Check Six: F-86 Ace Hal Fischer, An Interview (China Sky Book 2)
A slashing attack at that juncture would have guaranteed an escape option, but Davis was not satisfied with just one victory. He elected to immediately pursue another MiG, which meant he would have to sacrifice his energy advantage. Davis expertly maneuvered his jet behind the fleeing enemy plane and squeezed the trigger.
The Communist pilot never recovered from the hit, and Davis claimed his 14th and final victory. But Davis had bled away his speed while maneuvering to achieve his two kills in rapid succession, and as a result he was a sitting duck. Even so, the Sabre ace was attempting to turn to engage a third MiG when a fourth drilled his cockpit with cannon fire. His wingman repeatedly yelled for him to bail out, but there was no answer, and the F smashed into a Korean mountain.
During this latest attack his aircraft sustained a direct hit, went out of control, then crashed into a mountain 30 miles south of the Yalu River. The American press treated the first aces of the jet age as knights of the air. They became household names, rivaling in popularity even sports stars of the day. The media piled praise on Sabre pilots in part because they were achieving tangible victories over the Communists during a period when the ground war stagnated.
MiGs could launch from the Antung complex of airfields in Chinese Manchuria and be ready to fight within a few minutes, whereas Sabre pilots needed to fly a considerable distance just to make it to MiG Alley, let alone fight there. The F could glide 69 miles from an altitude of 30, feet. The idea was to hopefully arrive over home base with enough fuel to restart the engine and land.
The practice was so widespread that one squadron commander noted his unit made a dozen dead-stick landings each week in Squadron, group and wing leaders generally did not punish pilots for flying past bingo fuel. Instead they tended to celebrate it as a sign of an aggressive fighter pilot who pushed the flight envelope. On October 22, , he chased four MiGs across the Yalu while escorting a flight of fighter-bombers. The enemy pilot, trying to escape, performed a split-S and managed to pull out of the maneuver 10 feet from the ground. The MiG was so low at that point that Risner saw its jet engine exhaust kick up dust from a dry riverbed.
Risner rolled over the top of the MiG and came down on the other side next to his wingtip. The MiG crashed alongside the runway. Logan bailed out near Cho-do and drowned after becoming entangled in his parachute risers. Many senior Air Force leaders not only condoned but encouraged pilots like Risner to break the rule that prohibited pursuit of MiGs into China.
In fact, the top pilots routinely crossed the border. They did so both in hot pursuit and as part of preplanned missions that flagrantly broke the rules. Two-thirds of the 39 American jet aces crossed the Yalu, including the three leading aces. Eight of 11 pilots who scored 10 or more kills admitted after the war that they had crossed into Manchuria. Sabre pilots were encouraged by the lax attitude of senior leaders, whom they expected would wink at border violations. For the most part their assumption was correct. After watching a radar display that showed two F pilots twice circling a Chinese airfield miles beyond the border, General Frank Everest, commander of the Fifth Air Force from June to May , pretended to angrily storm into the postflight debrief and threaten the two pilots with court-martial.
He then stomped out of the room and slammed the door. Many commanders not only permitted and encouraged border violations but also engaged in the practice themselves. Lieutenant Michael DeArmond, a young F pilot, recalled one commander telling the squadron before a mission that any pilot caught north of the border would face court-martial. On that same mission, the commander led a flight of four Sabres deep into Manchuria and shot down a MiG.
Wanting to keep the rules of engagement violation a secret, the officer quizzed DeArmond on the location of the shootdown. After shooting down the Soviet pilot, Gabreski interrupted his flak-dodging maneuver to execute a victory roll over the Chinese airfield. When Colonel Jones expressed his dismay, Gabreski suggested that the colonel or his general was free to fly up to the Yalu and write down tail numbers. He reasoned that the sonic boom would infuriate the MiG pilots and entice them to rise to the bait. Sabre pilots shied away from strafing MiGs on the ground, perhaps because two unlucky F Shooting Star pilots were court-martialed after they became lost and shot up a Soviet airfield in October Even so, MiGs did not have to get too far off the ground before American airmen would shoot at them.
American planes would often circle at high altitude over the mouth of the Yalu and swoop down on Communist pilots after seeing dust swirling on their airfields, an indication that MiGs were taking off. Sabre gun camera footage sometimes showed MiGs with their landing gear extended, with other enemy planes plainly visible in the background, parked on the tarmac of Chinese airfields.
Air Force officials mostly turned a blind eye to flights into Manchuria. But they did haphazardly and inconsistently enforce the restriction. Captain Joe McConnell, the highest-scoring American ace of the conflict, was grounded for two weeks for repeatedly crossing the border. Usually Air Force leaders cracked down only after an embarrassing incident occurred that they could not ignore. On January 23, , cannon fire from a MiG broke the right arm of Lt.
Edwin Heller, commander of the 16th Fighter Squadron, during a sortie over Manchuria. He struggled to disconnect his seatbelt, stood up in his seat and started trying to claw his way through an eight-inch hole in the canopy—at which point the mph wind stream sucked him right through the opening. Peasants captured the downed pilot, who endured 28 months in Chinese captivity. At about the same time, Swiss observers traveling through Manchuria to Panmunjon for the peace talks witnessed a dogfight well north of the Yalu. Their complaints finally forced senior Air Force officials to take action.
Captain Dolph Overton, an ace with possibly the hottest streak in Air Force history, became the scapegoat. Overton shot down five MiGs in just four days January , During a visit to an Air Force radar site on Cho-do, he had learned where MiGs orbited while waiting to land, how long they stayed airborne and how they made their approach to landing. Then he waited to pounce on his prey. He turned off his IFF, hoping to fool enemy radar operators into thinking his aircraft was just another MiG getting ready to land.
