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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:24 pm 
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Scott,

I've got a photocopy of the front page story of the Lincoln County News dated Friday 1 July 1943. In the photo are the first buyers of War Bonds in Lincoln that year posing in front of AA963. It is still in its RAF camouflage, although probably not flyable as it was part of the War Bond Drive display set up outside the Lincoln Town Hall and I can't imagine them letting it land in the middle of main street. This suggests to me that it was borrowed from Lincoln AFB and trucked there for the occasion.

Image

How does this tie in with your dates, etc?

Barry

(email - barry@bga.co.nz)

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:03 am 
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This is a fascinating topic and should be on the main forum.

Barry - I would love to see more of your photos. The Hawker ones are great, particularly the slip wing Hurricane and the Tempest 1 (is it 1? - the very fast one with one with the in wing radiators that didn't get produced).

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:25 pm 
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Thanks for that Chris,

Yes I agree that this topic should be on the main forum, and I've received messages with the same view from other members. I have tried posting a request to the Moderator to move it, plus sent the main forum 'managers' a similar request, but alas they have not had the time to reply to me - or to move it.

Have you any other ideas how I can get it moved to the main 'hangar' please?

Yes, people seem to like the pics. I've just scanned a whole heap of DH Mosquito photos for my next post. I've started a new thread in 'WIX Hangar/Photo Gallery/(Mostly) Wartime aircraft photos', take a look there.

Did you know there is a Facebook page dedicated to the Mosquito restoration team at Ardmore airfield South of Auckland? Fantastic restoration work - in fact they seem to be tooling up for a Mossie production line.

Cheers

Barry

PS - Mosquito pics are on there now.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:15 pm 
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Barry

I have most of the After the Battle magazines up to about 2004, you say there is a full copy of Tuck's log book in one of them? I don't recall seeing that? They also did some complete volumes ( Battle of Britain-Then & Now' etc) was it in one of those? I can trawl through the magazines if required, although it will take some time as I have over 100 of them!

Dave

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:24 am 
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Hi Dave,

(Would that be Dave Mac?)

Thanks for the offer of looking up your mags. Not needed now as yesterday I located a copy of Tuck's log book on e-Bay UK and bought it, so will know eventually when it arrives.

Thank you for taking an interest in this project. Would you like me to write an article for Classic Wings?

Also I have some odd pics in my photo collection for your regular 'spot the type' competition in the mag.

Please let me know.

Cheers

Barry Gillingwater

(NZ Warbirds member #15 - one of the originals)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:05 pm 
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seagull61785 wrote:
Hi Dave,

(Would that be Dave Mac?)

Thanks for the offer of looking up your mags. Not needed now as yesterday I located a copy of Tuck's log book on e-Bay UK and bought it, so will know eventually when it arrives.

Thank you for taking an interest in this project. Would you like me to write an article for Classic Wings?

Also I have some odd pics in my photo collection for your regular 'spot the type' competition in the mag.

Please let me know.

Cheers

Barry Gillingwater

(NZ Warbirds member #15 - one of the originals)



Yes, but more of the 'Mc' and less of the 'Mac' :wink: Pleased you managed to get Tucks log book-saves me a lot of time...
This sort of article, being a 'stand alone' historical piece would be more suited to Aeroplane or Flypast, as for us it has to relate to either a restoration project or a surviving aircraft (we can only hope with the latter I guess!).
Mystery photos would be good, feel free to send them in-although once again there has to be at least some substantial surviving parts still extant to qualify -so not as easy as it seems.
Best of luck with your search, I will follow progress with interest

regards
Dave

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 8:00 am 
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The story of AA963 is indeed facinating! I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, and work at the old air base. I've also compiled a list of aircraft that were at the base to support the maintenance group. Of course, it's only AAF C/N aircraft, except for the P-38's. I will check the local library for photos and/or stories if anyone can give me specific dates of when AA963 arrived in Lincoln.

