The place you live in and the history of aviation

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Jul 16, 2021
Any Kill Devil Hill citizens here? ;)

I live in Tarnów (21*E, 50*N), the city is located just below northenmost hill of Carpathian Mountains (Góra św. Marcina).

- some 20 km from my town lived Jan Wnęk, one of aviation pioneers: Jan Wnęk - Wikipedia
- during the autumn 1914 offensive, Russian forces seized Tarnów, and established line of front at Dunajec river; several kilometers to the west, in the woods of Biadoliny, A-H army set a battery of 305 and 420 mm mortars nad howitzers, and for the first time in history, an airplane with radio (Albatros B.I "Muzzl", crew: Oblt. Max Hesse and Oblt. Ludwig Dumbacher) was used to observe and adjust the artillery. In January 1915, the plane+cannons duo managed to hit the railway station, just seconds after arrival of the train with several high-rank Russian officers. Albatros B.I - Wikipedia
- during the WWII, the parts of V2 rocket were stored in Tarnów just before Op. Wildhorn/Most III. Operation Most III - Wikipedia

There was also a baloon club at the chemical factory in Mościce (it is western part of Tarnów now) before WWII, my grandpa was a member of it.
Now, there is just a small airfield for modellers and ultralight planes.

How about You, guys?
Although born and raised in the north east of England, I now live in Cheshire.
As "the crow flies", the former AVRO factory and airfield is ( was ) about four miles away. It closed a few years back, and is now under development as a housing estate, although the Avro Heritage Museum occupies the former airfield fire station.
A few miles further north is Ringway, now Manchester International Airport, with lots of history, and the birthplace of the Parachute Regiment and the RAF PTS.
Not far to the east, at Stockport, is the original Fairey Engineering factory, where Halifax bombers were produced and, just west of Manchester itself is Barton Aerodrome, the former Manchester Airport, and one of the oldest airfields in the world, with lots of history, and its control tower is a listed building.
Surrounding the area where I live are the hills of the Peak District, where many aircraft came to grief, especially during WW2.
All PBY-6A models were made in New Orleans near the seawall of Lake Ponchartrain where they were flight tested.

PBY factory New Orleans.jpg

And today. The ramp in the seawall still exists. When the factory was built, it had the world's largest cantilever hangar door in the world. As a trivia point, the building with stood the massive 1947 hurricane with only a few broken windows. The American Standard company owned the plant in the 50s & 60s manufacturing bathroom fixtures. In the early 1970s I approached City Hall with the idea of an aviation museum but as I was nobody and had no money, I was ignored. The site was perfect for a museum as it had a rail spur line and a short easy barge trip from Lakefront airport's sea plane ramp to the factory ramp.
PBY ramp in seawall Lakeshore Dr. just west of Franklin Ave. - Consolidated Aircraft Factory-2...jpg
I grew up in Orange County, Southern California and we had remnants of aviation history all around:
Orange County airport was originally a post-WWI airfield with a flight school operated by Eddie Martin. Howard Huges used the airfield for setting a world speed record.
It was a USAAF base during WWII.

In nearby Tustin, were the WWII vintage "blimp hangars", used for US Navy airships.

Several other airfield were built by the Army and Navy for training and coastal patrol, though few remained in operation except for Los Alamitos AAF, which is currently used by California Air National Guard and NASA/JPL.

Of course, there were aircraft companies in the county manufacturing aircraft during the war, plus US Army and US Navy shore defenses that were comprised of battery replacements, ammunition bunkers, barracks and such - most of which are long gone due to urban development.

Where I live currently, in Northern California are several places related to aviation: Benton Airfield, which was established after WWI and occasionally used by the military and became a temporary USAAC December 1941, equipped with Army A-17 aircraft until the new USAAF base was built nearby. This eventually became Redding Municial Airport. Both Redding (RDD) and Benton (O85) are still in use today.فرودگاه+قلعه+مرغی&oq=فرودگاه+قلعه+مرغی&aqs=chrome..69i57j0i22i30l4.6034j0j7&client=ms-android-hmd-rvo3&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8
Junkers F-13s photos are so cool :) Thanks for sharing!
I live in East Kent - not far from Manston / formerly RAF Manston - home at one time to a frontline Typhoon squadron operated under a certain Mr Beaumont. Also home to the rather ill-fated Swordfish flights that attempted to disrupt the Channel Dash (erm...we don't talk about that.....). It hosted all sorts of squadrons and enterprises throughout the Cold War - including USAF squadrons, Air-Sea Rescue and various antics with fog dispersal/foam carpet crash testing. For those unaware Manston had an unusually long runway so lasted longer than it otherwise would have.

The site ceased to be of military use in the 90s and then the civil aviation side went away a few years ago.

Further south from me is the former site of RAF Hawkinge (Hurricane contingents with occasional Spitfire squadron interlopers throughout the war).

Other than that - lots of remnants of Battle of Britain-era stuff like the CH radar site at Dover, various observation posts, concrete pads for either anti-surface or anti-aircraft weaponry and bits of shrapnel/casings ploughed up in the fields around here. Also the odd live round (most recently unearthed at the East Kent Ploughing Match at Nonington the other year). Very exciting for history nerds - possibly less so for the poor sod who struck it with his plough blades...... blown up by the Ordnance squad in a controlled explosion afterward I think.

