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Intrepid Woman: Betty Lussier’s Secret War, 1942-1945

22 November 2020

Intrepid War: Betty Lussier’s Secret War, 1942-1945, Betty Lussier, 2010, ISBN 978-1-59-114-449-6, 221 pp.

She fought to fly.

Then she fought to fight.

Betty Loussier had a remarkable life and she wrote exceptionally well. Her writing style is something to be admired as it is clear and flowing—descriptive and evocative—yet easy to take take in…like listening to an old friend.

She seems to have always been of an independent streak and had to be if she wanted to fly in those days prior to World War II (WW II). Her experience of the systemic bias against her sex from schooling, to employment to service to her country is visceral—as well as disturbing. It leaves the reader to wonder, “How so many minds and skills have been needlessly wasted because of one bias or another?”

Yet…she prevailed!

Her experience in WW II began as a ferry pilot flying for the British (though born in the USA she wanted to serve in Britain prior to Pearl Harbor out of a sense of duty and a profound need to set things right—a character trait she exhibited throughout her life). Her wartime career evolved to working in the OSS (she resigned from ferry piloting when Britain wouldn’t allow women to ferry aircraft east of “The Channel”—she wanted to be in the fight!) landing in counter-intelleigence. The details of ferreting out spies left behind by the retreating Axis forces are riveting as well as enthralling. Like much of new technology developed during WW II they wrote the book on it as they learned how best to find them, decide if they could be turned or not, and how to handle them if they became double agents—-as well as how to keep them that way.

Remarkably, there are the many stories of how most of these spies died tragically or by way of execution. They seemed, too often, to be easily disposed of chattel property to both the Axis and Allied powers.

Foundations of Russian Military Flight, 1885-1925

21 November 2020

Foundations of Russian Military Flight, 1885-1925, James K. Libbey, 2019, ISBN 9781682474235, 242 pp.

This academic, though entirely accurate title, makes a brilliant description of the Russian use of their aviation advancements from the beginning of flying through World War I and into the mid-1920s. Libbey wonderfully and clearly explains the tragically operatic history of the Russian Revolution from the abdication of the tsar, through Red and White Russia until the Socialist Republic it became. All necessary to understand the use and designs of Russian Army as well as Naval Aviation.

Familiar Russian aviation pioneers who got their starts (Sikorsky, Seversky, Tupelov, Il’yushin) are detailed as are those names which are less known but no less important in history—Zhukovskii, father of Russian aviation, as well as Grigorovich who was essential both in early flying boat design and manufacture.

The influence of the French is insightfully rewarding as is the confusingly repetitive changing of sides and alliances when Russian exited World War I (WW I). Czechs commanding the Siberian Railway giving the Whites an advantage over the Reds—until Czechoslovakia was carved out of the former Australian-Hungarian Empire and the Czechs went there. Poland‘s invasion of southern Russia thus providing breathing space for the Whites which aided in getting military assistance from the Allies—until the Reds prevailed. Germany and Russian forming an alliance immediately post WW I—former enemies now economically married due to the incredible debt burden of both countries, onerous conditions imposed on Germany to keep it essentially a non-competitor (and poor), as well as both countries having become international pariahs.

Libbey well coveys the history of air operations in both an easily understandable strategic overview as well as individual feats. His writing is not verbose—it is descriptive and lively as well as often insightful. He has an occasional patois—for example hydrocruiser for seaplane tender and overwhelming air superiority for air supremecy. These make for more interesting reading and better place the reader a century in the past, though.

Wonderfully and almost throughout Libbey’s book is Sikorsky’s renowned four engine bomber—the aircraft of many firsts, including a tail gun position—the Il’ia Muromet. Though no more than twenty-two of these behemoths existed at any single time they were highly effective, cherished and feared (depending on the side) as well as leagues ahead of the rest of the world’s aviation abilities. That Russia could only have a handful goes to their economic and logistical plans—which Libbey thankfully describes and in layman’s terms—otherwise, how else could the reader understand how a country could be so advanced yet not be advantaged at the same time?

This book is a valuable asset to fill in an often overlooked niche in aviation libraries though a niche important to understand for both aircraft design as well as air power usage, especially with the Russia’s territory spanning eleven time zones or nearly half a day of the Earth’s rotation period! James K. Libbey is Professor Emeritus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is expert in aviation history as well as Russian-American relations.

