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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbodog View Post
    Excellent! There are no "not cool" combat aircraft" that were involved in WWII.
    Although they had some excellent fighting machines, I'm not going to list any German or Japanese aircraft.
    American and British aircraft were superior, IMO.

    My list of favorites:

    Bombers
    B-17G Flying Fortress (USA)
    B-29 Super Fortress (USA)
    Lancaster (British)
    B-24J Liberator (USA)

    Fighters (For those who might not know, the P stands for "Pursuit", the F is for "Fighter")
    P-51 Mustang
    F4U Corsair
    Spitfire (British)
    P-47M Thunderbolt
    P-38J Lightning
    F6F-5 Hellcat

    You assumed correctly. I've seen the movie "Memphis Belle" and I have the DVD. I also have the DVD of "Twelve O'clock High", 1949, staring Gregory Peck. Excellent movie. Winner of 2 academy awards for best supporting actor (Dean Jagger) and best sound.

    I have a friend of 51 years from high school who lives in Windsor, Colorado and we have everything in place for a trip this June to the airshow in Dayton, Ohio and we're also going to the U.S. Air Force Museum located at Wright-Patterson AFB, a little North East of Dayton. The star attraction there is the one and only "Memphis Belle", the real McCoy. My friend and I are super stoked to make this trip but we're starting to think the Coronavirus might force us to cancel for circumstances beyond our control. Huge bummer.

    The following is the final journey of the "Memphis Belle", aka "The Lady", "The Big Bird."

    On 30 August 2005, the MBMA (Memphis Belle Memorial Association) announced that a consultant that they hired determined that the MBMA would not be able to raise enough money to restore the Belle and otherwise fulfill the Air Force's requirements to keep possession of the aircraft. They announced plans to return the aircraft to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton, Ohio, after a final exhibition at an airshow in Millington, Tennessee from 30 September–2 October 2005. The Belle arrived safely at the museum in mid-October 2005 and was placed in one of the Museum's restoration hangars.

    The Museum placed restoration of Memphis Belle near the top of its priorities. In the magazine Friends Journal of the museum's foundation, Major General Charles D. Metcalf, USAF (Ret), then the director of the museum, stated that it might take eight to 10 years to fully restore the aircraft.

    By the spring of 2009, considerable preparatory work had been accomplished, but the fuselage and wings were still disassembled.

    After stripping the paint from the aft fuselage of the aircraft, hundreds of names and personal messages were found scratched in the aluminum skin. It turned out that, during the aircraft's war bond tour, people were allowed to leave their mark there.

    In May 2017 the museum announced the goal of completing the restoration and putting the Memphis Belle on display by May 17, 2018, the 75th anniversary of the plane's 25th mission. On March 19, 2018 the Memphis Belle was moved into the WWII Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and was officially unveiled May 17, 2018.

    Nothing less than incredibly amazing!
    Hey Jazz, have you ever seen the Wings of Freedom Tour?' It's a WWII aircraft "living museum" airshow that visits towns around the country. You can actually fly in a fully renovated original B-24J Liberator (nicknamed "Witchcraft"), or a B-25 Mitchell, or P-51 Mustang.

    For WWII aficionados, I would highly recommend it as a bucket list item.
    To infinity...and beyond.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumiere View Post
    Hey Jazz, have you ever seen the Wings of Freedom Tour?' It's a WWII aircraft "living museum" airshow that visits towns around the country. You can actually fly in a fully renovated original B-24J Liberator (nicknamed "Witchcraft"), or a B-25 Mitchell, or P-51 Mustang.

    For WWII aficionados, I would highly recommend it as a bucket list item.
    I have. I live in Salt Lake City (moved to Ogden, Utah in 1979) and have resided in SLC for 29 years.
    For the past 12-15 years their are various WWII restored aircraft that come (not every year) and display their coolness to the public. Usually it's B-17's.

    Based on the information from the EXCELLENT book, "Final Cut, Post-War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors, copyright 2011,there are 48 B-17's on static / museum display and nearly all of them are in the USA. Approximately 10 of them are flight worthy.

