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Past Issues

Volume 9, Number 3 - 3rd Quarter 2008

LOGBOOK is a quarterly magazine covering the entire spectrum of international aviation history, from the first tentative attempts at flight, to history that was made just yesterday.

LOGBOOK is a distinctive publication in the field of aviation history. At LOGBOOK we certainly enjoy bringing you in-depth articles written by some of the world’s premier aviation historians. More importantly, however, we also enjoy working with, actively encouraging and publishing the first-time, one-time and fledgling author. These are the folks who actually lived the aviation history they are writing about, which lets the reader experience the action from a unique perspective. This allows LOGBOOK to bring you aviation history you will find no other place.

Back Issue: Available
 

Anatomy of a Raid - 18 March 1945

The formation used by the 422nd BS - 18 March 1945. The formation used by the 422nd BS - 18 March 1945.
Mission 701 starts: The U.S. 8th Air Force (AF) is going to Berlin to knock out the Rummelsburg railroad marshalling yards, which are loaded with military supplies for the Russian front. The date is 18 March 1945. In all, 1,329 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberators will launch.
This article relates the events of just one remarkably fateful mission flown by the author, when he was an aircraft commander in the 422nd Bombardment Squadron. It is divided into two parts: Part One is based on the author’s research at the National Archives, which holds over 140 documents concerning this one mission alone. Part Two is the authors personal narrative of the mission and its rather harrowing results.
Roy O McCaldin tells his own story.
 

The 32nd TFS and the Fourth of July Alpha Scramble

An F-15C Eagle - S/N 81-049 - assigned to the 32nd TFS. An F-15C Eagle - S/N 81-049 - assigned to the 32nd TFS.
From 13 September 1978, through 17 June 1993, the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) – the Wolfhounds – sat air defense alert at Soesterberg Air Base (AB), the Netherlands, with the McDonnell Douglas – now Boeing – F-15 Eagle. One of six United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE), two British, one Dutch and a Belgian squadrons doing so, the fighter pilots and maintenance crews guarded the skies of West Germany against any penetrations by aircraft of Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact. In NATO parlance this was called Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) or QRA(I), but was commonly known as “Zulu Alert” after the NATO warplan suffix – Z for Zulu – annotating air defense in peacetime. Everything associated with the QRA(I) mission was known as “Zulu this” or “Zulu that.”
The Fourth of July 1989 was supposed to be a relaxing celebration for the members of the 32nd TFS. For the two Eagle drivers on alert, there would be no practice missions today, so when the klaxon sounded to man-up and launch it must have been for the real thing – it was. The odd thing was that the Soviet MiG-23 that was approaching NATO airspace didn’t have a pilot in the cockpit.
Steve Davies and Doug Dildy relate the particulars of this mission
 

Early Jets - The North American FJ-1 Fury

This FJ-1 Fury - BuNo 120347 - was assigned to the NATC. This FJ-1 Fury - BuNo 120347 - was assigned to the NATC.
Like many new acquisition programs, especially for something as radically new as a jet aircraft, and considering that it was during wartime, the Navy courted several different manufacturers for what could be considered the next phase of jet fighter development. There were principally three contenders in this field: the McDonnell F2H Banshee, the North American FJ-1 Fury and the Chance Vought F6U Pirate, and eventually all three companies would get production orders for their individual aircraft. The Navy’s idea was to hedge one’s bets – three different aircraft powered by three different engines. The Chance Vought F6U Pirate, which was ordered as a prototype on 29 December 1944, flew for the first time on 2 October 1946. Next came the North American FJ-1 Fury, which was ordered on 1 January 1945, and flew for the first time on 11 September 1946. Finally, there was the McDonnell F2H, which could be considered an order of development of the FH-1 Phantom. The Banshee was ordered on 2 March 1945, and flew of the first time on 11 January 1947. Which of these new jet fighters was the first to be considered the first operational fleet fighter? By most analyses of the day, and considering the vagaries of the actual criteria, the claim for first U.S. Navy jet fighter to deploy in an operational, sea-going capacity goes the North American FJ-1 Fury.
Stephan Force tells the story of this rather short-lived but pioneering fighter.