Clarence “Bud” Anderson has passed away

Bud Anderson and the Mustang “Old Crow” (Photo Roger Freeman Collection via American Air Museum in Britain)

The famous American pilot and ace, Clarence Emil “Bud” Anderson, passed away on Friday, May 17th. He was 102 years old.

Born on January 13, 1922, in Oakland, United States, “Bud” Anderson served as a fighter pilot during World War II with the 357th Fighter Group and ended the war with a total of 16.25 victories obtained over the course of 116 combat missions, fought at the commands of his P-51D Mustang ‘Old Crow’.

Becoming a test pilot postwar, he was successively stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB and Edwards AFB before finishing his professional career at McDonnell Douglas.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and loved ones of Clarence Emil “Bud” Anderson.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2024/05/18/clarence-bud-anderson-has-passed-away/

After 80 years, the last C-47 Dakotas in military service worldwide are being retired

SAAF C-47TP (Photo Bob Adams (CC BY-SA 2.0)) 2

After an extraordinary 81 years of dedicated service, the South African Air Force (SAAF) is retiring its fleet of Douglas C-47 Dakotas.  These aircraft, known for their robustness and versatility, have been a mainstay of South African military aviation since 1943. The SAAF was the last military operator of the C-47, meaning the type is now officially retired from military service after an 8-decade career.

The Douglas C-47 Dakota, the military version of the DC-3, first flew on 23 December 1941 and was used extensively during World War II. The aircraft’s durability and adaptability made it invaluable for various missions, including troop transport, medical evacuation, and cargo delivery. The SAAF received its first C-47s in 1943, and these planes played a significant role in the Border War from 1966 to 1989, supporting operations in Namibia and Angola. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2024/05/17/after-80-years-the-last-c-47-dakotas-in-military-service-worldwide-are-being-retired/

Video : Watch the DTAM’s P-47 Thunderbolt’s display at Oshkosh

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We covered the first flight a few months ago : Dakota Air Territory Museum’s P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 flies again. The YouTube channel AirshowStuff has shared this video of the display of the Dakota Territory Air Museum’s P-47 Thunderbolt flown by Bernie Vasquez during the latest gathering at Oshkosh.

This P-47D Thunderbolt won the Grand Champion trophy  in the WW2 warbirds category.

Push the sound up on your device and enjoy !

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2023/08/30/video-watch-the-dtams-p-47-thunderbolts-display-at-oshkosh/

A P-51 Mustang returns to the skies in the United Kingdom

North American P-51D-30-NT 45-11518 G-CLNV on its maiden flight at Sywell ( Photo © Peter Green )

North American P-51D-30-NT 45-11518 G-CLNV on its maiden flight at Sywell ( Photo © Peter Green )

On Friday, August 25th, at Sywell in the United Kingdom, English pilot Pete Kynsey conducted the first post-restoration flight of the North American P-51D 45-11518, registered as G-CLNV on the British civil register.

Restored by Air Leasing Ltd, led by Richard Grace, this P-51 was built in 1945 and was taken over by the Royal New Zealand Air Force in August of the same year, where it was given the serial NZ2427. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2023/08/30/a-p-51-mustang-returns-to-the-skies-in-the-united-kingdom/

UK : Pilot wounded in crash of Wildcat AX733

A U.S. Navy Grumman F4F-3 in early 1942. (Photo US Navy)

A U.S. Navy Grumman F4F-3 in early 1942.(Photo US Navy)

The pilot of the Grumman FM-2 Wildcat AX733 (registered G-KINL) was seriously wounded in a crash at Heveningham Hall near Halesworth, Suffolk, in the United-Kingdom.

