Aviation Historian 12
Aviation Historian 12
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B.Livingstone - Vis - the Allies' Adriatic Eyrie
With the craggy terrain of the island as a backdrop, personnel of the RAF’s No 352 (Yugoslav) Sqn line up alongside the unit’s Supermarine Spitfire Mk VCs during a parade to mark the occasion of the squadron’s permanent move to Vis in January 1945. Other visitors to the busy emergency airfield include a pair of Consolidated B-24s, a Boeing B-17, a Lockheed F-5 Lightning and a Martin Baltimore.
Castle Bromwich-built Supermarine Spitfire Mk VC (Trop) JK544, code letter “M", operated with the RAF’s No 352 (Yugoslav) Sqn - the first Yugoslav-manned fighter unit to be formed in the Mediterranean - from Vis during January-April 1945.
With the craggy terrain of the island as a backdrop, personnel of the RAF’s No 352 (Yugoslav) Sqn line up alongside the unit’s Supermarine Spitfire Mk VCs during a parade to mark the occasion of the squadron’s permanent move to Vis in January 1945. Other visitors to the busy emergency airfield include a pair of Consolidated B-24s, a Boeing B-17, a Lockheed F-5 Lightning and a Martin Baltimore.
Spitfires and B-24s lined up alongside each other at Vis in January 1945. Neither Spitfire MH583 nor B-24 42-78274 was to survive the next four weeks; the former taxied into a Bell P-39 Airacobra on Vis on February 17 and the bomber, named Cocky Crew!, was lost in a landing accident at its home base at Castellucia in Italy on February 7.
B-24J 42-51430, named The Tulsamerican, on a test flight in the USA. It was the last B-24 built by Douglas at the company ’s factory at Tulsa, Oklahoma, under licence from Consolidated. Douglas employees named it, painted the nose art, paid for its construction with war bonds and then ran raffles to win a seat on a test flight.
With the craggy terrain of the island as a backdrop, personnel of the RAF’s No 352 (Yugoslav) Sqn line up alongside the unit’s Supermarine Spitfire Mk VCs during a parade to mark the occasion of the squadron’s permanent move to Vis in January 1945. Other visitors to the busy emergency airfield include a pair of Consolidated B-24s, a Boeing B-17, a Lockheed F-5 Lightning and a Martin Baltimore.
Spitfires and B-24s lined up alongside each other at Vis in January 1945. Neither Spitfire MH583 nor B-24 42-78274 was to survive the next four weeks; the former taxied into a Bell P-39 Airacobra on Vis on February 17 and the bomber, named Cocky Crew!, was lost in a landing accident at its home base at Castellucia in Italy on February 7.
With the airfield’s narrow taxiways crowded with parked aircraft, the larger types were usually moved around with the help of a crash crane. Here an unidentified B-24H is pulled on to the Vis runway after repair by the groundcrew of the 81st Air Service Sqn in November 1944. Note Battle No 69, Burma Bound, in the background.
A significant milestone, B-24J serial number 44-41064 was the 5,000th Consolidated-built B-24, and was thus given the name V Grand. The factory workers who built the aircraft each found a space on the airframe for their signature and the mass-autographed bomber was then photographed over the rugged terrain near San Diego on an early test flight.
The autographs remained when V Grand went into combat with the 780th BS of the 465th BG. The aircraft was forced to divert to Vis twice, each time requiring a new engine. Here a pair of engineers replace the flak-shattered bombardier’s window at the 780th's base at Pantanella, near Foggia.
B-24 Liberator "Burma Bound" из 451-й бомбардировочной группы 15-й ВА возвращается на базу с горящим двигателем №1 и не работающим двигателем №4 после налета на объекты в районе Мюнхена, декабрь 1944 г.
Consolidated B-24H serial number 41-28861, named Burma Bound and wearing Battle No 69, was operating with the 725th BS of the 451st BG in December 1944 when it was hit by flak and photographed leaving the Munich target area. On October 7 that year, it had struggled into Vis after being damaged by anti-aircraft fire.
Another one bites the dust - B-24H 42-52729, “White W", of the Venosa-based 830th BS, 465th BG, lies abandoned at the end of the Vis runway. The details of its loss remain unknown, but it has shed its No 1 propeller and No 3 has been feathered. The bomber sported Bugs Bunny artwork and had racked up at least 56 missions.
The shattered remains of B-24J serial number 44-40330, Hardway Ten, lie beside the runway on Vis after its crash-landing and cartwheel on August 22, 1944. Remarkably, seven of the ten-man crew survived to return to duty.
The shattered remains of B-24J serial number 44-40330, Hardway Ten, lie beside the runway on Vis after its crash-landing and cartwheel on August 22, 1944. Remarkably, seven of the ten-man crew survived to return to duty. The distinctive Monastery of San Girolamo is clearly visible on the hillside.
A member of the 81st Air Service Sqn poses on the remains of an unidentified Ford-built B-24 which ended its usefulness with a collapsed nosewheel after a crash-landing at Vis; a couple of oil barrels take the strain instead. The bomber appears to have taken a flak hit in the nose, which has destroyed the Emerson gun turret.
With the craggy terrain of the island as a backdrop, personnel of the RAF’s No 352 (Yugoslav) Sqn line up alongside the unit’s Supermarine Spitfire Mk VCs during a parade to mark the occasion of the squadron’s permanent move to Vis in January 1945. Other visitors to the busy emergency airfield include a pair of Consolidated B-24s, a Boeing B-17, a Lockheed F-5 Lightning and a Martin Baltimore.
With the craggy terrain of the island as a backdrop, personnel of the RAF’s No 352 (Yugoslav) Sqn line up alongside the unit’s Supermarine Spitfire Mk VCs during a parade to mark the occasion of the squadron’s permanent move to Vis in January 1945. Other visitors to the busy emergency airfield include a pair of Consolidated B-24s, a Boeing B-17, a Lockheed F-5 Lightning and a Martin Baltimore.
An interesting photograph of an RAF Hawker Hurricane Mk IV, probably of No 6 Sqn (which used Vis frequently as an advanced base from May 1944), armed with an asymmetric load of 3in rocket projectiles on the port wing and a 44gal long-range fuel tank on the starboard - these were more usually fitted the other way round.