Countdown 1945: the Incredible Story of the 116 Days That Changed the World

5 November 2020

Countdown 1945: the Incredible Story of the 166 Days That Changed the World, Chris Wallace with Mitch Weiss, 2020, ISBN 978-1-9821-6019-7, 312 pp.

Yes—the very same Chris Wallace from Fox News and, thankfully, with Mitch Weiss assisting. Weiss is known for his authoring skills which firmly place readers in the moment. I could hear in my mind Wallace’s voice while reading this riveting telling of the men and the women who were able to unexpectedly end World War Two with the nuclear attacks—first against Hiroshima (using the “Little Boy” uranium bomb) and second against Nagasaki (using the “Fat Man” plutonium-uranium bomb).

Told in an intriguing countdown style beginning just prior to the death of FDR and advancing to the horrific, but grateful end, Wallace instills a sense drama as he describes the context and character of the decisions made by people from varied walks of life in real time—pilots to calutron monitors— generals to scientists. Persons both large and small in the story are brought to life, bringing in the human component of this history. From the main directors (i.e., Grove Andy Oppenheimer) to the vital technical people rarely heard or written about (e.g., Jacob Beser and Lilli Hornig) and the all important though usually discounted grunts such as Ruth Sisson and Lawrence Huddleston. Japanese civilians are also in this story and their experience in survival and their ultimate fates are equally compelling tales, as well.

Wallace and Weiss make these people alive and vibrant in their script with all their thoughts and actions as they slogged through a war with barley an end in sight as each island taken from the Japanese incurred more casualties and at higher rates. Yes, Japan was losing but, paradoxically, fighting better and better using kamikazes, enfilade fire from hidden cave position, tunnels galore as well as an accurate awareness of location and time of future beach assaults. Yes, Operation Olympic (the invasion of Kyushu) was not going to surprise Japan in the least and they were prepared—but that is covered in other books.

The authors use artistic license occasionally to describe common occurrences in an uncommon manner. “Engines running like new silk” as well as crew members being “invited” to mission briefing amusingly come to mind. The detail in the book is astounding, however, from the mention of graphite lubricant used in Little Boy to why women were better at monitoring and adjusting the uranium isotope (U-235 and U-238) separation machines, known as colutrons.

Two particular fiscal costs are mentioned—the cost of Project Manhattan at $2 billion and the uranium (U-235) core for Little Boy (delivered via the USS Indianapolis) at $300 million. Though not stated, since the authors place you inescapably as well as wonderfully in the moment, these are likely 1944 dollars. A quick look using Google shows Project Manhattan’s cost in 2020 dollars as a tad over $29.5 billion and Little Boy’s U-235 core at a bit over $4.6 million.

Countdown 1945 shows the power of unfettered science—unfettered except by secrecy. It also focuses its readers on the grist of waging war as well as the tremendous wastefulness inescapably incurred. Japan had lost the war and could have ended it at any moment but it took two, not one, atomic bombIngs to bring them to conclude the war they had initiated. The inevitable discussion of the savings in American lives as well as the Asian discrimination (which has been most definitely extant within the U.S. for decades prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor) are brought into play by the authors as well as the morality of using these fearsome weapons. The figure of 250,000 servicemen’s lives being saved by not invading Japan is often used by the writers, though others were mentioned—but the 250,000 figure was a low ball estimate given my the U.S. government to their public. Not withstanding public sentiment to have Japan surrender unconditionally the public support for a prolonged was war was beginning to wane. Servicemen for the most part had been away from home for years and the public was beginning to feel a conditional peace was becoming more attractive—the Japanese were playing to that end and willing to die for it.

Though not comprehensively addressed in the book…what would have happened to the American psyche if we had invaded and incurred 500,000 to 750,000 casualties? The U.S. causality rate in the Okinawa invasion was an incredible 35%, after all. The U.S. would have been entirely surprised by the preparedness of Japan’s defenses with increasingly successful kamikaze attacks (coming from mountain passes in largely wooded aircraft giving only moments to fire on them). Additionally, Japan had assessed correctly which landing beaches were likely and positioned artillery pieces which would had the great advantage of enfilade fire with no likelihood of return direct fire against landing gear craft. It would have likely been an Allied victory of near Pyrric proportions. What is also not mentioned was the desperate arming of women and children with pikes. Our servicemen would have been forced to kill women and children directly In great numbers—not from a distance but up close and personally. I cannot image the lasting pain that would have caused on the U.S. persona. The atomic weapons forced Japan to surrender and ultimately saved their culture as well as millions of lives (both American and Japanese).

