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  • Flight Lieutenant Donald J. M. Blakeslee of 133 Eagle Squadron exits his Spitfire MkVb at the Lympne airfield after his fourth mission of 19th of August 1942. On this date, during Operation Jubilee - the joint British-Canadian amphibious assault against German forces on the French coast at Dieppe, RAF Fighter Command flew hundreds of sorties in support of the landings. Among the RAF units active during the day were the three all American volunteer Eagle squadrons, who between them accounted for 10 enemy aircraft destroyed, 5 probable and 12 damaged, Blakeslee himself being credited with two destroyed and two probables.The following month, the Eagle squadrons were absorbed into the U.S. 8th Air Force as the 4th Fighter Group, under the leadership of Don Blakeslee.
  • Mk I Spitfires of 610 Squadron flying a defensive patrol low over the White Cliffs during the height of the Battle of Britain in August 1940.
  • B17G-30-BO of the 333rd Bomb Squadron, 91st Bomb Group encounters home defense Me109s over Germany in 1944.
  • Two SBD-3s, S-9 and S-11 of VS-5, fly from the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier against the dark clouds of war and a rising sun, the symbol of the Japanese empire. In this case, the sun is symbolic of hope and the dawn of a new day as the tide turns in the Pacific at the Battle of Midway in June of 1942.
  • August 1944, RAF HawkerTyphoons of 247 Squadron, armed with rockets and 20mm cannon launch a series of devastating attacks against the German Seventh Army and Fifth Panzer Army in the Falaise Gap. The German units had been almost completely surrounded by advancing allied ground forces, and contained within an area bounded by the four towns of Trun, Argentan, Vimoutiers and Chambois near Falaise. The Germans began their retreat by the only remaining route, through the Falaise Gap, whereupon the allies began a sustained air assault in an attempt to prevent their escape, and with deadly results. On a single day the Typhoons would destroy 175 German tanks.
  • It gives a nice, icy mood, perfect for December 1944, when Dahl flew his "Blaue13" on bomber intercept missions with JG 300.By the way, the clouds at the top of the image remind me of layers of cirrus, formed by dissipating aircraft contrails. I am not sure if it was intentional, but it's a nice hint to their creators: the hordes of allied heavy bombers Walter Dahl and his Schwarm is hunting for.
  • P-40 fighters of the 325th FG, 12th AF, the dreaded Checkertail Clan, as they attack a German tank column in the African desert during the defeat of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps' in Tunisia in the early spring of 1943.
  • J.G. Boon von Ochssee, a dutchman serving aboard the HMS Speaker, ditches his Grumman Hellcat JW867 into the Indian Ocean. He was picked up safely by a destroyer escort soon after and would continue flying Hellcats until the end of the war.
  • Adolf Galland and Heinz Bär lead a group of Me-262's towards an encounter with Allied B-24's high above the clouds.
  • This one depicts the Spitfire Mk.XIVe as flown by Flying Officer Burgwal of 322 (Dutch) Squadron. Burgwal was a high scoring V-1 killer with 19 kills. This image shows one of his kills, this time by tipping over the V-1 flying bomb that was headed for London. This would make the V-1 crash as it had no ailerons or internal systems that could compensate for this unbalance.
  • In a strange quirk of fate, a Sunderland of 461 Sqn RAAF identification letter U, destroys submarine U-461, a type XIV tanker, one of three German submarines caught on the surface by Allied aircraft in the Bay of Biscay on July 30, 1943. At extreme low level, Sunderland U braves a barrage of gunfire from all three encircling German submarines to deliver a successful depth charge attack, sinking U-461 in a single pass. In an act of grace, the Sunderland pilot returned to the scene to drop a dingy to the U-boat survivors.
  • Duxford became home to the 78th Fighter Group when they arrived in England with their P-47B Thunderbolts in 1943. The objective of the American fighter units was to gain air superiority over the Luftwaffe in support of their daylight bombing campaign. By 1944 they achieved their objective. Richard Taylor commemorates the valiant contribution of the 78th Fighter Group with a fine new rendition showing P-47D Thunderbolts departing Duxford en route for the north coast of France, and a low-level strafing mission. It is the spring of 1944, and with the Normandy invasion just days away, the Thunderbolts are already painted with invasion markings.
  • Mist and fog swirled eerily over the Eder Lake on the night of 16/17 May 1943 as four specially modified Lancasters of 617 Squadron, under the leadership of Wing Commander Guy Gibson, circled overhead. Their target, the mighty Eder Dam, was barely visible in the valley below. Immediately following the successful breach of the Mohne Dam, Gibson had led his remaining aircraft 50 miles to the south-east to hit their second target, the Eder Dam. Surrounded by high ground with thousand feet ridges, the Eder was altogether a more testing target. The Lancaster pilots would need to dive steeply into the gorge that formed the Eder lake before undertaking a steep turn towards the Dam itself. As if this were not demanding enough in the darkness of night, they then had to fly towards the target at precisely 60ft above the lake at the exact speed of 230mph, before releasing their Barnes Wallis designed hydrostatic bouncing bombs. Pilots Shannon and Maudsley tried time and again to position their laden bombers correctly before managing to release their weapons – but the dam still held. Now success depended solely on Knight carrying the last bomb! With time and fuel now a concern, Knights first effort to position, like Shannon and Maudsley before him, failed, but his second run favoured the brave. Knight released his bomb with absolute precision, striking the wall at precisely the crucial point. With a tremendous explosion the Eder Dam collapsed before their eyes. Robert Taylors sensational new painting vividly shows the dramatic moment of impact. In the cockpit Knight and flight engineer Ray Grayston fight the controls to clear the dam, combining their physical strength to haul the lumbering Lancaster up and over the dam and to clear the high ground that lies ahead. Below and behind them, the second of Germanys mighty western dams lies finally breached
  • Desperate for new pilots in the South Pacific, in August 1943 the First Marine Wing appointed the unconventional fighter ace Major Greg ‘Pappy’ Boyington to pull together a newly formed squadron from a mix of experienced combat veterans and untested novice pilots. The Marine Corps gave him just four weeks to turn this motley group into a fighting force ready for combat. Boyington succeeded beyond all expectations and the rest is history. Equipped with the Chance Vought F4U Corsair, they called themselves 'The Black Sheep', and under Boyington's leadership, saw action at Guadalcanal, Munda, the northern Solomons, Vella Lavella, Bouganville, and Tokokina Kahili, and were the first to lead fighter sweeps over the major Japanese base of Rabaul. In a period of just eighty-four days Boyington's pilots recorded 273 Japanese aircraft destroyed or damaged, 97 confirmed air victories producing eight fighter Aces, sank several ships, destroyed many ground installations and numerous other victories. With typical mastery, Robert Taylor has brought to life an encounter over Rabaul in late December 1943, paying tribute to one of the US Marine Corps‘ most famous fighter squadrons, and its outstanding leader. With the Japanese airbase at Rabaul visible in the distance, 'Pappy' Boyington and his fellow pilots of VMF-214 tear into a large formation of Japanese Zekes and a series of deadly dogfights have started, one Zeke already fallen victim to their guns.
    For their outstanding contribution to the war in the South Pacific, the 'Black Sheep' were awarded one of only two Presidential Unit Citations accorded to Marine Corps squadrons during the war in the Pacific.
