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Past Issues

Volume 9, Number 1 - 1st Quarter 2008

LOGBOOK is a quarterly magazine covering the entire spectrum of aviation history, from the first flight to just yesterday. Civil, Military, Airline, General Aviation - We bring you the stories that have rarely or never been published before, told by the people who lived them. If the story is known, we dig to find additional information, documents and photographs to add to the knowledge about the topic. Short stories, sea stories, personal remembrances, in-depth information and simple hangar flying are the kind of unique aviation history you will find in the pages of LOGBOOK.

Back Issue: Available
 

Discovery: A One-Oh-One Wonder in Alaska

Captain Greg Moulton takes a look in what was left of the Voodoo's cockpit. Captain Greg Moulton takes a look in what was left of the Voodoo's cockpit.
As my three year F-15 Eagle assignment with the 12th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska, was drawing to a close I found myself trying to cram in the rest of the “Alaskan Experience” before I had to depart. Anybody who has been to Alaska can attest that general aviation is a major enterprise there and truly the only way to see the sights. Luckily for me Pat “Hank” Williams, a bud in the squadron, had his own Piper Super Cub – N881RW – that his dad had flown up from his home town is Idaho the summer prior. Two months earlier Hank had put a set of floats on the Cub, and since “combat fishing” down at the Russian River didn’t sound too appealing, Hank offered to take me out to some really great lakes where the fish were plentiful and the fishers were not.
We climbed up to about 500 feet and with the door open and were just taking in the sights. About 15 minutes into the flight, just as we were approaching the Susitna River, I spotted something about two miles off to the north in the marsh that did not look very appealing. I got Hank’s attention and he banked up to take us over for a closer look. As we got closer we could both tell it was the wreckage of some kind of airplane. Hank dropped down for a closer look and we could both see it plain as day, “USAF” in large black letters on one of the wings and on the other wing was the old type “Star and Bars” insignia. The wreckage was in three separate parts. The fuselage and wings were still together while the nose and tail were both separated but located nearby. We circled back for another look and that is when I was sure it was a McDonnell F-101 Voodoo.
Greg "Lava" Moulton tells of his search for just what happened to this Voodoo
 

Memories of the Bearcat

Grumman F8F Bearcats turn up prior to launch aboard the USS Tarawa (CV-40). Grumman F8F Bearcats turn up prior to launch aboard the USS Tarawa (CV-40).
By 1951, U.S. Naval Air Stations and Auxiliary Air Stations were still filled with all types of World War Two combat aircraft, along with their former aviators, who were now reluctant civilians. Many still attended college or were being settled in their careers. Many too were still hanging out in the evenings at the various officers clubs not knowing what else to do. Those lucky senior individuals who had been selected as commanding officers of the Ready Reserve squadrons still had their pick of highly qualified and decorated naval aviators to fill the few available paying billets. Over-complimented squadrons were the routine. Those pilots who did not have a paying billet still reported to the naval air stations every other weekend at their own expense and completed the required training periods twice per month. There were long waiting lists for appointments to all squadrons. Officers clubs were just as noisy as during wartime. Maybe even more so as these young men were terrified at losing their status as members of the most exclusive men’s club in the world – a United States Naval Aviator. Those who had been carrier pilots considered themselves a step above the multi-engine pilots, and those who were fighter pilots as well, considered themselves first among equals. Night fighter pilots were all of these.
Retired Naval Aviator Jim Brown tells of life in the Naval Reserve flying the Grumman F8F Bearcat - great reading!
 

Mission to the Northwest Highway

Two McDonnell F-4E Phantoms tank from a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker. Two McDonnell F-4E Phantoms tank from a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker.
In most respects it was a typical Route Package VI mission except that we had no electronic warning equipment and it was night. Even those differences were routine to me. My squadron got electronic warning gear after I had left, and I had long ago grown accustomed to night missions.
Of four men on that mission, three did not survive the war.
Our relentless presence in the daytime had caused the Vietnamese trucks to do much more driving at night. Higher HQ decided to assign two fighter squadrons for operations primarily at night. The 497th and 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadrons (TFS) at Ubon, Thailand got the odious task. [The 497th TFS - The Night Owls and the 433rd TFS - Satan’s Angels were both assigned to the 8th Tactical Fight Wing (TFW), Colonel Joe Wilson Commanding. The author flew with the 497th.] One squadron would fly from sundown to midnight, then the other until dawn. Most of our missions were to the North Vietnam panhandle – Route Packs I, II, and III. The big advantage to this was that their defenses were less robust. Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) activity was almost none, radar-directed Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) was not very effective against a maneuvering target, and visually-aimed guns could not see us very well. The downside was that there was much more danger of a pilot’s losing aircraft control during aggressive maneuvering or flying into the ground.
USAF Phantom driver R.L. Penn tells of a mission to the Northwest Highway that didn't end up as planned.