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News Articles

This is where newspaper and other media articles will be posted

9/10/2016

I found these articles about VP40 in the ALL HANDS publications.

all-hands-publication-11-1960

all-hands-8-1967

1/19/13

check out this information.

I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS PLACE 

1/15/13

INTERESTING EARLY AMERICAN AVIATION HISTORY
How many of you know that in 1910, mighty Martin Marietta got its start in an abandoned California church? That’s where Glenn L. Martin with his amazing mother Minta Martin and their mechanic Roy Beal constructed a fragile biplane that Glenn taught himself to fly.

It has often been told how Douglas Aircraft started operations in 1920 in a barbershop’s backroom on L.A.’s Pico Boulevard. Interestingly, the barber-shop is still operating.

The Lockheed Company built the first of their famous Vegas’ in 1927 inside a building currently used by Victory Cleaners at 1040 Sycamore in Hollywood.

In 1922, Claude Ryan, a 24 year old military reserve pilot, was getting his hair cut in San Diego, when the barber mentioned that the ‘town’s aviator’ was in jail for smuggling Chinese illegal’s up from Mexico. Claude found out that if he replaced the pilot ‘sitting in the pokey,’ that he would be able to lease the town’s airfield for $50 a month – BUT he also needed to agree to fly North and East – BUT not South!

Northrop’s original location was an obscure So California hotel. It was
available because the police had raided the hotel and found that its
steady residents were money-minded gals entertaining transitory male hotel guests.

Glenn Martin built his first airplane in a vacant church, before he moved
to a vacant apricot cannery in Santa Ana. He was a showman and he traveled the county fair and air meet circuit as an exhibitionist aviator From his exhibition proceeds, Glenn was able to pay his factory workers and purchase the necessary wood, linen and wire.

His mother, Minta and two men ran the factory while Glenn risked his neck and gadded about the country. One of his workers was 22-year old Donald Douglas [who WAS the entire engineering department]. A Santa Monica youngster named Larry Bell [later founded Bell Aircraft which today is Bell Helicopter Textron] ran the shop.

Another part of Glenn Martin’s business was a flying school with several
planes based at Griffith Park, and a seaplane operation on the edge of
Watts where his instructors taught a rich young man named Bill Boeing to fly.

Later, Boeing bought one of Glenn Martin’s seaplanes and had it shipped back to his home in Seattle. At this same time, Bill Boeing hired away Glenn’s personal mechanic. Later, after Boeing’s seaplane crashed in Puget Sound, he placed an order to Martin for replacement parts.

Still chafing from having his best mechanic ‘swiped,’ [a trick he later
often used himself] Martin decided to take his sweet time and allowed Bill
Boeing to ‘stew’ for a while. Bill Boeing wasn’t known to be a patient man, so he began fabricating his own aircraft parts, an activity that morphed into constructing entire airplanes and eventually the Boeing Company we know today.

A former small shipyard nicknamed ‘Red Barn’ became Boeing Aircraft’s
first home. Soon, a couple of airplanes were being built inside, each of them
having a remarkable resemblance to Glenn Martin’s airplanes .. that,
interestingly, had its own remarkable resemblance to Glenn Curtiss’ airplanes.

A few years later, when the Great depression intervened and Boeing
couldn’t sell enough airplanes to pay his bills, he diversified into custom built speed boats and furniture for his wealthy friends.

After WWI, a bunch of sharpies from Wall Street gained control of the
Wright Brothers Co in Dayton and the Martin Company in L.A. and ‘stuck them’ together as the Wright-Martin Company.

Wright-Martin began building an obsolete biplane design with a foreign
Hispano-Suiza engine. Angered because he had been out maneuvered with a bad idea, Martin walked out .. taking Larry Bell and other key employees with him.

>From the deep wallet of a wealthy baseball mogul, Martin was able to
establish a new factory. Then his good luck continued, when the future
aviation legend Donald Douglas, was persuaded by Glenn to join his team.
The Martin MB-1 quickly emerged from the team’s efforts and became the Martin Bomber.

Although too late to enter WWI, the Martin Bomber showed its superiority
when Billy Mitchell used it to sink several captured German battleships and cruisers to prove it’s worth. He was later court martialed for his effort.
In Cleveland, a young fellow called ‘Dutch’ Kindelberger joined Martin as
an engineer. Later, as the leader of North American Aviation, Dutch became justifiably well-known.

Flashing back to 1920, Donald Douglas had saved $60,000, returned to L.A. and rented a barbershop’s rear room and loft space in a carpenter’s shop
nearby. There he constructed a classic passenger airplane called the Douglas Cloudster.

A couple of years later, Claude Ryan bought the Cloudster and used it to
make daily flights between San Diego and Los Angeles. This gave Ryan the
distinction of being the first owner/operator of Douglas transports.
Claude Ryan later custom built Charles Lindbergh’s ‘ride’ to fame in the flying fuel tank christened: The Spirit of St. Louis.