Aircraft Serial Numbers Disposition
AT-6 41-292 Shows up in my Lincoln aaf book
Bell P-39D 41-7078 modified as P-39J. To CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Oct 27, 1942
Bell P-39D 41-7054 modified as P-39J. To CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Oct 21, 1942
Bell P-39D-BE Airacobra 41-6739 wrecked in landing accident at Sarasota AAF, FL Sep 3, 1942 and DBR. To CL-26 at Lincoln Tech School, MB Sep 24, 1942
Bell P-39F-1-BE 41-7296 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Oct 17, 1942
Bell P-39F-1-BE 41-7117 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Sep 23, 1942
Bell YP-39 Airacobra 40-035 RFC Lincoln, NB Nov 28, 1945
P-38 (British Serial #’s) AE990 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Sep 25, 1942
P-38 (British Serial #’s) AE991 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Sep 11, 1942
P-38 (British Serial #’s) AE993 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB
P-38 (British Serial #’s) AE996 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Oct 22 ,1942
P-40 41-15490 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Aug 14, 1942
P-40 41-14134 to CL-26 at AAF Tech School, Lincoln, NB Nov 6, 1942
P-40 41-14073 wrecked at Bedford, MA Aug 23, 1942 due to gear failure. To CL-26 at AAF
Tech school, Lincoln, NB Oct 29, 1942
P-40 41-13972 to AAF Tech School, Lincoln, NB Jul 21, 1943
P-40 41-13838 to CL-26 ad AAF Tech School, Lincoln, NB Dec 28, 1942
P-40 41-13649 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Oct 17, 1942
P-40 41-13623 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Aug 20,1942
P-40 41-274 to RFC Lincoln Dec 5, 1944
P-40 39-211 to CL-26 at Lincoln Jul 24, 1942
P-40D 40-360 360 modified as XP-40F. To CL-26 at Lincoln Sep 16, 1942
P-40 39-195 condemned Nov 26, 1942. To reclamation Lincoln Aug 30, 1945
P-43 Lancer 41-6710 to reclamation at Lincoln, NB Sep 5, 1944
P-43 Lancer 41-6703 to reclamation at Lincoln, NB Sep 5, 1944
P-43 Lancer 41-6702 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Aug 13, 1942
Piper L-4B Grasshopper 43-884 surveyed at Lincoln AAF Jul 7, 1943
Ryan PT-22 15490 to CL-26 at Lincoln, NB Aug 14, 1942

Also, not related to AA963, but here's a photo of some planes at the air base.

Image
Image


Last edited by jeffrey892 on Fri May 25, 2012 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 8:45 am 
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Jeffrey892,
What a great way to climb aboard the WIX roller coaster!! :supz: your first post is going to keep a lot of us very busy for some time, and is EXACTLY the sort of stuff we enjoy seeing!! pop1 geek

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 11:05 am 
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Thanks Air Lord :)

Just to clarify some facts on the newspaper article for AA963. The paper is The Lincoln Star, published in Lincoln, NE. It is the Friday, July 2, 1943 edition. The copy I made is not a very good copy, but you can read the article that mentions AA963 under the heading of "Blasts of sirens opens bond drive". It does say the Spitfire drew a crowd! No doubt. Too bad the article doesn't provide any specific information.

Here's a link to the article: http://kingsdomain.us/lincolnafb/images/spitfire/july%201%201943%20lincoln%20star.pdf

I blew the photo up some, but the original microfich is really poor. I will stop by the Lincoln Journal/Star today and see if the might have the original as the paper is still in business.


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:49 pm 
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Hi Jeffrey,

Yes the trail for AA963 has gone well and truly cold. The last year or so I have been slowly searching the historical on-line archives for newspapers in major cities across the US in the hope of finding photos or articles that relate to this Spitfire or the 'Cavalcade of the Air' war bond tour. A very slow process! The period that the tour took place was I'm guessing June 1942 to November 1942.

Recently I have been communicating with the guys who are digging up large parts of the old Freeman Field AFB (they have a very good Facebook page) in the hope of finding wartime (mostly German) aircraft that were buried there after the end of the war. Even though there are no records of any Spitfire or Spitfire bits being buried there they have so far uncovered the folowing: 1/ A pair of Spit mk7 undercarriage doors - traced to the Spit 7 in a US museum, 2/ A spitfire propellor hub (photo attached), 3/ A Spitfire propellor blade (photo of the Spitfire blade data label attached), and 4/ A Hispano 20mm cannon drum magazine. Interestingly very few (if any) US combat aircraft were armed with 20mm Hispano's, and the few Luftwaffe types that had them used a different design of magazine. As the Mark V Spitfire with the 'B' or 'C' type wing armament were pretty well the only Spitfire types using drum magazines for their 20mm's (later marks of the Spitfire such as the Mark IX used a belt feed), there is a reasonable chance that this Hispano Magazine was from a Mark V Spit - and the only other two Mark V Spits sent across to the USA in wartime were both Type 'A' wings armed with Browning MG's and no cannon.

Image

Image

So that's all I've got since my last post. Not much unfortunately as its like looking for a very small needle in a very large haystack - and that's after a time delay of a mere 65+ years. My living in New Zealand and not the US doesn't help either.