  • The Blohm und Voss V-138 Flying Boat, out of Norway, were ocean going reconnaissance planes for spotting enemy supply convoys that were shipping supplies, troops and equipment.It was known by their crews as “Der Fliegende Holzschuh” “The Flying Clog.” They would call into bases on the coast for JU-88’s to bomb and strafe the supply ships. All three engines on the B&V 138 were diesel and they would land in the North Atlantic and German U-Boats would surface and refuel them.The Blohm und Voss crew could eat and sleep while the plane was being refueled giving them a break because they could be away for weeks. The gun turret in front was fired by pilot by remote. In the rear there was a gunner. In the dramatic painting by Roy Grinnell, it depicts BV138C-1 of 2/KU. FL. Gr (Kusten-Fliegeruppe) 406 in North Norway, 1942.
  • July 7, 1944. Captain Clarence E. "Bud" Anderson slides in behind a trio of ME-109s flying in perfect formation, seemingly oblivious to the huge armada of bombers and fighters in the vicinity. 357th Fighter Group leader Tommy Hayes, spoiling for action, calls out on the radio, "Andy! Where are you?" Focused on the business at hand, Anderson replies, "Can't talk now....Gotta shoot!" As he triggers his guns, the mic is still keyed, and everyone hears the rattle of his quad .50s. Above, Old Crow gets good strikes all over the target, bringing Anderson's total claims to 12 1/4 in the air.
  • Bound for Tokyo, Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle launches his B-25 Mitchell from the heaving deck of the carrier USS Hornet on the morning of 18 April, 1942. Leading a sixteen-bomber force on their long distance one - way mission, the Doolittle Raiders completed the first strike at the heart of Imperial Japan since the infamous attack on Pearl Harbour four months earlier. Together, they completed one of the most audacious air raids in aviation history.
  • The highest scoring fighter pilot in history, Erich Hartmann shoots down his last victim, his 352nd, a Soviet Yak-9 Fighter over Brno in Slovakia. Erich Hartmann is depicted piloting his Messerschmitt ME109 "Black Tulip", on 8 May 1945, last day of the war.
  • Ball"Bogies, 11 o'clock high!", shouted Lt. Doug Canning, breaking a two-hour radio silence. Maj. John Mitchell had led sixteen P-38's of his 339th fighter Squadron from Guadalcanal's Henderson Field to Bougainville on 18 April 1943 to intercept the Betty bomber carrying Japanese Imperial Combined Fleet commander Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Now, after flying 400 miles at 50 feet above the water, navigating by pure dead-reckoning, the flight sighted two Betty bombers escorted by six Zeroes descending toward Ballale Island.
    Maj. Mitchell and twelve Lightning's climbed to provide high cover while Capt. Tom Lanphier and Lts. Rex Barber, Frank Holmes, and Ray Hine - designated 'attack flight" - turned to intercept the bombers. As they climbed toward the Betty's, Lanphier saw three Zeroes diving to defend the bombers and turned sharply into the lead fighter, leaving Barber to continue the attack on the bomber. Curving in behind the lead bomber, Barber raked the descending Betty from wingtip to wingtip. Thick black smoke began to stream from the right engine and the bomber snapped to the left. Moments later is sliced into the jungle, the crash site marked by a rising column of black, oily smoke.
    Turning toward the coast, Barber finished off the second Betty now under attack by Frank, and downed a Zero that had belatedly joined the battle from nearby Kahili Airdrome. Shortly after, Mitchell call "Mission accomplished!" and fifteen Lightning's turned toward Guadalcanal. Lt. Ray Hine, last seen skimming the water with smoke trailing from his engine, did not return from the mission and was never found.
    This extraordinary interception, executed by P-38's based near Guadalcanal, was made possible through radio interception and signal decryption efforts by Navy intelligence facilities at Pearl Harbor and other Pacific locations.
  • The German Me 262 jet fighters, used primarily to attack USAAF heavy bomber formations in early 1945, were very vulnerable to fighter attacks during take-off and landing. The Allies had therefore adapted a strategy of having fighters patrol in the vicinity of Me262 bases, waiting for the return of the German jets from their missions. These ambushes soon proved highly effective, with the Luftwaffe losing many jets to the guns of the USAAF.To counteract the mounting losses special units were formed, equipped with the Focke-Wulf 190 D-9 ("Dora Neun"), regarded by many as the Luftwaffe's finest piston-engined fighter of the war. Manned by experienced veterans of JG52 and JG54, they were tasked with providing top cover for the jets at their airfields at Munich, and Ainring near Salzburg. In order to make these aircraft clearly discernable to the German anti-aircraft gunners, their undersides were painted red with white stripes, thus the legend of the "parrot wing" was born. One of this unit's elements was the so-called "strangler swarm" led by Lt. Heino Sachsenberg. Here we see Sachsenberg in his Focke Wulf 190 Dora 9 "Rote 1" W.Nr. 600424, as he turns into P-51s over the airfield of Ainring in an attempt to protect the approaching jet fighters from the Mustangs' attack.
  • At 14.00 on the 9th February 1945, 31 Bristol Beaufighters of 445 (RAAF), 404(RCAF) and 144 Squadron (RAF) took off for a strike against a small German Naval Force hidden in Fordefjord. By 19.00 that evening, 404 Squadron were coming to terms with the loss of six of their aircraft, 11 men dead one POW. In total, nine Bristol Beaufighters were lost that day along with one North American Mustang, the Germans lost 5 Focke Wulf 190s. Fourteen Allied aircrew and two German pilots were dead.
  • It is the late summer of 1940, and the Battle of Britain is at it’s height. Racing for the coast, following a bombing mission over southern England, a straggling He111 of KG55 has been attacked by a Spitfire of RAF Fighter Command. The bomber is badly damaged, but in the nick of time a pair of Me109s of JG26 have come to the rescue, sending the Spitfire diving into the Channel. If they are lucky the Heinkel crew may still make it back to their base in France.
  • On the morning of May 25, 1944, three pilots from the 4th Fighter Group, the “Debden Eagles”, 336th Fighter Squadron, 8th Air Force, were over Germany looking for trouble. Flying near Botenheim, they encountered German planes from III JG1, 9th Staffel.During the ensuing dogfight, a Messerschmitt Bf109G-6/AS (also known as an Ausburg Eagle) came up behind Captain Joseph H. Bennett’s P-51B Mustang, while staying below the P-51’s propeller gust.The Bf109’s guns jammed, but the young Luftwaffe pilot, Oberfähnrich Hubert Heckmann, was determined not to let the American flyer get away. Heckmann pulled up to the P-51’s height and rammed his Bf109 fighter right into the tail of Bennett’s aircraft.The impact sheared off the tail and rear fuselage section and came within a few feet of the rear fuselage tank. With his aircraft’s nose thrust skyward, Bennett bailed out near Botenheim. Going into a loop, the P-51 crashed into a house in the middle of the village. His own plane seriously damaged, Heckmann managed to make a belly crash landing.Bennett, a former RAF Eagle Squadron pilot, was captured and taken to a jail by German military officials. Heckmann later came to introduce himself and meet the first American flier he had put out of commission as a German pilot. Bennett remain a German prisoner until the end of the war. The 336th Fighter Squadron lost another Mustang in this fight but made claims of shooting down five of the enemy. After the war, the two airmen became friends and met every year for their reunion.
  • Led by Squadron Commander Roland “Bee” Beamont, Hawker Typhoons of 609 Squadron are dramatically illustrated as they scramble from their base at Manston in April 1943.
  • This image is the 25 foot high by 75 foot wide mural in the World War II Gallery of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. The B-17G, 42-38050, “Thunder Bird” of the 303rd Bomb Group, based at Molesworth, England, is seen at 11:45 AM, 15 August 1944, over Trier, Germany, on its return to base from a mission to Weisbaden. B-17Gs “Bonnie B”, “Special Delivery”, and “Marie”, are seen below as a Messerschmitt 109G and Focke Wulf FW 190 attack “Thunder Bird’s” element. Jeff Ethell’s research for the mural revealed the names and aircraft identities of all U.S. and many German participants in this battle in which the 303rd lost nine Fortresses in this attack by Luftwaffe fighters.
