P-38 “Arkansas Traveler”

U.S. Air Force photograph of Lt. James O. Fincher of the 392nd Fighter Squadron, 367th Fighter Group in his P-38J Lightning “Arkansas Traveler” along with his ground crew. The P-38 was photographed at Clastres Airfield, France in October 1944.

P38 Lightning Nose Art Arkansas Traveler

U.S. Air Force Photo


P-47 Bailout Procedures

The following bailout procedures are reproduced from the Pilot Training Manual for the Thunderbolt P-47N, Headquarters, Army Air Forces, September 1945.

P-47 Bailout Procedures, Pilot Bail Out

Bailout Procedures

P-47 Pilot Bailout with Wingman, WW21. Plane Under Control.

Gain altitude if it is necessary. Call Mayday (international distress signal) on channel designated for distress. Switch on emergency IFF. If time permits, contact controller and give pertinent information, such as altitude and course.

Jettison the canopy. Disconnect your shoulder harness, radio leads, oxygen tubing, and safety belt. Keep oxygen mask on to protect face from cold and fire. Pull up into a slow climb, bank the ship gently to the left, and go off the right wing. From this side the slip-stream will aid in clearing the tail. If you prefer you may roll the plane on its back, release the safety belt, and fall out with the plane inverted. Keep your hand away from the ripcord release, as the slipstream will jerk your arm before you are clear of the plane.

When jettisoning the canopy, remember to duck your head.

P-47 Thunderbolt Jettison Cockpit Canopy2. Plane Under Control but on Fire.

Follow the normal procedure but do not open the canopy until last possible moment in order to keep flames and smoke from being sucked into the cockpit.

3. Plane Out of Control Not on Fire.

Follow the normal plane under control procedure as far as possible, but never release your safety belt until you are ready to leave the plane as in most cases you will be pulled or thrown clear by suction or some other force.

P-47 Pilot Parachute Bail Out with RipcordIf altitude permits, wait until you slow down before pulling the ripcord.

4. Plane Out of Control and on Fire.

Follow the normal out of control procedure, remembering not to open the canopy until the last possible moment.

Review the instructions in PIF on what to do after leaving the plane.


How to Fly the B-26 Airplane

“How to Fly the B-26 Airplane”, Official Training Film No. 1-3301, War Deparment, First Motion Picture Unit, Army Air Forces.


P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning Heritage Flight

A P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning lead a heritage flight formation over Langley Air Force Base in May 2004. The four generations of USAF fighters include an A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-86 Sabre, P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustang. (AF.mil, U.S. Air Force Photographs by T/Sgt. Ben Bloker.)

P-51 Mustang Color Photograph of WW2 Fighters P-51 Mustang WW2 Color Pictures P-38 Lightning Color Photograph - Heritage Flight

Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär

The Sturmpanzer IV (also known as Sturmpanzer 43, Sturmgeschütz IV für 15 cm Sturmhaubitze 43, or SdKfz. 166) was a German heavily-armored infantry support panzer based on the Panzer IV chassis. The Sturmpanzer IV was nicknamed Brummbär (“Grizzly Bear”) by the Allies, although German soldiers nicknamed it “Stupa”. The Sturmpanzer IV was armed with a 15 cm StuH 43 L/12 mounted in a superstructure with 100 mm frontal armor.

Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär in Italy -- Sturmpanzer-Abteilung 216, Italy

A camouflaged Brummbär from Sturmpanzer-Abteilung 216 in action near the Anzio bridgehead in Italy during WWII. The large armor Schürzen mounted on the side of the panzer are clearly visible. (Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-476-2069-19 / Bayer / CC-BY-SA)

Brummbarr Sturmpanzer IV in Rome, Italy during WW2

A pair of dusty, camouflaged Brummbär are parked on a street in Rome, Italy. (Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-476-2069-19 / Bayer / CC-BY-SA)

Brummbär were issued to specialized Sturmpanzer-Abteilung (Stu.Pz.Abt.) 216, Stu.Pz.Abt. 217, Stu.Pz.Abt. z.b.V. 218, and Stu.Pz.Abt. 219 and served on all major fronts.

