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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: Thu May 31, 2012 5:31 pm 
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Barry,

I came across the following article in a local newspaper published at the Lincoln Army Air Field entitled The Bomb-Bay Messinger. The article was published in the November 17, 1944 edition and I've retyped it below. Also included was a very poor photograph of which I took a snapshot with my phone and will post it below. It shows around six men standing on or near a P-38 with one man yielding an axe over his head. Not a pretty photograph!

Reclamation Crew Starts New Project

The specially trained members of the Mobile Reclamation Unit No. 2, here on temporary duty from the Second Air Force headquarters, Colorado Springs, Colorado, know how to produce an unrecognizable mass of metal and plane parts from a respectable looking ship. At first there wouldn't seem to be much percentage in this, but then the planes are worn out or obsolete, and the individual parts as well as scrap metal will again be used in the war effort.

In charge is 2nd Lt. John W. Dixey, the unit has 24 enlisted men. It travels from field to field assisting the personnel of each base in their reclamation programs.

Right now, the boys of the unit are busily engaged at Aero (true spelling is Arrow, jlk) Airport, a few miles North of Lincoln, breaking up some 65 planes, including P-38's, P-39's P-40's and O-49's, which were formally used as school ships to train students attending aircraft mechanics' school.

The members of the Rec Unit break up on the average two planes a day, going to work with axes and acetylene torches. The scrap metal will ultimately find its way to Japan, in ways which we doublt the Nips will appreciate.



Let's hope your Spitfire left Lincoln before November 1944.

Jeff King
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Jeff,

A totally sad story indeed.

Not only for the Spitfire - but for anything that came their way!

I agree with you - fingers crossed AA963 left before these monsters took over

Cheers

Barry

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


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:47 am 
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Found this http://www.flickr.com/photos/8270787@N07/3475734349/in/set-72157605269786717/ photo of AA963 on Flickr as part of a set of wonderful RAF colour photos.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:26 pm 
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Thanks one - o- oneder,

I've already got that one. There is some doubt that it is Wright Field though.

Cheers

Barry

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Little Johnny : "When I grow up I want to be a pilot!"

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


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:15 pm 
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Second Air Force wrote:
Barry,

I've been researching Nebraska Army Air Fields for a number of years and am not certain that last photo of AA963 was taken at Lincoln. The buildings in the background are of a more permanent construction than used at Lincoln and are oriented differently. I don't think Lincoln had any trees that tall in the cantonment area, either.

Perhaps she had been moved to one of the permanent mechanic schools by the time this photo was taken? I'll do some more research and if I can help pin down the location I'll be sure to post.

Scott


Scott,
I agree. There were no trees that close to the flightline and the buildings are not right. Could it be Kearny army air base in Kearney, Nebraska?

Jeff


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:24 pm 
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I checked with the Lincoln Journal Star photo archive and they do not have any photos earlier than 1970. They did keep a few photos from the air force years of 1956 to 1965, but that's it.

There was one photo of the airbase taken from the hill to the west looking east across the field. I am having that one printed. We'll see if any airplanes show up. It was the one photo they had from the early 1940's showing the flightline. I will post it here when I can.

Also, the are some microfiche from the Kearney Army Air Field just west of Lincoln on file at the historical society. I will browse through them some time soon and look for any photos of AA963.

The LAAF publication held by the society only goes from Feb 1944 to late 1945 so there are. O additional leads on AA963 from that source.

Jeff


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:00 pm 
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Many thanks for your efforts Jeff.

I appreciate it.

Barry

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Little Johnny : "When I grow up I want to be a pilot!"

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


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:04 pm 
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Second Air Force wrote:
Barry,

I've been researching Nebraska Army Air Fields for a number of years and am not certain that last photo of AA963 was taken at Lincoln. The buildings in the background are of a more permanent construction than used at Lincoln and are oriented differently. I don't think Lincoln had any trees that tall in the cantonment area, either.

Perhaps she had been moved to one of the permanent mechanic schools by the time this photo was taken? I'll do some more research and if I can help pin down the location I'll be sure to post.

Scott



Scott,
In my quest to find some photos of AA963 for Barry, I've found some photos of the flightline and hangars at Lincoln AAF.

Not sure if you have any of these so I hope this is the place to pass them to you. There are two photos of different hangars at the Lincoln AAF. One taken January 12, 1943 and the other May of 1945. The markings on the hangar with the Beech 18's in front are labeled E3 and W3. I'm assuming that means the east and west hangars, so this photo is taken facing Southwest.
http://kingsdomain.us/lincolnafb/images/lincolnaaf/hangars/scan0005.jpg

The second photo is of hangar E1 and on the side just above the entry door is painted "Base Operations." I have another photo of an AT-6 (41-262)in front of this hangar with those words displayed.
http://kingsdomain.us/lincolnafb/images/lincolnaaf/hangars/scan0004.jpg

Here is a photo of all four hangars and Lincoln AAF looking East from atop "tanker hill". Although a poor photo, you can see the style of buildings along the flightline. I will try to get a clearer image.

