Why Tojo and Adolph never had a chance (OT)

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bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
May 16, 2011 - 11:08pm PT
Weird things, like climbing to the top of a flag pole and hanging on with one hand for long times, looking at images of fighter aircraft and bombers across a room, the size of a fly, and correctly identifing them. **Their pilots made ours look like amateurs for the first couple years.

They just couldn't turn them out fast enough in the end ...**

Yeah, all that Samurai/hardcore bullshit really helped them out. The bottom line is, yes, they were cruel badasses, but we were even more willing to win at all costs. We had red-necks flying planes in insane glory.

And they lost. End of f*#king story...
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
May 16, 2011 - 11:43pm PT
Cool Pics Rieley! and Quite the story Ron!!
Pate

Trad climber
May 16, 2011 - 11:53pm PT
nice photos!
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
May 17, 2011 - 12:31am PT
A few pix from the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor:

Zero.
Zero.
Credit: BooDawg

Who knows what kind of plane this is?
Who knows what kind of plane this is?
Credit: BooDawg

???
???
Credit: BooDawg

B-25?
B-25?
Credit: BooDawg

???
???
Credit: BooDawg

???
???
Credit: BooDawg

USS Missouri where the Japanese signed their unconditional surrender.
USS Missouri where the Japanese signed their unconditional surrender.
Credit: BooDawg

USS Bowfin. The U.S. submarines played havoc on Japanese shipping in t...
USS Bowfin. The U.S. submarines played havoc on Japanese shipping in the Pacific.
Credit: BooDawg

BooDawg on the deck of the USS Bowfin.
BooDawg on the deck of the USS Bowfin.
Credit: BooDawg

Ego-Testicle BooDawg on the Deckgun of the USS Bowfin. These are REAL ...
Ego-Testicle BooDawg on the Deckgun of the USS Bowfin. These are REAL BRASSNUTS!
Credit: BooDawg

And the straw that broke the camel's back in the Pacific War...


















First atomic explosion, Alamagordo, NM 1945
First atomic explosion, Alamagordo, NM 1945
Credit: BooDawg





healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
May 17, 2011 - 12:48am PT
They had the very best top candidates, and spent several years training them. A Jap pilot would kill dozens of American or British planes in the beginning.

That jibes with my understanding from my father's stories around the high death rate in our flight training programs - they were high volume affairs assembled with great speed and geared around keeping the funnel full, really pushing pilots out the other end as quickly as possible. My dad and his buddy were radio guys tapped for early British radar training and then picked up for flight training. Not bad choices as they both turned out to be exceedingly comfortable flying and both became test pilots.
AJB

climber
May 17, 2011 - 01:28am PT
Much has been written about the experiences of the Allies. For some perspective from the other side of the Pacific air war check out Samurai!, a book about Saburo Sakai's experience as Japan's fourth leading ace.
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
May 17, 2011 - 02:01am PT
Boodawg..

Pic 2 and 3. Curtis P40 warhawk

Pic 4 looks like a B 25 mitchell

Pic 5 and 6. Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber.

Those would be my guesses.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2011 - 02:22am PT
Dirt Claud's comments about Hitler's decision to make the ME 262 a bomber are spot on.

Comments about the Japanese having better pilot candidates are not. Potential pilots
were exhaustively vetted physically, mentally, and psychologically. As Ron
noted the Japs' early successes were due to their extensive combat experience and
our initial inability to realize a P-40 or an F-4 Wildcat could
not turn with the Zero. When Chenault's boys figured that out they did just
fine against the Zero with the inferior Warhawk. Citizen soldiers are always
going to figure out a way to 'get the job done.'

There also seemed to be a comment alluding to the Japs' willingness to
sacrifice all. I suggest reading up on the US torpedo bombers at the
Battle of Midway. They knew they were going to die but they kept coming.
I think one or two survived.

Further comments about more extensive flight training are completely off-base (sic).
The washout rate was high because the standards were so high. Our guys had
many more hours under their belts before they saw combat than their counterparts.
Sure, we had a better supply but we didn't cut any corners in giving them the
best training conceivable. If you weren't considered fighter jock stock then
you went to bombers. The difference was often very negligible.

In June '42 a Zero crash-landed in the Aleutians and we were able to get it
flyable and wrung it out. When the fruits of that endeavor were disseminated
even a low-timer knew what to do against the Zero. By Feb '43 the first of
the Navy's new F6F Hellcats joined the fleet and it was time for the fat lady
to sing "Sayonara Zero-san!" The Hellcat "outclassed the Zero almost completely."

If you want to read about how exhaustive our flight training was I strongly recommend:

The Wild Blue : The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 194445, by Stephen Ambrose

It is mostly the story of George McGovern's flying career but as with any
Stephen Ambrose book it is a gem.

