Tip of the iceberg

37 B-17s in formation

37 B-17s in formation, date and location unknown

I haven’t been able to figure out the who/where/when of this picture but it’s striking nonetheless…

UPDATE: This is possibly a formation from the 447th BG

Consolidated B-24H Liberator: Citizen Soldier’s Armor. — The Dreamy Dodo

An aircrew of the 455th Bombardment Group, 743rd Bomb Squadron (15th AF) standing in front of the B-24H Liberator “TePee Time Gal” at San Giovanni Airfield (Foggia), Italy, 1944-45.
He -according to some sources it’s Major David G. Bellemere- is wearing a sample of typical late-WW2 clothing. Of interest are the M-2 armor vest (used by “armor-seated” crews), M-3 armor apron and M-3 flak helmet- that helmet was worn over an A-11 helmet, B-8 goggles and A-14 oxygen mask. Our friend shows his healthy individualism with those neat 1940 Pattern RAF boots.
The Americans, as usual, always overkill with any kind of gear. Better safe than sorry.

Photo: USAAF.

via Consolidated B-24H Liberator: Citizen Soldier’s Armor. — The Dreamy Dodo

A-26 Invader doing it’s thing 20+ years after WWII

a-26a_609sos_near_nkp_1969

USAF – Scan from Dana Bell, Air War over Vietnam, Volume IV. Arms and Armour Press, London, Harrisburg (PA), 1984, ISBN 0853686351, p. 62. Cites U.S. Air Force as source.A USAF Douglas/On Mark A-26A Invader of the 609th Special Operations Squadron near Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, sometime between 1967 and 1969. The B-26K 64-17645 (ex A-26C 44-35546) was rebuilt by On Mark as a B-26K, and used by the CIA in the Congo from 1964 to December 1966 with tail code ‘RF645’, later ‘FR-645’. In August 1967, following redesignation as A-26A, it arrived in South-East Asia, and on 10 November 1969 was turned over from the USAF to the South Vietnamese Air Force. In March 1975, it was blown up at Nha Trang to prevent it from falling into North Vietnamese hands.

 

 

A Zombie that Almost Lived up to its Name

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The 64th Squadron struck the Ring Ring coconut plantation near Gasmata, New Britain on November 24, 1943. On the way home, Henry J. Domagalski and crew, in the B-24D #42-40913, ZOMBIE, were attacked over the Dampier Strait by 12 Japanese Zeros.

For a short time in November 1943, the 43rd Bomb Group was flying missions to a Ring Ring, a coconut plantation near Gasmata. Although these weren’t the most exciting missions, the area was being prepared for a December ground invasion, which made the mission necessary. It was observed in the 43rd’s Group History that, “Our combat crews don’t seem to think much of this type of target, preferring to hit something that will blow up with a loud noise and a satisfactory amount of flame and smoke, but the Army seems quite pleased with the results of our bombing and apparently considers the destruction of these targets essential.”

Flying from Port Moresby to Ring Ring on November 24th was 1/Lt. Henry J. Domagalski and his crew in their B-24 nicknamed ZOMBIE. Their mission was an armed reconnaissance to the area, with the crew running into no trouble as ZOMBIE’s bombs were unloaded over Garove Island. As the B-24 flew over the Dampier Strait, the crew encountered a formation of nine Japanese “Lily” bombers accompanied by 12 “Oscar” fighters returning to Wewak from a mission to Finschhafen.

Head over to A Zombie that Almost Lived up to its Name for [Paul Harvey]the rest of the story. Gooood day![/Paul Harvey]

The Same Places, 70+ Years Apart—Six More WWII Bases Then and Now

Rabaul, New Britain

Located on the coast of a natural harbor on the eastern coast of New Britain, an island in the Southwest Pacific, Rabaul was a German colony in the 1900s that was captured by the Australians in World War I. Two nearby volcanoes, Vulcan and Tavurvur, erupted violently in 1937, destroying most of the city. After World War II started, it was captured by the Japanese in January 1942, after which it was transformed into a major stronghold with approximately 97,000 troops that would easily fend off Allied attacks until October and November 1943. While the Allies continued to advance towards Japan, they cut off Japanese supply routes to Rabaul and continued to bomb the city and surrounding area. It was officially surrendered at the end of the war. After the war was over, the city became a trading hub until Tavurvur erupted in 1994, once again destroying a large part of the city. Developments closest to the volcano were never rebuilt.

Source: The Same Places, 70+ Years Apart—Six More WWII Bases Then and Now