A rude passenger’s own Rocky Mountain High

2 October 2020

Cold. 

A refreshing cold at less than 5% relative humidity but cold. As we left Pitkin CO it was -40° F but Gunnison was decidedly warmer at a balmy -20° F. Care was taken to not break a sweat—that was the care for a folks that day. Gunnison CO was my destination to catch a flight to Colorado Springs CO, then on to West Palm Beach FL

We easily walked on board from the tarmac since the aircraft was a Dornier 228. Its shoulder mounted wing had the cabin hatch’s threshold one easy step up into the aircraft with the flight crew going to the left and the rest of us going to the right. I selected a seat three rows back along the port side. We proceeded to get seated and situated as the flight crew ran through their checks and the lone flight attendant ensured all were well with everything properly stowed. I was looking forward to the flight since it promised to be a scenic one as it was bright and clear out. The geologist in me eagerly awaited the aerial view of Rocky Mountains—that rugged and triple-spined orogenic wonder still raw from its formation, not yet humbled by erosion. The same mountain chain which nearly defeated the Lewis and Clark expedition during their exploration to the Pacific coast. Yes, a brief flight that held the promise of being rolling vista all the way to Colorado Springs!

The the pilot walked out onto the tarmac. 

Hmmm.

He returned though nothing continued to occur in the cockpit from what we could see in the passenger cabin.

This repeated twice more.

Then, the man diagonally across from me got up and began an exhortation to the passengers. His thoughts were that we should all arise in unison and, as one, demand compensation from the airline for the delay in departure. Thankfully, he was largely ignored. “Too early for that crap” seemed to be the unspoken consensus, so he sat back down. 

The pilot came onto the intercom and explained he was taking one more walk around the aircraft as he remained dissatisfied with the deicing operation’s effectiveness. Further, he intended to have a boring career as an airline pilot.

Hmmm.

I like that but the exhorter did not and stood up to repeat his previous blather. I looked at the flight attendant, who was patiently sitting against the forward bulkhead. I saw she was thinking whether to let him calm down, burn out or should she risk provoking him further? She decided to let him burn out. She was a pro and her experience showed, sometimes it’s hardest though best not to act. His kind of rage requires a lot of energy to sustain.

He burned out and happily we departed flying east for CO Springs in short order.

As we approached the foothills the ride got bumpy. Common sense meant it would get bumpier as the foothills fell behind us for the ridges and then the mountains proper. I noticed something. When I saw a new line coming up we’d hit rough air a few seconds later and I nodded—who knows why but I was getting a great feel of just how rugged these mountains are as well as their grandeur. I had hiked and driven through them but this was truly eye-popping. I mentioned I am a geologist, didn’t I? We get off on stuff like this.

The flight attendant noticed my nodding and putting two and two together quickly she braced for the next bump. I nodded a touch more emphatically to give her a heads up after seeing her do this while doing her best to not get banged around in her diminutive-after-thought of a seat. I think “jump” is in the name since anyone using it get “jumped” out of them easily. Not to mention taking a reverse head slap against the bulkhead. 

Well, the exhorter was every bit as dedicated as our flight attendant since he immediately responded to the pilot’s call that no beverage service was to occur and that we all remain definitively strapped in our seats. Yes…he got up and renewed his oration, no doubt invigorated by this additional event to the obviously bad day he had already experienced. In his world anyway—the rest of us were fine.

But…again!

Yes, not getting that courtesy soda or coffee in the short hop set him off. The flight attendant ordered him back to his seat but he ignored the warning, of course, and kept up his incitement efforts. An empty vessel makes the most noise, didn’t you know?

Maybe my geological education gave me an advantage over him but maybe not. In any event, mid-discourse, we hit our first ridge. Wow! The bump up and drop was three times the amplitude of the previous ones we experienced going over the foothills. The exhorter found himself flat on his back against the cabin ceiling. I’m not sure, but I thought I caught a fleeting smirk cross the flight attendant’s face. No, I am sure. I was worried that he might crash into some metal on the way to the floor. I was worried though it was likely disguised by a grin.

If you’re going to be dumb you’d better be tough.

Most of the rest of the flight was spent quietly while hanging onto the anything promising firmness while catching views of those Rockies. 

