Saturday, July 25, 2015

Oshkosh Fly-In # 9

When I was 17 years old, I joined the Alabama Air National Guard and requested that I be trained as an airborne gunner.  The plane that I trained in was the B-26 (earlier called the A-26) Invader.  It has the distinction of being the only bomber to have served in three wars: World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War.  Top speed was about 300 MPH and we trained for bombing runs at 300 feet altitude - Tree top!

This particular plane is privately owned.  The owner was present and I had a long conversation with him.  It was interesting for both of us.

This is where I sat - We had a crew of three in this plane.  You could see the gunner's head in the top window and his feet in the small window at the bottom.  I operated two turrets remotely.  The white dome you see at the top was where the top turret was located.  The bottom turret is not shown but it was just to the rear of the little bottom window.  Each turret contained two 50 caliber air cooled machine guns.

This is a 500 pound "Frag" bomb.  When I was training, we used 100 pound practice bombs filled with sand.

Better view

How did that old man get into the picture?  Lots of memories.

This is a TUG.  You don't start an airplane to move it around.  You tow it with a Tug.  Tug drivers must be very careful.

This is a real Jeep.  Looks like something out of MASH.  Officers rode these out to the flight line.  I walked.

Just another War Bird.

One more post will wrap-up Oshkosh I think.

Ron, Tippy and Treky


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