Tag Archives: Korean War

Lost and Found – June 18th Edition

What to remember about June 18th…

  • 1778  British troops abandon their almost nine month occupation of Philadelphia after French entry into war made city indefensible
  • 1798  President John Adams signs Naturalization act – part of the Alien and Sedition Acts; so controversial that Adams never enforces
  • 1812  President James Madison signs Declaration of War passed by Congress, War of 1812 with Britain begins
  • 1815  Wellington defeats Napoleon at Waterloo; forces his final abdication
  • 1873  Susan B. Anthony fined $100 for voting in 1872 Presidential election; she vows to and never does pay the fine
  • 1940  Hitler and Mussolini meet in Munich to discuss plans and the late entry of Italy into the war; Mussolini leaves berated and dissatisfied
  • 1953  8 day struggle to hold Outpost Harry ends; 4 American and 1 Greek infantry companies hold off over 13,000 Chinese troops
  • 1965  Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-52 bombers are used in Vietnam for 1st time; Operation Arc Light is under way
  • 1981  1st flight of Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter
  • 1983  1st female American Astronaut – Dr. Sally K. Ride – is launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-7)
  • 2009  NASA launches Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to create 3D map of the lunar surface, identify potential resources and landing sites

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Warbirds – F4U Corsair

Considered by many to be the best carrier based fighter-bomber of World War II, today we honor the May 29, 1940  first flight of the F4U Corsair on Warbirds.

Despite early issues with getting Corsair squadrons qualified for carrier landings, the Marine Corps had no reservations about using her as a land-based fighter beginning in 1942.  The navy restricted the planes from carrier landings until early 1944.  Despite the Corsair’s superior performance in almost all categories, veteran Navy pilots preferred the F-6 Hellcat as it was easier to land having less tendency to bounce.  Many naval aviators disparagingly called the F4U “hog”, hognose”, or even “bent-wing widow maker”.

The F-4 Corsair’s combat debut in 1943  was as part of the fiasco near Kahili known as the “Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre”.  4 P-38s, 2 P-40s, 2 B-24s, and 2 F4Us were lost with no more than 4 Zeros downed.  Despite this rocky first encounter, Marine pilots soon learned to take advantage of the Corsair’s superior capabilities and six .50 caliber machineguns versus Japanese fighters.  These ground based squadrons would operate in some of the Pacific theater’s hottest zones like Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Philippines, Marshall Islands, Palaus, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

The F4U has had a star-studded cast of pilots.  Charles Lindbergh served as a test pilot and evaluator while Hall of Fame baseball player Ted Williams was a flight instructor for the F4U at Pensacola.  Among Marine Corps Corsair pilots there were 15 confirmed aces and 4 Medal of Honor recipients.  The first Corsair Ace was Second Lieutenant Kenneth A. Walsh while the most famous was probably Major Gregory “Pappy” Boyington f the Blacksheep Squadron (VMF-214).

Having seen service with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Royal New Zealand Airforce, and the U.K. Royal Navy Fleet Arm, the end of WWII did not spell the end of the Corsair’s career.  The F4U would serve with Argentinian, El Salvadoran, French, and Honduran militaries.  Combat roles would include the First Indochina War, the Suez Crisis, the Algerian War, and War of Tunisian Independence.  But, the Corsair would truly shine as close support aircraft and night fighter during the Korean War.  Ensign Jesse L. Brown, the U.S. Navy’s 1st African-American naval aviator, flew Corsairs on combat missions from the USS Leyte (CV-32). He was shot down on December 4, 1950 and became the first U.S. Navy officer killed during the Korean War.

F4U Corsairs feature prominently in media.  John Wayne starred in a film about Marine Corps aviators called Flying Leathernecks.  The made for television movie and follow-up series Baa Baa Black Sheep fictionally portrays the actions of Greg “Pappy” Boyington and the Black Sheep Squadron (VMF-214)

You can view a very thorough history of the Vought F4U Corsair on YouTube in this 5-part series.

(If you have suggestions of other aircraft to cover in upcoming Warbirds posts, please put them in the comments.  Thanks.)

Lost and Found – April 11th Edition

What to remember about April 11th…

  • 1803  French Foreign Minister Talleyrand offers to sell all of Louisiana Territory to the United States
  • 1814  Emperor of France Napoleon Bonaparte abdicates throne and is banished to the island of Elba as part of Treaty of Fontainebleau
  • 1862  Confederates surrender Fort Pulaski on Savannah River after Union artillery bombardment proves defenses cannot hold
  • 1945  U.S. troops liberate Buchenwald concentration camp
  • 1951  President Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of his command for making statements contradicting administration’s policies
  • 1970  NASA’s ill-fated Apollo 13 mission is launched from Cape Canaveral carrying James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise
  • 1979  Brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin flees country as rebels near
  • 1981  President Reagan leaves hospital for the White House to recover from March 30th assassination attempt by John Hinckley, Jr.
  • 2006  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces that his country has successfully enriched uranium

Warbirds – B-45 Tornado

Welcome to the latest edition of Warbirds here at The Clockwork Conservative.  Today we’ll be showcasing (and celebrating the first flight of) America’s first strategic jet bomber – the B-45 Tornado.