  • HThis image reflects the unique nose art of one of the B-24's in the Zodiac Squadron. The original nose art was painted by Phil S. Brinkman while he was assigned to the Army Air Force Station 174 in Sudbury, England. Brinkman joined the Army Air Corps in the summer of 1942.he was assigned to Special Services, when he entered the army, since he was an accomplished commercial artist at the time. Shortly after he arrived at Davis-Monthan Airbase in Tucson, Arizona, he completed a large mural which attracted attention and was seen by the commander of the 834th Bomb Squadron, Captain "Jip" Howell, who set up a transfer to bring Brinkman into the 834th. The idea of adorning the B-24's of Capt. Howell's with unique nose art resulted in the famous "Zodiac Bombers" including "Leo.“In the spring of 1944, the 486th Bomb Group, comprised of the 832nd, 833rd, 834th and the 835th Bomb Squadrons was sent to England.
  • Captain Erich Topp steers his Type VIIc U-Boat number U-552 Red Devil towards the sanctuary of the base at St Nazaire after another patrol during the grueling Battle of the Atlantic in 1942. In the skies above, heading back out to hostile waters is a giant Focke Wulf 200 Condor from III/KG40 and three Ju88Ds from KGr 106 whose missions will be to search for vulnerable Allied shipping for the submarine Wolfpacks to attack. The third-highest scoring U-Boat ace, Captain Erich Topp sank a total of thirty ships and damaged three more whilst commanding the Red Devil.
  • It depicts Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9's of JG-26 intercepting B-24s high above Germany during the last months of the war.
  • Fw Wilhelm Hopfensitz of IV/JG3 piloting his Focke Wulf F190, closes in on a B-17 Flying Fortress of the 838th BS over Belgium, 23 December 1944.
  • 4 June 1942: one of the defining moments of the Pacific War when the tide turned against the Japanese aggressors at America's Midway Islands. Lieutenant Richard H. Best and his two wingmen in their Douglas Dauntless SBD dive-bombers have just launched a successful attack on the Japanese flagship aircraft carrier Akagi. The crushing defeat inflicted on the Japanese Navy by the very much smaller United States Pacific Fleet at Midway, put an end to Japan's ambition to dominate the central Pacific region, and removed the Japanese threat to Hawaii.
  • There’s more than one way to bring down an opposing fighter, as 1st Lt. Don Lopez learned on December 12, 1943. He and his comrades of the 75th Fighter Squadron were at 6,000 feet over South Central China when the young airman experienced his first scramble. Lopez ripped his P-40 into the middle of a flight of Japanese “Oscars” and quickly engaged one of them, flying directly at one another, firing steady hits. Lopez expected his opponent to break off, but neither did so. Head-on only a few feet apart, the Oscar swerved right … too late. Lopez lost three feet off the end of his wing, but the Japanese pilot lost substantially more, including control of his aircraft, which plunged toward the earth. Undaunted, Lopez pressed the attack again and scored enough victories to join the ranks of “ace” fighter pilot.
  • In the pre-dawn of September 1st 1939, units of Hitler's Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht were poised to smash across Poland's borders to begin WWII. At sunrise, formations of German bombers were over Krakow and attacked the Polish airbase of Rakowice. Meanwhile, several miles to the west on a secret airfield at Balice, 121 Fighter Eskadra (Squadron) of Army Krakow's 2 Dyon (Air Regiment) was alerted to the attack by the noise of explosions and flaming horizon. Leaping from his bed and pulling on his flight clothes, 28 year-old veteran flyer, 2nd Lt. Wladek Gnys ran with his CO, Capt. Mieczyslaw Medwecki, to their gull-winged PZLP.11c fighters. As they took off to make an interception of the German attackers, the pair was surprised by fire from passing Ju-87 Stukas of I./StG2, and Medwecki was downed. In attempting to evade, Gnys went into a stall, but regained control just above the ground. Climbing once again, he managed to put two bursts into the engine of another Stuka, which turned away trailing a plume of smoke. Later, at 5000 feet, Gnys spotted two Do-17E bombers of III/KG77 just above the rising early-morning fog. Putting his small fighter into a near-vertical dive, Gnys banked steeply toward the Dornier on the right and fired his four 7.7mm machine guns, silencing the rear gunner and hitting the port engine. He then climbed and banked to the left, away from his smoking victim, to pursue the second German. Attacking from the second bomber's port side, Gnys dove and fired, getting hits on the cockpit. Realizing that the two mortally wounded Dorniers were on a collision course, he continued his dive below and away from them. Returning to base, the victorious pilot did not see the two crashed bombers smoldering in a farmyard near the village of Zurada... the first victories over the Luftwaffe in World War II! Gnys later fought with the French Air Force in the Battle of France, the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, and ended his combat career as the squadron leader of the 317F Squadron , RAF.
  • This scene depicts Corsairs of VMF-112 ‘Wolfpack’ in combat near Guadalcanal in 1943. On May 21, Captain Archie Donahue became an ‘ace in a day’ by shooting down 5 enemy aircraft in one mission. He would repeat this feat 2 years later while serving aboard the USS Bunker Hill.
  • Raid on the China Coast depicts Lady Lil of the Air Apaches 345th Bomb Group, 498th Bomb Squadron.  A B-25 is attacking Japanese shipping off the coast of China, April 1945.  Pilot:  Lt. Albert J. Beiga. The Raid was between Amoy and Swatow, west of Formosa.
  • Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Marseille, better known as the Star of Africa, was probably the most formidable opponent the British ever encountered in the air. He was victorious in 158 aerial combats against the Royal Air Force, 154 of which were fighter aircraft.Marseille died undefeated whilst bailing out of his Me 109 which had developed an engine problem on the return leg of an uneventful sortie.Marseille is seen here at the moment of his 150th aerial victory on September 15th, 1942. On this day, he fought and defeated no less than seven Curtiss Kittyhawk fighters in an incredible eleven minutes.
  • 1942 – Kunming, China. Before the pilots of the legendary 1st American Volunteer Group ‘The Flying Tigers’ could take to the skies against the enemy, the all-important task of boresighting the .30 caliber wing guns of their P-40's had to take place! The ingenious armorers of the AVG were often forced to improvise, but as the Tigers' incredible combat record can attest, these great Americans got the job done! Artist John D. Shaw has recreated this scenario, featuring likenesses of actual AVG personnel, such as "Tex" Hill and armorer Chuck Baisden.
  • Captain Don S. Gentile of the Debden-based 336th Fighter Squadron - 4th Fighter Group (8th Air Force) maneuvers his North American P-51B-7-NA Mustang 'Shangri-La' while engaging an FW-190A-7 on April 8, 1944. For his actions this day, Gentile was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, America's second highest award for valor in combat. General Dwight D. Eisenhower presented the award personally, and when introduced to the young fighter pilot, Eisenhower remarked, 'You seem to be a one-man air force!'
  • The Junkers Ju87 Sturzkampfbomber, known to the British simply as the Stuka, had already acquired a deadly reputation across Europe, its siren screaming as the ungainly dive-bomber struck terror into the hearts of those below. In 1940 its pilots crossed the Channel with their grim-looking aircraft to terrorise the southern towns and ports of England. Robert Taylors painting Open Assault, depicts Hurricanes of 501 Squadron attacking a force of Ju87 Stukas as they dive-bomb naval vessels and installations in the port of Dover on 29 July 1940. High explosive bombs detonate within the sheltered anchorage as escorting Bf109s from JG51 race in to protect their lumbering charges. Four Stukas and two Me109s are dispatched, for the loss of just one RAF aircraft.
