On December 17, 1950, the first known aerial combat between swept-wing jet fighters took place in the skies over Korea. The Russian-built Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 had been recently introduced and its speed and maneuverability caused trouble for the United States and in response, the North American F-86 Sabre was rushed to Korea. Ward Hitt, Jr., a member of the 4th Fighter Interceptor Group, chronicled the early days of the F-86 in combat in a detailed scrapbook.
The greatest pilot of the Greatest Generation has passed. Seventy-nine years to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, famed test pilot, World War II ace, and the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound, Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, died at the age of 97.
There have been great movies about military aviation for almost as long as there have been movies and airplanes—seriously, the very first Best Picture Oscar went to a WWI aero-epic called Wings (and if you ever win bar trivia with that, buy us a drink). Eventually, the US military realized that high adventure onscreen could boost their recruiting efforts, and began to officially cooperate with films featuring flying service members. In this episode, we’ll look at two movies staring iconic aviators—Top Gun and Captain Marvel—and discuss how the military leans into their role as supporting players on the silver screen.
On April 2, 1942, the aircraft carrier USS Hornet was part of a secret plan to strike back at Japan. With no room for aditional airplanes to land on the flight deck filled with B-25 Mitchell bombers, the US Navy turned to the Navy blimp L-8 for a specialy delivery.
In the early morning of June 6, 1944, thousands of soldiers, sailors, and airmen readied themselves for D-Day of Operation Overlord. For several divisions of American and British soldiers, the invasion had actually begun the night before on board Douglas C-47s.