In searching Allied intelligence reports, note that Brummbär may be spelled Brummbär, Brummbaer, Brummbar, or Brummbarr along with all these spellings with only one “m”.

See Also: New Guns in the Insect Series, German 150-mm SP Assault Howitzer, German Assault Artillery, Stu. G. IV (“Brummbaer”) für 15 cm Stu. H. 43 (Sd. Kfz. 166): S.P. Heavy Infantry Gun “Grizzly Bear”


Learn to Recognize These Vehicles

Learn to Recognize These Vehicles training poster from U.S. Army Orientation Course:
Learn to Recognize These Vehicles and Tanks -- WW2 Training Recognition Poster

Bolzano Italian Heavy Cruiser

Bolzano Italian Heavy Cruiser

Bolzano Cruiser WW2 Italian Navy

WW Bolzano Heavy Cruiser, Regia Marina

See Also: Italian Navy Ship Silhouettes

Source: FM 30-50: Recognition Pictorial Manual of Naval Vessels, U.S. Navy Department, September 1943.

Jeep River Crossing

A novel way to tow a jeep across a river from FM 2-30: Cavalry Mechanized Reconnaissance Squadron, War Department, March 1943:

DUKW tow Jeeps across River

The amphibians (DUKWs) may be left with their respective platoons to be sent across singly or towing one or more ¼-ton trucks wrapped in tarpaulins.


Type 97 Medium Tank with 47-mm Gun

The following U.S. intelligence report on the Japanese Type 97 medium tank Shinhoto Chi-Ha with improved 47-mm gun was published in Enemy on Luzon: An Intelligence Summary:


A number of modified Japanese medium tanks were encountered on Luzon. They were basically an improvement on the Type 97 Medium Tank. The tank studied was manufactured at the Tokyo Army Arsenal in 1944.

Improved Japanese Type 97 Tank Shinhoto Chi-Ha with 47mm Gun

The tank was 18 feet 2 inches long, 7 feet 6 inches wide, and 7 feet high. It was equipped with a V-12, air-cooled, valve-in-head, diesel engine with Bosch fuel pumps. The transmission provided four speeds forward and one speed in reverse. Dual steering was employed, utilizing both clutch-brake and epicyclic gear steering systems. The turret had been changed from a circular type to a semi-rectangular over-hanging type that gave a long, low appearance. Racks were mounted on the turret sides for use with the Type 94 self-projecting smoke candles. Except for a portion of the turret, all armor was riveted. The track was the conventional Japanese center-guide all steel type, 13 inches in width.

The tank mounted two Type 97 (1937) 7.7-mm tank machine guns and one Type 1 (1941) 47-mm tank gun. One machine gun was mounted in the rear of the turret, the other forward in the hull. The ammunition racks hold 120 rounds of 47-mm and 2,500 rounds of 7.7-mm ammunition, the former being both APHE and HE. The Type 1, 47-mm tank gun was almost identical to the 47-mm anti-tank gun. It was 9 feet 7 inches long, allowing 15 degrees total traverse and an elevation from plus 10 to minus 10 degrees. The turret could be traversed 360 degrees.

See Also: “The Most Effective Jap Tank,” Intelligence Bulletin, July 1945.

New Verlinden WWII Kits

1/35th Normandy Bunker Vignette 1944 (No. 2617)

Verlinden Kit No. 2617 -- Pillbox Bunker Normandy VignetteResin vignette; French Somua tank turret pillbox; Cobblestone street section; GI with Thompson; Two wounded German prisoners with weapons and equipment. List price: $39.95.

1/35th Afrika Korps Officer Figures (No. 2615)

German DAK Officer Figures -- Verlinden Scale ModelsTwo figure set; German Afrika Korps officers in tropical uniforms; Standing officer with steel helmet and MP-40; Other officer with officer’s cap and goggles. List price: $16.95.

1/35th U.S. Airborne WWII Figures (No. 2620)

U.S. Airborne WW2 1/35th Figures VerlindenTwo figures; Standing U.S. WWII paratroopers; 1943 pattern jump suit with gear; Thompson and BAR. List price: $16.95.