The wing commander had not only condoned flights across the border, he had personally participated in them. Not all top pilots violated the rules of engagement in search of MiGs. You cannot shoot a plane down if it does not fly when you are flying or does not fly into your combat zone.
During those inactive times, some pilots ventured across the Yalu River into China hoping to engage in enemy activity. Cecil Foster never crossed the Yalu illegally. The punitive actions taken against Overton failed to deter other F pilots from continuing to break the rules of engagement. The enemy jets turned around and escaped back into China, but Fischer gave chase anyway. He cleared his wingman to return home without him after the latter reported that he was low on fuel. Flying alone, Fischer continued to press the attack even after three more MiGs appeared.
Senior Lieutenant Berelidze shot down one F from a distance of meters at a 14 quartering angle. He had more than two years to reflect on his bout of MiG Madness. Undoubtedly, the aggressiveness of the leading American Korean War aces in pursuit of MiGs propelled them to the top of the pecking order and helped secure air superiority for U. For that, they should be honoured. But tales of friendly fire, rule-breaking and recklessness blemish the stellar combat records of these legendary airmen.
His working pseudonym for the past 38 years has been Billy Childish - one of the few remaining bastions of British originality and talent today. A cult figure in America, Europe and Japan, he is by far the most prolific painter, poet, and song-writer of his generation. Born in in Chatham, Kent, he left Secondary education at 16 an undiagnosed dyslexic. Refused an interview at the local art school he entered the Naval Dockyard at Chatham as an apprentice stonemason.
During the following six months he produced some six hundred drawings. However, his acceptance was short-lived and before completing the course he was expelled for his outspokenness and unorthodox working methods. With no qualifications and no job prospects Childish then spent some 12 years developing his own highly personal writing style and producing his art independently. Since then he has had solo and group exhibitions internationally including New York, London, Seoul and Berlin. As fan's of Billy's work across all genres it was a pleasure to speak to him recently regarding his work and patronage of eastman products.
In the years during and preceding the Second World War the U. Navy developed and issued a multitude of different styles of cold weather gear and clothing. Most of the deck jackets used in WWII evolved from a dark blue, waterproof, zip-front design that was very similar in appearance to the U. In , the second version of this Deck Jacket design was introduced, featuring a new-style front closure that was both an improvement over the zipper closure and a distinguishing characteristic of this jacket style that would later be considered a design classic.
This new Deck Jacket took into account the lessons learned from several years of warfare at sea. By the time America was actually at war and fighting in , it was concluded that Navy personal who found themselves on shore or beach landing operations needed to be instantly and obviously recognized as U.
Navy personnel when viewed mixed-in with various Army troops. Likewise, the USN had such different working uniforms from the U. The revised Deck Jacket of was exclusively produced with the silver stencilling across the back, unlike the earlier jackets it replaced. It retained the waterproof, celluloid plastic interlining sandwiched between the outer shell and Melton wool inner lining of the earlier jacket style, but the most recognisable improvement incorporated in the Deck Jacket was the new style frontal closing method.
The earlier jackets closed via a metal zipper. During very cold weather conditions, any collected water spray on the zipper would immediately freeze, making the zippers very difficult, if not impossible to operate. Likewise, deck personnel wore heavy gloves in cold weather, the wearing of which often made operating the zipper slide unduly hard, and if the zippers were ice-caked with frozen spray, more often than not they would simply fail completely. Naturally, firemen wore heavy gloves and were often coated in water from head to toe, and in winter, this water froze to their coats, yet they could fasten or unfasten their coats without great difficulty.
It was this same fastener design that the U. Navy incorporated into the Deck Jackets. There are a few variation in the production of this "hook" type as well, the vast majority of original issued jackets includes the "D" patch pockets and single hook at the bottom of the jacket, however similar "hook" types without the "D" pockets exist and some have double hook enclosure at the bottom. This is no surprise as the patterns are usually modified to suit the situation and varies from one manufacturer to another. Navy operations around the world and has since become a prized collectors item.
The 80th fighter group was unmistakably a vital element in the victory in Burma. During its two years in combat, this group, which called itself the "Burma Banshees", kept the supply lines open to China. The 80th had a motto, "Angels on our Wings," because its primary mission was to escort and conduct combat air patrols for transports but the group's nickname, the "Burma Banshees," sent a message to its Japanese enemies - when they heard the wailing sound of a Banshee's machine, death and destruction were coming their way.
Their distinctive ghost skull was nice contrast to the more traditional shark jaws often seen on Warhawks in U. It was commissioned on January 13, along with dozens of other fighting units under a special order of Congress. Less than a month later, on February 9, , the 80th was activated at Selfridge Field, Michigan, with the 88th, 89th, and 90th Pursuit Squadrons. The first several months of the 80th's history were quite uneventful. Its ranks, almost totally enlisted, performed administrative and organisational functions while waiting for planes and pilots.
During this period, on May 12, , the Department of the Army changed the designation of the group and its squadrons from "pursuit" to "fighter. By they were ready for combat. From there the journey continued over land. From September, , until March, , the 80th established its base of operations in the Assam Valley just outside of northern Burma.
Since its main purpose was the defence of supply routes to China, the majority of missions flown were patrols in support of the cargo airlift between Assam and Kunming, China. The 80th also provided offensive strikes in the Huwang Valley of northern Burma to protect allied engineers building the Ledo Road, a land supply route through the Burmese Jungle.
The official mission of the 80th Fighter Group was soon extended to include offensive strikes in northern Burma to prevent the establishment of enemy bases from which Allied airlift planes might be attacked. Therefore, in the months that followed, the group launched several attacks on Myitkyina Airdrome in an effort to reduce Japanese attacks on the Hump cargo planes. Myitkyina, the only all-weather strip in northern Burma, was the principal Japanese base for the defence of Burma from the north. Japanese opposition was not the only enemy. In the dense jungles temperatures sometimes soared to degrees and the humidity hovered near percent.
