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USCG helos in operation

25 July 2016
An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter conducts vertical replenishment training aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Active, March 12, 2015. The Active is on a counter narcotic deployment in the Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets)

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter hovers while delivering supplies aboard a cutter—U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Tippets

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., conducts a search and rescue demonstration Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, on the Elizabeth River near Norfolk, Va. The demonstration was a part of the 16th Annual Towing Vessel Safety Seminar put on by the Coast Guard and Virginia Maritime Association. (U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Coast Guard Auxiliarist Trey Clifton)

USCG Jayhawk crew demonstrating search and rescue on the Elizabeth River near Norfolk, VA—U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Coast Guard Auxiliarist Trey Clifton

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew returns to Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, to transfer a patient to emergency medical personnel after hoisting him from a cruise ship July 22, 2015. The 83-year-old man was suffering from symptoms of a heart attack aboard a Holland America cruise ship requiring a medevac for immediate medical attention. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson)

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew returning to Air Station Kodiak in Alaska with a patient after hoisting him from a cruise ship on 22 July 22 2015—U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Steenson

A rescue swimmer hangs below an MH-60 Medium Range Recovery Helicopter Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, during a search and rescue demonstration near Elizabeth City, N.C. U.S. Coast Guard helicopters were painted the retro color scheme to celebrate the Coast Guard's aviation centennial birthday. (U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Lt. Cmdr. Krystyn Pecora)

A rescue swimmer hanging below an MH-60 Jayhawk in a search and rescue demonstration on 26 Feb 2016 (this helo is painted in a retro color scheme to celebrate the Coast Guard’s aviation centennial birthday)—U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Lt. Cmdr. Krystyn Pecora

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk crew conducts a helicopter in-flight refuel evolution with the crew of the Cutter Healy southwest of Kodiak Island, Alaska, July 3, 2015. The HIFR technique allows for Coast Guard helicopter crews to safely refuel from a cutter and extend their search and rescue area, a critical component due to the expansive 44,000 miles of coast that surrounds Alaska. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker)

An MH-60 Jayhawk crew refuels while in-flight from the USCG Cutter Healy southwest of Kodiak Island AK—U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Kelly Parker

Nomonhan, 1939: the Red Army’s Victory that Shaped World War II

22 July 2016

Nomonhan, 1939: the Red Army’s Victory that Shaped World War II, Stuart D. Goldman, 2012, ISBN 978-1-61251-098-9, 226 pp.

Nomonhan, 1939: the Red Army's Victory that Shaped World War II by Stuart D Goldman with cover design by Jen Mabe

Nomonhan, 1939: the Red Army’s Victory that Shaped World War II by Stuart D. Goldman with cover design by Jen Mabe

The Nomonhan Incident, as known in Japan, also know as the Battles of Khalkhyn Gol (Khalkyn River) is prologue to General Zhukov’s great successes at the Battle of Moscow as well as the Battle of Stalingrad with double envelopment as well as greatly massed air, artillery and armor units.

But this is the sterile version of the skirmished leading up to the ultimate battle which crushed Imperial Japan’s Kwantung Army (the very same which precipitated Japan’s all out war in China) in what, even today, is a remote area of eastern Asia.

How did Imperial Japan and Stalinist Russia come to blows in Mongolia and how this first of “limited wars” shape Japan’s tactics as well as Russia’s in the coming World War?

The story is as complicated as any that might be imagined and Goldman describes the persons and events boldly, precisely–with fullest understanding of context of the times as well as its energy:

  • Russia playing Europe against Germany, and vice versa, while enhancing the communist side of the Chinese Civil War to keep Japan’s war efforts tied up as much as possible in China to protect the weak Mongolian-Chinese border.
  • Japan eying Germany as an ally, with the Kwangtung Army venturing into battles which determined Japan’s diplomatic policy instead of the accepted order of things. Goldman, again, brilliantly explains the thinking of persons involved as he does the aftermath of events.
  • Great Britain and the United States arriving at the party too late and trying to hard to late to avoid war.

Goldman lays history out like a family photo album with the unseemly family secrets as well. We are glad for it as he can only do so after decades of research and skill acquisition to author a superlative as well as concise summary. A summary which illustrates the aftermath of events as well as the cultural interpretations of each of the countrymen leading to the next event.

Along the way we learn:

  • How savagely Stalin purged his armed forces, leading to a major defection of a decorated NKVD officer to Japan.
  • We learn of the great differences between the powers regarding armor as well as artillery.
  • Goldman explains how Japan developed night tactics as well as why.
  • Goldman also explains how Stalin played powers off one another (Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Russia) due to strategic exposures—all the while plotting to take Finland as well as portions of Czechoslovakia and Poland by force in conspiracy with Germany.
  • What a limited war really is and the disparate diplomatic complications which require deft handling

Nomonhan, 1939 gives a deep understanding of the context of this history as the battle was resolved just prior to Germany invading Poland ans Russia’s desperate need to have a deterrence to Japan in place to free forces to be recalled from Siberia to west of the Ural Mountains.

These battles are insights into the way Japan as well as Russia expected their armed forces to act upon their respective diplomatic initiatives—showing what worked and what failed with not much in between the two. This history, and Goldman’s writing, is as utterly fascinating and required to best understand how World War II proper came to be as well as a more insightful way of how it was fought.

