During the Korean War the very first- ever jet vs. jet aerial dogfight took place. U.S. Air Force pilot Lt. Russell J. Brown was flying a Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star and successfully shot down two North Korean MiG-15s, which were possibly piloted by Russians. The MiG-15 was the fastest, most maneuverable fighter jet of its day, and generally dominated the skies it flew. Taking down two in a dogfight was a tremendous opening salvo.
Last year, I screened The Cold Blue, which was an amazing film. In WW2, 5 famous Hollywood directors, William Wyler, John Huston, John Ford, George Stevens, and Frank Capra went into harm’s way with small film crews and documented the war. John Ford, for example shot – I believe- the only footage of Midway as it was being attacked.
I’m in danger of swaying into this fascinating story, but I will say one thing. The war affected them all, and it can be reflected in their post war work. George Stevens, for example, having seen so much death and destruction in Europe, in making Shane, thought gunfire and being shot should be portrayed realistically, a first for a Hollywood Western.
The B-29 was an amazing aircraft for its day, a complete game changer. More was spent on its development and production than the Manhattan Project.
There was a wonderful book that dealt with the B-29 written by the author of Flags of Our Fathers, James Bradley, called Flyboys. Downfall, recommended by a Lexican, was another good book that went into a lot of detail on the Superfortress.
If you are lucky enough to see one of the 2 flying today, it is still an impressive airplane, 70 years later. I wrote about visiting FiFi a couple of years ago, and posted some pictures.
The US Marines embarked aboard an amphibious ready group us a “rapid response planning process”, or R2P2 to prepare for each of the 22 roles and missions that a Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) is expected to be able to accomplish. They can go from warning order to execution using a cookbook process shaped by real-time intel in three hours. Watching the unit leaders go through a confirmation brief with the MEU commander prior to execution is an amazingly detailed experience – the first time.