Tree trimming Army Air Force style

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by DAVIDICUS, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    P-47 flown by Lt. Richard Sulzbach of the 364th Fighter Squadron, 350th Fighter Group, 12th Air Force. Lt. Sulzbach had a little run-in with some trees while on a strafing run over Italy. He was able to fly the plane 120 miles back to base.

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  2. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Isn't it the greatest plane ever built :D
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    There are several stories of P-47s flying through trees. From the Pratt and Whitney Story

     
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Certainly is pretty impressive to have withstood that sort of punishment.
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I'm not sure I would want to do that, but then again, it's hard to say what would happen until put into that situation. Still, it took some serious guts to go flying through the trees!
     
  6. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Yeah, no ****. There are way more trees out there than prop blades on the front of your airplane. While one won't do it, a conglomerate of the suckers has got to be a bad thing.

    Gotta be young and crazy.
     
  7. Snautzer01

    Snautzer01 Well-Known Member

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    Those guys did like telephone poles too...
     

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  8. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    #8 ozhawk40, Apr 12, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010

    After Sulzbach had a run in with the tree, he had a "run in" with his crew chief!

    P.S. That's the 346th Fighter Squadron of the 350th FG.

    Photo care of the 350th Web Blog.

    350th Fighter Group Blog
     

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  9. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    The Thunderbolt was one tough plane!
     
  10. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    That is amazing.


    Wheels
     
  11. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #11 DAVIDICUS, Apr 18, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
    They did chimneys too ... no extra charge. This was sent to me with the following caption:


    In January 27, 1945, a Brazillian P-47, A-6, piloted by Lt. Raymundo Canario (50 combat missions), lost 128cm (more than four feet) of his right wing after he hit a chimney during an attack. He was able to return safely.

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  12. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    :shock: What a tank!!!:shock: Everything I've ever read on the P-47 stated it was one tough bird. Seeing these shots does nothing but back that up. WOW. :salute:
     
  13. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #13 DAVIDICUS, Apr 19, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
    And another tree. It's almost like they're all over the place, just growing out of the ground. From 375th FS, 361st FG. (361st FG - 375th FS Photo Archive Page)

    Lt. Dean R. Morehouse of the 375th was grateful for the P-47's durability on 9 April 1944. That day, his flight spotted an unidentified P-47 defending a straggling B-24 from being attacked by three Fw190s. In a chase ranging from 5,000 feet to "the deck", Morehouse broke up the attack and damaged one of the 190's, but in the process his P-47C 41-6528, E2:I collided with a tree.

    I have another picture of his wing. It's badly smashed and ripped up.

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  14. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #14 DAVIDICUS, Apr 19, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
    Flak can ruin your day too.

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    Simultaneous direct hits to the left and right wings of the same plane. (Yeah, he made it back. His wing man also made it back even though earlier in the mission he had two or three cylinders knocked out by 20mm fire.)

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    A MISSION TO REMEMBER
    August 12th, 1944
    By Kenneth Kik Richard Kik Jr.

    My grandfather always said that "a good war story means that
    something went wrong" August 12th, 1944 was one of those days.

    As told by Richard Kik Jr. 395th Fighter Squadron.

    We took off on a usual mission armor cover flight at the Falaise
    track. Down at the Falaise track it was hard fighting, a lot of anti-
    aircraft fire, a lot of infantry, armor, trucks, a lot of everything. I went
    down on a strafing run and hit this truck Previous to that I heard a
    thump somewhere in the airplane and I didn’t realize what it was, but
    when I came off the strafing run my wingman, Chuck Rife said "have
    you got the water on?" I said "no, why?" Chuck said "you’re trailing
    smoke." He came up and looked around and said "it’s coming off
    the bottom of the engine." It Turned out a 20 mm knocked two or
    three cylinders off my engine. That Pratt Whitney never stopped.
    I’m telling you, those people deserve a medal for that engine, I’ve
    never seen one like it.

