The largest single-day air engagement of the war; simultaneously a tactical loss and strategic victory.
This one is a multifaceted Feature Article containing a biography of the pilot, a description of the build and a piece describing the importance of the ground attack role the “Little Friends” played in addition to the bomber escort role they are more widely known for.
Something a little different; a jet for one thing. However, this one is a little lighthearted compared to most and I hope you enjoy it.
The 13th Air Force did not fight the most glamorous of wars, theirs’ was a war of ground attack, relentlessly destroying Japanese ground forces and infrastructure. They fought, not from centralized bases closely tied together, but from island bases, spread hundreds of miles apart.
This update brings to life another of the older articles, from around 2005-2006 and tells the story of No.25 Squadron RNZAF in Bougainville in mid 1944…
Early on the morning of 7 April the 15th and 21st Groups were poised ready for the signal to start engines. The briefings of the day before and that morning had everyone eager to get the operation underway…
“A short time later 2nd Lt. Weese reported that his engine was out and that he thought he could put his aircraft down behind friendly lines in the shallow water a little offshore Juno Beach. 1st Lt. Beaudrault reported that nothing more was heard from Wesse.”
I present my first previously unpublished Feature Article. The subject is F/O Les Clisby and his Hawker Hurricane Mk.1. This remarkable Australian fighter pilot was noted for his aggression, both in the air and on the ground… “Remarkably, Clisby landed nearby, drew his service sidearm and chased the German crewmen across the field as they tried to escape! He captured one in a rugby tackle…” I hope you enjoy the article.
While Tamiya’s new tool Spitfire gets all the attention, here’s one of the old tool version…
“In late May, 1940 the BEF was forced from continental Europe by the Germans at Dunkirk. The now famous retreat was covered in part by Spitfires of No.19 Squadron. Flight Sergeant George Unwin was already an experienced Spitfire pilot by this stage of the war…”
Ray Hanna served as Red Leader for three consecutive years until 1968 and was recalled to supersede Squadron Leader Timothy Nelson for the 1969 display season, a record four seasons as Leader, which still stands.