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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: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Well, if you are planning on having 679 at Oshkosh in 2011, I better start making plans. I'd like to see it/hear it again.
====
Now, about the picture. Joe Kittinger could be quite the prankster at times. But then, so could some of the armament guys. On the evening this picture was taken, 679 was to have 2.75" rockets loaded. Memory may be lacking here, but I believe that only the two outboard wing stations could be loaded with "forward firing ordnance".
Inboard of that would cause a conflict with the prop, with obvious results. The armament guys took an empty launcher, added the nose cones, or fairings as was normal, and installed them on the third inboard station, With the fairings in place on the launchers, you couldn't tell if they were actually loaded or not.
We were sitting on a bomb trailer close to where the pic was taken from, and we watched as Joe and his nav. arrived to pre-flight the plane. They did their usual walk around, shaking the ordnance, kick the tires, etc. Joe kind of glanced up at the rocket pods, then went on around the plane. As he got back to the front, he stood in front of the plane and sighted through the props at the rocket pods. He pointed it out to his nav, and in a voice that he knew we could hear, said, "I don't think those SOB's over there like us!" (pointing to us) Everyone had a good laugh, the extra pods were dropped and life went on.
Of the units I was in during my time, the Air Commandos had to be the best I was ever associated with, officers and enlisted alike.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:56 pm 
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We finally started to dig into the B-26 today. We are slowly evaluating and documenting every part before we remove it. I thought I'd share some of the things we found today.

If anyone was ever wondering what intergranular corrosion looked like, this is a very extreme example. This is on a main landing gear door attach fitting where the control rod that opens and closes the door attaches. The close up photo makes it look even worse. But this is why we are here.
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But as bad as that looks check this out....Here is a Junction box in the nose wheel well that looks like it was just installed. Even the lacing cord around the wires is pristine.
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Here is a placard in the nose gun compartment that is equally pristine. We plan to preserve rather than replace items like this.
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We removed one of the armor plates (yes all the armor is there) just under the cockpit on the left side. This is what we found.
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Yes there is A LOT of work to be done, but overall we are so lucky to have such a complete time capsule.
More to come.

Patrick Mahaffey
B-17 "Chuckie"
B-25 "Pacific Prowler"
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:33 pm 
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Thanks for sharing those pics. So far it really doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. Did Denny keep it hangered or was it sitting outside? I know it was outside some, I got on Google Earth once and could see it sitting out. Compared to the way 671 looked when I last saw it, this looks good. One of the things that surprised me is that some of those nacelle access panels (at least the ones I got from 671) are stainless steel. I noticed that they seemed heavier than they should be if they were aluminum. When I stripped one of them, it was nice and shiny underneath.
Apparently made that way to withstand the heat of the exhaust?
I don't remember the box in the nose wheel well, I wouldn't have had any reason to. All I ever got in there for was to engage the "ground override" switch so we could check out the guns, and the other armament stations for proper operation. Thanks again for the pics. Keep them coming!
Randy

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:35 pm 
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Patrick,
Seeing all that beautiful cloth covered wiring has led me to urge you all to use http://www.narragansettreproductions.com/ during the restoration. I sent them modern a/c wiring for the L-5 and they cloth covered and varnished it like original. If you all are going to that depth it would look great! If you have them loom it in bulk it isn't that pricey all things considered. My 2 cents!
I am amazed at the condition of the original decals :!:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:00 pm 
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This is an awesome thread. Great job you guys.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:32 pm 
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Got to meet Joe Kittenger many times while working for a banner tow outfit in fla. He was good friends with the owner. I evenually found out that my dad considered him one of his heros and I got to introduce him to joe at Sun-N-fun one year.

Got the email back from dad, Charlie Bates was his name who was with the Nimrods and so did Jaybo Hinub. Dad mentioned that he had just watched a program on the history channel that showed the arrival of the A-26K in country and Joe was the pilot that got out.

Quick nimrod story. Some of you older warbird guys would know of John Silberman. Jaybo Hinub was good friends with him. Jaybo once told a story about how he flew Johns surplus B-26 to the military base to report in to his new assignment, that being with the Nimrods. He was met by the ground crew and asked for the commanding officer, when he got directions, the crewman asked how the airplane was and jaybo replied, "pretty good other than the #2 generator acts up now and again". So off he went to report in. One hr later, he returned with his new orders and met the mechanic as he was putting away the tool box, "sir, that generator is all set, she is good to go". Jabo, gave a salute and climbed in and left. Atleast thats how I remember it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:34 pm 
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I don't know if it's been mentioned, but can we sticky this thread?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:42 pm 
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(Got the email back from dad, Charlie Bates was his name who was with the Nimrods....................)

The name Bates does sound familiar. Of course, we may not have even been there at the same time, since the Nimrods operated until Sept. 69 when they stood down.
======"Wings" did a documentary on the A-26 years ago, and showed the arrival of the 26's at NKP, and like you said, Joe Kittinger was in the video. He once sent someone to the airmans club and collected all the empty cases of beer bottles they could get. They then loaded them onto the bomb bay doors between the bombs. They put them in through the rear gunners compartment after the doors were closed. He then scattered them along the "trail". We thought he did it to flatten tires, which I'm sure he would have been thrilled about if it did, but he later said in an email that the intent was more to demoralize them than flatten tires! He also had us keep the steel nose plugs out of the bombs. He would put them in the cockpit behind the nav seat, and when he didn't have anything else to shoot or drop, they would loft them out of the bomb bay to try to hit something. If there was a certainty about him, we could be assured he would never come back with any ammunition left-he would find something to shoot up before returning. He definitely loved those 50's.
Randy

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:29 am 
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mustangdriver wrote:
I don't know if it's been mentioned, but can we sticky this thread?


I'll second that...

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Look for some incredible pics and video from Pat Mahaffey later tonight. :mrgreen: We spent most of a rainy afternoon playing with some of the systems on the old gal and found that things were even more original than we thought. :finga: giggity.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:47 pm 
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Look for some incredible pics and video from Pat Mahaffey later tonight. :mrgreen: We spent most of a rainy afternoon playing with some of the systems on the old gal and found that things were even more original than we thought. :!: giggity.


Last edited by AKflier on Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:51 pm 
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I didn't know Quagmire was a WIXer! :rolleyes: I'm waiting for the power to go off (ice accumulating nicely south of us), so tell Pat to hurry up with his posting.......

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:53 pm 
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Yea, I'm looking forward to more video and pics also. That engine run up video was awesome! I'm curious as to how much of the armament and gun system is still in tact. I did see in that video that at least some of the bomb releases are still in the bomb bay. We had to test them daily prior to loading. There was also an air compressor in the rear gunners compartment that provided air for charging the guns. I didn't see it in the video but I don't think the camera picked it up.
Randy

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:19 pm 
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Nearly all of it is still there. We are lacking the compressor though. Anyone have a spare?? Brad Pilgrim scored us copies of several sorely needed manuals today. Great job Brad! :drinkers:


Last edited by AKflier on Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:12 am 
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It was an exciting day with the B-26K. Here are a few pictures.

Here is the outline of an old placard. "Install Jack Pad Before Jacking."
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And another "Free Air Temp Bulb"
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This is the pump and plumbing that fed from the inboard pylon when it held a drop tank.
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Upper left is the oil cooler. Bottom center is the aft mount for the left inboard bomb pylon
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Here are the four left bomb pylons ready for a mission.
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Our resident DUD checker (don't try this at home boys and girls)
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Patrick Mahaffey
B-17 "Chuckie"
B-25 "Pacific Prowler"
B-26K Counter Invader


Last edited by pmahaffey on Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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