  • Un Macchi MC205V derriba una fortaleza volante B-17G de la 15 Fuerza Aérea Estadounidense sobre los cielos italianos. El Macchi MC 205 Veltro perteneciente a la primera Scuadriglia Asso di Bastoni (As de Bastos) del primer Gruppo de Caccia de la A.N.R. (Aeronautica Nazionale Republicana) que era la Fuerza Aerea de la recién constituida Republica Social Italiana, que fiel a Mussolini continuaba colaborando con la Luftwaffe después de haberse producido la rendición italiana.
    Cuando se produjo el armisticio italiano 112 cazas Macchi MC.205 Veltro fueron a parar a la Aeronautica Nazionale Reppublicana de Mussolini, mientras que otros 37 aparatos del mismo modelo fueron a parar a la Fuerza Aérea Italiana Cobeligerante al lado de los aliados. Los Macchi MC.205 Veltro de la Aeronautica Nazionale Reppublicana tuvieron un gran papel en la defensa Italia contra las fortalezas volantes B-17 y B-24 norteamericanos interceptándolos en el camino hacía sus objetivos en Alemania, Yugoslavia e Italia, y consiguieron un gran número de derribos de los nuevos cazas P-51 Mustang estadounidenses. Al final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial los Macchi MC.205 Veltro de la Aeronautica Nazionale Republicana derribaron un total de 58 aviones aliados.
  • The Channel Dash (officially known as Operation Cerberus) was one of three operations during the Second World War for which the Fairey Swordfish was to become the most famous. Heavily outgunned in the Straits of Dover on this day in February 1942 by the German warships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen, with their accompanying flotilla of destroyers and motor torpedo boats, and with top cover provided by deadly fighter aircraft of the Luftwaffe, all six Fleet Air Arm Fairey Swordfish were shot down. Only five of the eighteen aircrew survived. Here we see the Swordfish flown by Sub. Lt. Kingsmill and Sub. Lt. Samples with PO Bunce in the rear, fighting for their lives with his machine gun.The bravery of the Fairey Swordfish aircrew in this and all other operations is a matter of history and must never be forgotten.
  • During World War Two, the German battleship Tirpitz had become the scourge of Royal Navy. The battleship had been moved into a fjord in northern Norway where she threatened the Arctic convoys and was too far north to be attacked by air from the Great Britain. She had already been damaged by an attack by Royal Navy midget submarines and a series of attacks from carrier-borne aircraft of the Fleet Air Arm, but both attacks had failed to sink her.
    The task was given to Avro Lancasters of No. 9 and No. 617 Squadrons, who operated from a staging base in Russia to attack Tirpitz with Tallboy bombs. They damaged her so extensively that she was forced to head south to Tromsø fjord to be repaired. This fjord was in range of RAF Avro Lancaster bombers operating from Scotland, and from there, in October, she was attacked again, but cloud cover thwarted the attack. Finally on 12 November 1944, the two squadrons of Avro Lancasters attacked Tirpitz, capsizing her. All three RAF attacks on Tirpitz were led by Wing Commander JB "Willy" Tait, who had succeeded Wing Commander Cheshire as CO of No. 617 Squadron in July 1944.
  • The Messerschmitt Me-163 rocket fighter aircraft, perhaps better known as the Komet, was possibly the most radical German manned fighter aircraft design to actually enter the WW II combat theatre. Here Me-163 Komet fighters of the Luftwaffe climb vertically through an 8th Air Force bomber formation and its top fighter cover before swooping down on the heavies for their short but often deadly attack.
  • "Red Tailed Black Angels" del 322 Fighter Group, también conocidos por los Tuskegee Airmen. Fue un experimento de la muy racista sociedad USA de los años 40 para comprobar si los negros eran capaces de pilotar aviones y de enfrentarse al enemigo con dignidad en los cielos de Europa. Estos hombres demostraron que así podía ser a pesar de las dificultades que no solo le pusieron en el combate el enemigo sino también a pesar de las dificultades que les pusieron en casa los de su propio país. Al final de la guerra se anotaron un total de 109 aparatos enemigos derribados a cambio de la vida de 150 de sus hombres. Destacaron especialmente en el papel de escolta de las formaciones de bombardeo durante los raids diurnos en el corazón de Europa donde se ganaron el apodo que he citado antes por parte de las tripulaciones que protegían por el color de las colas de sus Mustangs.
    En la imagen una obra de Stu Shepherd donde se ve el P-51B Mustang del Cap. Ed Toppins en el momento de derribar un Bf-109 en los cielos de Italia en 1944.
  • January 1st 1945. All across western Europe airfields are thrown into chaos as the Luftwaffe unleashes a desperate surprise offensive to destroy allied air power on the ground. 'Operation Bodenplatte' would instead result in the death knell for the once formidable German air force. However there were some successes, Eindhoven the home of the RAF's 2nd TAF was hit hard, firstly by Jg-3 and then in a case of mistaken identity by Jg-6. It was the latter strike I wanted to show, the airfield is already burning from the first attack when Jg-6's 1st Gruppe race across the airfield causing even more damage. Red '12' belonged to Ewald Trost, he was luckier than most as his aircraft was shot down but he survived and was taken prisoner. Ironically the 1st Gruppe was to enjoy the most success for Jg-6 that day, the rest of the unit couldn't find their designated target at Volkel and as a result found themselves simply trying to stay alive and get home.
  • Dawn breaks over the English countryside. This is the summer of 1940 and the island nation is in the grips of war--the Battle of Britain. A woman riding her bicycle, hearing the roar of approaching aircraft, stops to gaze upward. She watches Spitfires from 92 Squadron streak across the sky, determined to search out and destroy the fighters and bombers of Hitler's Luftwaffe. Silently the woman offers up a prayer.
  • Escort P47, over Utah Beach, on the background "la pointe du Hoc" (6th june 1944)
  • Within two days of the D-Day Normandy invasion, on 8 June 1944 Commander of US Air Forces in Europe, General Carl Spaatz, ordered a massive new offensive to halt the supply of oil to the enemy forces. As top priority his bombers would henceforth concentrate their attacks on Germany’s oil refineries. Those in range of air bases in England would feel the full force of the Eighth Air Force, while the installations further south in Romania, Hungary, and southern Germany would be attacked by bombers of the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy. To add to the pressure, RAF Bomber Command was coordinated to attack the refineries in the Rühr by night.
    As the huge mass of American bombers streamed into the daylight skies, the Luftwaffe quickly changed tactics to counter the potentially devastating threat with a new specialist tactic- the Sturmgruppe. Flying their redesigned and heavily armoured Sturmböcke Focke Wulf Fw190 A-8 heavy fighters, pilots of the newly formed IV Sturm/JG3 Gruppe were urgently assigned the task of attacking the vast bomber streams in an effort to protect the refineries. Escorted into battle by Messerschmitt Mel09s to hold off any escorting American fighters, The Focke Wulf Fw190s tactic was to make en-masse lightning attacks on carefully selected targets. With the American bomber formations spread over miles of sky. The Sturmgruppe aimed for the less well defended centre of the stream, attacking from the rear with concentrated cannon fire, with the pilots of IV Sturm /JG3 sworn on oath to press home their attacks at the closest possible range, even ramming their targets if necessary to ensure a kill, these desperate tactics were to inflict considerable damage to the allied bomber offensive during the final year of the war.