Crews worked in swarms of beetles, flies, and gnats. At night, sleeping required the use of mosquito netting. Supplies came by ship from half way around the world and were nearly impossible to obtain. Finally, disease and fungi claimed more troops than opposing enemy fire.
By the time the 80th Fighter Group left Myitkyina it had compiled an impressive combat record. The Banshees launched 18, planes on 4, missions, destroyed more than bridges and destroyed 80 enemy planes in the air or on the ground. It received the Distinguished Unit Citation for a most remarkable defence of a critical Indian oil refinery.
This fighter group kept the supply lines open and helped Allied bombers and ground troops defeat a Japanese onslaught that at one point in this war seemed unstoppable. By the spring of , targets were becoming scarce as the war was drawing to a close. Shortly after the end of the war in September, the 80th returned to the United States and was deactivated on November 3, In he was accepted to the prestigious California School of Arts and Crafts. However, after graduation work as a firefighter left him unfulfilled artistically so in he packed up his family and moved to the mecca of advertising, paperback and pulp publishing — New York City.
In the days of Mad Men, men's adventure magazines thrived. Minney spent 20 years working as an illustrator for men's adventure magazines painting beautiful scantily clad women, gorillas, lions, tigers, bears, elephants, alligators, headhunters, Nazis, airplanes, aircraft carriers, tanks, guns, and many explosions. His style evoked boys own adventure and spoke to men on a base level. He worked another 20 years painting covers for all kinds of paperbacks, over in total, including western The Lone Ranger , historical romance, action, military Hornblower , biography, and Gothic horror.
He truly was the man who painted everything. His populist hyperrealist style, while similar to that of Mort Knustler and others, has been embraced and preserved, and is now highly collectable. The winner of numerous awards and the shaper of men and boys for a generation or better, he died on August 5, On May 12th , five obsolete Fairey Battle light bombers of No. Braving their way through intense anti-aircraft fire and decimated by German fighters immediately after releasing their bombs, the horrifically outperformed British aircraft were still able to deliver their bombs on target.
Only one Battle returned to base. But with them throughout, sharing the danger as he kept up a constant stream of fire from his single Vickers K machine gun, was 20 year old air gunner Leading Aircraftsman Lawrence Reynolds. He died with his crew. As he was deemed not to be in a position of leadership or influence, he was the only one of the three not to be awarded the Victoria Cross. The vital role played by the air gunner has often been tragically left in the shadow of that of the pilot. Gunners required far less training and were therefore cheaper and easier to replace, and were not given powers of captaincy within the crew of an aircraft.follow link
The Rotterdam Study: objectives and design update
Whilst there were many roles within multi-crew aircraft which also necessitated manning a machine gun, such as navigator, observer, radio operator or bombardier, it is the purpose of this article to examine only the air gunner: the brave individual whose sole job was to keep enemy fighters at bay. This consisted of two pilots, a navigator and a bombardier, all of whom were commissioned officers. A flight engineer and a radio operator flew alongside four dedicated gunners; these last six crew members were all non-commissioned.
Aside from the two pilots, every crew member had at least one machine gun position immediately to hand in the event of attack by enemy aircraft. For those conscripted into the armed forces in the Second World War, flying seemed like an attractive alternative to the infantry to many. Gunners were not expected to have as much of an academic background and therefore tended — although it certainly was not a rule — to come from less affluent backgrounds.
After basic training, those selected to become gunners would attend one of the USAAF gunnery schools. This consisted of six weeks of studying the operation and maintenance of both gun and turret, ballistics, enemy vehicle recognition and most importantly, live firing. Gunners trained to fire at land, sea and air targets as, although their primary role was no doubt the defense of their aircraft, there were also obvious offensive capabilities against land and sea targets inherent in their new role. For the USAAF, this same gunnery course formed part of the training for navigators, bombardiers, radio operators and flight engineers.
Comparisons can be drawn to the system employed in Germany for training gunners within the Luftwaffe. In the early days of the Second World War, new recruits were first assigned to a Flieger-Ersatzabteilung, or Aircrew Replacement Battalion, where after uniform issue and medical exams, the traditional core military skills of drill, physical training and weapons handling were also accompanied by basic navigation and radio operation.
At the end of six months of training, recruits were streamed with those considered suitable being selected for pilot training. The remainder received a further two months training at an Aircrew Development Regiment, being instructed in further navigation and radio operation as well as technical training and gunnery.
Later in the war, the streaming process was undertaken far earlier and potential gunners found themselves at the Aircrew Development Regiment almost immediately. This involved familiarity with weapons ranging from handguns up to air-to-air machine gunnery in aircraft. The latter was initially with gun cameras but then progressed onto towed targets with real ammunition.
Airborne training was often conducted concurrently with other branches, with students and instructors of several specializations all crammed into a single training aircraft. Upon completion of training, gunners were sent to their front line squadrons. Not afforded the rank or pay of their commissioned comrades, gunners took all of the same risks. All crews were fiercely and rightly proud of their vital air gunners. The year was and Hitler had invaded the Soviet Union. By November the German army was just 19 miles from Moscow. Leningrad was under siege and 3 million Russians had been taken prisoner.
The Soviet air force was grounded. In the summer of Marina Raskova, a record breaking aviatrix was called upon to organise a regiment of women pilots to fly night combat missions of harassment bombing. From mechanics to navigators, pilots and officers, the th regiment was composed entirely of women. The th was so successful and deadly that the Germans came to fear them and Luftwaffe pilots were promised an Iron Cross for shooting down a Night Witch!.
