Black and White Tuesday: CH-21 Shawnee

One of the first heavy duty helicopters, the CH-21 Shawnee was developed in 1952 and was first used in the Air Force. It was the first helicopter to fly non-stop across the country and saw action in the Arctic as a search and rescue vehicle.

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Tanks for the Memories

Still working on my new pics from my off time in Mobile Alabama at the Battleship park. So not only did they have the U.S.S. Alabama and the U.S.S. Drum, they also have a nice collection of Armor on display as well as an Iraqi T-55 that was captured in Kuwait during the first gulf war back in 1991. I’ll give a quick description after each pic.

First we have the venerable LVPT-7 also known as the “AMTRAC” this was used to deliver supplies as well as 35 fully epuipted Marines from ship to shore. This particular model was used in the 1960s through the 1980s.

This is an interesting find, its labeled as a M-113 APC “Armored Personel Carrier” but its actually an XM-113 and was an experimental version of the modern M-113 which was developed in the late 1950s.

This is an M-42 “Duster” originally designed as an anti aircraft gun platform with twin 40mm guns it was used in Vietnam for clearing the jungle of massed enemy troops.

This is the M60A1 Main Battle Tank, developed in the 1970s its still in use in some countries, I believe I was a couple in use on the news by the Turkish Army.

This is the M26 “Pershing” It was developed at the end of WW2 and saw use during the Korean war.

Now this is a classic! The M4 “Sherman” this was the most produced tank during WW2 and was in use by various countries till the late 1960’s mostly in the Firefly variant in the Isreali Army. The one shown has no barrel or gun mantle on the turret which is facing backward.

This is the M48 “Patton” which was used in the Vietnam conflict and later replaced by the M60, lots of these were sold to Isreal to replace old M4s.

And last but not least we have the T-55, a mass produced generic tank from the former Soviet Union and dispursed to all its satelite countries in the late 1950s though the early 1960s and this particular one was in the service of the Iraqi army in 1991 and was abandoned when coalition forces took Kuwait back and was shipped back to the U.S. as a trophy of sorts.

U.S.S. Drum Part II

On Tuesday I did a simple pic of this beautiful WW2 Submarine at the Battleship park in Mobile Alabama, now for the rest of the story and pics.

Picture in your mind, its WW2 and you are on the Drum on patrol in the pacific and hunting the enemy spending most of the time submerged and breathing regenerated air and wondering when and if you will be discovered by Japanese destroyers armed with depth charges. The first thing you would have to get used to are the smells, unwashed bodies and feet, the various gases and diesel fumes. Then there are the sounds, mumbling of sailors, the pings and dings of the pressure created and buckling of the metal plates and various other sounds that accompany living in cramped quarters. Most of the time its very tedious and boring but then the sonar pings indicate a ship on the horizon and the captain takes the boat up to 20 feet below the surface for a quick look through the periscope. 3000 meters away a Jap transport ship is making its way some destination not knowing death lurks so close. Deciding to engage the Captain orders the forward tubes to load 2 Mk4 torpedos and wait for the order to fire, the boat closes the gap. Now only 1000 meters and the order is given to fire and the Captain sets his stopwatch, time to impact if a hit should be only a few seconds……… Boom! After a short wait the Captain raises the boat to the surface to record the damage, its total. The Cargo ship was hauling Ammunition for the Japanese Army. The Drum records its 3rd kill of this patrol, just another day for the crew, mission accomplished.




















A Bird of a Different Sort….. The P-51 Mustang!

The mighty P-51 Mustang!
The neatest thing about these classic warbirds is that by following the serial numbers you can trace the lineage and pilots of the particular plane and the exploits of the pilots during WW2.
This first mustang is the famous H model, super fast and could pull g force turns that made the luftwaffe cringe With horror. The advanced K-14 gyro gunsite let the pilot track targets through extreme turns. This particular bird was piloted by Lt. Crenshaw who had 11 credited kills with the 82nd pursuit squadron and won numerous medals including the DSC and DFC. Lt Crenshaw, he named his Mustang the “Louisiana Heatwave”





Next we have either a D or F model Mustang named “Derailer”. This particular P-51 is famous because it is one of a very few P-51 Mustangs left that was flown by the 66th Pursuit squadron know as the Red Tails made famous by the Tuskegee Airmen, the first all african american fighter squadron stationed in Italy during WW2. This particular P-51 was flown by Capt. Leon Roberts.
During Hurricane Katrina the air museum at Battleship park in Mobile Alabama was hit hard and alot of the planes were damaged including Derailer, the first two pics are of the damages plane and the last is a beautifully fixed plane. Catp Roberts would be one proud fighter pilot.