    B-17's
    Sentimental Journey

    Madras Maiden

    Memphis Belle (Not the original - it's a restored F model that was used in the 1990 movie "Memphis Belle"

    Liberty Belle (Lost to a massive fire after an emergency landing in a corn field near Oswego, IL. due to fuel leak, 13 June 2011)

    Nine-O-Nine (Lost due to crash landing shortly after take off at Windsor, Conn., 02 Oct. 2019

    Other WWII Aircraft:
    B-24J Liberator "Dragon and His Tail"
    P-51D Mustang "Newf"
    T-6 Texan trainer
    B-25 Mitchell
    P-40E Warhawk
    Last edited by jazzbodog; 03-28-2020 at 02:23 PM.
    Utah Bronco Freak

  3. #33
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    Oct 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by samparnell View Post
    My Dad used to tell about St. Elmo's Fire covering the parts of the plane he could see from the cockpit when he flew over the Himalayas. The C-46 wasn't as good an aircraft as the C-47 (DC 3), but it had a somewhat larger payload and longer range. The service ceiling of both aircraft wasn't as high as many of the mountain peaks, so they had to take a circuitous route in some places sometimes flying through valleys. The C-46 had a number of mechanical problems and reliability issues that had to be worked out over time. Dad said it had lots of hydraulic lines that leaked. I think the control surfaces were hydraulically controlled. The C-46 did have two powerful Pratt & Whitney R2800 engines which were more powerful than the engines on the C-47.
    Wow, that must have really sucked if any pilots had to bail out in the middle of the Himalayas!
    C-47's did a decent job transporting our paratroops in the Normandy Invasion and in Operation: Market-Garden in Holland.
    Yeah the 2,000 hp 18-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial in the F4U Corsair was a beast! Pratt & Whitney has been making great engines from 1925 all the way to the present!
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  4. #34
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    Oct 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbodog View Post
    Excellent! There are no "not cool" combat aircraft" that were involved in WWII.
    Although they had some excellent fighting machines, I'm not going to list any German or Japanese aircraft.
    American and British aircraft were superior, IMO.

    My list of favorites:

    Bombers
    B-17G Flying Fortress (USA)
    B-29 Super Fortress (USA)
    Lancaster (British)
    B-24J Liberator (USA)

    Fighters (For those who might not know, the P stands for "Pursuit", the F is for "Fighter")
    P-51 Mustang
    F4U Corsair
    Spitfire (British)
    P-47M Thunderbolt
    P-38J Lightning
    F6F-5 Hellcat
    All of the P for "pursuit" designations were renamed to F shortly after the war since functionally there's really not much of a difference.

    My faves:

    Fighters (in no order):

    P-40 B,E, and N Tomahawk/Kittyhawk/Warhawk
    P-51 B,C, and especially D (with the bubble canopy) Mustang
    FW190A
    Me262
    Tempest V
    F6F Hellcat
    P-47 Thunderbolt
    Ki-100

    Bombers:

    B-17G FF
    B-25H -this particular model was a well-protected "flying fortress"
    Ju88 very versatile "jack of all trades" aircraft