There is no insurmountable problem in an aircraft while it is on the ground. I am not sure the exhorter learned that tidbit but he did provide for the in-flight entertainment.

Solomons WW II Legacy Cost Two More Lives

21 September 2020

Sadly, two  bomb disposal experts have died in their attempt to defuse a World War II vintage bomb in the Solomon Islands. They were on personal time working on behalf of an NGO—Norwegian People’s Aid. UK citizen Stephen “Luke” Atkinson and Australian citizen Trent Lee were the pair who were killed in an explosion. Ironically, the stabilizing chemicals added to an explosive mix are the first to depart from unexploded ordinance (UXO), thence making the explosive more and more unstable with the passage of time.

What sort of person would undertake disarming a UXO that may, or may not, be booby trapped to prevent that very thing? Further, a person who works to render an aged and unstable bomb safe so that it can be removed to be destroyed properly?

Nothing short of an amazing person.

More information is not available regarding this incident at this moment of writing—like a more precise location or the nature of the bomb itself—but the Solomons were a vast battle ground both on and off shore and there is a lot of UXO remaining there and rotting away. Though there is an illuminating paper published recently (November 2016) by the Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction entitled, Special Report: Solomon Islands’ Explosive Legacy.

Give pause for a moment or two today and recall both Atkinson and Lee for their efforts and the toll they paid to make innocents a bit safer.

TBDs locatable but recoverable?

21 September 2020

Douglas TBD Devastators aren’t rare birds in the World’s museums—as none exist—not even a single one. Overall it was an unremarkable aircraft and outdated by the time it flew into combat during World War II, but flew it did, and by remarkably dedicated naval aviators who ventured into their personal maelstroms without edge or advantage through flak and against fighters. Entering into this combat because the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) had to be put back on its heels.

Desperately so.

Others would follow on with knock out punches—probably—hopefully.

Who knows the thoughts in their minds at the time?

More than likely they may have simply thought it time to just get it done, as people tend to think when taking part in events of immense import.

Dismiss the events and concentrate on the mission.

It is sad none of these aircraft surviving this battle, as well as the Battle of Midway, were kept. That story has too often been repeated with other aircraft, as well, instead becoming other aircraft if not, ignobly, pots and pans.

But some have been found in Davy Jones’s Locker and in conditions more than worthy of recovery. Two have been located by A and T Recovery where Taras Lyssenko* has used his marathon endurance and drive, in concert with the National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation for the National Naval Aviation Museum, against the perpetually stymying efforts of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Many posts have been written about this dilemma in this blog—the search window will guide you to them.

Paul Allen (who passed on October 2018) organized and funded the search which located the USS Lexington (CV-2) . Recall, the Lexington was lost in the Battle of the Coral Sea during May of 1942 along with the USS Yorktown. This battle is the first capital ship fight not involving battleships miles apart, instead aviators attacking one another’s flat tops separated by hundreds of miles. When she sank she did so on an even keel taking much of her aircraft compliment with her—both on the flight deck as well as the hangar deck.

Mickeen Hogan has been reviewing material, comparing records, and asking questions regarding the Lexington’s aircraft which have been video recorded by Paul Allen’s crew of the R/V Petrel. Mickeen has developed an intriguing idea based upon the preserved status of these aircraft—providentially, 3000 meters of cold, oxygen deprived water does wonders keeping the aircrafts’ metal and paint intact.

His idea, as you have guessed, is to recover them. These are aircraft which would not only be rare displays but are historic gems as well (either by flying into this significant battle or having been flown by famed aviators). For example:

  • Douglas TBD Devastator BuNo 0345: flown by Squadron Commander James Brett (TS 2) scoring a hit on the carrier IJN Shoho—video indicated the aircraft to be intriguingly intact.
  • A Grumman F4F Wildcat flown by naval ace Butch O’Hare for a famous photo shoot.

These are only two specific aircraft that Mickeen has identified amongst several. There are many more strewn about the ship and her resting place about 500 miles off Australia, with most in excellent condition, which together could yield a mighty handful of museum displays.

It is obvious that this is rich ground for historical as well as rare aircraft recovery. The Navy cannot do it but Mickeen has ideas, so fingers crossed for him. Having a few Devastators in prime museums would be the most fantastic way to honor those brave aviators flying unescorted into harm’s way, too low and too slow making history possible—the crippling and sinking of IJN aircraft carriers which had, until then, had the run of the Pacific Ocean.

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*Taras Lyssenko has an exciting book about his aircraft recoveries, tales of humanity as well as working with and against bureaucracies in a book the publisher has difficulties in keeping with its demand. The book’s title is, The Great Navy Birds of Lake Michigan: the True Story of the Privateers of Lake Michigan and the Aircraft They Rescued. Read about how former boys from Chicago’s dubious south side systematically found and recovered dozens of World War II aircraft (some Class I historic). These aircraft are now on display in dozens of museums and other public places across the globe. They even found a World War I German submarine!

Brookwood’s World War I Cemetery—Surrey UK

20 September 2020

Contributors Elaine and Michael Dowman recently viewed the Brookwood Cemetery (near to Woking UK) on a gloriously bright day, thoughtfully supplying these images. The cemetery has a large portion devoted to those Americans who perished in World War I within its northwestern section (Brookwood American Cemetery and Memorial) where are 468 buried with 563 who could only be named due to being lost at sea. This cemetery is close to London and adjacent to the UK’s military heritage of Farnborough, Aldershot, Sandhurst and the Royal Military Academy—which is poetically fitting.

Brookwood Cemetery entry—images courtesy of and ©2020 Elaine and Michael Dowman

Brookwood Columbarium converted in 1910 from its original purpose as the mausoleum for Lord Cadogan—images courtesy of and ©2020 Elaine and Michael Dowman

Part of the Brookwood American Cemetery and Memorial (within Brookwood Cemetery) where 468 American military World War I dead  are interred with an additional 563 named for being lost at sea—images courtesy of and ©2020 Elaine and Michael Dowman

World War I gravesites of those who served from Czechoslovakia at the Brookwood Cemetery—images courtesy of and ©2020 Elaine and Michael Dowman

A closer view Brookwood Cemetery’s World War I Czechoslovakian Memorial—images courtesy of and ©2020 Elaine and Michael Dowman

Brookwood Cemetery’s World War I Polish War Dead Memorial—images courtesy of and ©2020 Elaine and Michael Dowman

Some of the too many graves in the Brookwood Cemetery with contributor Michael for scale—images courtesy of and ©2020 Elaine and Michael Dowman

Brookwood American Cemetery and Memorial’s Private Willie Green gravesite, claimed by World War I, who likely served in the American Expeditionary Force (the 546 Engineers Service Battalion was Afro-American fighting for freedom they did not enjoy back home in the USA)—images courtesy of and ©2020 Elaine and Michael Dowman

Want the rare Blackburn Beverley?

19 September 2020

Sadly, the Fort Paull Museum (near Hull UK) will not reopen and its possessions are now on auction. This auction includes the rare extant Blackburn Beverley—an immense wing, four radial engine, fixed landing gear behemoth. The RAF’s paratroop/cargo delivery aircraft of the early Cold War.

It is written about very well by Ross Sharp in this post on his Shortfinals blog.

The BBC article on the Ft. Paull closing as well as the Beverley is here.

Thanks to Terry for the news leading to the BBC report as well as Ross for his prescient write-up.

B-17 tail gun position on the way…

12 September 2020

…to the Pima Air & Space Museum (Tucson AZ) where the 390th Bomb Group Memorial Museum is located…

The gunner’s view looking aft within the tail gun position of the restored B-17 Flying Fortress’s rear gun position compartment (note the military’s usual attention to creature comfort)—image courtesy and ©2020 Nicholas Veronico

Nicholas Veronico is an interesting person with a wide variety of talent as well as interests. Particularly in aviation’s history and, interestingly, as a collector with considerable expertise of aircraft gun turrets.

He has written widely on a number of subjects ranging from history to the world’s sole flying telescope (SOFIA). Several of his books have been reviewed in this blog (type his name into the search window) especially in regard to less popular though no less important aircraft (e.g., PB4Y Privateers, Air Force One aircraft) as well as the location and recovery of lost warbirds (coining the term “wreckchaser” in his fascinating books Hidden Warbirds as well as Hidden Warships).

He has a special interest in gun turrets, restoring and preserving many, partly stemming from the loss of his uncle who is a casualty of World War II—a heavy bomber gunner in Europe’s skies.

