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Warbird combat veterans?

Posted By:
Zack Baughman
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483
#1 Posted: 9/21/2009 16:10:01

Hi Folks,

During a conversation today a co-worker asked me how many restored warbirds flying today are actual combat veterans.  I had to admit that I did not know.  So I put the question to all of you - which warbirds flying today, or on static display in museums for that matter, are actual combat veterans?

Thanks for any info!

Zack

 

 



EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"
Adam Smith
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
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381
#2 Posted: 9/21/2009 18:25:31

MkXI Spitfire MH434 has 74 combat missions and 5 kills to her name... a genuine "ace". 

 



Zack Baughman
543
Posts
483
#3 Posted: 9/22/2009 08:54:51

Interesting markings on the nose.  The boxing bulldog is the same insignia the 62nd Fighter Squadron used during WWII.



EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"
Don Dillman
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0
#4 Posted: 9/23/2009 08:15:12

Zack

"Final Cut - The Post-War B-17 Flying Fortress: The Survivors" by Scott Thompson, provides some great insight into that question, at least regarding the B-17. It chronicles every surviving B-17 that's flying, in museums and even some hulks. It appears that the vast majority didn't experience combat, largely because of the way they were scrapped wholesale after the war.

 

Even the Memphis Belle, one of the most acclaimed during the war, was saved almost completely by luck. It was slated for the reclamation and parked at Altus OK awaiting the cutting torch when a Memphis citizen wandering through the boneyard noted the serial number and called some city leaders who then started the campaign to return the aircraft to Memphis.

 

Don



Zack Baughman
543
Posts
483
#5 Posted: 10/9/2009 09:51:22

Don't know how I could have forgotten about this one!  Doh! 

The P-47 "Dottie-Mae":

http://www.alliedfighters.com/newsletter.html

 

 



EAA Timeless Voices Program Coordinator & Museum Collections Assistant "Let No Story Go Untold!"
#6 Posted: 10/12/2009 15:00:16

I know that a few of the O-2As (the Forward Air Controller version of a Cesna 337) seen at AirVenture are combat survivors.  This comes personal knowledge flying them from DaNang and Pleiku in '68-'69.



Ed Finnegan
AirVenture Volunteer
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#7 Posted: 11/13/2009 21:22:09

Zach,

The Mohawks operated by American Wings Air Museum are veterans of both the Vietnam Conflict and the 1st Gulf War.

One of our Mohawks, 69-17021, was on loan to the Israeli Air Force for a time for evaluation and testing for their country.

And, technically, since the Korean War has never officially ended (its just a cease-fire, not a peace treaty)  Mohawk 64-14262 is a veteran of three conflicts: The Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.

Ed



Rob Murphy
Warbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
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#8 Posted: 12/24/2009 09:46:35

As Ed Finnegan and Fred Robinson point out, the USAF 0-2A and the Army Mohawks are almost all certified warbirds.

 

Almost all of the OV-1s rotated through Vietnam at one time or another.  Of the 531 0-2A & Bs, 375+ were in Vietnam, of which 125 were destroyed (including 35 in 1975 as Vietnam fell).  About 125+ are out in the waribird community of which 31 are in museums.  About 75 are in flying status.

Of the 14 I've restored, only two did not have combat time.  One, one of the last built, went directly into the Guard and the other was used for training pilots in the 4400 training squadron at Hurlbert.

 

Bob

 



Fred Krueger
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#9 Posted: 12/27/2009 07:52:48

I'm currently restoring a Piper L-4J That was shipped to Italy and returned through San Francisco, It would have been available for use along the gothic line or the invasion of southern France. Have been in contact with many folks with more knowledge than I have. Nobody can help me track down a exact assignment.



Rob Murphy
Warbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
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#10 Posted: 12/28/2009 11:32:33

have you tried ILPA.  they have pretty good records and contacts on l-birds in WWII,  bob



Fred Krueger
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#11 Posted: 12/29/2009 21:00:02

Not yet, but that is a good thought... Thanks Rob



Bill Greenwood
Warbirds of America MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
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#12 Posted: 1/1/2010 11:24:13

 I  think Mh434 is a MK IX, not a XI. Probably just a mistype,but a XI would be a photo recon version, if I am correct and could be acombat vet , but unlikely to have any kills.

It wouid be intereisting to read detail of 434 s victrories.

 

I don't know about Nam or Gulf WaR , but if talking WWII, there would be few fliers that are vets. Of course Memphis Belle , B-17 is a famous one if you include static. A lot ot the Mustangs flying are post war builds, I think., some from RCAF.