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Excerpts from
AAHS Journal, Vol. 50, No. 1 - Spring 2005
Table of Contents 

The Navy’s Striking Eagles Squadron, Part II

     While the initial aim of the American thrust had Rabaul, New Britain, as prime target, this changed to Guadalcanal when a decrypted enemy message indicated the Japanese had begun an airfield there. 
     Earlier the Japanese had occupied the tiny island of Tulagi tucked into a pocket of the bigger island called Florida. Tulagi lay slightly over two nautical miles, across what Navymen would later call "Ironbottom Sound." 
     The troops selected for the thrust into the Solomons were the hard bitten, well trained professionals of MAJGEN Alexander A. Vandegrift’s First Marine Division.
     Control of the air was a daunting task in planning operations in the South Pacific. At Rabaul and Lae in Papua, New Guinea, the Japanese held in its 5th Air Attack Force; 39 fighters, 48 bombers, eleven patrol bombers, and six floatplane fighters ( the latter at Tulagi ). The air groups of SARATOGA, ENTERPRISE and WASP were tasked with the formidable mission of countering this threat as the Marines moved ashore.
     RADM Leigh Noyes in WASP was Commander Air Support Force which included the carriers plus battleship NORTH CAROLINA, six cruisers, 16 destroyers and three attending oilers. Shortly after 0530 on 7 August Noyes ordered the carriers to launch their fighters and . . . . . .

Grumman F4F’s at Henderson Field

Douglas C-132

     On 14 Feb 57, the U.S. Air Force announced a new transport aircraft. It would be capable of moving more than a half-million pounds of airplane faster than 460 mph. The airplane was the Douglas C-132, to be built at Douglas Aircraft Company’s plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma.# In the end, though, the airplane progressed no further than a full-scale mockup and inflight testing of the Pratt & Whitney T57 turboprop engine mounted on a modified C-124C. Had the Air Force gone ahead with the project, the result would have been a turboprop transport and aerial refueler nearly twice as large as the C-133. 
     Because of the Air Force type numbering system, the C-132 had been perceived as a predecessor to the C-133. The Douglas model numbers were quite distinct, however, being 1333 (C-133A) and 1430 (C-133B) and 1814 (C-132), respectively. The C-132 was, in fact, a separate project with no design commonality with the C-133, though it would have carried turboprop applications to a point not attained until the Antonov AN-22 Anteus debuted at the 1965 Paris Air Show. The U.S. Air Force would also have gained outsized cargo transport capabilities beyond even those of the C-133 that it did not enjoy until the Lockheed C-5 entered service in 1968.
     The C-132 was one of the first three USAF transport aircraft procured under the weapons system concept first implemented in 1949. It was the SS-402L (Support  . . . . . . .

Douglas C-132 mock-up

Max Holtzem: An "Old Eagle" of the First World War. Part Three: 
Test Pilot and Aerobatic Performer In the "New World

     As a result of the Communist-led revolution in Germany, "Soldiers Councils" began to influence the Armistice Commission.
     Jasta 16b was ordered to surrender its Fokker D VIIs in Cologne. This was Holizem’s home area and he knew it so well that he was selected to guide the Jagd.staffel to this Rhine city. In fact, several other units joined Jasta 16b and Max found himself at the head of a small armada. All was confusion in Cologne and the men were forced to guard their planes lest they be stolen. When he discovered that a Communist Soviet Soldiers’ Council was to be in command Max decided to escape. He arranged to have his Fokker D VII fueled and ready for flight and, at an opportune moment, he took off. Where could he go? Yes, he would fly down the Rhine to Speyer and visit his friend Alfred Eversbusch at the Pfalz Werke. When he arrived, Max found that other German pilots had the same idea. Among the more famous flyers at Speyer were Lothar von Richthofen and Ernst Udet. Herr Eversbusch presented Udet with a brand new Pfalz D XV fighter plane which was orignally intended as a replacement for the Pfalz D XII. The men discussed the Armistice and whether hostilities would resume. They also talked about the prospects of jobs in the event that a peace treaty was signed. All agreed that there would  . . . . . . 

Max Holtzem with Fokker Tri-motor

SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY, The Air Fields of the Sixth Air Force, 

     As noted in the first essay in this series, dedicated to the first permanent air field in the Panama Canal Zone, France Field, locating sites for the infant Army Air Service in the environs of the area then known as the Zone was a challenge for the pioneers in that tropical region. 
     Before the Army’s first field in the Canal Zone was even five years old, it was clear to Army leaders that the existence of a solitary field, on which was based the entire defensive air strength of the Canal, was ill-advised. Additionally, the Air Service had chosen a location that was nearly as far away as one could get in the Zone from the administrative and military headquarters of the Panama Canal Department, which was located more than 60 miles away to the south at Balboa, near Panama City, on the Pacific approaches to the Canal. Connected at the time by a single track railroad and the Canal itself (a trans-isthmian highway was still some distance in the future), France Field was also bedeviled by  . . . . . . . . .

