Category Archives: Air Force

Disaster

Posted August 8th, 2007 by lex

 

I’ve been around long enough to understand that you take what you read in major media with at least a grain of salt, especially if it concerns the military, and most especially if a defense lawyer is a source for the story. But if this tale is even 10% true, you have to wonder who’s driving the bus over in bus driver land.

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Operation Neptune

By lex, on June 6th, 2009

Sixty-five years after the fact, I still wonder how they did it.

156,000 US and allied forces crossed the English channel to face 380,000 battle hardened, well-entrenched Axis soldiers that had industriously used two years of relative calm to build reinforced concrete bunkers and overlapping fields of fire. By the end of the day, over 6,000 US servicemen would fall, nearly 1500 of whom would never rise again. And there would be much more hard fighting left to come before the landing force would breakout from the  Normandy beachhead.

Operation Neptune

The Armorer has much more, including this letter from a grateful French liaison officer serving alongside the 82nd in Afghanistan. The French government has not forgotten either – John “Harry” Kellers returns to France to be recognized as a Chevalier in the Légion d’honneur. His first trip there was as an 18-year old sailor serving a gun on an amphibious landing craft.

Naval forces * played their role both on the on the beaches as well as offshore, according to German Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt:**

The enemy had deployed very strong Naval forces off the shores of the bridgehead. These can be used as quickly mobile, constantly available artillery, at points where they are necessary as defence against our attacks or as support for enemy attacks. During the day their fire is skillfully directed by . . . plane observers, and by advanced ground fire spotters. Because of the high rapid-fire capacity of Naval guns they play an important part in the battle within their range. The movement of tanks by day, in open country, within the range of these naval guns is hardly possible.

The liberation of France started when each, individual man on those landing craft as the ramp came down – each paratroop in his transport when the light turned green – made the individual decision to step off with the only life he had and face the fire.

How did they do it?

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Filed under Air Force, Army, Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, History, Lex, Navy, Neptunus Lex

Boom Operator

By lex, on May 17th, 2009

The right guy for the moment:

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Fighting the last war

By lex, on August 31st, 2007

The 60′s era USAF “fighter mafia” is apparently in a lather over the F-22, and being enabled in their anger by the kinds of people who tend to think that any new military acquisition program is inherently wasteful *:

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Beale AFB Airshow 2018

Over the years, I have had some great times up at Beale, usually by invitation of our car club. One of our members was in years past a squadron commander of the then-mighty SR-71. Started out in WW2 flying P-38s.

Then we got an invitation to see the inside story – that which wasn’t classified – of their U2s. What a fascinating day that was.

And lately they are flying the UAV Global Hawk – we went up to see that. What a day that was.

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A bit of good news

Seems the F-35 has flown over Iran – undetected. Amid news that the Air Force could not maintain their projected fleet because of projected maintenance costs – and would have to cut back by a third.

 

And being 7 years behind schedule with a seemingly runaway budget.

 

It is either going to become a weapons system that will lead the industry, or a boondoggle.

Let’s hope they can rein in those problems.

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Filed under Air Force, Airplanes, Flying, Naval Aviation, Plane Pr0n

Banner Tow

By lex, on January 12th, 2011

When I was a lad, my first hack at aerial gunnery was in the mighty T-2C Buckeye, a high performance radial interceptor.  It didn’t have an actual gun, of course, but the jet did have a pseudo high tech laser optical gunsight to score “hits” on a banner towed a couple thousand feet behind an instructor in his own T-2C. Which didn’t work, of course.

I wondered at the time how much we paid for that gunsight.

Gunnery in the T-2C was executed in what was known as a “straight line” pattern. The tractor pilot flew a constant heading for 50 miles or so at 200knots. Gunners started from a “perch” couple thousand feet above and to the right of the tractor aircraft also at 200kts, same heading. From there you rolled in a left overbank until nose on to the banner.

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