Archive for the 'Aircraft' Category

Jan 3

Frank Erickson and the First Helicopter Rescue

Monday, January 3, 2011 12:01 AM


 CDR Frank A. Erickson, USCG, struggled to keep his Sikorsky HNS-1 helicopter in the air as high winds drove blinding snow squalls and sleet into him. A fierce storm swept the Atlantic coast and forced authorities to ground aircraft and close airfields, however, Erickson persevered because men’s lives depended upon him. Devastating explosions ripped USS Turner (DD 648) apart as she lay anchored off Ambrose Light near Lower New York Bay, during the morning watch on 3 January 1944. The fires cooked-off ammunition and despite the crew’s gallant attempts to save their ship, she sank within hours. Rescuers brought survivors to the… Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 3

Navy Ace Bill Davis and The Last Ship

Friday, December 3, 2010 8:48 AM


Naval History Blog is pleased to present a guest post by author Doug Keeney about his friend Bill Davis: In October of 1944, a young Navy lieutenant nosed over his F6F Hellcat and began a dive towards a Japanese aircraft carrier below. “I screamed down on the carrier which now completely filled my gunsights,” the pilot wrote in his memoir Sinking The Rising Sun. “I rested my finger on the bomb release button. I kept going.” And go he did. U.S. Navy fighter pilot William E. “Bill” Davis had no idea of it then but he was just seconds from taking… Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 1

December 1, 1921: First flight of airship filled with helium

Wednesday, December 1, 2010 1:32 PM


Blimp C-7 was piloted by LCDR Ralph F. Wood from Norfolk, Virginia to Washington, DC during the first flight of an airship filled with helium on December 1, 1921. The design of the “C” model was based upon operational experience and was a decided advance over the “B”. The “C”s were 192 feet long and 42 feet in diameter, and had a streamlined car for the six-man crew. Speed ranged from 45-60 mph.  

Nov 20

World Record Flight

Saturday, November 20, 2010 1:01 AM


On November 20th 1933, LCDR Thomas G.W. Settle, USN and MAJ Chester I. Fordney, USMC set a world record balloon flight into the stratosphere at 62,237 ft. The Soviet Union had captured the imagination of the world by sending men higher than anyone had ever gone before. America’s response was made shortly afterward by a naval officer and a Marine officer. Their names were not Shepard and Glenn, and the time was not the Sixties, but the Thirties. In an all-but-forgotten flight, two American military men carried their country’s colors to a world altitude record and began the race for… Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 15

“Saving American lives” Andrew P. Hayes and the hunt for the Taliban

Monday, November 15, 2010 12:01 AM


Army Green Berets fighting the enemy in Afghanistan on 15 November 2001 had discovered a hornet’s nest as Taliban tanks and armored vehicles rumbled up to within two miles of the special operators. They obviously intended to attack at any moment, and the men did not have the heavy weapons to stop tanks. They needed help, and fast. Lieutenant Andrew P. Hayes of Fighter Squadron (VF)-102, the radar intercept officer of a Grumman F-14B Tomcat, launched as the lead of call sign Brando 01, a flight from aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). As Lieutenant Hayes assumed forward air controller… Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 14

Eugene B. Ely’s First Flight From a Ship: November 14, 1910

Sunday, November 14, 2010 12:01 AM


Short version of “Wings for the Navy” highlighting Ely’s First Flight on 11-14-1910.  

Nov 9

“I was coming head on at one of them” Lt. Comdr. William T. Amen

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 12:01 AM


During a fierce battle over North Korea Lt. Comdr. William T. Amen of VF-111 Sun Downers made the Navy’s first MiG kill, on 9 November 1950. Amen, the Sun Downer’s skipper, led a group of F9F-2B Panthers flying from Philippine Sea (CV 47) that covered a strike force of Corsairs and Skyraiders against the Sinuiju Bridge when at least five MiGs flying from the sanctity of Antung, Manchuria, attacked them. The Panther pilots lost no time as they aggressively streaked in to protect the bombers, and the battle swirled from just above ground level up to eighteen thousand feet. Turning… Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 4

1st Seaplane Launch From Submarine

Thursday, November 4, 2010 7:37 AM


Following WW1, the Navy began experimenting with the possibility of submarine observation and scouting aircraft; S-1 became the experimental platform for this project, late in 1923. She was altered by having a steel capsule mounted aft the conning tower; a cylindrical pod which could house a small collapsible seaplane, the Martin MS-1. After surfacing, this plane could be rolled out, quickly assembled, and launched by ballasting the sub until the deck was awash. The first successful attempt was made on November 5th 1923.

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