    After stripping the paint from the aft fuselage of the aircraft, hundreds of names and personal messages were found scratched in the aluminum skin. It turned out that, during the aircraft's war bond tour, people were allowed to leave their mark there.
    Did they leave them visible? Because that's history too!
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spice 1 View Post
    Somewhere in Europe. I know that's humorously vague, but he NEVER talked to his grandchildren about it. I don't know when or where. My G Ma never told me either, and I never asked. My uncle probably knows though. Next time I talk to him I'll ask. I didn't even know he had a colostomy bag until I was like 10. He was just one of those guys who didn't complain about anything or talk about himself. I think he looked at his service in WWII as something everybody just had to do, and then got on with their lives. That's just the kind of person he was.
    We're counting on you!
    <pressure, pressure,pressure >
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzbodog View Post
    I forgot to mention that my friend in Windsor, Colorado, that his 22 year old father was a P-47 Thunderbolt (aka the "Jug") pilot in Europe and he received all of his dad's WWII memorabilia and it's impressive. He set up a large 8' x 8' area on a wall in his basement man cave show casing everything, medals, photos standing next to his plane and much more. But what was also amazing was an approximately 20 minute 8mm film (his dad had it copied to VHS in the 1980's and my friend had it copied to a DVD) that was footage recorded in the nose of his dads P-47 of him attempting and actually shooting down German Messerschmitt Bf 109's and Focke-Wulf 190's and also shows footage of him strafing German trains, parked aircraft, troop vehicle convoys, buildings...anything helping the German war effort. Apparently when he returned from a mission he persuaded the people removing and developing the combat film to make a copy and add it to the previous missions film clips.
    While watching the DVD (Oct 2018) I don't think I blinked but 2 or 3 times. I was blown away with what I was watching.

    Astonishing!
    That's pretty cool! That plane could take an enormous amount of punishment. Did you ever watch the show "Dogfights"? These were computer animated recreations of air battles set to interviews and stories from surviving pilots and experts. In one of them a German ace in a FW190 pursued a jug and emptied all of his ammo into him and the jug still flew on! The German pilot pulled up beside him, waved, and flew home!

    I think that one's here:
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6kr0vz
    Last edited by L.M.; 03-29-2020 at 05:54 PM.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  7. #37
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    Oct 2006
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    My mother is from Finland and my grandfather was a lieutenant in the Finnish Army, in intelligence.

    He fought in The Winter War of 1939/1940 when the Soviet Union invaded Finland after the Finns told Stalin where he could stick his territorial demands! The vastly-outnumbered Finns successfully repelled the initial invasion and caused enormous losses to the Russians using hit & run tactics with troops on skis known as "The White Death". My grand uncle was also in the Finnish army and was killed when he kicked open the door of a cabin occupied by waiting Soviet troops. Eventually the Finns were overwhelmed by sheer numbers and were forced to make peace and cede the territory that Stalin had wanted.

    After that, Finland reluctantly accepted military aid from Germany, the only country who could and would help them to prevent a total takeover by the USSR. They never formally joined the Axis though, and the Finnish military leader, Carl Gustav Mannerheim, despised Hitler and the Nazis. The Finns never allowed the Nazi SS in to remove their Jewish population. In exchange for the military aid, they did have to send a battalion of Winter War veterans to serve in the German Waffen SS division Wiking for two years.

    When Germany launched its massive invasion of Russia in 1941 (code-named Barbarossa), the Finns joined in and recovered their lost territory. This began The Continuation War which lasted until 1944 when the Finns realized that Germany was going to lose and they needed to make a separate peace for their own survival. The Germans were forced to retreat to Norway and burned everything on their way out, and clashes with Finnish troops happened in a brief conflict known as The Lapland War. Fortunately, and remarkably, Finland never fell behind the Iron Curtain of post-war Europe during the Cold War and remained a peaceful, democratic country.

    My grandmother was a war nurse and many soldiers, including Germans stationed in Finland, were after her. She's still alive and living in Helsinki at age 96. My grandfather survived the war(s) and lived to age 92. My Finnish uncle has his old army uniform (which looks kind of German) and his Luger sidearm (which I've held).
    Last edited by L.M.; 03-29-2020 at 07:45 PM.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    We're counting on you!
    <pressure, pressure,pressure >
    My uncle didn't know either. Thankfully my grandmother is still kicking. She didn't know what unit exactly, but she told me he went from France all the way to Germany. So he was probably still in when Germany surrendered. She didn't say anything about D Day, so I don't know about the initial invasion. That's one of those things she would've mentioned if he were in, I'm sure.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spice 1 View Post
    My uncle didn't know either. Thankfully my grandmother is still kicking. She didn't know what unit exactly, but she told me he went from France all the way to Germany. So he was probably still in when Germany surrendered. She didn't say anything about D Day, so I don't know about the initial invasion. That's one of those things she would've mentioned if he were in, I'm sure.
    Thanks, so he was in the ETO, interesting. With the tragic loss of two brothers killed, and as an army medic dealing with blood and guts and probably losing a lot of guys, I can see why he probably didn't want to talk about it much, aside from being more of the quiet type that is.
    Last edited by L.M.; 03-29-2020 at 12:57 PM.
    Superbowl 50 MVP Von Miller on February 7th, 2016

