Rogue P-47 Pilot dogfighting in S. America?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by comstockkidd, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. comstockkidd

    comstockkidd New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I was sitting around thinking of a story I read in an Aviation History or Air Classics magazine a few years ago about an American pilot in a P-47 in some Central or S. American country getting in a dogfight in that or a neighboring country. I can't seem to find the article and was wondering if you guys may know the story. My plan is to try to model a P-47 like it in my work shop. Please Help!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. comstockkidd

    comstockkidd New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I found the article I was talking about. It was in an Aviation Illustrated from about ten years ago talking about Jerry Delarm and his F-47N shooting down a Costa Rican F-51D. Pretty interesting article and very interesting man. I've found a lot about him since finding the article. The aircraft ended up with the CAF in the sixties but I haven't been able to figure out much more about it.
     
  3. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Is there any way for you to scan it for us?

    Sounds interesting.

    Welcome to the forum.
     
  4. proton45

    proton45 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #4 proton45, Mar 14, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
    sounds really intriguing...

    I wonder if this is the same guy?


    "On 18 June, Castillo Armas crossed into Guatemala from Honduras at the head of a force probably numbering less than 300 men. Although well-armed with Bren guns, mortars, and even flamethrowers, the unopposed "Liberation Army" halted just inside Guatemala in the town of Esquipulas, known then for its shrine to the Black Christ (and later also as a place of pilgrimage to honor the "Liberation").13 The Liberacionistas waited in Esquipulas while the real "war" was waged by American pilots and assorted mercenaries in aircraft. Those in charge included Whiting Willauer, a World War II veteran of irregular air warfare who had served as General Claire Chennault's deputy in the Flying Tigers. 14 At dawn on 18 June, a group of B-26 bombers and three P-47 fighters appeared above Guatemala City, dropped leaflets, and then began strafing and bombing runs. Targets were selected largely for their psychological effect: military drill areas, ammunition dumps, oil storage tanks. One of the pilots, American Jerry DeLarm, later told NBC's John Chancellor how he "blew up the government oil reserves and subsequently when the political situation was up in the air and required decisive action-the main powder magazine of the army."15"


    http://www.statecraft.org/chapter5.html



    Also....

    "The most powerful military element in the coup was the CIA's air force. The handful of P-47 Thunderbolts and C-47 transports operated out of Managua International Airport. The pilots were Americans. The most dare-devil of these, as events later proved, was Jerry Fred DeLarm, a slim, short, hawk-featured man who liked to lay a .45 down on the table in front of him when talking to a stranger.

    DeLarm, a native of San Francisco, was a barnstorming, adventurous flier well known in Central America. He had been flying in the area since he was nine, with his father, a pioneer pilot named Eddie DeLarm. Jerry DeLarm spoke Spanish fluently. When World War II broke out, he was flying in Panama City. During the war he shot down two Japanese Zeros over Saipan. He was discharged as a captain and shortly thereafter set up an airline in Costa Rica.

    DeLarm's wife was related to Dr. Rafael Calderon-Guardia, the former President of Costa Rica. In 1948, when Otilio Ulate was elected President of that highly democratic nation, Calderon-Guardia tried to block him from taking office. In the revolt that followed, Jose Figueres battled Calderon- Guardia, and emerged as head of a victorious junta.

    DeLarm fought on the losing side, for Calderon-Guardia. He flew a DC-3 rigged up with a machine gun in the co-pilot seat and another poking through the floor of the rear bathroom, for ground strafing.

    After Costa Rica, DeLarm moved on to Guatemala. During the election of 1950 he took a job doing sky-writing and aerial broadcasts for Arbenz. He was promised $20,000 by the man he later helped to overthrow, and was understandably disturbed when the money did not come through after Arbenz won. That, DeLarm reflected later, was when he first began to suspect Arbenz was a Communist.

    By 1954 DeLarm was flying for Castillo-Armas and the CIA. Until shortly before the invasion, he remained behind in Guatemala City, giving flying lessons and using this and an automobile dealership as cover. He had the code name "Rosebinda.""

    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_secretgov_5f.htm
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
  6. comstockkidd

    comstockkidd New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3


    HaAH... That's the one. Sad to see it in such rough shape but always positive to hear it's under restoration. Looks like the fuselage is workable. Thank you for that. I've scanned and hopefully this will attach. Got to love the painting, especially that big jug all silver. I've even found pictures where you can see the marks where the serial number was scrubbed off the tail. Hope you enjoy.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    Messages:
    15,723
    Likes Received:
    339
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Auto Restoration
    Location:
    Abingdon, VA.
    Very interesting.:shock: :cool: Thanks for the info guys.
     