    Richard Taylor’s exciting new limited edition captures the scene: Closing at high speed with all cannons blazing. Unteroffizier Willi Maximowitz is seen flying his distinctive “Black 8” with IV Sturm/JG3, as he dives in to attack a formation of USAAF B-24 Liberators from the 93rd Bomb Group. The American gunners have a frightening task on their hands to fend off the attack until help arrives.
  • 1941 - Junkers Ju88 A-4 del III Gruppe/Lehrgeschwader 1, sobre el Desierto de Túnez
  • Pearl Harbor wasn't the only place that was attacked on December 7th. Across the International Date Line - making it officially December 8th - lay Clark Field, which was pounded by Japanese "Betty" Bombers, then strafed by Zeroes.Some American pilots managed to counterattack, two such heroes, LT. General USAF (Ret.) Joseph Moore and Colonel USAF (Ret.) Sam Grashio,are pictured in "Too Little Too Late".Lt. Joe Moore in his Curtiss P-40B Tomahawk at 22,000 feet over Clark Field is defending against the Japanese attackers as war begins on December 8, 1941 in the Philippines. Over the smoke below is Petty Officer First Class Saburo Sakai's Zero pursuing Lt. Sam Grashio in his P-40E.
  • Christmas Day, 1941. American Volunteer Group Flight Leader Parker Dupouy finds his guns jammed during combat high over the Gulf of Martaban. Determined to bring down his adversary, he rams the Hayabusa Oscar of Lt. Hiroshi Okuyama of the JAAF 64th Sentai. Though he lost four feet of his wingtip and his entire aileron, Dupouy made it back to his base to fight another day. Lt. Okuyama's aircraft, however, broke up in flight and carried him to his death. Dupouy went on to score 6.5 victories in the air before war's end.
  • Birmania 1944. Dos Hurricane Mk IIC atacan en el río Ukhrul a un puente utilizado por japoneses. El principal era pilotado por el piloto anglo-argentino "Dick" Lindsell DFC comandante del Escuadrón 60. El avión en cuestión pilotado por Lindsell se llamaba "Suertudo" y tenia pintado un Patoruzú del lado derecho. Su matricula era MU-L.
  • May 7, 1945 . . . With Goring's champagne and Bavarian beer, the veterans of Easy Company celebrate the end of World War II in Europe. Fate could write no better ending for the paratroopers who jumped into the darkness of Normandy, slugged through the mud of Holland, and froze in the woods of Bastogne. Now, in Berchtesgaden's storybook Alps, P-51s of the "Checkertail Clan" cap the party as the Band of Brothers enjoy the spoils of war, the beauty of peace, and a toast to the heroes who fell along the way.
  • Avions

    1. 1. World War 2
    2. 2. HAUT VOL Keith Ferris Oh, je me suis libéré des emprises de la terre, pour danser dans le ciel, sur des ailes argentées d'un grand ris. Je suis allé vers le soleil, J’ai rejoint les cascades chaotiques de nuages tranchés de lumière. Et là, J’ai vécu des moments dont vous n’avez jamais rêvé! Voler, planer, balancer si haut dans le silence solaire Suspendu, j’ai pourchassé le vent hurlant, Et lancé mon vaisseau au travers de fabuleuses cavernes, pleines d’un air raffiné.4 Haut, plus haut, au long d’un délire de bleu brûlant, J’ai survolé les sommets balayés de vent, Dans une sérénité que nul aigle, nulles alouettes, n’ont jamais vécu. Puis, Alors que mon esprit silencieux s’élevait, Au travers du sanctuaire inviolé de l’espace… J’ai sorti une main… Et caressé le visage de Dieu John Gillespie Magee RCAF ( † Dec 11, 1941) HAUT VOL
    3. 3. QUATRIÈME MISSION DU JOUR - Gil Cohen
    4. 4. PATROUILLE COTIERE - Richard Taylor Août 1940 – Bataille d’Angleterre : Des chasseurs spitfire Mk1 du 610 Squadron de Biggin Hill patrouillent au dessus des Falaises Blanches de Douvres.
    5. 5. B17 NINE-O-NINE - Steve Heyen 1944 - Bombardiers Flying FORTRESS B17 du 333 squadron face aux chasseurs allemands Messerschmitt Me109 au dessus de l'Allemagne
    6. 6. DAUNTLESS FACE A L’AUBE - william Phillips JUIN 1942 - Bataille de MIDWAY : 2 DAUNTLESS SBD-3 du porte-avion USS Yorktown volent vers la flotte japonaise.
    7. 7. EN FERMANT LE TROU - Robert Taylor Août 1944 - Des chasseurs bombardiers HAWKER TYPHOON du 247 Squadron attaquent au canon et à la roquette des chars allemands Panzer en Normandie. En une journée 175 chars seront détruits .
    8. 8. GROUPE DE FOCKE WULF FW190 EN FORMATION - John Wallin Liberto En mission d’interception haute altitude face aux hordes de bombardiers américains B17 FLYING FORTRESS
    9. 9. FW190 STURMGRUPPE FORMATION (detail) - John Wallin Liberto Le Lieutenant-colonel Walther Dahl dans son FW190 « 13 bleu » menant les FW190s du JABO GRUP 300 "les Sangliers Sauvages ". Dahl effectua 128 combat aériens, dont un ou il heurta un bombardier B-17.
    10. 10. LES REQUINS DU DÉSERT - Heinz Krebs Des chasseurs CURTISS P-40 du 325ème FighterGroup, de la 12ème AIRFORCE, attaquent une colonne de chars allemands de l’Afrika Korps du Marshal Erwin Rommel en Tunisie au début de 1943.
    11. 11. AMERRISSAGE – Gareth Hector 1943 - Le Néerlandais von Ochssee, pilote à bord du porte avion HMS Speaker, posa son Hellcat Grumman JW867 dans l'Océan Indien. Il fut recueilli par un destroyer accompagnateur et continua à voler sur Hellcat jusqu'à la fin de la guerre.
    12. 12. LES AS D’ADOLF GALLAND - Dieter Meyer 1945 - Adolf Galland et Heinz Bär mènent un groupe de Messershmitt Me262 premier avion à réaction au-dessus des nuages pour intercepter des bombardiers B-24 LIBERATOR américains.
    13. 13. Août 1944 – Un spitfire Mk XIV piloté par le Lieutenant Burgwal du 322 Escadron (néerlandais), met hors d’état de nuire une des 19 bombes volantes V-1 inscrites à son palmarès. La méthode très originale pour abattre les V1 consistait à venir mettre le bout de l’aile de l’avion légèrement en dessous de celle de la bombe volante, et de partir en roulis afin de soulever l’aile du V1 pour provoquer un déséquilibre. Ce dernier ne possédant ni ailerons ni systèmes pour compenser ce déséquilibre décrochait et s’écrasait inexorablement. Si la manœuvre était effectuée trop sèchement la bombe explosait instantanément entrainant la destruction de l’avion et la mort du pilote.
    14. 14. PRIS EN SURFACE- Robert Taylor JUILLET 1943 – Par une coïncidence extraordinaire un Sunderland du 461 Sqn RAAF détruit le sous-marin U-461, un submersible-citerne de type XIV, ravitaillant deux autres sous-marins allemands remontés en surface dans le Golfe de Gascogne le 30 juillet 1943. Au ras des vagues, le Sunderland affronta un feu nourri de la part des trois sous-marins allemands . Malgré cela, il envoya une grenade sous-marine droit sur l’U-BOAT ravitailleur. Après l’attaque, le pilote du Sunderland revint sur les lieux pour larguer un dingy aux survivants de l'U-461.