Rare Douglas Y1C-21 Dolphin at Albrook Field

Compagnie Aerienne Antillaise

     The island Tintamarre, locally better known as Flat Island, is situated just off the north-east point of St. Martin. It is a most unlikely place to be the home base for an international airline, but that is just what it became in 1946. The island measures only about 2500 x 1000 meters, is separated by a 3 km channel from the the island of St. Martin and, most odd of all, it is uninhabited! Still, Tintamarre has a very interesting history. For instance, it was once the private property of the last descendant of the prominent Dutch Van Romondt plantation dynasty, who ran the island like an independent kingdom, growing high grade sea-cotton, weaving and dying it and even issuing his own currency to be used by the plantation laborers. The island had a brief spell of fame when a visiting French journalist wrote a story about "le Roi de Tintamarre" and with his story unleashed a flood of love letters from French womanhood offering their services as van Romondt’s "queen".
     Alas, van Romondt preferred things as they were and remained, at least legally, a bachelor and when in 1932 he retired back to the ancestral home at St. Martin, Tintamarre regressed to its former desolate state, visited only now and then by itinerant fishermen. However, an even more exiting episode was to follow just after World War II: it became the birthplace of aviation for St. Martin and surrounding islands. In 1946 an enterprising young man named Remy De Haenen started a unique airline operation at Tintamarre which pioneered the airways in the area.
     Remy De Haenen was born in London of Dutch parents (the original family name was Van Haanen). His father had been a war correspondent and illustrator for the Illustrated London News, based in France during the Great War. The family stayed on in France and this was .. . . . . . . . . .

CAA Vought Kingfisher

 Remember When... 

     For those of us who recall the period, a boom in general aviation was to take place following World War II. It was anticipated that returning airmen would trade their wartime aircraft, flown in hostile skies, for light planes flown over peaceful American terrain. The return of many veteran pilots, aviators and airmen were to be the catalyst behind the figurative statement "an airplane in every garage," and it gave impetus to artists’ conceptions of smiling families flying to vacation destinations in futuristic light planes. Aviation magazines of the day reinforced this vision by depicting modern-day housing developments with a runway and individual taxiways leading up to each new home.
     Aircraft companies and subcontractors shared this optimism as they converted their wartime facilities into the manufacturing of general-aviation aircraft. Soon their drawing boards were busy as they transitioned from the manufacturing of bomber and pursuit aircraft of war to the postwar pursuit of building light planes. In some cases, and for expediency, their aircraft were prewar or updated designs. Other companies, however, capitalized on wartime knowledge and transferred newly developed technology into modern and innovative aircraft designs.
     New light-plane designs and prototypes from major aircraft manufacturers, including Douglas, Grumman, Lockheed, North American and Republic, entered into development. Additionally, new light planes from many other aircraft companies entered the developmental stage at the end of the war (see listing of aircraft). Concurrently, production was resumed on prewar aircraft, including the Erco Ercoupe, Globe Swift, and the Luscombe Silvaire.
     However, the aviation boom was not to be. Many war-weary pilots turned their vision from the sky to earthbound goals, including home, automobile, family . . . . . . . .

Flying Aircraft Carriers of the USAF: Wing Tip Coupling, Section 1: EC-47A/Q-14B

     During and after World War II, aircraft designers were faced with the problem of increasing the range of strategic bombers. During the war, military planners were faced with the possibility that air bases in England would become unavailable to U. S. bombers. Strikes against the axis powers in Europe might have to be conducted from bases in North America. In the early years of the cold war, the vast size of the Soviet Union taxed the range capabilities of U.S. warplanes.
     The most obvious way to increase the range of an airplane is to load more fuel on it. To carry more fuel without increasing the wing loading, the wing must be made larger. It is not practical to simply make the wingspan longer. The structure of the wing root has to be redesigned to support the extra lift that the larger wing generates. This was the route taken by the Antonov design bureau when they enlarged the design of the An-124 Ruslan to create the An-225 Mriya by attaching the wings of the Ruslan to an entirely new wing center section that carried an additional pair of engines.
     Dr. Richard Vogt, a German immigrant to the United States, proposed that floating wing panels carrying fuel tanks could be attached to the wing tips of an airplane with hinges to extend its range without requiring a redesign of the wing root. The floating wing panels would support their own weight, without increasing the load on the airplane’s wings.
     The fuel carrying wing extensions would increase the wingspan of the airplane, effectively increasing the aspect ratio.1 Increasing the aspect ratio of a wing . . . . . . . . . 

Culver Q-14B-CL coupled to the wing of Douglas EC-47A