Development on this sleek aircraft began when the War Department grew increasingly concerned over long-range, high-speed German bombers like the Arado Ar 234.  The ability to outrun conventional fighter aircraft could give an enemy to strike with impunity within the jet’s range.

The design proposal put forward by North American Aviation won in mid-1944.  In September of that year, construction began on the first 3 prototypes.  To fulfill the imagined bombing, reconnaissance, and nuclear weapon delivery roles, the Tornado featured a pilot, co-pilot, bombardier/navigator, and tail gunner crew configuration.  Four jet engines (sometimes augmented with rocket assisted launch equipment) allowed for a payload of 22,000 lbs.  Her initial 1000 mile range was augmented by the inclusion of in-flight refueling capacity.  The B-45 was the world’s first operational jet bomber to perform an inflight refueling.

The B-45’s development proceeded rapidly and the U.S. Army Air Force issued a preliminary contract with an eye towards fielding 5 light bomb groups and another 3 reconnaissance groups.  With the heating up of the Cold War, pressure to aviation technology was tremendous.  By the time that the initial Tornados were delivered, plans for its use were already being scaled back in favor of even more advanced jets.  Only 143 B-45 variants were ever produced.

With the opening of the Korean War, the B-45 finally got the opportunity to prove her value.  In both bombing and reconnaissance roles, the Tornado performed yeoman’s work.  Daylight bombing runs at altitude were the rule until an RB-45 was nearly lost to MiG-15 fighter jet in 1952.  After that, the remaining deployed aircraft were converted for nighttime operations.

In 1952, with Cold War tensions rising, many of the other B-45’s were forward positioned at bases in the United Kingdom.  However, before the transatlantic flight to Sculthorpe, the Tornados were upgraded to be capable of deploying the new compact generation of nuclear weapon.  The threat of their payloads and proximity to the Soviet bloc countries added a significant deterrent.  Several of the RB-45C reconnaissance variant were seconded to the Royal Air Force so that they could perform clandestine intelligence gathering flights over communist territory when such missions by American forces were prohibited by the President.  This value of this type of successful intelligence gathering mission would lead to the development of the U-2 and later the SR-71 Blackbird.

Unfortunately, with advent of bigger, faster, and more capable jet bombers, the days of the B-45 were numbered.  By 1958, the last U.S.A.F. B-45’s were withdrawn from service and R.A.F. aircraft were soon to follow.  The last few Tornados served as trainers and later test platforms through the early 1970’s.

Lost and Found – February 28th Edition

What to remember about February 28th…

  • 1827  Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad is incorporated; becomes 1st in America to offer passenger and cargo transportation
  • 1854  Republican Party is born in Ripon, Wisconsin when 30 opponents of Kansas-Nebraska Act meet to form new political party
  • 1893  America’s 1st battleship is launched; USS Indiana (BB-1)
  • 1940  Legendary Italian American race car driver Mario Andretti is born
  • 1953  Scientists James D. Watson and Francis Crick 1st announce that they have discovered the chemical structure of DNA
  • 1983  After 11 seasons on television, M*A*S*H airs for last time
  • 1991  President Bush declares a ceasefire ending 1st Gulf War; ground war had lasted just 100 hours
  • 1993  Federal agents storm Branch Davidian compound outside Waco, Texas in attempt to arrest leader David Koresh; 10 killed in gun battle before beginning 50-day siege that will kill another 76 at the end
  • 1997  2 heavily armed and armored bank robbers engage police in firefight outside a Bank of America in North Hollywood; both shooters killed and 18 others injured
  • 1998  RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle takes maiden flight; 1st UAV certified for use in civilian airspace
  • 2005  American businessman and adventurer Stephen Fossett begins 1st nonstop, unrefueled, circumnavigation of the globe by a fixed-wing aircraft aboard Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer
  • 2009  American radio broadcaster Paul Harvey (Aurant) dies in Phoenix, Arizona (b. 1918); now you know “The Rest of the Story”