The biggest possibility I've got is to research the 'Sarah Clarke' Collection for the Wright Field wartime movements record of AA963 but as these archives are not on line yet (and possibly never will be) there's only a slim hope.

Thank you for your interest.

Cheers

Barry

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Here is an update on the information gathered so far - Just a small selection but it may stir some memories out there:-

Image

The press clipping from the Kansas City Star is possibly dated late June 1942 but this date is unconfirmed.

Image

Here is a promotional photo taken at La Guardia when the 'Cavalcade of the Air' tour was launched. It shows Sergeant Sampson (the pilot of the glider) chatting with Marlene Dietrich.

Image

Tinted photo of AA963 taken at New York La Guardia (unconfirmed). Interesting to show two 'Erks' in wartime RAF uniform - maybe these are an airframe and engine fitter on the tour to maintain AA963's serviceability? This photo clearly shows the very rare and unusual 'C' wing configuration of the 4 x 20mm Hispano cannon. Problems with the drum feeds and heating of the outer pair of cannon caused frequent stoppages and malfunction (it must have been quite a challenge to keep the target in the preferred sector of the gunsight when you suddenly get unexpected yaw due to a marked assymetric recoil) so there's no surprise that all four-cannon equipped Spitfire Vc's were retro-fitted back to a mix of 2 x cannon and 4 x Brownings for Squadron service. There was also a performance and combat manouverability degradation in the Spit Mark V due to the weight penalty of the two extra cannon and extra 20mm ammunition. Later marks of Spitfire equipped with four cannon were all belt fed with cured cannon heating problems (plus more powerful engines).

Image

Army Air Corps pilot Lt Carter Clayton PORTER posing in AA963 - I believe he was the Spitfire's regular pilot on the tour. Lt Porter was a test pilot based at Wright Field. I haven't been able to find much about his service other than he was also involved in the weight reduction testing on the B25 Mitchells that allowed Doolittle's force to take off from a carrier and bomb Japan. He survived the war and in his last few years (sadly passed) he was very involved with the War Eagles Air Museum based at Santa Teresa Airport in New Mexico. The Swastika 'kills' painted on by the cockpit were 'pure Hollywood' to enhance the tour demos. This Spitfire never saw any action as it was shipped to the US brand new.

Image

Another ramp shot of AA963 taxiing out with the RAF Beaufighter in the background - possibly La Guardia again or Wright Field - date unknown.

Image

This shot of Messerschmitt 109E (RAF serial AE479) was taken from underneath the Beaufighter. US Serviceman standing guard looks like 1942 'homeland security' judging by uniform and rifle. Location and date unknown. The wing of the Laist-Kaufman glider is visible to the right side of the photo.

Image

This shot shows the pilot (Lt Carter maybe?) posing in AA963. The following image is of the reverse of the photo. It gives no clue of the location - possibly Wright Field again?

Image

Who are Chuck and Kelly?

Well here is the update on the mystery of AA963. I still have some huge gaps in the tour itinerary - where they visited? what dates they were there? And of course, what eventually happened to this special Spitfire after Lincoln AFB?

Thanks for taking the time out to read this,

Cheers

Barry

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Johnny's Mother : "Don't be silly Dear - you can't do both!"


Last edited by seagull61785 on Tue May 29, 2012 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 4:03 pm 
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As a bit more information about the types and pilots involved in the 1942 'Cavalcade of the Air' tour -

Spitfire Vc serial AA963 - Lt Carter Clayton PORTER
Me 109E (RAF serial) AE479 - Major Elmer E McKESSON
P40E serial 125026 - (pilot not yet known)
P39D serial 17249 - Lt Henderson O ROSE (not fully confirmed)
Beaufighter X7718 - Captain William J WRIGGLESWORTH
DC3 civilian registration NC1948 - (pilot not known)
Civilian glider 2-seater Laister-Kaufman - Staff Sergeant William T SAMPSON II
Army L1A towplane - no details

Any ideas about these men anyone?

Cheers

Barry

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 8:51 pm 
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seagull61785 wrote:
Image
The press clipping from the Kansas City Star is possibly dated late June 1942 but this date is unconfirmed.


Not related to the Spitfire but it is interesting to note that even as early as 1942 the shark mouth was already so well associated with the P-40 that this state side display aircaft has one! Is it any wonder that nearly every restored P-40 gets a mouth at some point?


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:57 am 
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Barry,

Great photos and information! Your latest post was a great read.
I have an appointment on Friday with the local paper to go through their photos from the time period the Spitfire was here in Lincoln. Hopefully I will find something for you. I will post it here if I do.

