47° 08′ 00″ N / 122° 28′ 58″ W
The Starlifter replaced propeller cargo aircraft in the USAF and served 40 years providing logistical support and paradrop capabilities far from its bases with its nearly 3000 mile range. The C-135 Stratolifter was the first turbojet powered cargo aircraft for the USAF though it was a stopgap until a turbojet powered cargo aircraft with a rear or front loading ramp could be on the flight line. The C-141 is also the first turbojet aircraft designed for cargo.
A number of these aircraft are on display and this excellent example is located at the Heritage Hill Park of the McChord Air Museum…Part 2 of this walkaround will be in the next post.
The Legend of Little Eagle, Florian Rochat, 2014, ASIN B00K5SVTYI, ISBN 978-1499396867, 296 pp.
The Legend of Little Eagle is a fine fictional take of a Native American who died keeping his fatally wounded Mustang from crashing into the Marchal family farmhouse in World War II France. Sacrificing his life John Philip Garreau allowed for another to begin, that of unborn Hélène. Author Florian Rochat has Hélène Marchal tell the tale of a storyteller/journalist investigating who Garreau was, why he volunteered to fight so far away from his home and—most importantly—who he was.
Rochat brings a unique perspective of our Native Americans as well as our warriors of World War II since he is European. He describes the love of flying as well as Richard Bach with the technical understanding of Ernest K. Gann. The book is a lovely read and, like all good reads, has threads which entwine the storyline that make for depth and rich vicarious experience—it is as easy to hear Hélène think and ponder as it is to feel Garreau experiences learning to fly as it is to be in the big sky country of Montana.
Flight school, AT-6s andf P-51s as well as leave are told through Garreau’s letters to home. Hélène discovers people who knew him which helps her to realize who Garneau was as a man. Combat, its cold calculus, as well as becoming a combat leader in the heavily contested skies of Europe are both told in letters as well as interviewing fellow veterans. As the reader learns of Garreau the reader also learns of Hélène. It is through Hélène we learn how to tell a story and how to investigate (this is where Rochat’s experience as a professional writer and journalist is enjoyed, much like a surprise gift). Readers also learn of aviation heroes uncommon to most Americans such as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry who wrote as well as he flew, a pioneering aviator with feet of clay (i.e., being human such as Lindbergh, Earhart, Batten and Kingsford-Smith).
The cover art by Scarlett Rugers Design is inspiring as is Rochat’s storytelling. This book is handy in size, especially for travel, and can be enjoyed by adults as well as precocious teens. Florian Rochat was inspired by a letter he read in the Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana (Charlo MT) sent from a French family in the Épernay region of France, near Champagne, in 1944 who were also spared by a selfless American pilot’s final moments willing his wounded machine away from them. This story tells the tale of so many unheralded, but no less heroic, events which occurred every hour during World War II. This story also tells the tale of the interconnected nature things. This story also shows the reward that comes from understanding the backgrounds of people from other places. Rochat, a man from another place, gives us understanding (sometimes refreshing, sometimes bracing) of ourselves in the Unites States.
Florian Rochat, per the publishing practice, sent a copy of The Legend of Little Eagle for an objective review. It is available in hardback, paperback as well as Kindle in better bookstores as well as on Amazon.
40° 38′ 45″ N / 73° 46′ 40″ W
JFK‘s Terminal 4 has partnered with José Cuervo to create a lively art exhibition/marketing campaign. Use of aviation furniture (see MotoArt and Phighter Images) creates a traveling themed 1500 square foot space airline passengers are enjoying. José Cuervo also adds energy to the walk-in exhibit by recalling the famous Tequila Sunrise Tour of the Rolling Stones of 1972. Aviation furniture/art + José Cuervo + Rolling Stones = quite a bit of fun (and not where expected?)
There is more…Terminal 4 will host this extraordinary traveler’s respite until the end of 2015—with the bonus of free José Cuervo sampling every day but Sunday from 2:30pm until 8pm (1430—2000 hrs).
Terminal 4 serves 32 airlines which move 19.5 million people through its gates yearly. Art is always welcome to relieve travel’s necessary tedium and airports around the world have used or have begun using art to pull travelers from the doldrums. Our thanks to Ben Hilder for capturing these delightful images as well as to Ross Wallenstein and Nicole Turano of the Marino Organization for their help with this post.