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    Thanks, so he was in the ETO, interesting. With the tragic loss of two brothers killed, and as an army medic dealing with blood and guts and probably losing a lot of guys, I can see why he probably didn't want to talk about it much, aside from being more of the quiet type that is.
    I got some clarity on that too. His youngest brother died. I don't know where I got 2 brothers from, but that was the way I always understood it. I guess one of his other brothers got messed up pretty bad, though. He was a Tec 5, which I looked up as a WWII rank that's basically a "Tech Corporal".

    But yeah, he was a tough cookie. Cigarettes got him. He used to sit there and smoke a pack a day like it was nothing. Before he died, he used to be really hard on me in sports. He was the only person, aside from my brother, who would take me to task for playing like crap. In a way, I think he was part of the reason I went into the military.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    That's pretty cool! That plane could take an enormous amount of punishment. Did you ever watch the show "Dogfights"? These were computer animated recreations of air battles set to interviews and stories from surviving pilots and experts. In one of them a German ace in a FW190 pursued a jug and emptied all of his ammo into him and the jug still flew on! The German pilot pulled up beside him, waved, and flew home!
    It sure could take some punishment. It's called American engineering stepping up to the plate saying "really Germany" deal with this bad boy. What a beast. Several years ago the History Channel had a series named "Wings" and it had episodes of real dogfights with American WWII fighter pilots detailing their engagements with German fighters and Japanese fighters. The series had excellent computer simulations of the dog fights that really put you in the cockpit and allowed you to visualize aerial combat through the pilots eyes. Incredibly real life. I wish they would bring back the series. Superb!

    I have a similar story to share in regards to a German pilot being impressed with a banged up, crippled B-17 returning from a raid to Bremen, Germany. It's the story as written by Michael W. Wooten called "The Gallant Foe".

    On December 20, 1943, a German pilot, Oberleutnant L. Frans Stigler encountered a B-17F flown by 2nd Lt. Charles L. Brown on his first mission as a pilot and commander in the 8th Air Force's 379th bomb group. The bomber named 'Ye Olde Pub' had been severely damaged by both flack and subsequent fighter attack and barely able to maintain altitude, was limping back to England. Stigler, flying alone, approached the stricken Fortress and noted the unbelievable amount of damage that the B-17 had sustained. His curiosity brought him so close to the bomber that he could see some badly wounded crewmen aboard. In an uncommon act of chivalry, and at risk of a court marshall, he moved into position off the bomber's right wing and escorted the Fortress out over the North Sea, at which point he saluted the B-17's crew and returned to Germany.

    After a concerted effort to locate the German fighter pilot, former 2nd Lt. Charles L. Brown came face to face with his one time "gallant foe" during a reunion of 8th Air Force bomber crews in Miami, Florida in 1990. Since that time they have become close friends.

    There are a limited edition of 1,000 prints of this encounter with 25 artist proofs and each print has been signed by Oberleutnant Stigler and 2nd Lt. Brown and are suitable for framing.

    Amazing story!
    Utah Bronco Freak

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    That's pretty cool! That plane could take an enormous amount of punishment. Did you ever watch the show "Dogfights"? These were computer animated recreations of air battles set to interviews and stories from surviving pilots and experts. In one of them a German ace in a FW190 pursued a jug and emptied all of his ammo into him and the jug still flew on! The German pilot pulled up beside him, waved, and flew home!

