The story of EW999 (Part 4)

The RAF Skymasters Researching Churchill’s Skymaster turned up a fair amount of interest – and just as much misinformation – about the entire fleet of RAF Dougkas C-54s. So, while I don’t have ready access to the records that could give us all a truly granular history of the C-54 in British service, I’ll give you what I can. This should help end some confusion, scotch … Continue reading The story of EW999 (Part 4)

The story of EW999 (Part 3)

Churchill’s Skymaster …continuing from Part 2 of this series A vigorous supporter of aid for Russia since October 1941, Mrs Clementine Churchill had been invited to tour Red Cross facilities across Russia in March 1944. The invitation was seen as a thank you for Clementine’s years of dedicated fundraising in support of the Russian Red Cross …and possibly as a propaganda assault by the Soviet … Continue reading The story of EW999 (Part 3)

The story of EW999 (Part 2)

Churchill’s Skymaster As we’ve seen in Part 1, the RAF’s first Douglas C-54 Skymaster, serial EW999 (C-54B 43-17126/0100), was luxuriously fitted out for the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The work was overseen by Armstrong-Whitworth Aviation at Whitley, Coventry and the new aircraft was ready for ‘The Owner’ in November 1944. A dedicated crew Apparently the PM disliked new faces or changes to his immediate … Continue reading The story of EW999 (Part 2)

The story of EW999 (Part 1)

Churchill’s Skymaster When Franklin D. Roosevelt presented Winston Churchill with an entire airplane, it was much more than an updated transport option.  Of course the gesture reflected an abiding friendship between the two leaders. Also, the USAAF was preparing the C-54 (42-107451) that would become famous as Roosevelt’s The Sacred Cow. For Churchill to have an identical high standard of modern airplane spoke to their … Continue reading The story of EW999 (Part 1)

Hot shots

RAF Photographic Competition Somewhat atypically, I’m rather confined to an official press release for this post. But the annual Royal Air Force Photographic Competition can be counted on for such glorious images that it’s well worth the constraint. So here goes… People’s choice Voting is now open in the crowning People’s Choice category of the Royal Air Force Photographic Competition 2019. Organised by the Royal … Continue reading Hot shots

Unconventional Airacobra

Pilot notes on the P-39 Despite rising indications to the contrary, the US Army Air Forces went into the 1940s convinced that the country’s air forces would be well-served by their trio of new pursuits – the P-83, P-39 and P-40. The twin, turbo-supercharged performance and concentrated fire-power of the P-38 would make it an outstanding weapon in all theatres of the spreading conflict. The … Continue reading Unconventional Airacobra

Raising the colours

Maelstrom Eighth Bomber Command launched 969 missions between August 1942 and May 1945 and, as the force built up, over 2,000 fully loaded four-engine bombers would be swirling upwards through the fog and cloud above their bases in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.  That’s 2,000 unguided aircraft in an area about the size of Greater New York City or the Blue Mountains in NSW. A … Continue reading Raising the colours