The women, most of them barely 20 years old, started training in Engels, a small town north of Stalingrad. The th flew its first bombing mission on June 8, It consisted of three planes; their target was the headquarters of a German division. The raid was successful but one plane was lost. The th flew thousands of combat bombing missions. They fought non-stop for months, sometimes flying 15 to 18 missions on the same night. They flew obsolete Polikarpov Po-2 wooden bi planes that were otherwise used as trainers. They could only carry two bombs that weighed less than a ton altogether.
Most of the women who survived the war had, by the end, flown almost a thousand missions each. Nadya Popova recalls those missions and comments that it was a miracle the Witches didn't suffer more losses. Their planes were the slowest ones in the air force and often came back riddled with bullets, but they kept flying.
In August of Nadya and her navigator crashed in the Caucasus. They were found alive a few days later. Years after the war, Nadya commented that she used to sometimes look up into the dark night sky, remembering when she was a young girl crouched at the controls of her bomber, and she would say to herself, "Nadya, how did you do it? There was a great deal of resistance to the idea of women combat pilots from their male counterparts. The women had to fight both enemy aircraft as well as the resentment of their male colleagues.
In spite of the never-ending fatigue , the loss of friends, and sexual harassment from their suspicious male counterparts, the women kept on flying. Eventually the Soviets formed three regiments of women combat pilots -- the th, the th and the th. The th also trained at Engels, first in the two-seat Yak-7 trainers and later on in the Yak-1 fighters. The women proved themselves to be as good as the men. The most outstanding pilots were Raisa Belyaeva and Valeria Khomyakova. The later was allowed to fly solo in the Yak-1 after just 52 minutes of dual instruction.
She earned the grade of "excellent" during one trial flight but on a subsequent flight crash-landed on the frozen Volga River when she switched to an empty fuel tank. All of the women had their hands full, learning so much information in such a short amount of time. The female mechanics also had their hands full with the demanding task of keeping the planes flying. The winter of was brutally cold, with temperatures plunging as low as F and countless snow storms. One night in March of that year the women were called upon to save the aircraft from being blown over by gale-force winds.
Several women would literally lie on the wings and horizontal stabilisers of each plane, using the weight of their bodies to keep the planes from blowing away. When the wind subsided, the women looked like snowmen, but the planes were intact. Their respite was brief however. By noon the storm had resumed, and again the women rushed to the airfield to save the planes.
The storm finally blew itself out around midnight, and the exhausted women, soaked to the skin and half frozen, could finally rest. The Night Witches practiced what is known as harassment bombing. Their targets were encampments, supply depots, rear base areas, etc.
Their constant raids made rest for the troops difficult and left them feeling very insecure. The top speed of the Po-2 biplane was 94 mph 82 knots. This is slower than even most World War I fighters and left them very vulnerable to enemy night fighters. But the Night Witches learned their craft well. The Po-2 was very slow, but it was also extremely maneuverable. When a German Me tried to intercept it, the Night Witches would throw their Po-2 biplanes into a tight turn at an airspeed that was below the stalling speed of the Me This forced the German pilot to make a wider circle and come back for another try, only to be met by the same tactic, time after time.
Many of the Witches flew so low to the ground that they were hidden by hedgerows! Completely frustrated, the German pilots would finally simply give up and leave the Po-2 biplanes alone. The stall speed of an Me E,F and G models was about mph knots. This made the top speed of the Po-2 biplanes slower than the stalling speed of the German fighters. The Focke-Wulf, also used in the Eastern front, had a high stalling speed as well, so it suffered the same fate. The Witches developed the technique of flying close to their intended targets, then cutting their engines. Silently they would glide to their targets and release their bombs.
Then they would restart their engines and fly away. The first warning the Germans had of an impending raid was the sound of the wind whistling against the wing bracing wires of the Po-2s, and by then it was too late. The Po-2 would often pass undetected by the radar of the German fighters due to the unreflective nature of the canvas surfaces and also because they flew so low to the ground. Planes equipped with infrared heat seekers fared no better at detecting them due to the small heat emission from their puny little hp engines.
Searchlights, however presented a big problem. The Germans at Stalingrad developed what the Russians called a "flak circus". They would arrange flak guns and searchlights hidden during the day in concentric circles around probable targets. Planes flying in pairs in a straight-line flight path across the perimeter were often ripped to shreds by the flak guns. So the Night Witches of the th developed their own technique to deal with the problem. They flew in groups of three. Two would go in and deliberately attract the attention of the Germans. When all the searchlights were pointed at them, the two pilots would suddenly separate, flying in opposite directions and maneuvering wildly to shake off the searchlight operators who were trying to follow them.
In the meantime the third pilot would fly in through the dark path cleared by her two teammates and hit the target virtually unopposed. She would then get out, rejoin the other two, and they would switch places until all three had delivered their payloads. As Nadya Popova noted, it took nerves of steel to be a decoy and willingly attract enemy fire, but it worked very well. After the war, a number of the women continued to fly, some as test pilots.
Others retired to a quiet life or returned to work, either in factories or on farms. In spite of the danger and their heavy losses, most of the women later described their combat experience as the most exciting time of their lives. They endured loss of family and homes in their absence, met and lost lovers and husbands, and were often wounded or killed in action.
O ne of the great American signifiers is the California Highway Patrol officer. Dressed in traditional khaki campaign hat and blue-and-gold trouser stripe, the motorcycle riding CHP officer has become iconic. The founding of the California Highway Patrol really was an evolution more than a birth — one that started in with the hiring of the first rural traffic officer by San Mateo County. It was formalised in with the passage of a bill to create a formal Highway Patrol to be part of the Division of Motor Vehicles.