    15. 15. JOURS DE TONNERRE - Richard Taylor MAI 1944 - Quatre THUNDERBOLT P-47D du 78ème Groupe de chasse quittent l'aérodrome Duxford pour une mission d’appui au sol à basse altitude sur le nord de la France.
    16. 16. LES BRISEURS DE BARRAGE – OPERATION CHÂTIMENT - Robert Taylor MAI 1943 –Dans la nuit du 16 au 17 mai 1943, quatre Avro Lancasters du 617ème Sqn. , emmenés par le Commandant Guy Gibson, et modifiés pour porter les énormes bombes sauteuses Type 464 Vickers conçues par Barnes Wallis réussissent à faire une brèche dans les barrages du Möhne sur le fleuve du même nom et de l’edersee sur le fleuve Eder situés dans la Ruhr, malgré les tirs de la flak et les filets anti-torpilles. Ce raid paralysa pendant de nombreux mois l’activité industrielle allemande.
    17. 17. VOLER POUR VIVRE - Robert Taylor DEC 1943 – Le Major Greg 'Pappy' Boyington et son VOUGH F4U Corsair du VMF-214 "Black Sheep“ (les brebis galeuses) du corps des marines engage un combat aérien avec des Mitsubishi A6M Zero japonais au dessus de Rabaul.
    18. 18. CHASSEURS DE L'ATLANTIQUE NORD - Roy Grinnell 1942 –Un Blohm &Voss BV-138 hydravion de reconnaissance maritime à long rayon d’action (4500 km) surveille une attaque de Junker JU-88 contre des navires marchands Alliés en Mer de Norvège
    19. 19. JE NE PEUX PAS PARLER MAINTENANT …… JE DOIS TIRER Dan Zoernig 7 JUILLET 1944 – Le Capitaine 'Bud' Anderson, du 357 groupe de chasse, surprend trois Me-109 E en formation serrée. Quand il entend à la radio "Bud, ou es tu?” il répondit avec l’expression qui forme le titre de la peinture.
    20. 20. DANS LE SOUFFLE DU VENT- Robert Taylor 18 AVRIL 1942 - Le Lieutenant-colonel Jimmy Doolittle arrache de toutes ses forces son Mitchell B-25 du pont de l'USS HORNET le matin du 18 avril 1942. En bombardant TOKYO avec seize bombardiers, Doolittle a accompli la première attaque au cœur du JAPON 4 mois seulement après l’attaque de PEARL HARBOUR. Ensemble, ils ont accompli un des raids aériens les plus audacieux de l'histoire de l’aviation.
    21. 21. LA DERNIERE VICTOIRE DE HARTMANN - Mark Postlethwaite MAY 1945 - Erich Hartmann le plus grand pilote de chasse de tout les temps, avec 352 victoires, abat sa dernière victime, un chasseur soviétique Yak 9 sur Brno en Slovaquie. Hartmann est montré pilotant son Messerschmitt ME109 "la Tulipe Noire ", le 8 mai 1945, le dernier jour de la guerre.
    22. 22. MISSION ACCOMPLIE - Roy Grinnell 18 AVRIL 1943 - Une embuscade de 16 chasseurs P-38 LIGHTNING conduit le Lt. REX BARBER à abattre un bombardier japonais MITSUBISHI G4M BETTY transportant le Commandant Impérial de la flotte du Japon l'Amiral Yamamoto, l'architecte de l'attaque sur PEARL HARBOUR. Les services secrets américains avaient découvert que Yamamoto se rendrait sur l'Île de Ballale. Les chasseurs volèrent 400 miles à 50 pieds au-dessus de l'eau pour effectuer leur mission.
    23. 23. EMBUSCADE - Heinz Krebs Les MESSERSCHMITT Me 262 étaient vulnérables aux attaques de chasseurs pendant le décollage et l’atterrissage. Pour palier aux pertes de plus en plus élevées, des unités spéciales équipées de FOCKE WULF 190 D ‘DORA’ furent créées afin de fournir une couverture aérienne adaptée. Pour rendre ces avions clairement identifiables, leurs dessous étaient peints en rouge avec des stries blanches. Le Lt. Heino Sachsenberg est vu ici dans son FW 190 Dora 9, essayant de protéger 2 Me 262 de l’attaque de Mustangs P 51D américains
    24. 24. VENDREDI NOIR - Mark Postlethwaite 9 FEVRIER 1945 - A 14h00, 31 Bristol Beaufighters des 445 (RAAF), 404 (RCAF) et 144 Squadron (RAF) effectuèrent un raid contre une petite unité navale allemande cachée dans un fjord. A 19h00 le 404 Squadron mit un terme à l’attaque avec la perte de six avions et de 11 hommes. Au total, neuf Bristol Beaufighters furent perdus ce jour là ainsi qu’un North American P51 Mustang. Les allemands perdirent 5 Focke Wulf 190s. Quatorze équipages alliés, et deux pilotes allemands furent tués.
    25. 25. FUITE DELICATE- Heinz Krebs SEPTEMBRE 1940 Bataille d’Angleterre: Un bombardier HEINKEL He 111 est harcelé par un SPITFIRE de la RAF. Deux Me109 du JG26 volent in extrémis à son secours.
    26. 26. AFFRONTEMENT D’AIGLES - Roy Grinnell MAI 1944 – Le Lt. Hubert Hackmann, se rendant compte de l’enrayement de ses canons, heurta avec son Me-109 le North American Mustang P-51B du Capt. Joseph H Bennet. Les deux avions furent détruits. Bennett fut capturé après avoir sauté en parachute sur l'Allemagne. Lui et Hackmann sont devenus amis, se rencontrant régulièrement dans des meetings d'anciens pilotes après la guerre.
    27. 27. DECOLLAGE SUR ALERTE - Richard Taylor Menés par le Commandant d'Escadron Roland “Bee” Beamont, les Hawker Typhoons du 609ème escadron s’illustrèrent en décollant sur alerte en quelques minutes de leur base de Manston en avril 1943.
    28. 28. FORTERESSES SOUS LE FEU - Keith Ferris Cette peinture de 25 pieds de haut et 75 pieds de long est visible au musée de la seconde guerre à Washington au Smithsonian Institution. Le B-17G, 42-38050, “Thunder Bird” du 303rd Bomb Group, basé à Molesworth, Angleterre, est représenté volant à 11h45 le 15 août 1944, au-dessus de Trèves, en Allemagne, au retour d’une mission sur Wiesbaden. Les 3 B-17G “Bonnie B”, “Special Delivery”, et “Marie”, représentées plus bas, subissent les attaques de Me 109G et FW 190. Jeff Ethell a mis un point d’honneur à retrouver les noms des américains et des allemands participant à cette bataille ainsi que les surnoms des avions. Lors de ce raid le 303ème déplora la perte de neuf B17 Forteresses attribuée à la Luftwaffe.
    29. 29. LEO BOMBARDIER DE L’ESCADRON DU ZODIAQUE - Roy Grinnell 1944 – Cette peinture montre le nez d'un B-24 LIBERATOR du célèbre escadron 834 du Zodiaque. basé à Sudbury en Angleterre. Le lion a été peint par Phil S. Brinkman. Différents signes du Zodiaque
    30. 30. LES LOUPS DE LA MER - Nicolas Trudgian 1942 - L'U-552, ‘le Démon Rouge’ sous-marin allemand revient à sa base de St Nazaire durant la Bataille de l'Atlantique, accompagné par un Condor FW200 et trois Ju88Ds
    31. 31. LES DERNIERES FORCES - Gareth Hector 1945 - Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 du JG-26 squadron tentant désespérément d’intercepter des B-24 liberators très haut au-dessus de l'Allemagne pendant les derniers mois de la guerre.