In 1922, Donald Douglas won a contract from the Navy to build several
torpedo carrying aircraft. While driving through Santa Monica’s
wilderness, Douglas noticed an abandoned, barn-like movie studio. He stopped his roadster and prowled around. That abandoned studio became Douglas Aircraft’s first real factory.

With the $120,000 contract in his hand, Donald Douglas could afford to
hire one or two more engineers. My brother, Gordon Scott, had been schooled in the little known science of aviation at England’s Fairey Aviation, so he hired Gordon.

My first association with the early aviation pioneers occurred when I paid
my brother a visit at his new work place. Gordon was outside on a ladder
washing windows. He was the youngest engineer. Windows were dirty. And
Douglas Aircraft Company had no money to pay janitors.

Gordon introduced me to a towhead guy called Jack Northrop, and another
chap named Jerry Vultee. Jack Northrop had moved over from Lockheed Aircraft. And all of them worked together on the Douglas Aircraft’s world cruiser designs.

While working in his home after work and on weekends, Jack
designed a wonderfully advanced streamlined airplane. When Allan Loughead [Lockheed] found a wealthy investor willing to finance Northrop’s new airplane, he linked up with Allan and together, they leased a Hollywood workshop where they constructed the Lockheed Vega. It turned out to be sensational with its clean lines and high performance. Soon Amelia Earhart and others flew the Vega and brokemany of aviation’s world records.

I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with Ed Heinemann who later
designed the AD, A3D and A4D. He told me how my Dad would fly out to
Palmdale with an experimental aircraft they were both working on. They
would take it for a few hops and come up with some fixes. After having
airframe changes fabricated in a nearby machine shop, they would hop it
again to see if they had gotten the desired results. If it worked out, Mr.
Heinemann would incorporate the changes on the aircraft’s assembly
line. No money swapped hands!

In May 1927, Lindbergh flew to Paris and triggered a bedlam where everyone was trying to fly everywhere. Before the first Lockheed Vega was built, William Randolph Hearst had already paid for it and had it entered in an air race from the California Coast to Honolulu.

In June 1927, my brother, Gordon, left Douglas Aircraft to become Jack Northrop’s assistant at Lockheed. While there, he managed to get himself hired as the navigator on Hearst’s Vega.

The race was a disaster and ten lives were lost. The Vega and my brother
vanished. A black cloud hung heavily over the little shop. However, Hubert
Wilkins, later to become Sir Hubert Wilkins, took Vega #2 and made a
successful polar flight from Alaska to Norway. A string of successful
flights after that placed Lockheed in aviation’s forefront.

I went to work for Lockheed as it 26th employee, shortly after the disaster,
and I worked on the Vega. It was made almost entirely of wood and I
quickly become a half-assed carpenter.

At this time, General Motors had acquired North American consisting of
Fokker Aircraft, Pitcairn Aviation [later Eastern Airlines] and Sperry
Gyroscope and hired Dutch Kindelberger away from Douglas to run it. Dutch moved the entire operation to L.A. where Dutch and his engineers came up with the P-51 Mustang.

Interestingly, just a handful of young men played roles affecting the
lives of all Americans ….. as it initiated the So California metamorphosis,
from a semi-desert with orange groves and celluloid, into a dynamic complex, supporting millions.

Although this technological explosion had startling humble beginnings,
taking root as acorns in – a barber shop’s back room – a vacant church –
and an abandoned cannery – but came to fruit on as mighty oaks.

Source: Denham S. Scott, North American Aviation Retirees’ Bulletin.

 

1/09/13

I received this document from Frank Beaman by way of Mark Keaney

It is about  the group including VP40 skipper  Jack Clinton during his days in World War II:

Carlton Howard Clark

  • Date      of birth: June 17, 1914
  • Place of Birth: Corbin, Kentucky
  • Home      of record: Corbin, Kentucky
  • Status:      POW

Awards and Citations

Navy Cross

Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Carlton Howard Clark (NSN: 0-81769), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Commander of a Navy Patrol Plane in Patrol Squadron ELEVEN (VP-11), in action against the enemy from 5 through 11 September 1942, in the Solomon Islands. On 5 August 1942 piloting 11-P-10, he participated in the seizure of Ndeni. On 6 August 1942, he conducted a 650-mile patrol from Ndeni under adverse weather conditions. He was to return at night but due to zero visibility, he flew an all night radar patrol, conserved fuel and landed at dawn after 18 hours flight. This flight had an important tactical bearing on the situation since our forces moved into the Solomon Islands that morning. On 7 August 1942, without any rest, he made an emergency flight transferring a dying soldier from Ndeni to Efate and at the same time he conducted a search for Lieutenant Flannery’s crew in 11-P-13 which had gone down at sea due to bad weather conditions the previous night. On 8 August 1942, he volunteered and continued search for 11-P-13. On 9 August 1942, he conducted aerial reconnaissance of SantoIsabelIsland in search of a suspected seaplane fighter base. That evening he was hospitalized for excessive fatigue, having flown a total of 56 hours in four days. On 6 September 1942, while on routing patrol from Ndeni, he intercepted a report from 11-P-5 in his adjacent sector that a four-engine enemy patrol plane had been contacted. Lieutenant Clark immediately proceeded to the scene and joined the other PBY in a determined attack against the Japanese plane with the following results: The enemy plane broke off the engagement with engines smoking and streaming gasoline, 3 Japanese gunners were seriously wounded or killed; 11-P-5 had a punctured fuel tank and a mortally wounded gunner, and Lieutenant Clark’s plane received minor structural damage. On returning to base, 11-P-5 was forced down at sea for lack of fuel and Lieutenant Clark rendered invaluable service by reporting the accurate position of 11-P-5 which led to the ultimate rescue of the crew. On 11 September 1942, while on routing patrol from Ndeni, Lieutenant Clark reported that he had contacted an enemy destroyer and cargo ship (no doubt a seaplane tender) 600 miles out and that he was climbing into position for a bombing attack. Then, he reported that he was being attacked by enemy aircraft (probably Zeros on floats) and later the word “down” was intercepted by another plane. The crew has been “missing” since this action.