However, a few county boards — most notably Los Angeles county — elected to maintain separate traffic squads. It finally became a truly statewide entity when the Los Angeles Motor Patrol was absorbed on July 1, The final piece of the puzzle came on October 1, , when the Department of California Highway Patrol was created — to be headed by a commissioner appointed by the governor. The California Highway Patrol was created by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov.
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Young on August 14, During its first 10 years, the CHP grew into a force of uniformed personnel. The legislation which created the CHP also created its academy for training future officers. Cadets attend a week program and receive more than 1, hours of training. They receive training in weapons, emergency vehicle operations and emergency medical services. Early CHP motorcycles included Indian, Harley Davidson and Henderson manufactured bikes during the s and 30s, though by the main manufacturers used at the training academy were Harley-Davidson and Indian. The show ran until Governor Ronald Reagan had been publicly critical of university administrators for tolerating student demonstrations at the Berkeley campus.
Reagan called the Berkeley campus "a haven for communist sympathisers, protesters, and sex deviants. On Thursday, May 15, at a. The officers cleared an 8-block area around the park while a large section of what had been planted was destroyed and an 8-foot 2. It became the impetus for the "most violent confrontation in the university's history. Women joined the CHP officer ranks in after several women challenged regulations that restricted them to non-officer positions.
For the first time, female cadets entered the CHP Academy with their male counterparts. By the end of the week training, female cadet Deborah A. Street had captured the pistol shooting award with a perfect score. Academically, five of the top eight graduates were women. The show was a hit worldwide exposing foreign audiences to the California dream and California crime in equal measure. When Bessie Stringfield tossed pennies onto a map of the country, she did more than decide where to steer her motorcycle for each trip.
She began creating a legend. In , African American's were rarely found on roads alone, so to see a year-old African American woman motoring along on her bike — in the South — must have been something. She just wanted to experience more of the world.
She was not ignorant of what was surely rampant racial discrimination; she simply chose to live her life around it. Bessie B. Stringfield, a. Her next destination was determined by tossing a penny on a map. As she rode through Jim Crow country, BB would sometimes sleep on her motorcycle with a blanket if there were no safe places for her to stay during her trip. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Stringfield came to America as a child and was given up for adoption. After she was given her first Indian Scout bike, she would later purchase another 27 motorcycles throughout her life. I think Bessie was just being Bessie.
She got a Indian Scout. Perhaps her outspoken nature disarmed any would be attackers,even though her 5-foot, 3-inch frame may have made her an easy target. Her brave spirit found her serving in the army as a civilian motorcycle dispatch rider during World War II, carrying documents between bases. Again, Stringfield unintentionally carved out a space for herself in history by being the only woman in her unit.
No doubt she was the only African-American. As she approached her 40's, she settled in Miami, now single after marrying and divorcing six times, she secretly entered riding contests as a man, and after winning, removed her helmet to reveal her gender. As a result, she was often denied the prize money. Stringfield suffered the loss of three babies while married to her first husband and never had other children. She spent her time performing at stunt shows with her dogs. And so I never did quit. For those who seek the ultimate in flight jacket authenticity, not just in detail and spec, but in historic reference and vintage appeal the 'Elite Units' department will fulfil your quest.
In here you will find jackets from famed units and even specific airmen that have excelled in one way or another. They are embellished with various insignia, paintings and details that are totally authentic in their representation. Our latest addition coming very soon to this range is the famed B-3 worn by General Patton during the Battle of Bulge. This legendary piece currently resides in the Patton museum, Fort Knox Kentucky but after many months of painstaking research we've recreated this jacket in exacting detail including the stunning hand embroidered bullion, over coloured layered leather 1st Armored Division patch, original NOS 3rd Army bevo roundel, hand painted and stitched layered leather 3 star General insignia making this the most accurate reproduction ever offered of the Patton B Below is a photograph of the bullion patch on Pattons actual B Above is the Eastman reproduction.
The iconic painting by Micheal Gnatek of Patton stood proudly in his B-3 in front of the Bastogne sign, holding binoculars and dog at his side immortalised him in this jacket at this point in time and is one of the reasons this jacket has become so synonymous with him. Patton's colourful image, hard-driving personality and success as a commander were at times overshadowed by his controversial public statements. His philosophy of leading from the front and his ability to inspire troops with profanity-ridden speeches, such as a famous address to the 3rd Army, attracted favourable attention.
His strong emphasis on rapid and aggressive offensive action proved effective. We celebrate Patton and his achievements with this Elite Units reproduction of his famed B They were to get behind enemy lines and act as scouts and gather intelligence to feed back to British military headquarters. Due to their expert navigation skills. After receiving the agreement of General Wavell to create such a unit, Bagnold was given New Zealand volunteers, most of whom had a farming background.
Bagnold believed that they would be more adept at maintaining vehicles in a difficult environment should mechanical problems occur. The LRDG had three main patrols of forty men each. Each patrol was equipped with ten Lewis machine guns, four Boyes anti-tank rifles, anti-aircraft guns, Bren guns and Thompson sub-machine guns. Communication with base was maintained with the use of wireless sets. Their vehicle of choice was a Chevrolet cwt truck. The first batch of these vehicles was obtained from the Egyptian Army or bought in Cairo. Each vehicle commander was allowed to modify his vehicle as he saw fit.
The normal range for the Chevrolet was 1, miles and it could carry three weeks supply of food and water. In many senses it was the perfect desert vehicle. To get to this base, they had to drive about miles across the Egyptian Sand Seas. Just two days later, the unit had its first experience of combat when a patrol led by Captain Mitford attacked an Italian petrol dump and emergency landing fields along the Palificata.