Jeff


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Thanks Jeff,

I found a reference to the Cavalcade Tour on the website of ex-TWA employees. Here is one man's story. Credit goes to the man himself.

My WWII "Contribution"
Posted 11/16/03
By Keith Horton

"In July 1941 I reported to work at TWA (then known as Transcontinental and Western Air) at 10 Richards Road, Kansas City Municipal Airport. I was fresh out of college with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in my pocket, and a great desire to learn all I could about those wonderful airplanes that were then blazing new trails across the skies. My position was to be a Shop and Hangar Equipment Engineer, charged with developing and procuring equipment and special tools, and working out procedures for the overhaul of aircraft and their components.
The training program laid out for me involved working somewhat like an apprentice mechanic in the hangar and each of the shops, and also out on what was called "the line" where the airplanes were parked in front of the hangar for and servicing and maintenance. One of my most vivid memories about those first few months on the job was during the fall of 1942 when I was working airplanes out on the line, the place I liked best.
Wartime activities were progressing at nearly full speed by that time, and one of our activities on the home front was supporting the sale of War Bonds. One program that I vividly remember involved a group of four military airplanes that were touring the country to bring our military efforts to everyone’s attention, and to emphasize the need for the finances that the sale of War Bonds would provide.
Those touring fighter planes came to Kansas City, and since TWA had the technical knowledge and the best facility to accommodate them, they ended up one evening being parked on the line outside our main hangar. There were four airplanes and some "Seniors" may remember them. One was a Lockheed P-38 "Lightning" that eventually was very instrumental in establishing air superiority in both the European and Pacific theaters. Another was the famous Curtis P-40 which, if memory serves correctly, was called the "War Hawk." This plane gained much renown as one of the valiant front line fighters at the very beginning of the war. The indomitable British "Spitfire" that served so well during the Battle of Britain was a third machine in the group, while the fourth was one which battled all too successfully against Allied aircraft -- a German Messerschmitt fighter. Somehow that airplane, a captured one, had been brought to our shores and pressed into service for the War Bond drive.
A few days later the quartet was being made ready for departure to another city on the tour. We fueled and serviced them as necessary, and prepared to start their engines for departure. The three Allied planes had self-starters and the pilots had virtually nothing to do but press a button in the cockpit. The German plane, however, had an inertia-type starter that consisted of a heavy flywheel buried at the lower rear of the engine, which had to be hand-cranked up to a high rotational speed and then, when engaged by the pilot, would have enough inertia to turn over the engine and start it running. The procedure for cranking up that flywheel required some very difficult physical rotation of a crank that was inserted into a hole in the side of the fuselage, just above the wing and directly behind the engine.
The older mechanics in the TWA crew knew very well just how hard that job was, and since I was the junior man on the crew you can readily guess who was elected to man the crank. I thought that it might prove to be a very interesting experience, however, so I didn't object. After all, not many people on the home front could boast of having cranked up a Messerschmitt.
So, up on the wing I climbed and engaged the crank. On a signal from the pilot I commenced throwing every ounce of strength I had into turning it, and after only about ten seconds I realized I was into a very hard job. I continued to crank, and crank, and crank with my arms and shoulders feeling like they were about to self-destruct, until the pilot engaged the flywheel and the engine began to turn over. But (oh, no) it sputtered, coughed, backfired and tried to come to life, but it just would not and quickly ground to a stop.
The pilot in the cockpit said he was awfully sorry that he didn't get the engine started, and that I would just have to crank it up again. This I did with what little strength I had left, but I finally got the flywheel turning at a pretty good clip. This time, the pilot was going to assure that the engine would get enough gas and actually start, so he pushed the throttle further open. Well, it "started" all right, catching with a loud roar and a prop blast so strong that it blew me right off the wing, depositing me rather unceremoniously on my backside on the concrete ramp about three feet below.
Not only did the pilot have a good laugh at my predicament, but my co-workers were doubled over with laughter at yet another engineer in over his head. Later, when the U.S. was victorious in WW-II, I still could get a twinge in the seat of my pants remembering my "contribution" on the MKC ramp.
Keith Horton, 1941-1983, served in Maintenance/Tech Services - Engineering and Field Maintenance, Kansas City"


Keith's recollection of a Lockheed P38 Lightning might have been confused with the Bell P39 Aircobra that was part of the tour aircraft as there wasn't a P38 included in the tour. A great story indeed. It also gave me an excellent date/place position as part of the Tour's itinerary in 1942.

Cheers

Barry

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