    32. 32. CORPS A CORPS - Mark Postlethwaite 23 DEC 1944 – Le Feldwebel Wilhelm Hopfensitz du IV/JG3 aux commandes de son Focke Wulf Fw190, endommage un B-17 Flying Fortress du 838th BS au dessus de la Belgique.
    33. 33. LES FAMEUSES QUATRE MINUTES – R. G. Smith 4 JUIN 1942 – Bataille de Midway : Le tournant de la guerre du Pacifique. En 4 minutes les bombardiers en piqué Douglas Dauntless SBD de l'Entreprise et du Yorktown, détruisent les porte-avions japonais Kaga, Akagi et Soryu.
    34. 34. ENTRE LES DENTS DU TIGRE - William Phillips Il en faut plus pour impressionner le Lt. Don Lopez. Le 12 décembre 1943, lui et ses camarades du 75ème Escadron de chasse étaient à 6000 pieds au-dessus de la Chine lorsque le jeune pilote connut son premier combat. Il pénétra avec son Curtiss P-40 au milieu d'une formation "d'Oscars" Ki 43 japonais, et engagea rapidement le combat avec l’un d’entre eux. Malgré un mitraillage en règle, à aucun moment il ne toucha son adversaire. Prenant ce dernier de front, il surprit l’Oscar qui dévia à droite … trop tard. Lopez perdit trois pieds du bout de son aile, mais le pilote japonais en perdit plus de la moitié, ….et la maîtrise de son avion, qui s’écrasa. Imperturbable, Lopez remporta encore d’autres victoires audacieuses. Il fut élevé au rang "d'as" de la 2ème guerre mondiale.
    35. 35. TUER D’ABORD - Roy Grinnell 1er SEP 1939 – Le premier jour de la seconde guerre mondiale, le Lt Wladek Gnys aux commandes de son chasseur PZL-P11 abattit deux Dornier Do -17 à l’aube dans le ciel de la Pologne au moment ou les allemands lançaient leur attaque surprise contre son pays.
    36. 36. TOUJOURS FIDELE AU CIEL John D. Shaw 21 MAI 43 - Cette scène montre un Vought F4U Corsair du VMF-112 ‘Têtes brulées' dans un combat près de Guadalcanal en 1943. Le 21 mai, le Capitaine Archie Donahue devint 'un as en un jour ' en abattant 5 avions ennemis en une seule mission. Il répétera cet exploit 2 ans plus tard en servant à bord de l'USS Bunker Hill.
    37. 37. RAID SUR LA CÔTE CHINOISE - Roy Grinnell AVRIL 1945 - L'avion est un B-25 Mitchell le Lady Lil du 345ème Groupe de Bombardement, ‘Apaches’ piloté par le lieutenant Albert J. Beiga. Il attaque une flottille japonaise au large de la Chine, entre Amoy et Swatow, à l'ouest de Formose.
    38. 38. LA STAR DE L’ AFRIQUE - Heinz Krebs Hauptmann Hans-Joachim Marseille, connu comme la Star de l'Afrique, fut probablement l'adversaire le plus redoutable que les anglais affrontèrent. Il comptait 158 victoires dans 158 combats aériens contre la Royal Air Force, dont 154 chasseurs. Il meurt le 30 septembre 1942 en tentant d’évacuer son Me 109 G en flammes suite à un feu moteur causé par une fuite d’huile. Il est tué sur le coup quand sa tête heurte l’empennage de son avion. On voit Marseille ici au moment de sa 150ème victoire aérienne le 15 septembre 1942, quand il abat sept Curtiss P40 Kittyhawk en onze minutes (procès-verbal) incroyables.
    39. 39. VUE SUR LES REQUINS - John D. Shaw 1942 – KUNMING - CHINE. Avant que les pilotes du 1er Groupe des Volontaires américains légendaires ' les Tigres Volants’ ne partent en mission, une des tâches les plus importantes était le réglage des canons de 30 mm de leurs P-40. Les armuriers ingénieux étaient souvent forcés d'improviser, mais comme les rapports de combat des Tigres peuvent le certifier, ces spécialistes maitrisaient parfaitement leur domaine. Le peintre John D. Shaw a recréé ce scénario, en représentant des personnages ayant existé comme le pilote ‘’Tex ’’ Hill et l'armurier Chuck Baisden.
    40. 40. UN VRAI AVIATEUR - Wade Meyers Le Capitaine Don S. Gentile du 336ème Escadron de Combat basé à Debden manoeuvre son Mustang P-51B 'Shangri-la' en engageant un FW-190A-7 le 8 avril 1944. Pour cette action ce jour là, on lui attribua la Distinguished Service Cross, la seconde plus haute distinction pour le courage dans un combat. Le Général Dwight D. Eisenhower remit la récompense personnellement. Quand le jeune pilote de chasse lui fut présenté, Eisenhower s’exclama , ' Vous êtes un vrai aviateur! '
    41. 41. A L’ASSAUT- Robert Taylor Le Junkers Ju87 Sturzkampfbomber, ou ‘Stuka’, bombardier en piqué de la Luftwaffe terrorisait grâce à sa sirène quiconque se retrouvait sous ses assauts. En 1940 il fut largement utilisé de l’autre côté de la Manche sur les villes du sud et les ports de l'Angleterre. Robert Taylors a peint les hurricanes du 501 Escadron attaquant une formation de Ju87 Stukas en train de bombarder en piqué des navires et des installations dans le port de Douvres le 29 juillet 1940. Quatre Stukas et deux Messerschmitt Me109 seront abattus, pour la perte d’ un seul avion de la RAF.
    42. 42. DAVID ET GOLIATH – Roberto Zanella JUIN 1943 – Un Macchi MC205 Veltro (lévrier) italien de l’escadron 'Ace of Wand' (les as à la baguette magique) abat un B-17G Flying FORTRESS au dessus
    43. 43. OPERATION CERBERE - Philip West L'Opération Cerberus fut une des trois opérations pendant la Seconde guerre mondiale dans laquelle le Fairey Swordfish devait devenir célèbre en subissant une violente riposte de la part des navires de guerre allemands Scharnhorst, Gneisenau et Prinz Eugen, de leur flottille d'accompagnement de destroyers, de torpilleurs et d’une couverture aérienne conséquente de Me 109 de la Luftwaffe. Lors de cet assaut dans le Pas de Calais le 11 février 1942, tous les Swordfish furent abattus. Seuls cinq des dix-huit équipages survécurent. Nous voyons ici un Swordfish piloté par le Lieutenant Kingsmill avec le Lieutenant Samples comme navigateur et Bunce comme mitrailleur arrière, se battant pour leur survie. Le courage et le sacrifice de tous ces équipages de Fairey Swordfish ne doit jamais être oublié.
    44. 44. MISSION TIRPITZ ACCOMPLIE - Mark Postlethwaite 12 NOV 1944 – Des Avro Lancasters des 9ème et 617ème Sqns coulent le cuirassé Tirpitz, dans le Fjord Tromso en Norvège à l’aide de bombes perforantes de 5 tonnes ‘tallboys’. Pendant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale, le Tirpitz était devenu le cauchemar de la Royal Navy car il menacait les convois maritimes dans l’Arctique. Il avait été attaqué par douze Fairey Albacore de la RAF en avril 42 sans succès, puis par des mini sous-marins en septembre 43, ces derniers causant quelques dégâts notables.
