Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Revell Re-Releases Popular 1/48 Scale 'Visible' B-17 Flying Fortress Model

Just in from my brother John today, Revell has re-released the visible B-17 Fortress model that has been so hard to find and thus very expensive. Now, it's only $32.00 or thereabouts. Modelers can build the plane with either the standard fuselage parts or the optional clear-plastic side so that you can see the interior.

It probably takes more patience than I possess to make this detailed model, but if you are a modeler, this is the one to get! Available anywhere, but here's the Amazon link as there are some good prices.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Did Germany develop Stealth Technology During WWII? It Appears it Did.

A contempory model constructed from the 1944 blueprints below. Many more photos and information on the weblink below.

England's 'Daily Mail' has a very interesting report on a stealth jet developed by the Germans in World War Two. I must admit this is outside my area of knowledge. I ran the article past Maurice Rockett, who was a B-17 bombardier in the war, and he commented: "It seems it was two or three weeks ago, on TV, the stealth bomber was discussed in depth. One had to be spellbound by the accomplishment of the Germans who were so far ahead of us. Once again little we realize how close we came to be manhandled by the Germans with their weaponry. As for this writeup, there are a couple of changes to be made as far as I can remember. First of all, it is stated that the flying wing never got beyond the blue print stage. Not true, because on the TV special, they showed the plane in flight, and acknowledge the pilot by name who died in the process of test flying. On the next point I am a lettle secure, but it seems to me the body was essentally made of plywood."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Today's 95th Bomb Group Fact: 95th B-17 was the last Eighth Air Force bomber to be Lost in Europe in WWII

This is an amazing story in the history of the 95th. The last 8th AF aircraft lost in World War Two in Europe was a B-17G from the 95th Bomb Group. It was lost on the last day of the war in Europe, May 7, 1945, while on a Chowhound mission to drop food to starving people in Holland. The plane had a full crew plus additional men from the 95th Photography section, including the photo editor of the 95th's yearbook Contrails. Only two men survived when the plane ditched in the icy North Sea.
In addition to the regular crew, the following men from the base photo section were on board: S/Sgt. Edward H. Bubolz; T/Sgt. Robert W. Korber; S/Sgt. Gerald Lane; Sgt. Joseph R. Repiscack; and PFC George L. Waltari.
Lionel N. Sceurman Crew - 334th Sqn
BACK ROW: Al Space (crew chief), Gano McPherson (radio operator), Norbert Kuper (armorer / gunner), William Lankford (tail gunner), John Keller (ball turret gunner)
FRONT ROW: Anthony Braidic (bombardier--not on aircraft that day), Russell Cook (navigator), James Schwartz (co-pilot--survived), Lionel N. Sceurman (pilot)
Not pictured is togglier David Condon, who replaced Braidic on this mission. Condon survived after parachuting from the plane. There is some doubt as to whether copilot James Schwartz was on the aircraft, though he is officially listed as flying the mission.
Photo supplied by William Cook ( brother of Russell Cook )

44-8640 B17-G
This aircraft was assigned to the 388th BG, Knettishall 4/12/1944.It transferred to the 334th BS 95th BG 5/12/1944. Piloted by L. Sceurman, it went missing on “Operation Chowhound” 7/5/1945. It crashed into the sea with the loss of 11 crew, two survived, returning to duty.This was the last aircraft of the Eighth Airforce to be lost in World War Two

Friday, July 10, 2009

Photos of Yellowstone Sepulchre Mountain Hike 6/09/09

Hiked up Sepulchre Mountain, elevation 9,900 feet yesterday with my friend Roger. Great hike, about twelve miles total. Left Ammon at six am, were in the park by eight and were home by ten.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

95th Bomb Group Unit History Update

It's been a busy summer. Each day I try to be up by six and start writing, knocking of between two and three in the afternoon for lunch and then my daily run, then more writing and research in the evening. There are 30 chapters in the book, and I have 23 of these complete in their rough draft format, and am halfway through the 24th. The amazing thing is I've managed to interview nearly sixty members of the 95th Bomb Group directly. Fortunately, in my capacity as a writer of other books, I interviewed some key members of the 95th before they passed away as well.

Add to this reading over 300 mission reports (some of which are fifty to sixty pages), dozens of MACRs (Missing Air Crew Reports), roughly fifty self-published memoirs, hundreds of personal letters, over a hundred books on the subject, plus conducting on-site interviews in Horham, England and all over the United States, and you can see how this project has pretty much been my whole life for the past several years.

Projected completion for the rough draft of the book is two-three weeks. I am very fortunate to have a number of qualified individuals reading/critiquing and editing the draft. Also, the book will be filled with photographs selected by the 95th Bomb Group Foundation, and there has been talk of adding a CD-Rom in the back as well with mission lists, MACRs, and photos.

Current word count is roughly 125,000 words, with another 35,000 projected.

That having been said, I'm taking the day off tomorrow to go hiking in Yellowstone. It will be the first time I've been in my favorite Park in over two years.