  8. baldpuki

    baldpuki New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Occupation:
    consultant
    Location:
    Bountiful, UTAH
    I remember reading in Air Progress (I think) in the 70's that there were rumors of a P-51 escorting drug planes around South and Central America. Lots of interesting things going on down there.
     
  9. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Interesting read. Thanks for going through the trouble to post it.
     
  10. comstockkidd

    comstockkidd New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Here's another interesting link concerning the air war in Central America circa 1954 with color plates of some of the aircraft involved:

    Guatemala since 1954

    I can't get enough of reading about WWII era fighters and aircraft in general flying long after the fall of Japan. It's just fun to imagine, it's like the last of the great gun fighters in the west.

    And thanks for the welcome, Davidicus. I've been in love with warbirds for most of my life but never thought to look for an online community. Good to be here.
     
  11. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,811
    Likes Received:
    181
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    intersting post comstockkid, i might have to poke around next time i'm down there...might be a treasure hiding in some forgotten corner....probably not but its fun to hunt.
     
  12. Maximowitz

    Maximowitz Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,971
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Railwayman
    Location:
    London, England.
    There's a few interesting posts about Jerry Delarm over on TOCH.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,730
    Likes Received:
    1,425
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Interesting stuff, thanks for posting.
     
  14. comstockkidd

    comstockkidd New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    No kidding, the proverbial classic car hiding in grandma's barn story. There's got to be a few gems out there. I just don't have the time, money, luck, no-how or money to do it. Did I mention money? :rolleyes:
     
  15. comstockkidd

    comstockkidd New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    A few more developments on this one. Found some posts on a few other sites talking with Delarm's family members/people who knew him back in the day. Pretty interesting stuff. Also been working on a 1:72 P-47N in Delarm's honor. I'll post a pic when it's all said and done. It's been a fun kit as I've not given any time to building models since I was 14. The story below is from a guy who knew Delarm as a kid:

    "Jerry showed up at Tocumen International Airport in Panama with a Lockheed Lodestar which actually had operating bomb bay doors. A little background on Jerry will help here: Jerry was raised in the south Florida area ( american indian background) and his father had started one of the Florida to Bahamas airways. Jerry and my father were friends from another era in Central America so Jerry being in need, he flew into Panama to see my father. My father knew Jerry quite well and before he would help him, he had Jerry sign the aircraft over to him. The P&W engines needed some work so my father provided the money and a location on the airfield for the work to get underway. As a young kid of 15-16, I was impressed with Jerry's free style of life and we went many places, and I listened to many stories including, P-47's in Guatemala, using the Locheed to drop some stuff on the "bad-guys". etc.He stayed with us at our home and I heard some wild stories, with my dad shaking his head in disbelief that Jerry would actually be talking about some of the things that should not be mentioned anywhere. Several weeks later, the aircraft repairs were complete and Jerry told my dad he wanted to take the plane out for a "local test flight". He took off and radioed back that he had several more adjustments to make and would go a bit farther. Last we heard he landed in San Jose, Costa Rica, and then shortly after that he went elsewhere. My father cussed like crazy, but he said he had known better, so much for the $$$$$. Jerry was not a bad guy, just marched to the beat of different drummer. I would like to know what finally happened to him. My father passed 10 years ago, but every now and then, I think about Jerry and the Lockheed."
     
  16. hawkeye2an

    hawkeye2an Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,047
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Salesman
    Location:
    St Joseph, Missouri
    Great Stuff guys, thanks.
     
  17. liria9992

    liria9992 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Occupation:
    Accountant
    Location:
    FL
    I enjoy reading about my dad Jerry De Larm dare devil adventures from the past. He was a great man, who loved his kids and never gave up being young at heart. I learned so much from my dad, he has some tough shoes to fill that's for sure.

    Sabrina DeLarm


     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,208
    Likes Received:
    791
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Thanks for your post Sabrina!
     
  19. Dispatcher1

    Dispatcher1 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hello all! I am a new member here and stumbled across this conversation. I was wondering if anyone has detailed info on the color schemes and markings of Jerry DeLarm's F-47 and the Costa Rican Air Force F-51s that I could use to possibly do a piece of artwork depicting teh engagement. Also any first-hand accounts that Jerry may have related would be useful as well. Thanks!
     
  20. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,913
    Likes Received:
    639
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    #20 Capt. Vick, Jan 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
    Not much in the way of markings on that Jug. Should be easy to model if you can do NMF.
     
Loading...

Share This Page