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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:53 pm 
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Hello all! I arrived with my daughter Stephanie a little later than planned (to the hangar), but arrived none the less...... I must say...as sad as I am to see Ol' 927 go away...... I think the new "Diamond Lil" does look wonderful (just my opinion)....
What Gary Velasco also did (IMHO) was further the work that was started years ago with the transformation begun by Gary Austin..... you be the judge. Pictures posted in no particular order......
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What?????? Did I miss something? :shock: :shock: :shock:

OK... guys... I know everyone has cheated and looked over on FB....lolo
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Last edited by Alan Brooks on Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Wow, I really like the look of the ATC badge and flag on the nose. 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:20 pm 
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The airplane looks even better in real life.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:19 am 
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OUTFRICKENSTANDING! :drink3:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:57 pm 
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I must admit, I like it. Hope she comes out west soon!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:29 pm 
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Missed Alan because of his tardiness, but got a few pics that came out okay. Posted some over on Facebook, but here's the rest I didn't post -

A couple of shots before the sheet came off. First of Neils making his speech, second of Neils giving Jack (a WWII Vet) a nice poster/lithograph of the P-47 from Duxford. Didn't get to see what it was exactly, but Jack flew the P-47, so I'm sure it was something special.
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FiFi outside, basking in the daylight.
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About to pull off the sheet with a former B-29/B-24 Squadron Leader whose name I unfortunately can't remember.
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The sheet comes off!
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Now, something a bit more somber. Landon Studer lost his life last year when the Grumman Mallard he was flying crashed in the UAE. I'm sure most here remember the thread on the accident. He was a member of the B-29/B-24 squadron, and a member of the B-24 Flight Crew. He was also a very well liked guy around the hangar of both the CAF and the combined hangars of the Civil Air Patrol. The B-29/B-24 squadron has decided to start placing some names on the side of the B-24 just aft of the left side ATC badge, and Landon was the first. The following pictures are of the reveal of his name on the side and his family, including his son, Landon, Jr.

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Finally, Rick Garvis (Crew Chief) and Don Obreiter (MX Officer) unveil the Neutrality Flag (with 48 stars!) -

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Gary V. has supplied the squadron with the necessary templates to paint the Neutrality Flag on the top of the airplane where it goes as well, so once completed (hopefully before she departs for Redding) we'll be treated to not only the beautiful shots of the nose Neutrality Flag on the right side in the air, but also of the one on top during Photo Passes.

It was great meeting Brad, Gary V., and Zane in person and catching up a little with the other guys. It looks to be another great year for the B-29 and B-24 and it'll be great seeing them out on tour together.

Next up - let's help them raise funds to put the bomb doors on 'Lil. It's an expensive process since the airframe will need to be placed in a jig for the work to be done to open up the bomb bay, re-install the final structural pieces and then install the doors.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:50 pm 
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She looks great!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:53 pm 
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She does indeed look great, and I thank all involved for giving her a new look, but....

I must admit I was one of the guys who did support and enjoy Django's work when she was Ole' 927. I understand she was the Lil' for many many many more years but I felt her being repainted and given a new name was a fresh start for her. Now it's kind of like the majority of the old guard at the wing was like "Okay we entertained that idea for awhile, but now lets get her back to normal with the nose art we've all known forever and liked." Now I really don't know any of the wing members that maintain these two majestic bombers so this is in no way an attack on any of them and they have my utmost respect for being involved with these two planes and keeping them flying. This is just my speculative opinion from here in rainy dreary Connecticut. I saw the "kid friendly" nose art as just that. Because kids need to be involved in this warbird community at every chance if we want it to keep going. Still Mr. Valesco's work is amazing as always. Being an artist myself I'd like to have seen the nose art turn out a bit different, but thats just me being an armchair quarterback I guess.

That being said the ole' girl looks better than she ever did before. Especially since 2001 when I saw her at Elmira NY.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Love the flag and transport logo, but don't like the nose-art. It looks way too modern. Django's was more period like.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:07 pm 
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I took an experience ride in the old gal in 2006, and am glad to see her back to her rightful name, Diamond Lil

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Warbird Kid wrote:
...Now it's kind of like the majority of the old guard at the wing was like "Okay we entertained that idea for awhile, but now lets get her back to normal with the nose art we've all known forever and liked."


While I'm sure there was some of this in it, the fact remains that unlike the Collings Foundation who's B-24 has changed names 3 times in the same period, "Diamond 'Lil" had been her name since the mid-70's. Gary had a good idea, but unfortunately, from the scheduling people's side, there were too many questions of "you guys got a new airplane?" or "what happened to 'Diamond 'Lil'?" to make it worthwhile to try and keep the name as "Ole'927". I think that Don Obreiter and Neils Agather put it quite well in the unveiling. No matter the name, the aircraft has the longest and most distinguished history in the world. It was delivered in May 1941 and has been flying non-stop since. After Lucius Clay flew it for Consolidated as a USAAF pilot, he went and got it for his new employer, Continental Can. When they were ready to sell it, Vic Agather got PEMEX to buy it. When PEMEX was done with it, Vic got them to donate it to the CAF. The airplane then became "Diamond 'Lil" and stayed that way for over 35 years. There's just too much history there to try and make it "new" in name and instead honor it's origin as AM927 with the paint and the configuration but also recognize it's long standing identity as "Diamond 'Lil". As Gary A said originally, the airplane never had nose art and he would've rather not had any. The only reason he did it is because he understood the need to market the airplane. I think with the new identity, it both honors Gary's desire to make it as authentic as possible while also honoring the history of the airplane.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:52 pm 
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It was a good day at the airport yesterday!
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AND
Holy crap Cap Flyer!...you have to stick my fat head in the shot? :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:54 pm 
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And of course...I'm a bit partial to "Diamond Lil"

Me and Lil @ 1972
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:04 am 
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Ztex wrote:
AND
Holy crap Cap Flyer!...you have to stick my fat head in the shot? :lol:

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No one would've known it was your head until you pointed it out... :lol: :axe:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:07 am 
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Congratulations to the B-24/B-29 squadron! The new nose art looks great. Django's "Ol' 927" artwork was painted beautifully (just like everything he paints!) but I just never cared for the concept. Liberator AM927 has been known as "Diamond Lil" for as long as I can remember, and the name just fits. The lovely lady has a distinct Vargas look, which is very 1940s. She's a little "saucy" but definitely not vulgar (and certainly more tame than some of what's shown on TV these days). I really like the historically correct 48-star neutrality flag, too. Side note -- it's somehow strange to think that there were only 48 states when I was born! :?

Adding Landon's name to the fuselage is very fitting. He was a true gentleman and a heck of a pilot. I've had the pleasure of chatting with him at various aviation gatherings, and he was one of the cockpit crew when I did my flight experience ride in the B-24A (at that time "Ol' 927"). He is missed. :(

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