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Rjel
07-10-2010, 11:09 PM
My first Youtube upload. It is from a video I've had for close to 30 years, which is a little scary when you think about it. It features a preflight briefing by then Major Don Blakeslee of the 4thFG. Look quickly and you'll see Col. Chesley Peterson and a couple of other notable pilots of the 4th. Also featured is ace Eugene Roberts at the end of the film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQeHXaavwGs

Waldo.Pepper
07-11-2010, 12:40 AM
Top notch, excellent - thanks.

jameson2010
07-11-2010, 03:58 AM
Rjel,
Do you know when that was made? Sometime 1943? Nice shots of take and landing at airfield, Bodney? Thanks for posting.

Rjel
07-11-2010, 08:18 AM
Originally posted by jameson2010:
Rjel,
Do you know when that was made? Sometime 1943? Nice shots of take and landing at airfield, Bodney? Thanks for posting.

Not for sure, but it was made sometime after July 12, 1943. That is when the red outlined borders were added to the national insignia of the 4ths Thunderbolts according to the book Escort to Berlin. Who knows if it was all filmed at the same time or not, but the P-47s are shown taxiing and taking off from Debden. There is a shot of a 78thFG Thunderbolt and then Eugene Roberts' 78thFG P-47 at the end. So it was probably spliced together from a lot of different film stock.

horseback
07-12-2010, 03:19 PM
The red outlined star and bars were rather short-lived; AFAIK, they were almost all painted out by around October of that same year.

Apparently, ANY red in an aircraft insignia was sufficient to draw ground fire from Allied troops in the Pacific, and in the interests of uniformity, the USAAF and the Navy decided to keep the 'bars' but to go to a plain blue surround in all theaters.

Also noted the different cowl flaps used in the P-47C and early 47D models, along with the relatively tiny 50 gallon belly tanks first used to extend the Jug's range.

I also got the impression that those Olive Drab paint jobs looked pretty shiny--maybe there is something to all those anecdotes about pilots and groundcrew paste waxing those brutes for lower drag.

cheers

horseback

Waldo.Pepper
07-12-2010, 07:56 PM
groundcrew paste waxing those brutes for lower drag.

Routinely done on RAF PR Spitfires. There was rather predictably far more time available to lavish attention on them.