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Night Fighting: The P-61 Black Widow

Northrop P-61C Black Widow at the Udvar-Hazy Center

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Presenters: Bob Bolinder, Louis Bost, Robert Ferguson, and Avery J. Miller
Thursday, June 8, 2006
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA

Despite entering World War II in the final year, Black Widow crews destroyed 127 enemy aircraft and 18 robot V-1 buzz bombs. Nearly the size of a medium bomber, the Black Widow was a true fighter, outfitted with four 20mm cannons, four .50 caliber machine guns, and a state-of-the-art airborne radar set that let pilots see in the dark.

Soon after it's entry in the war, the Black Widow was reaching deep into hostile German airspace both day and night, harassing German positions and troop movements. Almost immediately after arriving in the Pacific Theater, the Black Widow controlled the night skies.

European Theater P-61 pilot Bob Bolinder and radar operator Louis Bost will recount their exploits behind the German lines during this lecture. P-61 pilot Robert Ferguson and radar operator Avery J. Miller will discuss the plane's role in the Pacific Theater.

Directions to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Udvar-Hazy Center Floorplan

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