilfrey was shot down by anti-aircraft fire while strafing a train near Angers, France. After bailing out of his burning P-38, he evaded until he met Jean Voileau. His family, at great risk to themselves, hid Ilfrey for two weeks in their home. The Voileau family gave him food, clothing, false identification, and a bicycle.

Ilfrey posed as a deaf and mute French farmer named "Jacques Robert." Helped by several French civilians along the way, he rode the bicycle about 150 miles to friendly lines in Normandy. Unlike most successful evaders, Ilfrey returned to fly combat missions.

The fighter group had shifted to Mustangs in July 1944. In Sept he was made Squadron Commander of the 79th, and Jack was promoted to Major.

The celebration party got out of control and Jack was busted back to 2nd Lieutenant, though he remained in command, the only 2nd Lt to ever command a fighter squadron. General Doolittle intervened and Jack was promoted to Captain.

In Nov 1944, he landed his Mustang behind enemy lines, picked up his wingman and got the hell out, making it to Belgium

the mission markings:
50 top hats
7 umbrellas,
4 brooms
4 locomotives
5 bombs
8 swastikas

a rare original 108 gallon paper drop tank was donated to the restoration effort, and a mold was made and fiberglass replicas were made at Jack Roush's composite shop.

the restored Happy Jack's go buggy has the only working tail radar known (AN APS 13) to exist, one was found NOS and installed, and an operational ANN 6 gun camera in the left wing

Or, read the book that Jack wrote about it all, in 1946

This autobiography was originally written in 1946 by eight-victory WWII Fighter Ace, Jack Ilfrey. This new edition has been expanded with many new photographs (many never before published), a special color photo section, and three detailed aircraft profile paintings.

 The reader will fly through the skies with Ilfrey in his P-38 as he and his unit, the famed 94th Fighter Squadron, become the first group of American aircraft to fly from the USA to England. Thrill to the stories of aerial combat over North Africa as Ilfrey becomes one of Americas first WWII air aces.

Marvel at the flying exploits of Ilfrey as a member of the 20th Fighter Group/8th Air Force and join him on his incredible evasion story through German occupied France. This book is undoubtedly one of the finest stories of aerial combat that has ever been written.


with a forward by Eddie Rickenbacker

crash landed right in the victory garden, so much for the slaw or sauerkraut

The Flying Stud 2, with cool nose art dragon, and a mission symbol I haven't seen around

The dragon is the 676th BS logo, the 1941 Disney feature "The Reluctant Dragon"

Why the binocs? Above them is the Camera symbol for photo recon

From India, the 676th planned to fly missions against Japan from advanced airfields in China.

However, all the supplies of fuel, bombs and spare parts needed to support operations from the forward bases in China had to be flown from India over The Hump. For this role, one aircraft from the squadron was stripped of combat equipment and used as a flying tanker. Each aircraft carried seven tons of fuel, but the amount that was delivered to China depended on weather, including headwinds and aircraft icing which increased the fuel consumption of the "tankers."

Lifting Bodies: (from left) X-24A (S/N 66-13551), M2-F3 (tail #803) and HL-10 (tail #804).

hoopty made from a small drop tank

I don't know the story on this autographed warbird, but I bet it's a good one.. the "V Grand 5000" of the 781st squadron of the 465 bomber group Pantanella Italy