Chance Vought F4U Corsair Color Photographs Part II

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A fine study of a Corsair in the Blue Gray over Light Gray scheme showing how the grime can build up on the inner wings. On this aircraft the cowl flaps have been installed without regard to color. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)
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The Corsair was a beautiful aircraft from any angle. The bent wings were adopted to allow ground clearance for the 13-foot propeller, giving the Corsair its distinct appearance. (LIFE Magazine)
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Artwork on Corsairs was a rarity compared to types operated by the USAAF. Here is a close-up of a FAA Corsair displaying a colorful image of Donald Duck.
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The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm ordered over 500 Corsairs. The examples here are seen in the Temperate Sea Scheme with the last three digits of their serial numbers roughly sprayed on their cowls.
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A Fleet Air Arm Corsair showing details of the wing fold mechanism. The three dark circles near the wingtip are colored recognition lights, red, green, and amber.
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A Marine from VMF-511 inspects the guns of this F4U-1D aboard the USS Bock Island (CVE 106). The covers for the ammunition feed trays were interchangeable, this has disrupted the bar of the insignia on the port wing as Glossy Sea Blue panels have been substituted for white, a common occurrence.
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One of the first Corsairs off the production lines, this is BuNo 02170. She is seen in the standard Blue Gray over Light Gray Scheme in September 1942. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)
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The photographer has caught this Corsair cycling its landing gear. The wheels turned 90 degrees when retracted to lie flat within the wings. (LIFE Magazine)
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A Marine Corsair of VMF-222 on Barakoma Field, Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands in November 1943. This is BuNo 03833. She wears a Graded Scheme camouflage which is already showing fading and wear under the harsh South Pacific sun.
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An atmospheric photograph of a birdcage Corsair semi-silhouetted in the glare. (NASM, Hans Groenhoff collection)

Hasegawa Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8/R2 of Oberfeldwebel Willi Maximowitz in 1/72 Scale

Willi Maximowitz had one American B-24 Liberator to his credit when he volunteered to join Sturmstaffel 1.  This unit flew up-armored Fw 190’s and was tasked with flying en masse through American heavy bomber formations, closing to point-blank range before destroying their targets.  Pilots were urged to ram their targets if they were not destroyed by gunfire.  Using these tactics, he was credited with ramming a B-17 on 23MAR44, and shot down another over Helmstedt on 29APR44, but was himself wounded by the bomber’s defensive fire and had to bail out.  During his convalescence Sturmstaffel 1 became 11./JG 3 and was operating against the Allied forces pouring into France when Maximowitz rejoined the unit.  His score continued to mount, eventually reaching 15, all heavy bombers.  In February IV./JG 3 shifted to oppose the Soviets on the Eastern Front, where he added 12 additional victories to his score.  Willi Maximowitz failed to return from a mission on 20APR45, just a few weeks before the end of the war.

This model depicts Willi Maximowitz’ Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8/R2 as it appeared while with 11.(Sturm)/JG 3 at Dreux, France, June 1944.

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World War II US Cavalry Units Book Review

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World War II US Cavalry Units: Pacific Theater

Osprey Elite Series Book 175

By Gordon L. Rottman, illustrated by Peter Dennis

Softcover, 64 pages, bibliography, and index

Published by Osprey Publishing October 2009

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1-84603-451-0

ISBN-13: 978-1-84603-451-0

Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.2 x 9.9 inches

A minor bit of trivia is that most nations still had horse-mounted cavalry units at the beginning of the Second World War, a few nations retaining them until the end.  For the U.S. Army, the Louisiana Maneuvers in 1941 demonstrated that the cavalry could not keep pace with mechanized units and even the most die-hard officers realized the era of the horse was near an end.  Still, the last combat actions of the U.S. cavalry were in the defense of the Philippines – the last U.S. cavalry charge was on 16JAN42 when a platoon from the 26th Cavalry Regiment (Philippine Scouts) charged a vastly superior Japanese force crossing the river at Morong and held until reinforced.  They continued to fight as cavalry until starvation of the troops at Bataan forced them to slaughter their mounts for food in March.  Thereafter they fought as infantry, many forming the nuclei of guerrilla groups rather than surrender.

