Southern Cross Airways

When the Empire of Japan swept across the western Pacific with re-imagined mobility, the nearest safe territory was literally an ocean away from America’s arsenal of democracy. And getting from the US West Coast to Northern Australia by air would be a 12,446-kilometre-long life-or-death game of join-the-dots across the Pacific. In December 1941 only four men had ever made the flight in a land plane … Continue reading Southern Cross Airways

Gee-whiz

America invaded! From this distance, Flying Cadet magazine could look like a cynical attempt to profit from World War 2 – specifically a whole generation of patriotic teens who dreamed of proving themselves in the air before the whole thing was over. On the other hand, at 10¢ per month the short-lived magazine probably did perform a valuable service for US recruiters and their training … Continue reading Gee-whiz

Boeing’s big moment

Turning the corner While I was doing some extra research for last week’s Flying Boats article, I found this particularly historic photo of Boeing’s ‘big fours’ flying together. The unique formation brings together the prototype B-17A, at this stage still the 14th Y1B-17 and the 15th Type 299 (c/n 1987), in formation with the prototype Type 314 Clipper, NX18601 (c/n 1988) – two massive projects that were … Continue reading Boeing’s big moment

Small wonder

Eagles over North Africa and the Mediterranean 1940 – 1943 by Jeffrey L. Ethell To be completely honest, I’d sort of forgotten that this review copy of Eagles was on it’s way to me. So it’s arrival was a rather pleasant surprise. In fact, it was an extremely pleasant surprise: This book, part of the Luftwaffe At War series (see below), is an absolute gem. … Continue reading Small wonder

On a String and a prayer

  Another ‘Stringbag’ story for you… Late in July of 1942, Royal Navy Sub-Lieutenant L.F. Thompson counted himself lucky to be assigned a seat in one of four Fairey Swordfish I aircraft being ferried from Halifax, Nova Scotia to San Francisco, California.  If nothing else, flying over 3,00 miles at a sedate 125 mph or so promised to be an adventure. And then there would … Continue reading On a String and a prayer

Works of art, too

  Andreas Feininger . . . a sequel to the previous article, Works of Art Another of Alfred T Palmer’s superb staff photographers at the United States Office of War Information (OWI) was a young freelancer with a very bright future – Andreas Feininger (1906 – 1999). Over his lifetime, Feininger created an enormous portfolio of famous images, including many iconic photos of New York City in the 1950s and 60s, … Continue reading Works of art, too