    I think that one's here:
    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6kr0vz
    My Dad told me that when he was in England, he saw a P-47 coming back from a mission over France with a cylinder blown off the P&W R2800 radial engine. It was till flying, hiccoughing and sputtering, limping in, but man and machine made it home. The Thunderbolt packed a punch with eight .50 caliber machine guns mounted in the wings. That put it close to the Douglas A-26 Invader, a plane my Dad flew. for forward firepower.
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    My mother is from Finland and my grandfather was a lieutenant in the Finnish Army, in intelligence.

    He fought in The Winter War of 1939/1940 when the Soviet Union invaded Finland after the Finns told Stalin where he could stick his territorial demands! The vastly-outnumbered Finns successfully repelled the initial invasion and caused enormous losses to the Russians using hit & run tactics with troops on skis known as "The White Death". My grand uncle was also in the Finnish army and was killed when he kicked open the door of a cabin occupied by waiting Soviet troops. Eventually the Finns were overwhelmed by sheer numbers and were forced to make peace and cede the territory that Stalin had wanted.

    After that, Finland reluctantly accepted military aid from Germany, the only country who could and would help them to prevent a total takeover by the USSR. They never formally joined the Axis though, and the Finnish military leader, Carl Gustav Mannerheim, despised Hitler and the Nazis. The Finns never allowed the Nazi SS in to remove their Jewish population. In exchange for the military aid, they did have to send a battalion of Winter War veterans to serve in the German Waffen SS division Wiking for two years.

    When Germany launched its massive invasion of Russia in 1941 (code-named Barbarossa), the Finns joined in and recovered their lost territory. This began The Continuation War which lasted until 1944 when the Finns realized that Germany was going to lose and they needed to make a separate peace for their own survival. The Germans were forced to retreat to Norway and burned everything on their way out, and clashes with Finnish troops happened in a brief conflict known as The Lapland War. Fortunately, and remarkably, Finland never fell behind the Iron Curtain of post-war Europe during the Cold War and remained a peaceful, democratic country.

    My grandmother was a war nurse and many soldiers, including Germans stationed in Finland, were after her. She's still alive and living in Helsinki at age 96. My grandfather survived the war(s) and lived to age 92. My Finnish uncle has his old army uniform (which looks kind of German) and his Luger sidearm (which I've held).
    The Winter War is a fascinating case study...an incredible victory by vastly outnumbered Finnish troops against Stalin's "post purge" Red Army. Many believe this was a catalyst in Hitler's decision to launch Barbarossa, which would ultimately rewrite world history.

    Glad your grandparents survived the war! Hang on to that Luger - what a keepsake!
    To infinity...and beyond.

  14. #44
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    My grandfather would spoil me about his time in Japan, being on the front lines and the close calls. I was too young to remember the specific details of the battles he was in but I do remember that he was at Iwo Jima and I think he was at Okinawa, but I'm not sure about that. I remember Iwo Jima because he would tell me stories during the movie whenever we watched it (he was a huge John Wayne fan). Gramps was in Japan until the end of the war.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. View Post
    Wow, that must have really sucked if any pilots had to bail out in the middle of the Himalayas!
    C-47's did a decent job transporting our paratroops in the Normandy Invasion and in Operation: Market-Garden in Holland.
    Yeah the 2,000 hp 18-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial in the F4U Corsair was a beast! Pratt & Whitney has been making great engines from 1925 all the way to the present!
    The C-47 Skytrain/Dakota was a Douglas DC 3 which needed few modifications to be a suitable military aircraft. Besides the interior being stripped of civilian passenger airliner seats and trim, it just needed a larger door for cargo in the port side, I believe. Saw some video of a jeep being loaded through the cargo door. Tight fit, but it went in. The DC 3/C-47 was such a well and strongly built aircraft. Some are still in use; the "Gooney Bird".

    I read an article sometime ago that said the key to the successful US war effort in WWII was: the C-47; the Deuce and a Half six-wheel drive truck; the army jeep; and the Liberty ship armed transport. I'm down with that assessment. Soldiers would probably include C-rations and K-rations.
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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