The two patrols met at Gilf Kebir, where they could re-supply, and travelled back to Cairo. By the time they returned, both patrols had covered about miles and had achieved a great deal. Volunteers were heavily vetted for such difficult work, but Bagnold found the extra men he wanted. They came from the British, Indian and Rhodesian armies. Their primary targets were enemy held oases.
The attackers went in quickly and disappeared just as quickly. Bagnold later wrote that the temperature frequently exceeded 50 degrees C, which, he claimed, his men found tolerable as it was dry heat. His main iisue was not being able to eat properly during sandstorms, which lasted for several days. Because of the hostility of the environment, few other Allied units got to the Kufra region. One of the main keys to their success was their choice of vehicles. The LRDG vehicles were mainly two wheel drive, chosen because they were lighter and used less fuel than four wheel drive.
They were stripped of all non-essentials, including doors, windscreens and roofs. From March the 30 cwt Chevrolets were replaced by the CMP Ford 30 cwt F30, although in some ways this was a retrograde step; because they were four wheel drive and heavier than the Chevrolets, they used twice as much fuel, which in turn reduced the range of a patrol.
After the battle the last New Zealanders, two officers and approximately 46 men, were withdrawn from the LRDG and returned to their division. Each patrol contained one officer and 10 other ranks. In August , British Squadron patrols were parachuted into Yugoslavia. Here they mined a road used by the retreating Germans, destroying three vehicles and blocking the road. Firing on the stranded convoy from an adjacent hillside, they directed RAF aircraft in to destroy the rest of the convoy.
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First introduced in , the Mint quickly became known as one of the toughest desert races in America. In , his retirement community project, Sun City, AZ, made the cover of Time magazine for its success. It was a success. The next year, a multitude of participants were invited to race a mile loop in the Vegas desert, but many of the buggies and motorcycles succumbed to the challenging conditions.
Dust overwhelmed the racers. Thompson, who was sent out on assignment by Sports Illustrated in to write photo captions for the event. During his experience in Las Vegas, he ended up writing a word piece that was rejected by Sports Illustrated. In , Mint Hotel exec K. One of the great MINT photographs was shot by Bill Eppridge, taken in September of for LIFE magazine, it encapsulates the race in one photograph - hundreds of motorcycles bouncing across the dusty, unforgiving terrain in a swarm to reach the finish line.
Things changed after the glory days of desert racing in the late 60s and early 70s. Motorcycles were phased out of the event in Webb sold the Mint Hotel in , signalling the end of a two-decade run of the Mint Kreider Shoe Factory, where they operated. At that time two hundred people were employed, ninety-five of whom were in the stitching room. Many of the hides that were used were of domestic origin, although a large percentage of hides were received from France and Sweden, but raw material also arrived from South America, South Africa, and Australia.
In March Hyman Kirschenbaum, founder and president, died, and the business was willed to his daughter Eleanor and his son Isaac Kirschenbaum took over as president. Sander, vice president; S. Krell, secretary; and M. Schlessinger was named director. The Middletown factory was well known. Their fleece-lined jackets were in demand-the employees took pride in their work. In Mike Jacobs transferred to the New York office and went on the road. In Mike and Eleanor Kirschenbaum were married and the following year Mike returned to Middletown as vice president of the company.
He had started at the very bottom, but through hard work he now found himself near the very top of this thriving business. During these years the company produced about 12, garments a week. They were issue a total of 5 contracts for type A-2 flight jackets between and producing over , of the iconic garments in total using horsehide, cowhide and goatskin. The factory, along with a few other manufacturers, also received contracts for B flight jackets, made entirely of EndZone Twill. It is not known why only a few contracts were issued with this spec, but most probably it was due to the relatively high cost of the fabric, that prevented greater use of it.
This was an extremely dense and hardwearing cloth which derived its name from the jersey worn by American Football players. The Rough Wear Company went to manufacture leather garments for motorcycle riding and sports and during the s started making clothing for the fashion market, after 70 years in business the prestigious company closed its doors in In the early morning hours of June 6, , a small detachment of British Airborne troops stormed the German defence forces and paved the way for the Allied invasion of Europe.
Troops, vehicles and equipment would be landed on the beaches of Normandy and then push forward to the local townships such as Ouistreham and Caen. The British 6 th Airborne Division would land near the village of Ranville and seize the two remaining intact road bridges over the River Orne Pegasus Bridge and River Dives Horsa Bridge in addition to protecting the flank of the invasion forces. The Airborne Infantry had clear orders to hold the bridges against German attack until relieved by units moving up from Sword Beach. Initially it was planned that 5 th Parachute Brigade would take and hold the bridges, however Divisional Commander, Major-General Gale decided the only way to take the bridges would be by a Glider Assault.
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Howard put the company through intense training, including exercise attacks against like for like bridges in Exeter, city fight training in the bombed out centres of cities and even going so far as to acclimatise the unit to Night Operations by changing their daily routines. General Gale tested the Company in two exercises and it soon became apparent that they would not be able to complete the objectives on their own.
Major Howard was asked to select two more platoons from the Battalion to complement the roster. A Platoon of Royal Engineers would also be attached to deal with any Explosive Charges that may have been set on the Bridges. On 5 th June, they made final preparations for the operation, with personal weapons and ammunition being issued.
Each platoon was also issued a radio and 2 Inch Mortar. These first three would be heading for the canal bridge. These three would make for the River Bridge. The Gliders began landing at approximately with the Number One glider coming down in the barbed wire defences of the Canal Bridge. The other gliders followed at one minute intervals, Number Two glider, broke in half on landing and came to rest near a large pond. Sadly one man was thrown in and drowned, weighed down by his equipment. One fled, while the other fired a flare gun to alert nearby defenders before being shot by the British Infantry.