40° 12′ 09″ N / 75° 08′ 24″ W
Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) first began in the Korean War with the U.S. Navy. Initially using TBM Avengers to transfer mail, personnel and imperative items the Navy exploited the success if COD by modifying their then new ASW (anti-submarine warfare) aircraft, the Grumman S-2 (formerly S2F) Tracker. The new aircraft became the Grumman C-1 (formerly WF-1) Trader — having a 1300 mile range and maximum speed of just under 300 mph. Its two Wright-1820 9-cylinder (1525 hp) radial engines had the Trader carrying as many as 9 passengers. A total of 83 rolled off the Grumman assembly line which may not seem to be many though the Trader served 33 years and was the last radial engine powered aircraft to retire from U.S. military service. This C-1 Trader is on exhibit at the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum —a good museum indeed (see the review post as well as other aircraft posts from there).
The Baileys are honored and remembered in the Charlotte County Airport both with this plaque and naming the terminal for them. Whether an only child serving or seven each family, along with those who served should be remembered this day.
Air Combat 1945: the Aircraft of World War II’s Final Year, Donald Nijboer, 2015, ISBN 978-0-8117-1606-2, 203 pp.
Donald Nijboer, noted author, selected the final year of World War II so the advanced aircraft could be the subject of focus as well as telling the tale of how this war wound down on across the globe. It is a rich subject and Nijboer covers it well with historic photographs taken in black and white as well as color.
The usual aircraft in Air Combat 1945 are all there, but Nijboer deftly avoids being clichéd since photos were selected not only for their relevance but uniqueness– Mustang III aircraft of No. 309 RAF (Polish) unit is one of a multitude of examples. Yes, Nijboer moved through the usual suspects of images to pull out gems from the archives which give breadth to the war as opposed to the too often homogenous treatment given to describing the aircraft of World War II.
The Soviet Union, Japan, USA, Great Britain and Italy (flying American made aircraft after their surrender to the Allies) are addressed in individual chapters. Horrifying images of aircraft suffering direct flak hits mix in with fighter aircraft under taxi with mechanics on wings (directing the pilots), public relations quality photos and so many aircraft well-worn and too young old. Two images come to mind that would make for great dioramas—that of an abandoned Mitsubishi F1M (Allied codename Pete) and a Kawasaki Ki-48 Sokei (Allied codename Lily).
Air Combat 1945 is wonderful in describing less the glamour of the time but the reality of it. And the aircraft of the time as well since the end of the war saw designs leagues ahead of their ancestors only a handful of years previous.
The book is large format so the photos are also large—easy to see and encouraging investigation. Mustangs, Bf 109s, Me 262s, Lancasters, B-17s, B-24s and Spitfires are notably covered with other commonly recognized aircraft. Liberally sprinkled among these images are those of unsung though no less technologically significant aircraft (even the by then handicapped Axis powers). Some of these gems are:
|Destroyed Typhoons of Operation Bodenplatte||Halifaxes|
|Lancaster bombing up with a Grand Slam||Westland Welkin|
|Hadrian ditching drawings||Seafires|
|Fairey Barracuda||Fairey Firefly|
|Ju 88 night fighter||Ar 234|
|Me 262 Schwalbe with 50mm nose cannon||He 177 Greif|
|Bv 222 Wiking||Ju 290|
|He 162 Volksjägger||Do 335|
|Torpedo armed SM.79 Sparviero||Fiat G.55 Centauro|
|CANT Z.1007 Alcione||P-39 Airacobras|
|Sikorsky R-4B Hoverfly||B-17G Dumbo (lifeboat and search radar)|
|B-32 Dominators||B-29 Superfortresses|
|Many horrendous flak hits||Defensive fire bullet dispersal pattern analyses|
|Many gorgeous images of massive formations||P-61|
|Rare Nakajima Ki-87 with exhaust turbocharger||Nakajima Ki-115 Tsurugi|
|Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu heavy bomber (Peggy)||Tachikawa Ki-74 long range recce|
|Tachikawa Ki-94-II high altitude fighter||Mitsubishi J8M Shushi (rocket powered)|
|Nakajima B6N2 Tenzan (Jill) + surface search radar||Nakajima G5N Shinzan (Liz) strategic bomber|
Happily, there are more unusual aircraft photos. Education is present and clear, as well. Captions and short descriptive paragraphs compliment the images in a smooth delivery of what could easily be made complex by a lesser author. What is made clear, but less addressed in many other books is:
- The armored decks of Royal Navy aircraft carriers had them suffer much less than U.S. Navy aircraft carriers,
- Aircrews of both sides boldly flew through flak, gun turrets were more accurate than man-handles machine guns
- The cutaway drawing of Allied and Axis aircraft
This book has value in setting the winding down to the conclusion of World War II had no relaxing aspect to it and aircraft design continued evolving at searing pace in the Axis as well as Allied air forces. The images and illustrations are an excellent cross-section of nearly all combat aircraft as well as specialized ones.
As is the publishing custom, Stackpole Books provided a copy of Air Combat 1945: the Aircraft of World War II’s Final Year for an objective review.