Lost and Found – January 4th Edition

What to remember about January 4th…

  • 1847  Texas Rangers order 1000 .44 revolvers from Samuel Colt for use in Mexican-American War; Colt Firearms born
  • 1865  New York Stock Exchange moves into its 1st permanent home at 10–12 Broad Street in New York City
  • 1884  Fabian Society founded in London; socialist society promoting internationalism, eugenics, and infiltration of governments
  • 1896  Utah is admitted to the Union as the 46th state
  • 1951  Communist forces of China and North Korea capture Seoul
  • 1965 President Lyndon Johnson unveils his plan for a Great Society at State of the Union address
  • 1974  President Nixon refuses to turn over materials subpoenaed by Senate committee investigating Watergate
  • 1995  104th Congress begins when Newt Gingrich becomes Speaker; 1st Republican Congress since Eisenhower
  • 1999  Resulting from 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European union, the Euro debuts as universal currency in 11 nations
  • 2004  NASA’s MER-A Spirit rover explorer lands on Mars
  • 2007  110th Congress elects Nancy Pelosi (D – Ca) as the 1st female Speaker of the House

colt model 1847 walker revolver

Lost and Found – December 20th Edition

What to remember about December 20th…

    • 1783  Virginia cedes western territory reaching as far as Mississippi River
    • 1803  French peacefully surrender New Orleans to America as part of Louisiana Purchase
    • 1946  Classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life is released in New York; Frank Capra movie stars James Stewart and Donna Reed
    • 1957  Elvis Presley receives his draft notice during the Korean War; he served in West Germany in a tank battalion
    • 1963 For the 1st time in 2 years East Germany allows westerners to enter on one-day passes through the Berlin Wall
    • 1989  After the murder of a U.S. Marine by Panamanian police December 16th, American forces invade in Operation Just Cause
    • 2005  US District Court rules against mandating teaching of “intelligent design” in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

Lost and Found – December 16th Edition

What to remember about December 16th…

    • 1773  Outraged at British tax policy, Samuel Adams and 60 members of the Sons of Liberty dump tea cargos of 3 ships into harbor; 1st Boston Tea Party
    • 1811  Estimated 8.6 magnitude earthquake rocks New Madrid fault in Missouri; landscape dramatically altered and Mississippi River flows backwards in places
    • 1944  Massive German counter-attack surprises Allied troops in Belgium; Battle of the Bulge begins
    • 1950  President Truman declares state of emergency following Chinese entry into Korean War with hundreds of thousands of troops
    • 1989  1st of 4 pipe bombs sent by Walter LeRoy Moody arrives; Federal Judge Robert Vance killed instantly
    • 1998  President Clinton orders airstrikes against Iraq for failing to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors; political observers see attacks as an attempt to distract public from ongoing impeachment proceedings; see movie Wag the Dog

Lost and Found – September 15th Edition

What to remember about September 15th…

  • 1779  French fleet blockading Savannah, Georgia captures 2 British frigates and 2 supply ships
  • 1794  James Madison marries Dolly Payne Todd
  • 1835  Naturalist Charles Darwin reaches the Galapagos Islands aboard the HMS Beagle
  • 1857  President William Howard Taft is born in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 1862  Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson captures Harpers Ferry, Virginia and 12,000 Union troops
  • 1916  Tanks are used in battle for the 1st time by Britain at the Battle of the Somme
  • 1935  Nuremberg Laws are passed in Germany; Jews are stripped of their civil rights; Nazis adopt the swastika for their flag
  • 1950  U.S. forces under General MacArthur  make surprise amphibious assault at Inchon and capture the city
  • 1981  Senate Judiciary Committee approves Sandra Day O’Connor to become the 1st female justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
  • 2008  158-year old financial firm Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history

British Mark IV Tank

Lost and Found – August 17th Edition

What to remember about August 17th…

  • 1785  Governor of Connecticut  and lieutenant colonel in the colonial militia Jonathan Trumbull dies (b. 1710)
  • 1786  American frontiersman, soldier and politician David “Davy” Crockett is born in Tennessee (d. 1836)
  • 1915  Jewish-American businessman Leo Frank is lynched in Marietta, Georgia; leads to formation of the Anti-Defamation League
  • 1943  U.S. 7th Army led by General George S. Patton takes Messina and complete the liberation of Sicily
  • 1950  Over 40 U.S. POW’s machine-gunned on Hill 303 by North Korean troops rather than allow them to be rescued
  • 1962  East German guards shoot 18-year-old Peter Fechter trying to escape over the Berlin Wall; they leave him at the foot of the wall to bleed to death
  • 1969  Category 5 strength Hurricane Camille comes ashore in Mississippi with winds of at least 190 mph
  • 1978  Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman land near Paris completing 1st balloon voyage across the Atlantic; 137-hour voyage
  • 1998  Bill Clinton becomes 1st sitting president to testify before a grand jury; he admits to an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky and that he “misled people” about the affair
  • 2008  American Olympian Michael Phelps becomes 1st athlete to win 8 gold medals at one Olympic Games

portrait of davy crockett