Alerted by the flare, German Machine gunners opened fire on the Bridge wounding Lieutenant Brotheridge as he threw a Grenade at them. Smith was wounded by a Grenade while crossing. Sadly this was too late for Brotheridge to receive treatment and he died from his wounds. All three platoon commanders at the Canal Bridge were now dead or wounded.
At the River Bridge, the Number 5 glider landed first, m from the bridge. Number 6 Glider landed next m short of the Bridge. Glider Number 4 was reported missing, it had landed at the wrong bridge, over 6 Miles away. Reinforcements from the 7 th Parachute Battalion landed shortly thereafter at They formed up and moved to their defensive positions at to be greeted by the Regimental Commander of the German forces stationed to guard the Bridges.
His motorcycle escort was quickly dispatched and the halftrack he was travelling in forced off the road by the British defenders. Major Schmidt and his driver were subsequently taken prisoner. Soon after this the Germans launched their first counter attack to retake the Bridges.
Hitler of course, was still being in bed with none of his staff wanting to wake him, nevertheless, the nd PanzerGrenadier Regiment supported by the 1 st Panzerjaegar Company launched an attack. The other Tanks subsequently retreated and the nd aborted their attack. Not be deterred the Germans resumed their attack at with Self Propelled Artillery, Anti-Aircraft guns and Mortars in an attempt to displace the Airborne. German patrol boats were next to attempt to break the deadlock, moving down the canal from Caen and using their 20mm Cannons.
Clearly showing their desperation a single Luftwaffe Fighter-Bomber attempted to destroy the bridge having avoided the Allied Air Patrols. It dropped a single bomb which hit the Canal Bridge but failed to explode. The nd Panzer Grenadiers continued to attack and harass the British defenders, and brought them to within breaking point.
However the stubborn defenders continued to thwart them, destroying 13 of 17 German tanks and blocking the road with one wrecked vehicle; destroyed by a single Gammon bomb! By now it was midday, Hitler was awake and 21 st Panzer Division was finally given orders to move on the beaches. Unfortunately for them, the RAF and the 2 nd Tactical Air Force were waiting for them and caused heavy losses in their advance towards the beaches. Elements did manage to engage British paratroopers at Ranville, before withdrawing.
At , it was practically all over, 1 st Commando Brigade arrived to provide relief, and they were followed in the evening by 2 nd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Lieutenant Botheridge was posthumously mentioned in dispatches. Finally, Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory praised the pilots involved saying the operation included some of the most outstanding flying achievements of the war.
Of the Men involved in Operation Deadstick, only two were killed, Lieutenant Botheridge who succumbed to his wounds and Lance Corporal Fred Greenhalgh who drowned after being thrown from Number 2 Glider. The River Orne Bridge was renamed 'Horsa Bridge' after the gliders that carried the men who landed here. They usually travelled in groups of ten to thirty, booming along the highways and stopping here are there to get drunk and raise hell. The film had a massive effect on thousands of young California motorcycle riders.
The California climate was perfect for motorcycles, as well as surfboards, swimming pools and convertibles. The most notorious of these outlaw groups were the Hells Angels, headquartered in San Bernardino, just east of Los Angeles, and with branches all over the state. According to a statement by the Attorney General of California, they were easily identified:. Just below the wing of the emblem are the letters "MC. These patches are sewn on the back of a usually sleeveless denim jacket. In addition, members have been observed wearing various types of Luftwaffe insignia and reproductions of German iron crosses.
The Hell's Angels are apolitical and no more racist than other ignorant young thugs. Many affect beards and their hair is usually long and unkempt. Some wear a single earring in a pierced ear lobe. Frequently they have been observed to wear metal belts made of a length of polished motorcycle drive chain which can be unhooked and used as a flexible bludgeon Probably the most universal common denominator in identification of Hell's Angels is generally their filthy condition. Investigating officers consistently report these people, both club members and their female associates, seem badly in need of a bath.
Fingerprints are a very effective means of identification because a high percentage of Hell's Angels have criminal records. Thompson was often a key character in his own novels, he was a drug-taking, gun-toting, left-wing political activist which to many an impressionable teenage-mind was a man to be revered and imitated.
You have to know the material you're writing about before you alter it. There are two overt references to F. Adhering to his own brand of Gonzo journalism, Hunter spent a year with the Angels in the aim of gaining vivid insight into their life and what makes them tick. Far from being the weary outsider that The Hells Angels rising notoriety acquired and to who they quickly became suspicious of, Thompson was a semi-active member of the group, he would welcome them to his apartment at all hours of the day and night much to his neighbours dismay and eventually leading to him being evicted.
For reasons that were never made clear, I blew out my back windows with five blasts of a 12 gauge shotgun, followed moments later by six rounds from a. It was a prolonged outburst of heavy firing, drunken laughter, and crashing glass. Yet the neighbors reacted with total silence. The book is put together in a singular way, a collection of articles, quotations from poems, police reports, film and literature recall the style of a detective novel where events are pieced together after the fact, though this was not the case here as Thompson sent off the novel as individual articles over the year.
Thompson would often run what he had written past The Angels as not to offend them. And Thompson himself was known for his life-long use of all of the above. Most of his films are generally optimistic in nature. Though some critics accuse his films of being a little overly sentimental, Spielberg feels it is fine as long as it is disguised.
The influence comes from directors Frank Capra and John Ford. Spielberg first met actress Amy Irving in at the suggestion of director Brian De Palma , who knew he was looking for an actress to play in Close Encounters. After meeting her, Spielberg told his co-producer Julia Phillips , "I met a real heartbreaker last night.
Irving wanted to be certain that whatever success she attained as an actress would be her own: "I don't want to be known as Steven's girlfriend," she said, and chose not to be in any of his films during those years. As a result, they broke up in , but remained close friends. Then in they renewed their romance, and in November , they married, already having had a son, Max Samuel. After three and a half years of marriage, however, many of the same competing stresses of their careers caused them to divorce in They agreed to maintain homes near each other as to facilitate the shared custody and parenting of their son.
