Tamiya Vought F4U Corsair of LCDR Tommy Blackburn in 1/72 Scale

John “Tommy” Blackburn was an Annapolis graduate and was serving as a flight instructor when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  He commanded VGF-29 aboard USS Santee (CVE-29) during the Torch landings.  Most of their Wildcats got lost in bad weather, Blackburn himself spending three days in the water before he was rescued.  He was then reassigned to command VF-17 “jolly Rogers” on the new F4U Corsair.  At the time the Navy decided that the Corsair was unsuited for carrier operations and VF-17 deployed to an airfield on Ondonga, New Georgia in October 1943.

The deployment produced thirteen aces, including Blackburn with 11 victories.  His best day was on 06FEB44 when he claimed four A6M Zeros.  He survived the war and eventually rose to command the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVB-41) in 1958.  He retired from the Navy as a Captain in 1962.

This is the F4U-1A Corsair of LCDR Tommy Blackburn, Commanding Officer VF-17, operating from Ondonga, New Georgia, November 1943.

Eduard Grumman F6F Hellcat of LT Richard Stambook in 1/72 Scale

LT Richard Stambook flew various types of carrier aircraft during the war, transitioning from the SBD Dauntless to the F4F Wildcat, and eventually flying the F6F Hellcat with VF-27.  His best day was during the Battle of the Philippine Sea on 19JUN44 when he was credited with four – three A6M Zeros and a single D4Y Judy.  He scored his final victory, a Ki-45 Toryu “Nick” on 18OCT44. One week later the USS Princeton (CVL-27) was struck by a single bomb dropped by another D4Y Judy, the subsequent fires eventually leading to her loss.  Stambock survived the sinking and the war, an ace with eleven victories.

This model represents the F6F-3 Hellcat of LT Richard Stambook, VF-27, USS Princeton (CVL-23), October 1944.

Tamiya Vought F4U Corsair of 1LT Kenneth Walsh in 1/72 Scale

Kenneth Walsh enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1933 at the age of 17.  He was trained as a Naval Aviator in 1937, earning his pilot’s wings while still a private.  By February 1943 Walsh was a 1LT, serving with VMF-124 on Guadalcanal.  He opened his account on 01APR43 with a triple, scoring another three on 13MAY43 which made him the first pilot to make ace on the Corsair.  He continued to add to his score, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for 20 victories.  He returned to combat in 1945, serving in the Philippines and scoring his last victory off Okinawa on 22JUN45.  Walsh flew transports with VMR-152 during the Korean War, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1958.

The model represents the F4U-1 Corsair of Lt. Kenneth Walsh USMC, VMF-124, as it appeared while operating from Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, May 1943. 

Hasegawa Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless of LT Dick Best in 1/72 Scale

This aircraft is B-1 of VB-6 from the USS Enterprise (CV-6) during the Battle of Midway, 4 June 1942.  The crew was LT Richard H. Best and Chief Radioman James F. Murray.  This was one of only three SBDs which attacked Akagi, and Best scored the only hit which led to her eventual loss.  Best was also credited with a hit on Hiryu later in the day and was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions.

This is the Hasegawa SBD-3 kit, dive flaps were replaced with Quickboost resin, there’s really no way to get a decent appearance using the kit flaps.  The cockpit was also replaced with resin, canopy sections are from Falcon.  The bomb is from True Details.  The small window forward of the bomb is molded closed, it was opened up and given glass with Micro Krystal Klear.  The landing light is a small section punched from the inside of a candy bar wrapper, these are very reflective.  Decals are from Starfighter’s Midway sheet and performed quite well, as expected. The spinner is True Blue.  This a throwback to the Yellow Wing days, when Enterprise’s air group tail color was Blue.  Enterprise’s call sign was “Blue Base”.

Eduard Lavochkin La-7 of Captain Aleksei Alelyukhin HSU in 1/72 Scale

Aleksei Alelyukhin was credited with 40 individual and 17 shared victories and was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union twice.  He was flying I-16s with the 69th Fighter Regiment when the Germans launched operation Barbarossa.  He scored steadily throughout the war, although he was wounded three times and forced to bail out once.  He survived the war and served until 1985, retiring as a Major General.

This is the La-7 of Captain Aleksei Alelyukhin HSU x 2, 9 GIAP, East Prussia, December 1944. 

ICM Polikarpov I-153 of Captain Konstantin Soloviyev HSU in 1/72 Scale

I-153 of Captain Konstantin Soloviyev HSU, 71st IAP, Soviet Navy Baltic Fleet Aviation, Lavansaari, Summer 1942.  Soloviyev was credited with 4 individual and 8 shared victories.  Photographs of other 71st IAP I-153s show that the front baffle plating was removed from some aircraft, exposing the engine, while on others it was not.  It is not clear if the plating was removed from White 24 so I modeled it in place.

AZmodel Vought OS2U Kingfisher in 1/72 Scale

There is one color and two black-and-white photos of this particular Kingfisher.  It served in the Aleutians during 1943, and was carried aboard the Omaha-class light cruiser Detroit (CL-8).  The white stripes on the tail surfaces are Aleutian theater markings, and like many U.S. aircraft serving in the Aleutians, she carries non-standard national insignia.  Photos of the actual aircraft in this post:  https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/os2u-kingfishers-in-the-aleutians/

Construction posts here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/04/08/azmodel-vought-os2u-kingfisher-build-in-1-72-scale-part-i/

ICM Polikarpov I-16 of Boris Safonov HSU in 1/72 Scale

I-16 Type 24 of Boris Safonov, twice HSU, CO of the 4th Squadron, 72nd Mixed Aviation Regiment, Soviet Navy Northern Fleet, Vaenga USSR, August 1941.  Safonov was credited with 20 individual and 6 shared victories.  While it is likely Safonov flew this aircraft, it was not assigned exclusively to him.  The slogans are “For Stalin!” on the port side and “Death to Fascists!” to starboard.