The Eastern Fleet and the Indian Ocean by Charles Stephenson

An intriguing recent history of the Royal Navy’s fleet in the Indian Ocean through most of the Pacific War. Subtitled “The Fleet That Had to Hide” which pretty much sums up the challenge.

This is one of those little known niches of the War that caused much frustration at the time, yet today is almost wholly ignored.

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Salute to Canada by The Yankee Air Force

This last weekend (6/12 & 6/13) the Yankee Air Museum, at Willow Run Airport, hosted a mini Air Show scheduled for just two hours each evening.

They kicked off the evening with their own flying collection doing fly bys, this meant Stearman, Huey, O-2; then the big girls, C-47, B-25 and B-17. A Canadian aerobatic pilot I was unfamiliar with was also added to the line up, apparently very last minute because I can’t find his name anywhere on-line!

Then the main event was the RCAF Snowbirds, followed by a CF-18 demonstration team.

The Snowbirds put on a fun show in their CT-114 Tutors. They fly the largest formation of any North American jet team, normally nine planes.

A single CF-18 closed out the night with an acceptable amount of noise!

It was a drive-in event, a new format due to lingering Covid restrictions that involved driving your own vehicle onto airport grounds and being assigned a parking slot with plenty of room for your own seating, blanket or whatever. It was a fun way of doing things, and presumably a bit of a rehearsal for Thunder Over Michigan in August. The good news is, no problems finding your car after! But this was obviously an inefficient use of space, expect the main airshow to be severely limited on capacity.
Also notice the pictures here are much better than what I normally post of an air show, thank my wife and her much better than an iPhone camera!

One very nice thing about this way of doing an airshow, tickets were sold by the carload. So we asked a couple of friends along at no extra cost to anyone! The one in front had never seen an airshow before.

Posted in Air Show, Museums | Tagged | 4 Comments

North American P-51D Mustang

Among the better known American fighter groups of the Second World War, the 332nd Fighter Group made a name for itself in Italy.

Let’s take a look at a plane and a pilot that saw action in the Group’s largest combat.

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Posted in Fighter, USA | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Theme Build 2 — Complete

Hypothetical

I think this Theme tripled the number of “Hypothetical” builds I’ve done! The Rufe may better count as speculative, or something milder than hypothetical. But they were all ideas I’d kicked around in my little brain for a few years and it was fun to get them done.

Nakajima A6M2-N Rufe
Grumman F5F-1 Skyrocket
Messerschmitt Me 509
Lockheed P-80A Shooting Star

I do have enough such kits to revisit this theme a couple more times, but it will be a few years before that happens. In the future I expect to actually do some proper Luftwaffe ’46 subjects, I may continue to play with the nine months longer War I created for the P-80 post. Although a couple of subjects might have needed much more than nine months to be realized!

I plan on building a couple of trucks now, that should take a month (?). Look for the next theme starting in late June or early July.
Coming soon… Prototypes

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Lockheed P-80A Shooting Star

Let’s take a look at the first American jet to be considered an operational combat type.

And as the last of this series of “hypothetical” builds we’ll also consider what it would have taken for the P-80 Shooting Star to be a World War II combat aircraft.

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Posted in Fighter, Hypothetical, USA | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Junkers Ju 87G-2

By the end of the line, Germany’s infamous “Stuka” was no longer a dive bomber.

Let’s take a look at close support, 1944.

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Posted in Anti-Tank, Germany | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Mitsubishi A5M4 Claude

The immediate predecessor of Japan’s most famous wartime product, the A5M continued to serve in a secondary capacity all through the War years.

Let’s take a look at one that was involved in the massive Midway operation.

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Posted in Fighter, Japan | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Messerschmitt Me 509

Although the Me 509 is often included on a list with “Luftwaffe ’46” subjects, that is truly inappropriate. Its more of a “Alt Luft ’43” subject.

As World War II was getting started, Willy Messerschmitt recognized his Bf 109 as an aging design.
Such was the pace of aircraft development at the time, that several projects were started to find a more advanced replacement.

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Posted in Fighter, Germany | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Curtiss P-40E Warhawk

We’ve looked at the story of how the Japanese exploded across the Pacific at the start of the Pacific War a few times. Now let’s take a look at where the line finally held, and one of the most successful early pilots.

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Posted in Fighter, USA | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

Douglass TBD-1 Devastator

John C Waldron

The Devastator is best known for the sacrifice of it’s crews at the Battle of Midway. In particular, Torpedo 8 which lost all of their aircraft and most of their personnel in one attack.

Let’s look at a prime mover behind the well known story.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments