Mar 08 2018

USS Lexington and several aircraft discovered by Paul Allen

The wreckage of the aircraft carrier USS Lexington was located by the research vessel RV Petrel on 4 March 2018 during an expedition led by Paul Allen. The “Lady Lex” was America’s second aircraft carrier, and the first one lost in combat. She was badly damaged by Japanese attacks on 8 May 1942 and scuttled by the destroyer USS Phelps to prevent her capture by the enemy.

She lies some 3,000 meters below the surface approximately 430 nautical miles off Queensland. A remotely-operated underwater vehicle captured remarkable footage of the Lady Lex, and also discovered seven TBD Devastators, three SBD Dauntless and a single F4F Wildcat.

These aircraft are in a remarkable state of preservation, probably due to the great depth. The F4F Wildcat, belonging to VF-3 and carrying the number F-5, can be seen with 4 Japanese “kill markings” beneath the cockpit.

More photos and information can be found on Paul Allen’s website.

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Feb 27 2018

Spitfire XVI headed to Belgium

Spitfire Mk XVI SL721, previously operated by Vintage Wings of Canada, has been sold to a Belgian owner and should be arriving soon in Belgium. This is the first time an airworthy Spitfire has been based in the country since the 1960s, according to the Belgian Aviation Preservation Association.




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Feb 27 2018

Hawker Sea Fury WG655 flies again

The Hawker Sea Fury T.20 WG655 in2007. (Photo D. Miller (CC BY 2.0))

The Fighter Collection’s Hawker Sea Fury T.20 WG655 flew again on February 22 after a period of re-engineering, and performed 3 test flights. The twin-seater was re-engined with a Pratt & Whitney R-2800, replacing the original Bristol Centaurus powerplant.

Source: Aerodynamic Media

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Feb 22 2018

Miroslav “Tony” Liškutín DFC †

Squadron Leader Miroslav “Tony” Liškutín DFC died on 19 February 2018. Born on 23 August 1919 in Czechoslovakia, he fled to France at the time of the German invasion. After serving with the French Foreign Legion, he joined the RAF, becoming operational as a fighter pilot in September 1941.

Serving with several RAF units, he flew 131 combat missions, during which he shot down eight enemy aircraft and two V-1 missiles. After the war he returned to his home country only to return to the UK after being persecuted following the 1948 communist coup. He rejoined the RAF and served there until 1962.

With Miroslav Liškutín’s passing, Emil Boček, who will soon celebrate his 95th birthday, is the sole surviving Czech pilot who served in the RAF in World War II.

More info:

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Feb 12 2018

“Hurricane” movie to tell 303 Squadron story

Kaleidoscope Film Distribution has published the teaser for its upcoming movie “Hurricane”, which will tell the story of No 303 (Polish) Squadron of the RAF, whose Polish pilots performed remarkably during the Battle of Britain. The story is set to be seen through the eyes of Polish ace Jan Zumbach.

The release date for the movie is not yet known but it would appear to be in 2019.

Source: Aerodynamic Media

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Feb 06 2018

Margot Duhalde, Free French pilot, has died

Margot Duhalde, the only woman to join the Forces Aériennes Françaises Libres (FAFL, Free French Air Force), passed away on 5 February 2018 in Santiago de Chili. Born in 1920, she was of French origin and became a pilot in 1938.

Following de Gaulle’s call, she joined the FAFL in March 1941 but was not allowed to enter combat. She became a pilot for the RAF’s Air Transport Auxiliary, ferrying new and repaired planes to frontline units. She made over 1,300 such flights, on more than 100 types of aircraft.

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Feb 02 2018

“That’s All, Brother” flies again

The Douglas C-47A Skytrain “That’s All, Brother”, the aircraft that led the aerial invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, has flown again. The aircraft, whose unique history had somewhat been forgotten, hadn’t flown in nearly a decade and was scheduled to be converted to a turboprop by Basler Turbo Conversions in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Commemorative Air Force discovered the aircraft and decided to restore it to airworthiness under its original specifications.

The first flight was made on January 31st, and was followed by two other test flights. Doug Rozendaal and Tom Travis were at the controls.

More information on the first post-restoration flight of this unique historical aircraft can be found on these websites:

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Jan 15 2018

Discover the new website Greeks in Foreign Cockpits

We are pleased to announce that the website of our friend and colleague Dimitris Vassilopoulos is now online:

Dimitris has already written two remarkably complete volumes on the pilots and crews of Greek parentage or origin who served in foreign air forces during World War II, notably with the USAAF and RAF.

Unfortunately, the books are currently only available in Greek. The new website is in English and will provide valuable information to anyone researching the subject. Please give them a visit !

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Dec 28 2017

Jerome “Jerry” Yellin †

Jerome “Jerry” Yellin, who flew the last American combat mission of World War II, passed away on December 21.

On 15 August 1945, Yellin and his wingman Philip Schlamberg of the 78th Fighter Squadron took off from Iwo Jima to strafe Japanese airfields near Nagoya. Japan was imminently expected to surrender and the pair was to abort their mission and return to base in the event they received the code word “Utah”, signalling the end of the war. For some reason, they never received the code word and Yellin discovered upon landing that the war had ended three hours earlier. Sadly, Schlamberg disappeared in a cloud bank after the attack and was presumed killed in combat.

After the war, Yellin became an advocate for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and personally struggled for years to overcome what he had experienced during his service.

He is survived by four children, one sister and six grand-children.


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Nov 29 2017

New warbird shirt available: A6M Zero

Many of you had requested it, and your wish has been granted: the Mitsubishi A6M Zero shirt is now available from the Warbird Shirt shop! 🙂

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Nov 25 2017

Donnet-Lévêque C replica flies in France

After 20 years of work, the replica of the Donnet-Lévêque Type C flying boat built by Les Retro Planes d’Argenteuil has taken to the skies. The 2-minute first flight was made on 16 November 2017 at la Ferté-Alais with Edmond Salis at the controls.

The flight showed that adjustments are needed on the 80 hp Rhône rotary engine, which was not delivering sufficient power. It would appear that the carburettor is the source of the problem.

More informations (with photos) can be found on Aero Buzz.

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Nov 25 2017

World’s last surviving twin-seat Buchón flies again

The last surviving HA-1112-M4L Buchón (G-AWHC), a twin-seater variant of the Buchón, flew again yesterday at Sywell Aerodrome in the UK. Richard Grace was at the controls and made two flights.The aircraft was part of Connie Edwards’ collection, which was sold in 2014.

More information and videos on the Sywell Aerodrome Facebook page.



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Nov 14 2017

Thomas J. Hudner †

Thomas J. Hudner Jr., the only US Naval aviator to be awarded the Medal of Honor during the Korean War, died age 93 at his home in Concord, Massachusetts, on 13 November 2017.

Born on 31 August 1924, Thomas Hudner was flying F4U Corsairs with VF-32 when the Korean War broke out. On 4 December 1950, during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, Hudner deliberately crashed his aircraft on a mountainside in an attempt to rescue his wingman Jesse L. Brown, the first African-American aviator in the US Navy.

Hudner retired from the US Navy in 1973 and was very active with veterans associations.

His Medal of Honor citation reads:

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as a pilot in Fighter Squadron 32, while attempting to rescue a squadron mate whose plane struck by antiaircraft fire and trailing smoke, was forced down behind enemy lines. Quickly maneuvering to circle the downed pilot and protect him from enemy troops infesting the area, Lt. (J. G.) Hudner risked his life to save the injured flier who was trapped alive in the burning wreckage. Fully aware of the extreme danger in landing on the rough mountainous terrain and the scant hope of escape or survival in subzero temperature, he put his plane down skillfully in a deliberate wheels-up landing in the presence of enemy troops. With his bare hands, he packed the fuselage with snow to keep the flames away from the pilot and struggled to pull him free. Unsuccessful in this, he returned to his crashed aircraft and radioed other airborne planes, requesting that a helicopter be dispatched with an ax and fire extinguisher. He then remained on the spot despite the continuing danger from enemy action and, with the assistance of the rescue pilot, renewed a desperate but unavailing battle against time, cold, and flames. Lt. (J. G.) Hudner’s exceptionally valiant action and selfless devotion to a shipmate sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.”

Read more on Thomas Hudner and Jesse Brown.


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Nov 12 2017

C-97 Stratofreighter “Angel of Deliverance” flies again

The Boeing C-97G “Angel of Deliverance” of the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation made a successful first flight on November 7 from Floyd Bennett Field  to Robert J. Miller Airpark in Berkeley Township, NJ. From there, the aircraft was refueled and flew to Reading Regional Airport.

“Angel of Deliverance” is currently the only airworthy C-97 Stratofreighter, a long-range heavy cargo derivative of the B-29/B-50.


More information can be found from Warbirds News by Warbird Digest.

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Oct 25 2017

Fieseler Storch flies again in Norway


From Aerodynamic Media: Warbirds of Norway’s Fieseler Fi 156 Storch Wk.Nr. 1816, built by Morane-Saulnier in Puteaux, France, flew again earlier this month in Kjeller.

After serving with the French air force, the aircraft joined the civilian registry as F-BJQB until 1970, when it was exported to the US.

It has been restored to be as close to the original Fi 156C-3 specifications as possible, complete with an original Argus AS 10C engine, original instruments and equipment, and the markings of an aircraft that served with JG 5 in Norway.


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