Action Date: September 5 – 11, 1942

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant

Company: Patrol Squadron 11 (VP-11)

 

8/29/12

Article from Navy Times 27 August 2012 about the P8A

P8-page1

P8-page2

8/29/12

Article in American Legion magazine 8/2012 about the Phillipines and the US Military bases

American Legion article 8/12

5/20/2012

HERE IS LINK TO ARTICLE (Crew 8 VP-40 Last Combat Flight Cam Rahn Bay South Vietnam)

http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backissues/1960s/1967/jul67.pdf

5/23/2012

End of an era
A very Historic Article

1944? No – it’s the year 2010

Early Saturday morning in a rainy Seattle ,
0300 hrs local time. The location: Boeing’s historic Plant II – about to be
torn down after three quarters of a century producing thousands of the most
significant and historic airplanes ever built.
In preparation for demolition, three
airplanes that have been undergoing Museum of Flight restoration in the
factory’s assembly bays will have to be moved. Just as in days past, with
lights and images reflecting off the wet pavement, the last three airplanes
are rolled out. The giant hangar doors are raised, the tugs and towbars are
hooked up, and with lights flashing, they are moved out of the factory and
onto the historic ramp. where so many have gone before. Then across East
Marginal Way and out onto Boeing Field.

They are the last airplanes to roll out of
these doors. Ever.

First out isn’t even a Boeing airplane – but
rather a Lockheed Super G Constellation that flew for Trans-Canada Air
Lines. The Connie is destined for the Air Park , next to Air Force One,
after a Plant II stay of 1 year and three days.

Next is a Boeing B-17 – especially
heart-tugging as she is the last B-17 to roll out of these doors. Boeing built 6981 B-17s in this factory during WW II, at a peak rate of 16 per day.
I guess you could say they built 6981 and rolled out 6982 – including this
last ship – 65 years after her last sister.

A poignant moment in time

Museum employee and good friend Evan
Elliott, driving the tug, knows he has just made history.

Finally, a Boeing B-29 rolls under the
raised hangar doors and out into the dark and wet night. The very last
airplane that will ever roll from this factory.

This Boeing B-29 is the “last of the last.”

The now empty factory bays sit – silently
awaiting their fate.

Everyone present knew they were witnessing
history unfolding in front of their eyes. More than a few tears ran down
more than a few cheeks, to mingle with the soft Seattle drops of rain.

A Boeing Plant II Primer

The ramp that these three historic airplanes
roll across, and the building they leave is one of the most historic
aviation sites in the world.

Here, in April 1944, are the 16 B-17 Flying
Fortress bombers produced in this building – that day, and every day!
In October 1944, the first Boeing XC-97
rolled out of these doors – later to become the C-97 transport, KC-97
Tanker, and B-377 commercial Stratocruiser. (See the camouflage on the
roof?)

During WW II, the plant was completely
camouflaged to look like a residential area as protection against possible
Japanese air attack.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, myriad
B-50 bombers and C-97 Transports are being produced in this factory.

On 12 Sept 1947, a radical new airplane –
the Boeing B-47 six-jet bomber Prototype is rolled out. This airplane is the
direct lineal matriarch for all the jet airplanes Boeing has produced since.

In 1952, in the darkness and wet of a
Seattle night, the Prototype Boeing B-52 8-engine Bomber is rolled out and
across East Marginal Way . She’s shrouded in secrecy and covered by canvas
and tarps. This amazing airplane is still in front-line combat service to
this day.

Here 277 B-52s are being produced where the
earlier airplanes once were assembled.

And, in 1966, the first Prototype Boeing
twin-jet 737 was manufactured in this building and rolled out of these doors
on to this ramp. This airplane (which I worked on – then, and which I still
work on – now,) is in the Museum’s collection. She’s the first of more than
8000 737s built or ordered since then.

She, and 44 years later, the Super Connie,
are my bit of Plant II experience.

And so, today – History meets History as the
last three airplanes roll out of these doors.
Boeing’s Plant II is truly aviation Hallowed
Ground.
Note: The B-17 and B-29 went to hangars
across the field; the Connie to the Air Park .

 


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