Always interesting to read up on this sort of stuff and see it in the flesh also.
Manston was so close to LW airfields in France it was almost on the wrong side of the barbed wire in trench warfare terms, the only airfield the RAF considered giving up on.
I recall also that between the radar picking up the bombers forming up over France and the raid arriving over the SE coast would be 15-20 minutes. Certainly a very narrow window to take off from a point like Manston/Hawkinge - get yourselves organised and then climb to a decent altitude to intercept. Then, as you say - possibly coming back to find some enterprising German had blown a load of craters across your home runway....

Those same airfields did however become quite useful when the shoe was on the other foot (e.g. sending fighter-bomber sweeps over to France later on).
I recall also that between the radar picking up the bombers forming up over France and the raid arriving over the SE coast would be 15-20 minutes. Certainly a very narrow window to take off from a point like Manston/Hawkinge - get yourselves organised and then climb to a decent altitude to intercept. Then, as you say - possibly coming back to find some enterprising German had blown a load of craters across your home runway....

Those same airfields did however become quite useful when the shoe was on the other foot (e.g. sending fighter-bomber sweeps over to France later on).
Manston was an emergency landing field 9,000ft long and 750ft wide, a single engine plane with no problems could land going across it. I used to race on one of the others Carnaby in Yorkshire, you never had any feeling of it being a runway just a huge industrial estate.
While not specifically WW2, Farley H. Vincent was a participant. I met him at his hangar and home near Covington, Louisiana. The small grass field was home to the Southern Parachute Center, a group who did more hangar flying than skydiving, located at the far end from Col. Vincent's hangar. After WW2 Vincent with Monsteadt , a long time friend designed and built what they hoped would become a small business/corporate plane. The idea was novel at the time, A four engine pusher, retractable L/G, step in cabin access with excellent visibility. Post WW2, he had one of only three CAA licenses to convert wings of PT-17/N2S to make them legal for civilian use. When I met him there were three incomplete Cessna 120/140 fuselages at his hangar, the story was he was certified to produce new construction but his buyers orders were cancelled.

The Monstedt-Vincent MV-1
Monstedt-Vincent  MV-1 Starflight Boulais_01.jpg

Monstedt-Vincent MV-1 Starflight 1948.jpg

Monstedt-Vincent MV-1 Starflight Boulais_02.jpg

Monstedt-Vincent MV-1 Starflight Boulais_03.jpg

Monstedt-Vincent MV-1 Starflight Boulais_04.jpg

Monstedt-Vincent MV-1 Starflight Boulais_05.jpg

Monstedt-Vincent MV-1 Starflight in flight  1948.jpg

Monstedt-Vincent MV-1 Starflight pic02.jpg

Monstedt-Vincent MV-1 Starflight pic05.jpeg

Monstedt-Vincent photo 1.jpg
Monstedt-Vincent photo 2.jpg

Sources: the internet & Aerophile

A couple more pictures and the History of the beginning of the Louisiana ANG by Vincent & Monstedt if any are interested.
The last photos I can easily post are from the museum at Patterson, Louisiana. The late Col. Vincent's MV-1 was brought to Patterson, the Wedell Williams Museum, and reassembled. A storm damaged the museum and exhibits, followed by hurricane Katrina in 2005 further destroying the MV-1. My suggestion had been ignored which was to send it to the EAA museum. The aforementioned hurricane also destroyed my prints however the negatives exist and await the setup of a scanner for negatives, so my own pictures of the MV-1 will have to wait.

Monsted_Vincent MV-1 Starflight @ Patterson Museum from St Julien.jpg

Monstead-Vincent  news from Patterson.jpg

The history of the LAANG begins in the middle, so to speak, as this first piece gives relatively modern aircraft, but the text gives the actual beginnings. The text is not professionally written and appears to be many rememberences not necessarily in exact order and I have not found who the narrator was.


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This is the official LAANG site history on the internet which does not cover the earliest years, however it does start with my reflection of the 122 Light Bombardment Group and their black Douglas B-26s at Lakefront airport, New Orleans.

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The city of Marietta, Georgia has an Aviation Sports Complex but it's not what the name suggests. It's a sports complex built on Aviation Road. A lot of roads have aviation related names because the Bell bomber plant (now Air Force Plant 6) was built here during WWII for B-29 production. Aviation Road is in an area where housing for war workers was built. The buildings were turned over to the city for use as public housing but later razed to build the sports complex and a bus transfer station. At war's end, a B-29 was given to the city for display in a park. The main assembly building was used to stored machine tools brought in from all over the Southeast before being sold or donated to schools. Surplus aircraft were stored outside. I was told that the Waco troop gliders were very popular with local farmers. They were in overseas shipping crates which the farmers wanted. When Lockheed moved into the plant to refurbish B-29's for the Korean War, the B-29 in the park was given to them for use as a mock-up. I never heard of it's disposition but I imagine that it's all beer cans by now.


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