Thankfully, the few available sources seem to indicate that the pilot’s injuries were non-life-threatening and that he has left the hospital. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2023/07/09/uk-pilot-wounded-in-crash-of-wildcat-ax733/

Paul Ehlen killed in crash of his Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in Montana

The Curtiss P-40E AK753 at Oshkosh (Photo © Damien Defever)

The Curtiss P-40E AK753 at Oshkosh (Photo © Damien Defever)

It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Paul Ehlen. He crashed yesterday afternoon in Curtiss P-40E Warhawk ‘AK753’, registered as N4420K and belonging to the Wings of the North Air Museum,  near Hamilton, Montana.

Paul Ehlenpilot and owner of the Curtiss P-40E (Photo via WOTN Facebook page)

Paul Ehlenpilot and owner of the Curtiss P-40E (Photo via WOTN Facebook page)

Little information is available about this tragic event but the police announced that Paul Ehlen, the museum’s founder, was at the controls and did not survive the crash. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2023/06/28/paul-ehlen-killed-in-crash-of-his-curtiss-p-40e-warhawk-in-montana/

Watch footage of Lockheed VC-121A Constellation “Bataan” returning to flight

Gorgeous footage of the first flight of Lockheed VC-121A Constellation “Bataan”, which once served as the personal transport for General MacArthur,  has been uploaded by Skyes9 on YouTube :

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Push the sound up and enjoy !

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2023/06/26/watch-footage-of-lockheed-vc-121a-constellation-bataan-returning-to-flight/

Lewis Air Legend’s VC-121 “Baatan” flies again

Lockheed VC-121A Constellation 8613 “Bataan” (N422NA) in 2016. (Photo Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0))

Lewis Air Legend’s Lockheed VC-121A Constellation “Bataan”, which served as General MacArthur’s personal aircraft, flew again on 21 June 2023 after an eight-year restoration by Fighter Rebuilders in Chino, California. Footage of the first flight can be viewed on Lewis Air Legend’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/reel/3572688642970226

The Lockheed  VC-121A Constellation “Bataan” holds a rich history spanning several decades. Originally delivered to the USAF in January 1949 as C-121A 48-613, it played a crucial role in the Berlin Airlift by flying the Westover AFB-Rhein-Main route. In 1950, it underwent conversion to a VC-121A and became the first aircraft of its kind to be equipped with the APS-10 weather radar.

From September 1950 to April 1951, it served as the personal aircraft of General MacArthur, Supreme Commander Allied Powers during the Korean War, and receoved the name “Bataan”. It was also General Ridgeway’s personal aircraft from 1952 to 1953. It was later transferred to HQ, Pacific Air Command as a VIP transport until late 1965, when it was declared surplus by the USAF and flown to Davis-Monthan AFB for storage in January 1966. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2023/06/22/lewis-air-legends-vc-121-baatan-flies-again/

Dakota Air Territory Museum’s P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 flies again

P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 during its first flight with Bernie Vasquez at the controls. (Photo courtesy Ben Redman via AirCorps Aviation)

P-47D Thunderbolt 42-27609 during its first flight with Bernie Vasquez at the controls. (Photo courtesy Ben Redman via AirCorps Aviation)

Following a lengthy restoration period by AirCorps Aviation, Republic P-47D-23-RA Thunderbolt serial number 42-27609 took to the skies again on 16 May 2023 in Bemidji, Minnesota. The first flight was a success and was flown by Bernie Vasquez, with Warren Pietsch and Ben Redman flying chase in P-51D Mustang “Miss Kitty III”.

The aircraft belongs to the Dakota Territory Air Museum and will carry the markings of the P-47D Thunderbolt “Bonnie”  flown by Major Bill Dunham, commanding officer of the 460th Fighter Squadron in the Philippines in 1944. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2023/05/26/dakota-air-territory-museums-p-47d-thunderbolt-42-27609-flies-again/

No more National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport after 2023

Rare Bear at Reno, a sight that will soon become a memory only. (Photo © Damien Defever)

Sadly, this is not a bad joke or an April’s Fool. The Reno Air Racing Association (RARA), the organizer of the National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport, Nevada,  announced on 9 March that the Reno Air Races will no longer take place at the world-renowned Reno-Stead Airport after this year’s edition, from 13 to 17 September 2023.