Spielberg subsequently developed a relationship with actress Kate Capshaw , whom he met when he cast her in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. They married on October 12, Capshaw is a convert to Judaism. Spielberg grew up in a Jewish household, including having a bar mitzvah ceremony in Phoenix when he turned He grew away from Judaism after his family moved to various cities during his high school years, where they became the only Jews in the neighborhood. He remembers his grandparents telling him about their life in Russia, where they were subjected to religious persecution, causing them to eventually flee to the United States.
He was made aware of the Holocaust by his parents, who he says "talked about it all the time, and so it was always on my mind. Spielberg "rediscovered the honor of being a Jew," he says, before he made Schindler's List , when he married Kate Capshaw. He says he made the film partly to create "something that would confirm my Judaism to my family and myself. Kate is Protestant and she insisted on converting to Judaism. She spent a year studying, did the " mikveh ," the whole thing.
She chose to do a full conversion before we were married in , and she married me after becoming a Jew. I think that , more than anything else, brought me back to Judaism. He credits her with fueling his family's current level of observance and for keeping the "momentum flowing" in their lives, as they now observe Jewish holidays, light candles on Friday nights, and give their children Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.
Producing Schindler's List in also renewed his faith, Spielberg says, but "it really was the fact that my wife took a profound interest in Judaism. When my first son, [Max] was born, it greatly affected me A spirit began to ignite in me, and I became a Jewish dad He said that making the film became a "natural experience" for him, adding, "I had to tell the story. I've lived on its outer edges. He has since put it up for sale and in the meantime has made it available for charter. In , Premiere listed him as the most powerful and influential figure in the motion picture industry. Time listed him as one of the Most Important People of the Century.
At the end of the 20th century, Life named him the most influential person of his generation. According to Forbes ' Most Influential Celebrities list, Spielberg was listed as the most influential celebrity in America. The annual list is conducted by E-Poll Market Research and it gave more than 6, celebrities on 46 different personality attributes a score representing "how that person is perceived as influencing the public, their peers, or both. Gerry Philpott, president of E-Poll Market Research, supported Spielberg's score by stating, "If anyone doubts that Steven Spielberg has greatly influenced the public, think about how many will think for a second before going into the water this summer.
Spielberg has usually supported U. Democratic Party candidates. He directed an minute film for the project, scored by John Williams and entitled The American Journey. Spielberg resigned as a member of the national advisory board of the Boy Scouts of America in because of his disapproval of the organization's anti-homosexuality stance. A collector of film memorabilia, Spielberg purchased a balsa Rosebud sled from Citizen Kane in Spielberg is a major collector of the work of American illustrator and painter Norman Rockwell. A collection of 57 Rockwell paintings and drawings owned by Spielberg and fellow Rockwell collector and film director George Lucas were displayed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum July 2, — January 2, , in an exhibition titled Telling Stories.
Spielberg is an avid film buff and, when not shooting a picture, he will watch many films in a single weekend. Since playing Pong while filming Jaws in , Spielberg has been an avid video gamer. Spielberg played many of LucasArts adventure games , including the first Monkey Island games. He has also criticized the use of cutscenes in games, calling them intrusive, and feels making story flow naturally into the gameplay is a challenge for future game developers. In , Spielberg was stalked by conspiracy theorist and former social worker Diana Napolis.
She accused him, along with actress Jennifer Love Hewitt , of controlling her thoughts through "cybertronic" technology and being part of a satanic conspiracy against her. Napolis was committed to a mental institution before pleading guilty to stalking, and released on probation with a condition that she have no contact with either Spielberg or Hewitt.
Jonathan Norman was arrested after making two attempts to enter Spielberg's Pacific Palisades home in June and July Norman was jailed for 25 years in California. Spielberg told the court: "Had Jonathan Norman actually confronted me, I genuinely, in my heart of hearts, believe that I would have been raped or maimed or killed. Spielberg has won three Academy Awards. In , he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his work as a creative producer. Drawing from his own experiences in Scouting , Spielberg helped the Boy Scouts of America develop a merit badge in cinematography in order to help promote filmmaking as a marketable skill.
The badge was launched at the National Scout Jamboree , which Spielberg attended, and where he personally counseled many boys in their work on requirements. The opening scene shows a teenage Indiana Jones in scout uniform bearing the rank of a Life Scout. For his career accomplishments, service to others, and dedication to a new merit badge Spielberg was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
In , Spielberg received an honorary degree from Brown University. The tribute to Spielberg featured a short, filmed biography narrated by Liam Neeson and included thank-yous from World War II veterans for Saving Private Ryan , as well as a performance of the finale to Leonard Bernstein 's Candide , conducted by John Williams Spielberg's frequent composer.
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Spielberg in , the first year it considered non-literary contributors. He was set to be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the January Golden Globes ; however, due to the new, watered-down format of the ceremony resulting from conflicts in the —08 writers strike , the HFPA postponed his honor to the ceremony. Spielberg received an honorary degree at Boston University 's th Annual Commencement on May 17, The Commander is the third highest rank of the Order of the Crown.
He was the president of the jury for the Cannes Film Festival. Spielberg was given two facsimiles of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution , one passed but not ratified in , as well as a facsimile of the actual amendment signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. The amendment and the process of passing it were the subject of his film Lincoln. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Spielberg disambiguation. American film director and screenwriter. Cincinnati, Ohio , U. Amy Irving m. Kate Capshaw m. Arnold Spielberg father Leah Posner mother.
This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Steven Spielberg filmography. See also: List of awards and nominations received by Steven Spielberg.
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