Category Archives: Posts

The Hornets Nest

The Hornets Nest

The documentary film describes the carnage and chaos which become a part of the daily lives and the deaths of American soldiers during the Afghanistan war under eyes of 2 journalists: a father Mike Boettcher and his son Carlos Boettcher. The three-day mission extends to 9 days, reflecting severity of the American longest war.

Source: The Hornets Nest

Thunderbolt – Missions in the ETO

One of a kind; includes an introduction by Jimmy Stewart, and rare color footage of Thunderbolts operating out of Corsica, flying missions into Italy.

Uploaded on YTube May 13, 2010

A documentary on the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft and its use in missions over Europe in the Second World War.  Release date 1947

Features Jimmy Stewart;  Directed by Wiliam Wyler  Writer John Sturges

The odds great, The margin small, The stakes- infinite. Winston Churchill

Symbol in the smoke: Herbert Mason’s iconic photograph of St Paul’s dome emerging from the smoke of raging fires in surrounding streets.

Another perspective of the Battle of Britain.  Intelligence errors which cost the Luftwaffe its edge; their failure to recognize the strategic value of British radar sites, the clever air defense tactics of fighter commnd, and costly errors committed by both sides.

They don’t teach this in Common Core

The source site contains the usual copyright claim, hence this small excerpt.  Check out the link; well worth the read.  And you thought you knew about our Marines…

Excerpt from The History Reader:

“The Marines’ victory helped Hamet Caramanli, Yusuf’s deposed brother, reclaim his rightful throne as ruler of Tripoli. In gratitude, he presented his Mameluke sword to Lieutenant O’Bannon. This famous sword became part of the officer uniform in 1825, and remains the oldest ceremonial weapon in use by U.S. forces today. Derna was the Marines’ first battle on foreign soil. Lieutenant O’Bannon and his men are immortalized in the “Marines’ Hymn”: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.”

This is from a lengthy excerpt from Fred Pushies book MARSOC: U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command


Firsthand Accounts from Japanese Naval Pilots

Dan King’s well documented presentation; this provides a badly needed perspective about Japanese procedures, accounts from their pilots, cultural views, loss of seasoned personnel, (a willingness to be captured meant shame to their families) and other little -if at all- known facts.  Among the many previously untouched stories is the process that recruits went through to become pilots; extremely harsh training I had read about in Saburo Sakai’s book “Samurai”

Produced by Jarel & Betty Wheaton for Peninsula Seniors based on Dan’s presentation at the Western Museum of Flight.

Violet Lightning – the Shiden Kai (“George”) Fighter

Courtesy of Wikipedia, and Wikipedia Commons.  Noted Wiki is “powered by YouTube”… and has a resource called Mashpedia, source of the video.  I make no claim to own these images, or other information. 

Photo from

Above video and below info from

Operational history

Kawanishi N1K2-J, probably N1K4-J Shiden Kai Model 32—only two prototypes were built.

The N1K1 entered service in early 1944 and proved highly effective against American fighters. The Kawanishi was among the few Japanese fighters that could stand up to the best enemy types, including Hellcats and Corsairs. In the hands of aces, the Shiden could even outfly its American opponents. In February 1945, Lieutenant Kaneyoshi Muto, flying a N1K2-J as part of a group of at least 10 expert Japanese pilots, faced seven U.S. Navy Hellcats of VF-82 in the sky over Japan. His group shot down four Hellcats with no loss to themselves. After the action, reporters fabricated a story in which Muto was the sole airman facing 12 enemy aircraft. However, a close friend of Lieutenant Kaneyoshi Muto, ace pilot Saburō Sakai, states in his autobiography that the one versus twelve combat did take place, but with Muto at the controls of a Zero fighter.

The N1K1-J aircraft were used very effectively over Formosa, the Philippines and later, Okinawa. Before production was switched to the improved N1K2-J, 1,007 aircraft were produced, including prototypes.

Problems resulted in very few N1K2-J aircraft being produced, but the Shiden-Kai proved to be one of the best “dogfighters” fielded by either side. Along with high speed, the fighters were very agile with a roll rate of 82°/sec at 386 km/h (240 mph). Their weaponry, comprising four 20 mm cannons in the wings, was highly effective. As a bomber interceptor, the N1K2-J was less successful, hampered by a poor rate of climb and reduced engine performance at high altitude.