The races have been held at Reno-Stead in Nevada since 1964, a location that saw tens of thousands of aviation and racing enthusiasts gather from around the world to enjoy the racing and notably the “Unlimited class” of racers which sees Mustangs, Sea Furies and Bearcats battling for the lead. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2023/03/10/no-more-national-championship-air-races-at-reno-stead-airport-after-2023/

Flying Legends 2022 cancelled

It’s a great disappointment for warbird enthusiasts as The Fighter Collection has announced via the Flying Legends Facebook page that the 2022 edition of the world-famous Flying Legends airshow has been cancelled :

Dear Flying Legends community, pilots and friends,

It is with deep regret that we must confirm the cancellation of Flying Legends 2022. Our search for a suitable alternative to Duxford has not been successful, despite our best efforts. To compromise and select a lesser location for the event would neither do you nor the brand justice.

This decision was not made lightly and pains us all, but we are determined to find a new home for the show in the near future. One that will ensure the continuity, excellence and growth of Flying Legends for many years to come. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2022/02/11/flying-legends-2022-cancelled/

Video : The Return of the Hurricane

Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIa (P3351) of the Alpine Fighter Collection at Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow 2006. (Image Copyright © 2006 Blue Bicycle Flicks Ltd)

For a limited time, you can view a 55-minute documentary about the restoration of Hurricane P3351, recovered and remastered by the Historical Aviation Film Unit:

Click here to view the video

Restored from 1994 to 1999, P3351 made its first post-restoration flight on 12 January 2000. Since 2013, it has been based at Cannes-Mandelieu, France .

NEWS RELEASE

Rare WW2 Warbird Video Found And Restored

Blenheim, New Zealand — February 3rd, 2022

A twenty-one year old video documentary detailing the restoration and eventual return to airworthiness of Sir Tim Wallis’ Second World War Hawker Hurricane warbird, has been located and resurrected from near extinction by the Historical Aviation Film Unit (HAFU). Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2022/02/03/video-the-return-of-the-hurricane/

World’s only surviving twin-seat Fw 190 to leave UK for Germany

Visitors of the Royal Air Force Museum Hendon, near London, will have been surprised to see the museum’s two-seat Focke-Wulf Fw 190 being disassembled.

Based on information received from museum members, the Fw 190 is to be sent to Germany and will be on long-term loan with the Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr in Berlin-Gatow. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2022/01/24/worlds-only-surviving-twin-seat-fw-190-to-leave-uk-for-germany/

Brigadier Charles McGee, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, passes away at 102

Brigadier General Charles McGee (Photo USAF)

Charles Edward McGee, born on December 7, 1919, passed away in his sleep on Sunday the 16th of January 2022, aged 102. A member of the famous Tuskegee Airmen, he was deployed in  February 1944 with the 302nd Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group, which was then based in Italy. Flying the P-39 Airacobra, P-47 Thunderbolt and finally the P-51 Mustang, he flew 137 combat missions and was credited with one aerial victory and a shared aerial victory before returning to the US in December 1944.

After the war, he remained with the US Air Force and flew another 100 combat missions in the Korean War, still flying the P-51 Mustang. During the Vietnam war, he commanded the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron flying the RF-4C Phantom II and flew another 172 combat missions. Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2022/01/18/brigadier-charles-mcgee-one-of-the-last-surviving-tuskegee-airmen-passes-away-at-102/

First engine runs for Messerschmitt Bf109G-6 WkNr 410077

The Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 Werk Nr. 410077, under restauration by Midwest Aero Restorations Ltd and belonging to Bruce Winter of San Antonio, Texas, has had its first engine run since 1943, in Danville, Illinois.

Midwest Aero Ltd has posted this video of the engine runs on its YouTube channel.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.worldwarbirdnews.com/2021/11/17/first-engine-runs-for-messerschmitt-bf109g-6-wknr-410077/

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