The Photo Recon pilot had no wingman, no flight, no formation. He flew alone in radio silence for hours at a time, navigating on dead reckoning all over mainland Europe; in his unarmed Spitfire he had only its altitude and speed, along with his wits and airmanship as protection.
"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on." - Ulysses S. Grant
The Battle of the East China Sea. "Nearly all [Beast] stories depend for their success on Jack killing the Giant, Beowulf or St. George slaying the Dragon... That is their inner grammar, and the whole shape of the story leads towards it." - A.N. Wilson
JV44's "Papagei" Staffel only existed as an operational unit for a couple of weeks, but they live forever (whatever one may think of that...) in plastic. Here's mine.
After the VLR P-51 I felt like doing something quick and easy. Here's my Hasegawa Ki44-II as a straight up modelling piece.
Seven hours, covering 1300NM over open ocean, limited fuel, one engine, enemy fighters; there were few missions more relentlessly hazardous, nor with so many different hazards to face.
If you read to the end, a sense of fatigue wouldn't be unexpected. It will pale though when compared to the fatigue these men must have endured. I don't know how they did it.
This piece is an addendum to the article on S/Ldr E. M. "Imshi" Mason, DFC; Otto Shultz was Mason's victor, along with three others.
One Christmas my parents gave me Chaz Bowyer’s "The History of the RAF". Within its pages is a captivating photo of a pilot resting on the ground, smiling. The pilot's name was S/Ldr Ernest M. Mason DFC, known to all as "Imshi". This is his story.
The little told story of the USAAF's 5th ASR and how they rescued war weary P-47's and in turn, rescued almost a thousand downed airmen in the North Sea and English Channel.