    Our element leader, Captain Mazur said "well Rife, escort him
    home." So we started back across the line and as we got going
    along, Chuck caught a burst of anti-aircraft fire. Both of his wings
    were struck by 40mm rounds. The flak rounds exploded and pieces
    of metal entered his cockpit. The explosion damaged his
    instruments and shredded his parachute pack. So as we got across
    the line I told Chuck, "you better get ready to bail out." He said "I
    can’t, my parachute’s all tore up." I told Chuck you’ve got two live
    bombs on your wings, you’re not going to be able to belly land with
    those, can you drop them? He said "no, I can’t" and held up his
    bomb release, "cause here’s my bomb thing." It was a mess. He
    said "all my instruments are gone and I can’t put the gear down." So
    anyway, as we were going home and I’m talking to him all the time,
    telling him try to do this, try to do that. He finally worked it hard
    enough the handle, he said he had to take both legs and hold the
    stick over cause it kept wanting to roll. Finally he got the gear down
    manually. I said "okay, let’s just fly her in." Chuck said "I don’t have
    any instruments, I don’t have any idea what the speed is." I told him
    okay, I’ll tell you what, you fly on me, just stay right with me and we’ll
    get you down. So I kept the speed up pretty high and took him down
    to the runway. He made it down safely.
    Then when I turned around to land it dawned on me I’m burning! I
    forgot about myself during this whole thing. The smoke’s rolling out
    now. So I whipped it around and landed, turned off the runway and
    the engine quit.

    We made it! I jumped out of my plane and ran over to Chuck and
    helped him out of his damaged jug. Then I discovered that I also
    had two live bombs on I had forgot to drop. And one of them was
    hanging by the rear shackle, nose down. What happened was when
    I strafed that damn truck I was a little to low, Something had hit the
    nose fuse and I had a hanging armed bomb. They (the ground
    crew) were a little unhappy that I didn’t drop the bomb. Hell, I was
    happy to just be on the ground. There happened to be a whole
    bunch of AP reporters around that day, they write an article for the
    AP news.

    Cliff Gamble stated that after Kik pulled Rife out of his plane he
    (Cliff) gave Kik a big hug and told him "Don't you ever do that again!"

    Kik was awarded the Silver Star.

    Charlie Rife was wounded in the lower back and spent a few days in
    the hospital.

    http://www.368thfightergroup.com/395-kik-rife.html
     
  15. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    :salute: Great story Davidicus!
     
  16. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Great story! It’s good that you wrote it all down. I wish I had pushed my father to write down some of his many stories but now it’s too late.
     
  17. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #17 DAVIDICUS, Apr 20, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
    I don't believe this was an 88 but it is substantial damage nonetheless.

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    I don't know the facts behind this but it looks like the pilot lived to tell the story.

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  18. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    Peek-a-boo!

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  19. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #19 DAVIDICUS, Apr 26, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  20. DAVIDICUS

    DAVIDICUS Member

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    #20 DAVIDICUS, Apr 27, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
    And that 28.7 gallon oil tank came in handy. (10.7 more gallons than the capacity of the Hellcat and Corsair) Pilot Edwin L. King with flak damaged P-47 at Pisa following Silver Star mission of 12 Jan. 1945. Aircraft is 7D3 42-29300. Crew Chief H.D. (Henry) Embry was the photographer of the shot seen many times of the oil-soaked Jug that returned to base after having two jugs (cylinders) shot off during a sortie (pilot Ed King). Embry says that after the shot was taken, his camera was stolen and he had never seen the shot until after the war and many years hence.

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    347thP-47s - Page 2




    Warbirdtech Volume 23: Republic P-47 Thunderbolt captions this photo as, "Leaking oil painted the fuselage and windscreen of P-47D 42-75163 of the 61st Fighter Squadron; the pilot safely returned to base (U.S. Air Force)."
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    Col. Donald J. M. "Col. Don" Blakeslee, Fairport Harbor OH. 4th FG Headquarters Squadron. P-47D 42-7863 WD-C. This photo was taken following the mission of 16 August 1943 when Col. Don was set upon and shot up by three FW190s. Although heavily oil streaked, he brought it safely back to Debden thanks to Jim Goodson who shot one of them off his tail and provided escort.
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    Randall Hendricks managed to limp home in his P-47 (397th Fighter Squadron, 368th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force) after taking AA damage to his engine. The third picture is a cylinder head from his engine. On a later date, June 12, 1944, he shot down four fighters in a single mission. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
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