This image was taken in 1950 and shows the Lincoln Naval Air Station hangar, a former Lincoln AAF hangar, specifically, the South one. The flight line shows two TBM's, 1 F8F, 2 F6F's, 2 Beech 18's, and several SNJ's.
http://kingsdomain.us/lincolnafb/images/lincolnaaf/hangars/scan0008.jpg

http://kingsdomain.us/lincolnafb/images/lincolnaaf/hangars/scan0003.jpg
There is a collection of photos at the Nebraska State Historical Society called the McDonald Collection and that is where these were discovered. I am still on the search for photos of AA963 and any of the 'Calvacade' airplanes. There are several more boxes to search through so I'm holding my breath in hopes of finding more.

FYI, the tracks for the hangar doors are still in place as well as the concrete flooring for two of the four hangars at Lincoln AAF. It's a strange feeling walking on the concrete knowing what airplanes were probably parked there at one time :) After all this time and even after the Air Force left in 1966 it's a wonder the footings/tracks/flooring are still there.

Jeff


Last edited by jeffrey892 on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:29 pm 
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Barry,

Have you seen this photograph? It is said to be taken at Freeman in 1945. It looks almost like a still frame from a movie reel. But that's just a guess. Just under the wing protruding from the bottom is a Spitfire.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:38 am 
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Wright field 1945. The spit flies by at 53 seconds in the video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzqvFsvOSgs


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:32 am 
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Thanks Jeff/Evan,

Yes I've got the video.

The Spit in both the video and the still shot above has a four-bladed propellor (AA963's was a 3-blader). It also has the longer nose to accomodate the slightly longer Merlin and extra supercharging. This Spit could be one of the Mk IX's that went over to the US, although both of these were involved in the long-range gas tank modifications and were flown back to the UK via Newfoundland. My guess is that it is the high altitude Mk VII (EN474) that is in the Smithsonian. If you compare this pic with the ones from the 'Smith' the port nose camouflage pattern is identical. That's my guess.

Thanks again for your interest.

By the way - we're all excited down here ready to witness the first post-restoration flight at Ardmore (20 minutes from where I live) of Jerry Yagen's Mosquito. Scheduled for the weekend of 29/30th September, although I wouldn't be surprised if they don't do a discreet 'hop' or two beforehand to ensure that all the bits work.

Cheers

Barry

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Little Johnny : "When I grow up I want to be a pilot!"

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


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:10 am 
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Evan,

I've had another look at this. You were quite correct.

What confused me was that there were/are two different videos. The first was mentioned by Jeff in his still shot. This was taken at freeman Field in 1945. I still think the Spitfire in this is Mk VII EN474.

The second wartime movie sequence (Evan's) was indeed taken at Wright Field in 1942. The Spitfire shown in the brief sequence (+53 secs) is definitely a Mk V, but because of the lack of cannon barrels protruding from the wing it could have been either of the Mk Va's ( 8 x Browning mg's ) which were both operating from both Wright Field and Langley at different times during 1942.

Great stuff!

Barry

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Little Johnny : "When I grow up I want to be a pilot!"

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


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:15 am 
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Hi Patrick,

After nearly 40 years the memory is not so reliable, but I would put my money on the 'Five Bells'.

The pub was standing alone from other buildings with very few if any close by. It wasn't in a main street of a village or anything.

We mostly talked about the 'coarse' or river fishing in the rivers around that part of Kent, after the initial conversation which covered flying of course. He was a keen outdoorsman.

I recall on one of his visits to our Mess at Manston we chatted about fishing then too.

Eastern Kent was scattered with little villages of houses with thatched rooves and lots of little pubs who brewed their own excellent ale the old fashioned way.

The favourite of mine was the 'Dog & Duck' at a place called Pluck's Gutter. Great place to relax when not on duty.

Hope this helps you,

Cheers

Barry

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Little Johnny : "When I grow up I want to be a pilot!"

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


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:08 pm 
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My father was Carter Clayton Porter. My family has his log books. Feel free to contact me.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:38 pm 
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Barry,

I came across another picture of AA963 and remembered this thread. There was no additional information with the pictures(s), but with an Eastern Airlines DC-3 and the "feel" of the background, I'd guess either Cincinati (Lunken) or Dayton as the location.

Enjoy,

C2j

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