David Knights' Weblog

April 15, 2018

Sign this petition

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:19 pm
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The petition is to get Ed Dyess the Medal of Honor.  Please go here and click the link to sign the petition.

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April 10, 2018

Operation Ju-jitsu

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 10:57 am
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I had never heard of this.  Interesting story.

April 4, 2018

Book review: Images of Aviation Bowman Field

Filed under: Kentucky,Modeling — dknights @ 8:14 am
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Book review: Images of Aviation Bowman Field
Author: Charles W. Arrington
Arcadia Publishing
128 pgs, numerous B & W photos
ISBN: 978-1-4671-2699-1

Those of us who live in Louisville, KY think of Bowman Field as the general aviation airport for Louisville.  The one in the heart of town with the beautiful 1930s terminal.  However, as Charles “Charlie” Arrington knows there is much more to Bowman Field than that.  Charlie comes by this love of history naturally, and he spent his career as a history teacher.  Charlie, a former longtime MMCL member, has an encyclopedic knowledge of Louisville’s aviation history.

This book is clearly a labor of love.  It starts with this history of Bowman Field as nothing more than a farm field on the far outskirts of Louisville in the around 1920.  The first aircraft recorded to have landed at the new airfield was a Canadian built JN-4 Canuck.  Bowman Field grew along with the rapid expansion of aviation technology and before long there were hangers, paved runways and regular airline service to destinations all over the US.  This is all documented thru an amazing collection of period photographs.  This is one of my favorite periods in aviation history, and it is really neat to see all the different 1920s and 1930s aircraft which passed thru Louisville.  Charles Lindberg and the Spirit of St. Louis was one such aircraft, and, of course, Charlie has the photos to document the occasion.

The next big event in the history of Bowman Field is the outbreak of WWII.  Like many civilian airfields, Bowman Field became a training base.  Bowman specialized in training glider pilots and was the home base of the airborne nurses program.  This period saw a rapid expansion of the field’s facilities.  As you would think, much of this wartime effort was well documented in photos and Charlie has gathered the best ones and included them in this book.

It is in the postwar period that Louisville’s current commercial airport was established.  Staniford Field became the commercial airport, which relegated Bowman Field to the status of a general aviation airport.  While this was a change, it didn’t mean that history wasn’t happening at Bowman, and again this postwar development is well recorded in many black and white photos.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.  It is fascinating, and has enough great photos to provide hours of interesting browsing.  I purchased my autographed copy directly from the author for $20.

March 30, 2018

Norway 1940

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:14 am
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A really nice high level analysis of the British failures in the 1940 Norway campaign.  I don’t think it lays enough blame at the feet of Churchill, who deserves a huge amount of blame, but nonetheless it is a good overview.

February 20, 2018

February MMCL meeting

Filed under: IPMS,Kentucky,Modeling — dknights @ 10:33 pm
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My local IPMS chapter, MMCL held its February meeting last Thursday.  Sorry about taking so long to get this it.  The meeting was great.  If you have an IPMS chapter near you, I urge you to attend and join.  Also, join IPMS/USA.  This meeting we had a guest speaker who works for the Department of the Army, identifying and recovering remains of MIA soldiers.  It was an amazing talk.

 

Also, we had some great models brought in by the members.  Here are a few shots.

February 2, 2018

WWI German war plans

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 3:20 pm
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An interesting discussion/analysis of the WWI Imperial German war plans here.  Worth a read.

January 19, 2018

The passing of a hero

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:41 am
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I meant to post this last year.  One of the American volunteers that help found the Israeli Air Force passed last year.  In addition, Mitchell Flint was also a US Navy flyer in WWII. He flew the F4U with the US, and the Avia S-199, Spitfire and Mustang in combat with the Israeli Air Force.

January 17, 2018

Campaign for North Africa

Filed under: General — dknights @ 8:10 pm
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I actually owned this game.  This is a great article.

January 8, 2018

The Cuban Missile crisis

Filed under: Modeling,Politics — dknights @ 12:42 am
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A nice article on the crisis.

June 8, 2017

Book review: The Life of Maverick Ace Adrian Warburton

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 9:12 am
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Book review: The Life of Maverick Ace Adrian Warburton
Author: Tony Spooner
208 Pgs
ISBN 978 0907 579434

Adrian Warburton was one of the most unusual personalities of WWII. He was an average pilot at best.  He never seemed to master the concept of torque generated by piston engines on takeoff.  He took a bride early in the war and then abandoned her and never looked back.  He was a reconnaissance pilot, who at one time was the highest scoring pilot on the island of Malta.  Adrian Warburton was all this and much more.

The author, Tony Spooner, served briefly with Warburton during his time on Malta.  He left such an impression on the author that he felt compelled to write a book chronicling Warburton’s life.  It is good for us readers that he did as this book provides an insight into one of the most unusual personalities of WWII.

The son of an RN officer, Warburton grew up in relative privilege. When WWII came, he became an RAF pilot, though he was only rated as average, due in large part to his poor takeoffs and landings.  He served without distinction in the UK and his personal life there was a mess, with a marriage that seemed to be motivated more by a desire that someone should benefit from his eventual death, rather than from undying love. He also ran up debts he could not pay, a nearly unpardonable sin for an RAF officer, even in wartime.

In order to avoid embarrassment to Warburton, his commanding officer arranged to transfer him to Malta to get him away from his problems.  This had a profound effect on Warburton’s life.  Once in Malta, Warburton became synonymous with the resistance of the island thru his exploits.  Flying a twin engine Martin Maryland, he began flying recon missions all over Sicily, Italy and North Africa.  In the process he shot down numerous enemy aircraft and gained a reputation for always coming back with the photos that were needed.

After the Allies drove the Axis from North Africa and invaded Sicily and then Italy, the pressure on Malta was relieved.  In many ways this had a profound effect on Warburton and once the pressure of constant danger was off the nerves that would have long ago gotten to lessor men finally seemed to catch up with Warby as he was known to all associated with him.

Flying from Europe in preparation for D-Day, Warby disappeared over Europe while Flying a F-5E (the recon version of the P-38) When the author wrote this book, Warburton’s ultimate fate was unknown.  However, party inspired by this book a number of people teamed up and in 2002 the crash site of Warburton’s aircraft was located and some of his remains recovered.  Those remains were buried in England shortly thereafter in a ceremony attended by high ranking RAF officials and Warburton’s wife.

This short review fails to do justice to this book and all of the detail it provides on this most interesting of WWII personalities.  I highly recommend picking up a copy.  You won’t regret it.

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