    45. 45. JOUER SON VA-TOUT - Heinz Krebs 1945 - Le Messerschmitt Me 163 KOMET avion fusée, fut sans conteste un concept original et terriblement efficace d'avion de chasse de la 2ème guerre mondiale. Ici deux Me 163 effectuent une ascension très rapide vers une formation de bombardiers américains et de leurs P51D Mustang d’escorte pour une attaque fulgurante et souvent mortelle. Le Komet possédait deux canons de 30 mm et sa vitesse avoisinait les 1000 km/h mais son autonomie d’une dizaine de minutes réduisait considérablement sa portée.
    46. 46. ANGES NOIRS ET QUEUE ROUGE - Stu Shepherd 1944 – Les pilotes du 322 Fighter Group ' les Anges Noirs à queue rouge’ étaient reconnaissables au fuselage noir et à la queue peinte en rouge sur leur Mustang P-51B. Ici le capitaine Ed Toppins détruit un Messerschmitt Bf-109 au dessus de l'Italie.
    47. 47. “BONNE ET HEUREUSE ANNEE - Gareth Hector 1er janvier 1945. Lors du lancement de la bataille des Ardennes, le temps couvert ne permit pas à l’aviation des deux camps d’effectuer des missions en nombre, à de rares exceptions près. Cependant, il était évident qu’une fois le beau temps revenu, les alliés reprendraient leurs sorties, constituant alors une grave menace pour la contre-offensive des troupes allemandes. Si l’opération Bodenplatte visant à acquérir la supériorité aérienne au-dessus du champ de bataille pour soulager les troupes engagées dans la contre-attaque allemande et permettre leur soutien connut un franc succès sur certains objectifs, elle fut à d’autres endroits un sanglant échec pour la Luftwaffe. Par exemple le JABO GROUP 3 avec 72 avions mena une mission sur l’aérodrome d’Eindhoven surprenant au sol les Hawker Typhoon des escadrons canadiens 438 et 439. Agissant méthodiquement, les Allemands détruisirent en règle l’ensemble du parc de ces deux escadrons. Il en fut de même sur les bases de Melsbroek, Saint Denis-Westrem et Maldegem. Par contre les attaques menées contre Metz-Frescaty, Volkel, Anvers-DeumeAnve et Le Culot se révélèrent des échecs dont l’Allemagne ne se remit jamais.
    48. 48. UNE PRIERE POUR DES AILES - William Phillips La Bataille d'Angleterre - Le jour se lève sur la campagne anglaise. Nous sommes en septembre 1940 et la nation insulaire est en guerre. Une femme sur sa bicyclette, entendant le grondement d'avions qui se rapprochent s’arrête et regarde vers le ciel. Elle observe des Spitfires du 92ème Squadron bien décidés à se battre contre les avions de chasse et les bombardiers de la Luftwaffe. Silencieusement la femme leur offre une prière.
    49. 49. VOLER LE JOUR J (D-DAY) – Julien Lepelletier 6 JUIN 1944 - OPERATION OVERLORD - Un Republic P-47D Thunderbolt vole au dessus d’Utah Beach pour une mission d’escorte pendant le débarquement en Normandie.
    50. 50. ATTAQUES DE BELIERS - Richard Taylor 8 JUIN 44 – Deux jours après le Jour J, la RAF et l’ U.S.A.F commencent à interrompre l’approvisionnement en essence pour les forces ennemies en bombardant les raffineries de pétrole en Allemagne. On ordonne alors à la Luftwaffe d'abattre les bombardiers à n’importe quel prix. On voit ici le sous-officier Willi Maximowitz avec son FW 190 ‘8 noir’ volant à grande vitesse en compagnie de ses camarades du JABO GRUP 3 attaquant et faisant feu de tous ses canons sur une formation de bombardiers B-24 Liberators américains du 93ème groupe de bombardement.
    51. 51. JUNKERS Ju88 – Shigeo Koike 1941 – Un Junker Ju88 A-4 bombardier du Gruppe 3 en mission de reconnaissance et d’attaque au sol au-dessus du désert tunisien.
    52. 52. TROP PEU, TROP TARD - Keith Ferris Pearl Harbor ne fut pas le seul endroit attaqué le 7 décembre 1941. Quelques heures plus tard, 108 bombardiers et 84 chasseurs japonais prirent leur envol et se dirigèrent vers l'île de Luçon avec comme mission d'attaquer Clark Field, la principale base américaine des Philippines. La plupart des avions présents sur la piste furent détruits, soit 18 bombardiers B17 et 53 chasseurs P-40. La veille 35 bombardiers avaient été transférés vers Mindanao (base située plus au sud). Lorsque l'attaque débuta, la moitié seulement avait été déplacée. La guerre n'était déclenchée que depuis quelques heures, et déjà le général McArthur avait perdu la moitié de sa force aérienne.
    53. 53. ONE THE HARD WAY - Dan Zoernig 25 décembre, 1941. Durant un combat aérien au dessus du Golfe de Martaban le leader du Groupe de Volontaire américain Parker Dupouy enraya ses canons. Décidé à abattre son adversaire, il sectionna l’aile de l’Oscar Hayabusa du lieutenant Hiroshi Okuyama du 64ème Sentai JAAF. Malgré la perte d’un bout d’aile et d’un aileron entier, Dupouy réussit à rentrer à sa base. Le lieutenant Okuyama, n’eut pas cette chance et se tua avec son avion. Dupouy a continué à se battre, obtenant d’autres victoires jusqu’à la fin de la guerre.
    54. 54. ”CHANCEUX” - Carlos García 1944 – Le pilote anglo-Argentin Dick ‘Lucky’ Lindsell aux commandes de son Hurricane MkIIC mène une attaque sur un pont en Birmanie.
    55. 55. LE NID D’AIGLE - John D. Shaw 7 mai 1945 . . . Avec le champagne de Goering et la bière Bavaroise, les vétérans alliés célèbrent la fin de Deuxième Guerre mondiale en Europe. Le destin ne pouvait être meilleur pour les parachutistes qui ont sauté dans l'obscurité sur la Normandie, baroudé dans la boue hollandaise et gelé dans les bois de Bastogne. A présent, installés à Berchtesgaden dans la résidence d’Hitler ils savourent un repos bien mérité, tandis que les P-51 du 325e Fighter Group "Checkertail Clan" les survolent, participant ainsi à cette fête entre Frères d’armes pour marquer la joie de la paix retrouvée.
    56. 56. Jamais dans le domaine de la guerre tant d’hommes n’ont eu une telle dette à l’égard d’un si petit nombre d’individus. (Discours de Sir Winston Churchill à propos des pilotes de la RAF) Jamais dans le domaine de la guerre tant d’hommes n’ont eu une telle dette à l’égard d’un si petit nombre d’individus. (Discours de Sir Winston Churchill à propos des pilotes de la RAF) Jamais dans le domaine de la guerre tant d’hommes n’ont eu une telle dette à l’égard d’un si petit nombre d’individus. Discours de Sir Winston Churchill à propos des pilotes de la RAF Je n’ai à vous offrir que des larmes et du sang Si la guerre est horrible, la servitude est pire. Sir Winston Churchill. ----------------------------------------------- Les batailles perdues se résument en deux mots: Trop tard! Des moutons dirigés par un lion sont plus redoutables que des lions dirigés par un âne. Général Douglas Mac Arthur ---------------------------------------------- Le chef est celui qui prend tout en charge. Il dit : “J’ai été battu”. Il ne dit pas : “Mes soldats ont été battus”. Victoire...défaite. Ces mots n'ont point de sens. La vie est au-dessous de ces images, et déjà prenant de nouvelles images. Une victoire affaiblit un peuple, une défaite en réveille un autre Antoine de Saint Exupéry
    57. 57. Author: Yago F. de Bobadilla The End

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