Category Archives: Naval History

Part LIII The End

The JG looked forward in the ready room to see his squadron CO and XO break from a closely whispered conference – his CO looked him in they eye even as the JG tried to answer the questions of his brother JO’s. The old man pursed his lips, narrowed his eyes, raised his chin pugnaciously – and then nodded, almost imperceptibly. Nodded at him. Well done.

Turning his smiling face back to his brothers, it was all the young man could do not to weep.

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Part XXXV Landing – a fair pass, taxi to the bow

Established now on downwind now the timeline seems to accelerate, and the wingman races to complete his landing checklist, dial his radar altimeter warning bug down to 400 feet (the LSO warning: “Never go below 400 feet without a ball” flits in his head). His abeam distance is 1.3 nm – a little tight – and he drops the right wing for a moment to build some separation before reversing back to the left to start his descending approach turn as the carrier’s fantail goes by, this time in the opposite direction.

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Part XXXIII High Holding

“Marshal, 405, 407 checking in on your 340 for 50, low state base plus two.”

“405, Marshall, continue, call ‘see me’ at 10 miles.”

“405″

Closing in on the ship, the wingman stays in a defensive combat spread formation, close enough to easily maintain sight of his lead, far enough away, to keep his own radar and visual scan moving. The airspace around the carrier is “uncontrolled,” and they are responsible for their own separation from the next launch in the cycle. Other flights are returning, either from their cap stations in country, or from training missions around the ship. He checks his fuel state again, double checks proper transfer from the external tanks – sometimes fuel gets trapped in one or the other externals, causing problems in useable fuel for recovery and potentially putting the aircraft out of limits for landing asymmetry.

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Homework

Posted by lex, on June 1, 2006

For Systems Architecture, subject “Modeling” – in case you were curious (many pretty pictures for the bandwidth constrained to beetle their Luddite brows over):

In 1972, the US Air Force went to the aviation industry with Request for Proposals for a new, lightweight fighter design. Northrop contended with the YF-17, while General Dynamics competed with the ultimately successful F-16 design. Although not successful in the USAF’s lightweight fighter competition, the YF-17 had desirable characteristics satisfying the US Navy’s emergent requirement for a high volume, “low end” strike fighter to replace both the F-4 and A-7 aircraft, especially on the Navy’s smaller, conventional aircraft carriers – ships like USS Coral Sea and Midway – whose flight decks were not large enough to accommodate the “high end” fleet air defense aircraft, the F-14 Tomcat.

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A Carroll “Lex” LeFon Primer

testLex

Who was Carroll LeFon?

The best description of Lex that I’ve heard is “Imagine Hemingway flew fighters…and liked people.

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Meeting 2 Iwo Jima Veterans

Meeting 2 Iwo Jima Veterans
The Guests of Honor: Cpl Frank Wright (left) Maj Bill White (right)

They are going so fast now, the veterans of WW2. Growing up in the 50s, they were all around me. My father, of course. He had a good friend who was an Army tank commander in North Africa. Another family friend was in the 2nd wave at D-Day. My uncle was a Marine.

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The Case For Hiroshima

Three years ago, I wrote a bit in response to President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima.

Probably nothing in American actions in WW2 have had more controversy than the use of the atomic bomb first in Hiroshima, and then Nagasaki.

Locally we had a mayor years ago who decided to travel to Hiroshima and apologize for our use of that weapon.

Certainly nobody disputes the horrible effects upon the citizens of those cities.

It was 25 years – 1970 – before the Defense Dept. released a classified film on the devastating effects of the blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

But how would the war in the Pacific have ended if these bombs weren’t used?

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James E. Williams

James E Williams

In between working on another post, which may take a few days, I was watching a program on Amazon Prime involving that famous trio, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.

Except this wasn’t the Grand Tour but a boat trip through Cambodia and the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. It was a pretty interesting program, with the usual silly assortment of vehicles.

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WW2 History Rarely Seen

I just finished an excellent series, shown on Netflix, Greatest Events of World War II In Colour.

It is narrated by British actor Derek Jacobi, and has various historians and best-selling authors talking about the battles. 

One usually is presented with what I would call a one dimensional view of history. 

“This is what they thought, and this is why they planned so-and-so, and this was the result.”

In many of these episodes, I have gotten viewpoints that I had never heard before.

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“A Date That Will Live In Infamy”

Pearl_Harbor_Memorial_4

There’s only a handful of dates in our country’s history that one can say there was a “before” and an “after”. A date that totally transformed the country.

A few years ago,  I read the voluminous biography of Charles Lindbergh. As the family gave access to this author Lindbergh papers, I think it was the definitive biography of him.

And one theme that became obvious was how polarized America was before December 7th, 1941.

The times today are certainly not unique.

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