Most U.S. cavalry regiments gave up their horses and transitioned into infantry regiments during the war.  The 112th Regiment was noteworthy in deploying to New Caledonia and equipping with Australian horses.  It was soon found that the horses were not well suited for the jungle terrain and that they did not find sufficient nourishment in the local vegetation, compelling the 112th to return their mounts and reorganize as infantry in March 1943.  A peculiarity of the horseless cavalry units is they maintained their traditions, keeping uniform articles such as specialized boots and their organizational structure.  Compared to standard infantry regiments a cavalry regiment was half the strength and lacked many of the heavier supporting weapons.  The cavalry was also organized with two rifle troops per squadron, while the infantry had three rifle companies plus a weapons company per battalion.  This made the horseless cavalry regiments weaker and less tactically flexible than standard infantry regiments.

Given the unusual subject, I found this book fascinating.  It is a standard-format Osprey Elite volume, brief but well-illustrated.  It is of the “facts and figures” style, listing the component elements of the units described and their actions, but this gives the reader a firm understanding of organization and composition of these unusual formations.  Recommended for those nostalgic for the cavalry or curious about their transition from the horse.

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Women Warriors 123

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Norway
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Italian Alpini on patrol in Afghanistan with VTLM
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IDF
Women in Combat
US Army
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IDF
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Norway
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Norway
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Russian National Guard
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WAVES with SBD Dauntless dive bomber
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Poland
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Poland
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RAF C-130 pilot Julie Gibson
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Women’s Royal Naval Service WREN
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IDF
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South Korea
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Russian Paratrooper
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ATF pilot Veronica MacInnis in Spitfire
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Arma Yakovlev Yak-1b Batch Build in 1/72 Scale Part II

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The only thing that I’d have liked to have seen added to the Arma kit is the option to pose the canopy open. It’s a shame to enclose all that cockpit detail, but the single-piece canopy is transparent enough to still allow much of the interior to be seen. The kabuki tape masks are a plus, and an inexpensive way for a manufacturer to add value to a kit.

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Everything fits like a glove. The only filler needed was a swipe of Perfect Plastic Putty around the canopy seam.

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One of the marking options on the Exito decal sheet is for an overall light blue Yak with a dark gray tail. Exito provides a decal for the white cheat line which separates the colors but I didn’t trust myself to hit the color separation exactly so I masked off the cheat line.

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All three Yaks were painted in the “gray” scheme of AMT 12 / 11 / 7. The Dark Gray AMT 11 faded quickly so you could mix it lighter than I’ve chosen here if you prefer.

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The Exito decals performed flawlessly with Micro Set & Sol. There are decals to replicate the artwork on both sides of the aircraft if you desire, but I suspect it was only carried on one side so the other sides are more standard. There is some carrier film at the serpent’s mouth which must be removed for the decal to fit around the horizontal stabilizer, so be forewarned if you like these markings.

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Here is a view of the underside of the finished model. Fit is excellent and the delicate surface detail is visible under an acrylic wash. I really like the depth and detail of the wheelwells.

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All three finished models posed together for a group shot.  I have been quite pleased with everything I’ve seen from Arma and their Yaks are no exception.  They are excellent kits, well detailed and engineered.  If you need a “box shaker” to restore your modeling mojo this would make a great choice.

Tamiya Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 of Oberleutnant Oskar Romm in 1/72 Scale

Oskar “Ossie” Romm began his career on the Eastern Front with 1./JG 51 rather inauspiciously – he belly-landed his aircraft and was injured on both of his first two operational sorties.  However on his second effort he also claimed his first victory, a Soviet Il-2.  From then on his score mounted steadily, his best days were on 20AUG 43 when he downed six, and on 05FEB44 when he shot down another six.  In June he was transferred to the West with JG 3 on Reichverteidigung (Defense of the Reich) duties, he had a total of 76 victories and had been awarded the Knight’s Cross by this time.   He made the transition to the West successfully, adding eight four-engine bombers to his score, including three B-24 Liberators in a single mission on 27SEP44.  As the war situation deteriorated, Romm became the Staffelkapitän of 15./JG 3, flying fighter-bomber missions against the advancing Soviet armies.  He survived the war, credited with 92 aerial victories and 34 tanks. The model depicts Romm’s Fw 190D-9 when he was serving as the Gruppenkommandeur of IV./JG 3 at Prezlau, Germany, in March 1945.

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Chance Vought F4U Corsair Color Photographs Part I

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The first of the breed! This is XF4U-1 BuNo 1143 seen in 1940. The prototype flew just 1n time to be painted in the colorful US Navy “Yellow Wings” scheme.

