Posts Tagged ‘World War II’

CAP to get recognition for WW II patrols

Monday, February 25th, 2013

First it was the Tuskegee Airmen who, after waiting 51 years after World War II, got their just recognition with a Congressional Gold Medal. Then it was the Women Airforce Service Pilots who got the medal four years later. Now, there is an effort to honor the founders of the Civil Air Patrol with the medal, and thus all who flew with the CAP during the war. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has launched a bill to honor 60,000 civilians–men and women 18-81 years old–who were CAP members. “Our founding members helped save lives and preserve our nation’s freedom,” said Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr, CAP’s national commander. The CAP conducted anti-submarine coastal patrols up to 100 miles offshore in March 1942 after 52 oil tankers had been sunk. They carried 50-, 100- and 325-pound bombs or depth charges, attacking 57 enemy submarines and reporting 173 to the military.

Restored Mosquito bomber to fly at ‘some’ airshows, but not Oshkosh

Monday, January 7th, 2013

The Fighter Factory in Virginia will soon add a flying restored Mosquito bomber to its collection. It was built with recovered parts and new tooling by Avspecs, Limited, at Ardmore Airfield on the outskirts of Auckland, New Zealand. The company is owned by Warren Denholm and his wife, Shona and was started in 1997. As you’ll see, the company has done a photoshoot in New Zealand and is selling a calendar with photos.

There are videos of the tedious and difficult restoration here, and here. You’ll find video of its first flight and landing here. If that’s not enough videos, here is one more of the first run-up of those powerful Merlins. You’ll see it at the Fighter Factory’s airshow, Warbirds Over the Beach, on May 17. It will also appear in Canada at the Hamilton Air Show near Toronto in June. 

It will not appear at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. Fighter Factory owner Jerry Yagen said he asked EAA for an appearance fee to offset expenses, such as he has received at New Zealand airshows where the aircraft is now performing, but was rebuffed by EAA Acting President Jack Pelton. EAA officials said it is impossible to determine who would get such a fee and who would be denied it.  An EAA spokesman asked, “Where do you draw the line?” See comments below.

Want to help launch a graphic novel about a WWII-era crop duster in peril?

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Duster has a little bit of everything: a Stearman Kaydet, a tenacious lady crop duster, World War II baddies, and Texas. But before you can order a copy, it needs some financial help.

The 215-page book takes place in the closing days of World War II. A widowed housewife-turned-crop-duster struggles to rescue her daughter from a band of war criminals who crash near her small Texas farm.

Duster’s writers and artists have put the project on Kickstarter, which is an online funding platform for creative projects. In other words, they’re looking for people who would like to back the book–become “early adopters”–and help fund the creation of the art that they want to see. The campaign launched June 18 and needs to raise $26,000. As of today, 277 backers had kicked in a total of $18,433. The campaign closes on July 24. You can download a free 40-page preview of the book, including the first part of the air battle between Joanna Kent in her Stearman Kaydet and a Luftwaffe Junkers Ju-290. If you choose to back the project, the creators are offering a number of incentives (not unlike the public television pledge drives) based on the amount you contribute.

Duster’s writers are Micah Wright, creator of the Wildstorm Comics series Stormwatch: Team Achilles; and Jay Lender, writer and director of animated television shows SpongeBob SquarePants and Phineas and Ferb. The artists are Jok Coglitore (rough layouts) and Cristian Mallea (pencils and inks).

Since you don’t come across a lady crop duster very often in fiction, I asked Wright whether he’s a pilot. He’s not, but the character of Joanna Kent is loosely based on his grandmother, who was a cotton farmer’s wife in West Texas during World War II. “The pilot aspect of Jo was inspired by real-life aviation pioneers like Jackie Cochran and Nancy Harkness Love, the two commanders of the Women Airforce Service Pilots,” he said. “Although this isn’t a story about the WASP, Jo was definitely informed by the struggles those real female pilots went through in a very rigidly gender-defined world.”—By Jill W. Tallman