If you want to read about the making of a fighter pilot then the go-to read is:
Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds

I know, fighter pilots are born, not made.




edit:
An old stud walked up to me at the air show and asked me if I wanted to buy
his book. I told him it would be an honor. He was a Jug jock. It was hard
to talk with that damn F-15 overhead! HaHaHa! Turns out his book is a novel
but it is clearly totally autobiographical even down to the skirt-chasing scenes!
It is feckin' great! It is also extremely thorough in describing his flight training.
I'm halfway through but I guess I'm not gonna complete the mission tonight. Damn.

Bolts of Thunder by James Vincent Powers

The back cover says another of his books was made into a movie in Germany!
"The American version was sold to the National Geographic Channel,
and was first aired Dec 17, 2008" Gotta check that out!

"Mr Powers served as a fighter pilot in WWII, with 47 combat missions in Europe.
He is also an engineer, and helped design the F-111 fighter plane.
He has two children and one grandson, and lives an active life in
California playing golf, bowling, tap dancing, and writing."

It takes a stud to tap dance and he looked pretty damn nimble still.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 17, 2011 - 09:48am PT
Yeah, Reilly, Midway is a fascinating battle.

I recommend Victor Davis Hanson's account in Carnage And Culture.

I believe at one point 15 torpedo bombers sacrificed themselves drawing the fighter cover down so that the dive bombers could succeed.
Of the 15 two man crews only Ensign George Gay survived, bobbing in the water as the jap carriers slid by.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
May 17, 2011 - 10:33am PT
Citizen soldiers are always
going to figure out a way to 'get the job done.'


Ron beat me to it with the VDH recommendation.

"Carnage and Culture" is an excellent read.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
SoCal
May 17, 2011 - 10:43am PT
Thanks! Great photography. Super sharp photos of fast moving objects. You are good!
eKat

climber
BITD3
May 17, 2011 - 10:49am PT
WOW. . . this is a cool thread. My dad was a USAF Pilot and a member of The Ancient and Sacred Order of Quiet Birdmen. I was raised with all this stuff. Makes me think of the Captain! (not the rock, my dad.)

eKat
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
May 17, 2011 - 11:40am PT
Yeah we had a few planes back then, March AFB in Riverside (actually MoVal, but back then there was no MoVal)

Historic photo from March Field
Historic photo from March Field
Credit: Elcapinyoazz
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2011 - 11:49am PT
Ha! The Bolts of Thunder I started reading last night has the autobiographical
hero taking his aerobatic training in a AT-6 Texan, as shown above. As he
rolled inverted (I know, redundant) the spare change in his pockets goes clanking
all over the canopy. When he went back to straight and level it then slid through
the floorboards. His instructor then said, "Unstrap your harness. I have the
airplane." He then rolled it and started juking and the coins fell back onto
the canopy upon which the protagonist was now kneeling. He greedily collected
as much as he could and then zipped his pocket shut and the instructor rolled back to level.
HaHaHa! Spare change back then was worth doing crazy shite for, eh?


edit:
The Canuckians called their AT-6's the "Harvard". I guess 'Texan' wasn't posh enough.


In case you've been lying awake at night wondering what the underside of a 'Texan' looks like:



There is a saying in flying, "Keep the shiny side up!" That doesn't apply to these beauties!
You're gonna see the shiny side all the time!
Gene

climber
May 17, 2011 - 12:01pm PT
I agree with Moosie on the ID of those birds.
PhotogEC

climber
In front of my computer
May 17, 2011 - 12:02pm PT
Very cool thread with great pics.

For the WWII aviation buffs in the crowd, check out Lost Squadron. I'm completely unaffiliated--just a satisfied customer.
Silver

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
May 17, 2011 - 12:05pm PT
The National Air Races are the first week in September here in Reno. If you love aviation I highly reccomend you give it a day or two. You can access the pits where you see a P51 racing, and all the usual military planes from past and present.

It a really fun day of racing and planes if you enjoy that type of thing.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
May 17, 2011 - 12:07pm PT
I love this pic, the early March Field with the future Moreno Valley being nothing but farm fields. Dig the twin-engine bi-planes. March was established 1918, most of it was built out around 1929-30 there's a very rich history there.

The good 'ol days.
The good 'ol days.
Credit: Elcapinyoazz
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
May 17, 2011 - 12:33pm PT
Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer: by Brian O'Neill

Really great book about the 8th air force air war over Europe, mostly B-17, but some B-24 stuff as well.
There is a really good free documentary on Netflix too called "Memphis Belle".
I thought it was the movie that was a made in the 90s at first, but it's actually a two part documentary about the real Memphis Belle and the Air War with original war footage.

Edit:
I gotta stop by and see all the planes at march AFB. Always drive by on my way to Big Bear and Josh,but haven't had a chance to stop there.
They have a huge air show too.
the goat

climber
north central WA
May 17, 2011 - 12:35pm PT
Nice post with great pictures too! You can buy MIG's relatively cheap, it's just the fuel consumption that sets you back a bit!
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