There’s a lot of excitement at the local unit of the Commemorative Air Force. After almost two years of hard work, its C-53 Skytrooper is about ready to fly and start touring airshows. “”A C-53! What’s that?”" some of you may ask.
The Lockheed P-38 was one of the legendary fighters of World War II. Crowds are still thrilled when one flies by. The 475th Fighter Group, with 552 victories, was the top P-38 fighter group in the Second World War. America’s second highest scoring ace, with 38 victories, was Major Thomas McGuire, who flew the Lockheed Lightning – as did Richard Bong, America’s top ace. And Charles Lindbergh – hmm, what does he have to do with the P-38?
There’s something about a P-38. A poker face turns into a smile when you start talking about the Lightning.
Some aviation art, like some airplanes, are just good therapy. Whether it’s the nostalgic appeal they have or the mood they foster, paintings like Nixon Galloway’s “”Tiger in the Fall,”" which depicts a vintage Tiger Moth landing on a country grass strip, are very popular.
Artists are always looking for interesting subject matter and are often faced with the dilemma of deciding what to paint next. Do you ever wonder why an artist chooses a particular aircraft to paint?
The F4U Corsair was one of the best fighters to come out of World War II. Some claim it was the best. Marine Corps fighter squadrons such as Boyington’s “”Black Sheep Squadron,”" VMF-214, and the Navy’s VF-17, Blackburn’s “”Jolly Rogers,”" made the Corsair front-page news during World War II. Stories abound about its ruggedness and versatility. But there is also a human side to those stories about this bent-wing bird.
The first time I saw Sam Lyons’ print “”Shellightning,”" it got my attention. It is vividly colorful and it depicts one of the famous Lockheed planes, specifically one made notable by Jimmy Doolittle. Little did I know then the fascinating story of this plane, which was to unfold as I investigated its history.