First Air Force One

A video about the first Air Force One named Columbine II

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U.S. Army Artifacts

Mastering the Harpoon & Taming the Neptune

Before the Navy P3 “Orion” Land based Patrol Plane, which revolutionized Air Anti-Submarine Warfare and a product of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, there were two other notable land based VP aircraft, by Lockheed, worth mentioning. These two aircraft in the order of production and service in Naval Aviation were the PV-1 & 2 “Harpoon” & the P2V-1, -3, 3W, 5, 5F and the P2V-7 Neptune.

For the complete story on the Harpoon, go to …

For the complete story on the Neptune, go to …

Lake Michigan aircraft carriers????

Even if you weren’t Navy, this is very interesting. Pres. George H, W. Bush trained aboard one of these. Great photographs.

Here’s an interesting piece of WWII history. It would appear that there is a selection of War Birds from the US Navy waiting to be recovered off the bottom of Lake Michigan.
The official terminology at the time was “Mishap”…………The

Great Lakes provided vital support for the war effort in WWII, from
building 28 fleet subs in 
Manitowoc to providing the bulk of U.S. industrial
output, we could not have won the war if not for the benefits of the Great
Lakes and their related industry. However there was another benefit of the
lakes that is often overlooked. 
Japan quickly lost the war because, among
many other things, its navy could not replace its carrier pilot losses. We
could. But how did we train so many pilots in both comfort (calm seas) and
safety (no enemy subs)?
We took two old side-wheel

Great Lakes passenger steamers and turned them into training carriers on Lake Michigan! Virtually every carrier pilot
trained in the war got his landing training on these amazing ships! Sadly
nothing but these great photos and the wrecks of the aircraft that ditched
alongside them remain to tell their fascinating story! Thanks to Tom Ursem
for sending this link!
Check this out! USS Sable and USS Wolverine … Go to …

Just Another War

“Future generations may dismiss the Second World War as ‘just another war”. Those who experienced it know that it was a war justified in its aims and successful in accomplishing them. Despite all the killing and destruction that accompanied it, the Second War War was a good war.” – A.J.P. Taylor


Interesting Facts & Stories

This Really Exists: Giant Concrete Arrows That Point a Way Across America

Every so often, usually in the vast deserts of the American Southwest, a hiker or a backpacker will run across something puzzling: a ginormous concrete arrow, as much as seventy feet in length, just sitting in the middle of scrub-covered nowhere. What are these giant arrows? Some kind of surveying mark? Landing beacons for flying saucers? Earths turn signals? No, it’s part of the Transcontinental Air Mail Route indicator .
On August 20, 1920, the United States opened its first coast-to-coast airmail delivery route, just 60 years after the Pony Express closed up shop. There were no good aviation charts in those days, so pilots had to eyeball their way across the country using landmarks. This meant that flying in bad weather was difficult, and night flying was just about impossible.
  • The Postal Service solved the problem with the worlds first ground-based civilian navigation system: a series of lit beacons that would extend from New York to San Francisco. Every ten miles, pilots would pass a bright yellow concrete arrow. Each arrow would be surmounted by a 51-foot steel tower and lit by a million-candlepower rotating beacon. (A generator shed at the tail of each arrow powered the beacon). Now mail could get from the Atlantic to the Pacific not in a matter of weeks, but in just 30 hours or so. 
  • Even the dumbest of air mail pilots, it seems, could follow a series of bright yellow arrows straight out of a Tex Avery cartoon. By 1924, just a year after Congress funded it, the line of giant concrete markers stretched from Rock SpringsWyoming, to ClevelandOhio. The next summer, it reached all the way to New York, and by 1929 it spanned the continent uninterrupted, the envy of postal systems worldwide.
Radio and radar are, of course, infinitely less cool than a concrete Yellow Brick Road from sea to shining sea, but I think we all know how this story ends. New advances in communication and navigation technology made the big arrows obsolete, and the Commerce Department decommissioned the beacons in the 1940s. The steel towers were torn down and went to the war effort. But the hundreds of arrows remain. Their yellow paint is gone, their concrete cracks a little more with every winter frost, and no one crosses their path much, except for coyotes and tumbleweeds. But theyre still out there.
It is particularly interesting in that the route closely follows the transcontinental railroad completed in 1869, particularly the Union Pacific from Omaha to Salt Lake City.