Looking better than new, Nick Veronico’s thoroughly restored Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress tail gunners compartment—image courtesy and ©2020 Nicholas Veronico

Nick’s latest effort has been the acquisition and funding the historically accurate restoration of the authentic rear gun position compartment of a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress—and it is a beauty!

Restored at Aero Trader (located in Chino CA) and assessed for authenticity as well as accuracy by famed Gordon Page (TV host of Chasing Planes and author). Using a pick-up truck Nick, must have made quite a sight as he took it home from Chino!

Gordon Page, “Chasing Planes” TV show host, evaluates the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress tail gun compartment recently restored by Aero Trader (Chino CA) for Nick Veronico—image courtesy and ©2020 Nicholas Veronico

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress tail gun position, restored at Aero Trader at Chino CA, and owned by Nicholas Veronico (I’m positive he soaked in the admiration of passing drivers as he drove at less than highway speed limits)—image courtesy and ©2020 Nicholas Veronico

Nick had the compartment professionally assessed for the benefit of the 390th Bomb Group Memorial Museum within Tucson AZ’s Pima Air & Space Museum where he has loaned it for historical display—debuting 15 October 2020. Preservation of aviation’s history take many forms but recovery and restoration are paramount—so, kudos to Nicholas Veronico for his dedication as well as contribution to remembering our veterans, especially of World War II.

Gordon Page (L) and Nick Veronico (R) beside Nick’s wonderfully restored Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress tail gun compartment. Nick is holding Gordon’s book, “Warbird Recovery: the Hunt for a Rare WWII Plane in Siberia, Russia”, as well. Gordon recently evaluated this compartment for accuracy prior to a loan to the 390th Bomb Group Memorial Museum in Tucson AZ—image courtesy and ©2020 Nicholas Veronico


 

 

Styling with The People’s Mosquito

29 August 2020

TPMThe People’s Mosquito

We’ve been in support of this remarkable effort to build a de Havilland Mosquito, enable it to fly, then fly it and subsequently donate the paradigm setting aircraft to the public trust in the UK. There are two Mossies flying today though privately owned–which is great, of course—but it is time one is aviating and owned by the public, the people. Private ownership has benefits to but can be troublesome when the owner passes away—just look a the story of the Super Cat (after languishing many years in the open at Miami Executive Airport it is thankfully now owned by a museum, the Cavanaugh Flight Museum.  Diversity is key and having both privately owned as well as publicly owned Mossies is the best solution and covers all the bases. This aircraft, the de Havilland Mosquito, is historic and relatively undersung being somewhat akin to being the SR-71 of its day during World War II by using speed and high altitude with near impunity on recce missions. Unlike the Blackbird it also had teeth and is famed for true precision bombing raids, most notably targeting Gestapo HQs in broad daylight navigating the treetops on the run ins.

The project to build an original Mosquito from a set of original fuselage molds and microfiches of de Havilland’s engineering plans (thousand of them) plus an authenticated data plate means this Mosquito can be considered original as well as new. Quite the project! The People’s Mosquito Project!

Check out the website to see high-res images, history and the excellent assemblage of personalities selflessly forwarding this project. The fuselage molds for the plywood fabrication are in the UK and have been serviced. The wings have been manufactured and shipped from New Zealand using various woods depending upon the engineering demands at the various sections. The drive to collect money for the fuselage’s construction is well on its way—join in the effort by donating here at TPM’s Operation Jericho. The progress has been quite rapid as the organization is professional, dedicated and motivated.

We’ve signed up since long ago, donated many times and found another way to support by purchase of merchandise from their TPM Shop. Recently we received two shirts and a jacket from the shop and couldn’t be happier with the quality. High quality machine embroidery as well as excellent materials which are built to last. These are Nordstrom’s quality—not souvenir store cheap-but-no-bargain items. There is quite a variety and should be checked out not only for yourself but for thoughtful and unique  gift giving. An inert .303 calibre cartridge key chain cannot be shipped into the USA due to USA restrictions. Sure—we’ve ordered .50, .375 and .338 pens made in the USA but cannot import the .303—go figure!

Back of The People’s Mosquito soft-shell jacket (a large embroidered Mossie in flight)—The People’s Mosquito Shop

A Mossie on the ground embroidered on a sky blue Polo shirt (also in red)—The People’s Mosquito Shop

Designed by famed Nick Horrox is this Mossie fighter-intruder variant coming at you—The People’s Mosquito Shop