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Early production Corsairs had a framed canopy center section, leading to the nickname “birdcage Corsairs”. Although the paint is rather worn and faded, the white dots visible on the fuselage are factory inspection stickers. Note the primer showing through at the forward wing root, and the fading of the fabric wing panels and ailerons. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)

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Although designed as a fighter, the Corsair could carry an impressive bomb load. This F4U-1D is seen hauling two 1,000-pound bombs beneath the fuselage. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)

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The Corsair was kept in service after the war, even as several other types were retired in the general de-mobilization which followed. Here is a rather worn F4U-4 in overall Glossy Sea Blue of VBF-82 aboard the USS Randolph (CV-15) in 1946.

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The XF4U-3 was designed to provide the Marines with a high-altitude interceptor by fitting a turbocharged Pratt & Whitney XR 2800-16 engine and four bladed prop. The turbocharger inlet is visible under the fuselage in this photograph. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)

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A fine study of one of the three XF4U-3 prototypes. Problems with the engine resulted in fitting a Pratt & Whitney R 2800-14 engine instead, the aircraft achieving an impressive speed of 480 mph at 40,000 feet. (NASM, Rudy Arnold collection)

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Torokina Airfield on Bouganville provides the standard South Pacific setting for this Corsair as it taxies out on the Marston mat runway.

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Several Marine squadrons employed the Corsair primarily in the close air support mission. This aircraft is being prepped for another mission to add to her already-impressive scoreboard.

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The FG-1D of Marine Lt Leroy Anheuser displays his Ace of Hearts emblem. The aircraft was assigned to VMF-122, based on Peleiu during 1944-45.

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Marine 1Lt Jeremiah O’Keefe of VMF-323 poses in the cockpit of his Corsair on Okinawa. O’Keefe downed five Japanese aircraft during a single sortie on 22APR45, and an additional two on 28APR45. He was awarded the Navy Cross.

Revell Messerschmitt Me 262A-1a of Oberfeldwebel Heinz Arnold in 1/72 Scale

Heinz Arnold was credited with a total of 49 victories, including 7 on the Me 262.  Yellow 7 was his assigned aircraft while flying with 11./JG 7 from Parchim in March and April of 1945.  Arnold went missing on 17APR45 while flying another aircraft.  Me 262 W.Nr.500491 “Yellow 7” survived the war and was taken to America for evaluation.  It was restored and is on display with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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HMS Trincomalee Book Review

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HMS Trincomalee: Frigate 1817

Seaforth Historic Ships Series

By Wyn Davies, Photography by Max Mudie

Softcover, 128 pages, bibliography, fully illustrated in color

Published by Seaforth 2015

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1-84832-221-6

ISBN-13: 978-1-84832-221-9

Dimensions:  6.9 x 0.4 x 9.6 inches

HMS Trincomalee is a Leda-class sailing frigate.  Forty-seven ships of the Leda-class were built for the Royal Navy between 1805 and 1832, of which two survive today as museum ships, Trincomalee and her sister HMS Unicorn.  Due to worsening shortages of oak suitable for shipbuilding in Great Britain, she was built of teak in Bombay, India.  The preservative qualities of the oils in teak have contributed to her preservation and survival today.

Trincomalee was built too late to serve in the Napoleonic Wars, and was laid up in reserve.  She was recommissioned from 1847 through 1857, serving on both coasts of North America for the majority of her commission.  She then served as a training ship until 1895, when she was sold.  In England there were several boarding schools which trained boys in seamanship and naval tradition, which not only provided England with sailors for her Navy and merchant fleet, but provided educations and trade skills for disadvantaged youths who might have otherwise been unemployed.  George Wheatley Cobb purchased Trincomalee and used her as a school ship, renaming her Foudroyant.  She served as a training ship until the 1980’s, when she was taken in hand for restoration and display as a museum ship.  She is currently at the Hartlepool, where she can be seen today.

The introduction of this book, divided into five parts, describes the development of frigates as a type and the general state of wooden ship construction in England at the time which led to Trincomalee being constructed in India.  The narrative then follows her service history, use as a training ship in various capacities, and eventual preservation and restoration as a museum ship.  The bulk of the book consists of fine full-color photographs, well presented and captioned in detail.  These are presented in a walk-around format and explain every detail of her construction, both inside and out.

For any reader seeking to understand the details of sailing frigates, this book is a gold mine.  The nautical terminology is uniquely foreign but well explained and illustrated, if you don’t know the difference between a binnacle and a mouse this book will make things clear.  If sailing ships or naval history interest you at all I can recommend this book, and the series as well.

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