A note on sources and credits

As far as possible photographs that are not mine are posted here with permission; thank you to all contributors to 'Jet & Prop', especially photographers Tad Dippel, Neil Cotten and Nico Charpentier, the editor of the magnificent 'Avions' magazine Michel Ledet and Jean-Yves Lorant, author, researcher and archivist at the Service Historique de la Défense, Paris. Images from the IWM and Roger Freeman collections are published here under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Licence. Occasionally some images on this site have been 'reposted' from facebook or ebay. They are used non-commercially in an educational context to depict historical events. If such is deemed necessary they can be removed on simple request. Contact me at falkeeins at aol.com. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

U.S. Marine Corps F4U-5N Corsair

U.S. Marine Corps F4U-5N Corsair night fighter of Marine night fighter squadron VMF(N)-513 Flying Nightmares on the flight line at Wonsan, Korea, on 2 November 1950.



Hellcat crash landing

Featured in the 4 December 1944 edition of Life Magazine were these fairly dramatic Hellcat photos of a burning F6F Hellcat on the USS Cowpens (CVL-25) and show Lt. Wes Magee, in the process of getting a "hotfoot" on 24 November 1943 (the ship along with the TF was conduction operations against Makin atol). It seems that a fuel line was only hand tightened during routine maintenance earlier. Magee was overhead the carrier when the engine "died". The fuel line had allowed all the fuel in the Drop tank to flow out, killing the engine which was feeding on that tank. Switching tanks and noting no fuel in the drop, Magee headed back to the ship. He did not know he was on fire until he was on deck. The magazine captions are reproduced below the images..


Leaking gasoline, Hellcat returns to it's carrier for emergency landing. As the pilot, Lt Magee gets his signal and cuts his throttle, the trailing gas vapors ignite and wrap the belly of the plane in flames. His eyes glued to the deck, pilot Magee is totally unaware that his plane is on fire behind him. Notice that the crewman wear steel helmets indicating that the ship is at general quarters.

In a perfect landing, Lt Magee picks up the arresting wire and comes to a stop, the propeller killing. He still does not know that the Hellcat is on fire. The landing signal officer has left his platform (top right of deck) and is running forward as fast as he can. The plane handlers in the catwalks are breaking out their fire-fighting equipment.


First fire fighters reach the scene. Two are holding "fog applicators" which spray a fine mist of sea water, while an asbestos-clad "hot papa" (bottom) runs forward, adjusting his headgear, ready to rescue the pilot. His elbow out of the cockpit, Magee finally realizes that his plane is burning. The landing signal officer (top right) has now covered about 43 yards of his dash to the scene.


Magee gets out, scurrying along the burning plane's wing. In his understandable haste he has failed to unbuckle his parachute, which drags behind him at the end of it's harness. By now, the hot gasoline flames have started the wooden flight deck smoldering and the firefighters close in. Thirty seconds have passed since the plane landed.


Fire goes out as fog sprays a flame. Foam, which comes out of the hose looking like tooth paste squeezed from a tube, blankets engine. Total time: One minute, 30 seconds. Heat of the blaze has ruinously damaged the plane's stressed metal skin. After being stripped of all useful parts, plane will be turned in for scrap. But firefighter’s swift action has prevented serious damage to the carrier.

P-47s in Europe



Typhoon FRG4


Saturday, 26 December 2009

Friday, 18 December 2009

Crash landing at Port San Carlos



extract from 1 Squadron Falklands war diary

"...Mark Hare and I are programmed to mount Ground Alert at the FOB. I have aircraft XZ989 which is carrying a number of known defects. On take-off I have to go through the limiter to avoid sinking off the ramp.

At the FOB I misjudge the height going across the side of the pad and lift some of the metal. I overshoot in order to see what damage has been done and at about 90kts there is a marked drop in thrust which is not corrected by pushing through the limiter. As a result of the rate of descent and the fact that I am pointing directly at a Rapier FU, I elect not to eject and the aircraft hits the ground very hard - the undercarriage is broken off and canopy broken. The aircraft, still under power, comes to a rest at the end of the strip, whereupon I shut the engine down and vacate. Sid Morris is quite surprised to see me.

Mark Hare orbits until the pad is clear of metal and then lands, refuels and returns to Hermes. Flt Sgt Cowburn who has spent some time at the FOB starts robbing the aircraft of valuable spares while I catch a chopper down to Fearless in San Carlos Water. There I have a good chat with Wg Cdr Fred Travers who has been manning the ASOC. We discuss the tasking net with regard to communications and priorities.

I spend some time with Captain Jeremy Larkins on the bridge. Clearly he is a superb leader and whenever the ship comes under attack he dons a flack jacket and gives a running commentary over the PA. Plymouth is hit at the entrance to the Sound and limps in for damage control. I spend a couple of hours on the Wardroom floor with Lt Cdr (Surgeon) Rick Jolly. However, he is called away once news is heard of the attack on Galahad and Tristram at Bluff Cove. The plan is for me to transfer to Intrepid after dark and return by sea to Hermes. However, while transferring to Intrepid the plan is cancelled as Intrepid is to go to Bluff Cove to help rescue operations. I therefore return to Fearless where I spend the night.

Ross Boyens and Nick Gilchrist arrive on Hermes with 2 more aircraft. We now have 4 with ALE 40 and the active I-Band jammer and one aircraft capable of firing Shrike ARMs..."

Gray Eagles - a life of P-51 ace Jim Brooks (ASB Video)

Me 262



Me 262 A-2a WNr. 500079. (text from Dan o'Connell's 'Me 262 Production Log'

Ferried by Fw. Gerhard Ertelt from Obertraubling to Riem at 13:45-14:10 on 21 January 1945. Test flown by Ofw. Helmut Eberlein at Riem on five occasions during February 1945. The first flight was 13 February 1945 at 14:05, 27 minutes, followed by another on 24 February at 10:02, for 36 minutes. A 28 minute test was made on 26 February at 09:26, and again the next day for 23 minutes starting at 17:20. His last flight with this jet was 28 February at 15:12 for 25 minutes. It is next known to be with Stab/KG 76, and coded F1+DA. It was found damaged by the USA 12 Armored Division, 7th Army and extensively photographed by the 798th Signal Corps at Giebelstadt on 4 April 1945. According to notes made by the photographers, it appeared that the right landing gear had been damaged by flak, but the left gear had broken off during landing, and had skidded to a stop. This aircraft was not 9K+DA as has been often reported.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

50th Fighter Group Tbolt



An interesting P-47. It was assigned to the 313th FS of the 50th FG and flew in combat in the summer of 44. On 13 September 1944 it was being flown by Yellow Flight leader LT Emmett Wyttenbach on an airfield strafing mission near Hanau. According to the MACR, they took intense light flak and Lt Wyttenbach was hit in the engine and radio compartment, setting his bird on fire. He pulled up to 800ft AGL and bailed out, landing on top of a building in the nearby town, while the airplane crashed into the town itself. Wyttenbach was burned on his legs, but survived and was captured, spending the rest of the war in a POW camp. He survived the war and passed away in 2001.

P-47 in Normandy

'Life' picture of a P-47 receiving maintenance in Normandy ..note the spiral on the propeller hub, the 'check' cowling flaps and the Cletrac M2 tracked vehicle. This Razorback is a 9th AF 366th FG machine. The 366th FG was established at Advanced Landing Ground A-1 (St. Pierre du Mont) by 20 June 1944. The 366th sported white trim on the cowling and the white band on the tail. And all three FSs in the Group had the spiral on the prop spinner, although only the 390th FS had the alternately-painted black-and-white cowl flaps. Click on the pics for a larger image...