 

 

The Broken Galaxy

20 July 2016
This C-5 Galaxy lies in a field on the south side of Dover Air Force Base, Del., after it crashed Monday, April 3, 2006. Specialists roped off the area with caution tape to preserve the scene until a safety investigation board completes its task. (U.S. Air Force photo/Doug Curran

The crashed C-5B Galaxy lies in a field on the south side of Dover Air Force Base DE after crashing on 03 April 2006—U.S. Air Force photo by Doug Curran

Ten minutes after taking off the Number 2 engine reverse thruster indicated a non lock condition. While attempting a heavyweight emergency landing the flight crew mistakenly idled the Number 3 engine—making the Galaxy a twin engine aircraft. The situation was exacerbated by the selection of too high a flap setting for two engine flight (the crew thought they had three) resulting in landing short of the runway at Dover Air Force Base. All 17 aboard survived, though two with serious injuries, and the aircraft was a complete hull loss. This Galaxy had the new glass cockpit which was subsequently redesigned to better indicate engine status.

Emergency responders are on the scene of a C-5 Galaxy crash today, April 3, 2006 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. (U.S. Air Force photo/Doug Curran)

Emergency responders at the scene of a C-5B Galaxy crash 03 April 2006 at Dover Air Force Base DE (note the detached Number 1 engine)—U.S. Air Force photo by Doug Curran

Emergency responders are on the scene of a C-5 Galaxy crash today, April 3, 2006 at Dover Air Force Base, Del. (U.S. Air Force photo/Doug Curran)

Emergency responders at the scene of a C-5B Galaxy crash 03 April 2006 at Dover Air Force Base DE (note the tail section has also detached like the nose section as well as the two deployed emergency slides)—U.S. Air Force photo by Doug Curran

A firefighter hoses down the crash site of a C-5 Galaxy. The aircraft crashed at 6:30 a.m. EDT, on Monday, April 3, 2006, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., just south of the base flightline. All 17 people aboard survived the crash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Doug Curran)

A firefighter foams down the left wing site of the C-5B Galaxy which crashed at 6:30 a.m. EDT on 03 April 2006 at Dover Air Force Base DE, about 2000 feet short of the runway—U.S. Air Force photo by Doug Curran

More on the Miami Seaplane Base

19 July 2016

Marek Vanzura, the force behind AirSpotter blog, has excellent photos of the Cape Air Cessna Caravan in operation at the Miami Seaplane Base–you can see them here—and don’t mind the beautiful Czech language.

His blog is chock full off gorgeous photos and they are wonderfully organized. I suggest you begin at the Photo Gallery but get a cup of coffee first as you will be exploring and enjoying for quite a while:) Since he is based in Europe he has aircraft not often seen on the west side of the Atlantic:)

 

WW II IJN Float Plane models

18 July 2016
Mitsubishi F1M2 Type Zero Reconnaissance Seaplane (Allied code name Pete) model—Joseph May/ Travel for Aircraft

Mitsubishi F1M2 Type Zero Reconnaissance Seaplane (Allied code name Pete) model (note that yellow livery indicates a training aircraft)—Joseph May/ Travel for Aircraft

Mitsubishi F1M2 Type Zero Reconnaissance Seaplane (Allied code name Pete) model—Joseph May/ Travel for Aircraft

Mitsubishi F1M2 Type Zero Reconnaissance Seaplane (Allied code name Pete) model—Joseph May/ Travel for Aircraft

The WW II Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) plan for controlling the western Pacific Ocean—with its vast expanses of water as well innumerable islands—included long-range strikes and night combat with reconnaissance (as always) the key to success. The IJN did not have logistical or building techniques for rapid airstrip or airfield construction hence the IJN’s impetus to have so many flying boats and float plane designs.

Unfortunately for historians, as well as the historically interested, few if any of these aircraft survived the war. In these images we thank model kit manufacturers and model kit builders for bringing these aircraft to life in three dimensions. Their skill in eliminating imperfections as well as weathering effects enable the rest of us to view that which can no longer be seen.

Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu (allied code name Rex) model—Joseph May/ Travel for Aircraft

Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu (Allied code name Rex) model—Joseph May/ Travel for Aircraft

These models, and many more of this superior quality, are displayed at the Wings Over Miami Museum.

Flying From the Black Hole: the B-52 Navigator-Bombardiers of Vietnam

15 July 2016

Flying From the Black Hole: the B-52 Navigator-Bombardiers of Vietnam, Robert O. Harder, 2009, ISBN 978-1-59114-359-9, 299 pp.

Flying From the Black Hole: the B-52 Navigator-Bombardiers of Vietnam by Robert O. Harder with cover design by Chris Gamboa-Onrubia

Flying From the Black Hole: the B-52 Navigator-Bombardiers of Vietnam by Robert O. Harder with cover design by Chris Gamboa-Onrubia

Harder has written a book far beyond its title indicates. To be sure, he describes the duty of the navigator-bombadier which was detailed and salient to mission accomplishment as they assisted their B-52 pilots in getting to a specific points within 15 second time windows—whether for refueling rendezvous or IP. Harder well describes the meaning of these 15 second windows, errors of palming staff, procedures for when equipment fails, the importance of the 3 x B-52 cell, why the B-52D was better in Vietnam than the B-52G and much more.

The reader certainly learns what it was like flying the B-52 in combat missions over Vietnam.

The reader also learns about the Arc Light and Linebacker missions—placing them into the context of the war effort better than most historians which have written of them. His writing is fresh, well written and deep;y thought out. Harder has the overview of a philosopher alloyed with the experienced combat veteran—it is a potent, unusual combination and one to be enjoyed.

The reader certainly learns what the prosecution and evolution of the Arc Light and Linebacker missions were like as well as their legacies.

Seaplanes Interpreted

14 July 2016

 

blog Caravan art 2

Cessna Caravan flown by Cape Air—image by Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

blog Caravan art 1

Cessna Caravan flown by Cape Air—image by Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

blog Beaver art 1

De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver flown by Miami Seaplane Tour—image by Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Beaver art 2

De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver flown by Miami Seaplane Tour—image by Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

Glassair Sportsman art

Privately owned Glass Air Sportsman GS-2—image by Joseph May:Travel for Aircraft

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