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Modeling by Tom Cleaver

Hasegawa 1/48 RAAF P-40E-1 Kittyhawk I

by Tom Cleaver on July 1, 2017 in Aviation -- 10 Comments

The P-40E-1 was produced for service with the RAF under Lend-Lease, where it was known as the Kittyhawk. The aircraft served primarily in the Middle East and Far East, where it was the first fighter equipment for the RAAF. As […]

Trumpeter 1/32 P-47N

by Tom Cleaver on June 10, 2017 in Aviation -- 16 Comments

Originally designed as a high altitude interceptor, in which range would not be a major consideration, the P-47’s role changed completely when it was the only American fighter with much chance against the Luftwaffe, and was thus pressed into service […]

2nd Lt Archie Maltby remembers D-Day

by Tom Cleaver on June 6, 2017 in Aviation -- 5 Comments

Today is the 73rd anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy. I remember Gladwyn Hill (“Gladhill”) AP’s “Man with the 8th” who made the first broadcast of the invasion from a bomber overhead telling me “they opened a hatch and I […]

John Bridgers’ account of the loss of USS Yorktown

by Tom Cleaver on June 5, 2017 in Aviation -- 6 Comments

June 4, 1942: in addition to the US fliers sinking three Japanese carriers in the morning, the aircraft of the surviving fourth carrier, Hiryu, hit USS Yorktown; after survivingtwo strikes, the majority of the crew was evacuated. Yorktown survived another […]

Dick Best – the man who sank the Akagi and won the Battle of Midway

by Tom Cleaver on June 3, 2017 in Aviation -- 13 Comments

Between 1998 and 2001 when he died, I had the privilege of knowing one of the most interesting people I ever met, Dick Best, the man who sank the Akagi and changed the Battle of Midway. As you’ll find out […]

VMSB-241 SB2U-3

by Tom Cleaver on June 3, 2017 in Aviation -- 8 Comments

The Vindicator at Midway: VMSB-1, the “east coast” Marine Scout-Dive Bomber unit, was renumbered VMSB-231 in October 1941 and sent to the west coast as war clouds gathered in the Pacific. In November, the unit was sent on to MCAS […]

Midway Group Build – VMSB-241 SBD-2

by Tom Cleaver on June 3, 2017 in Aviation -- 9 Comments

Too busy working with the editors on the upcoming “Pacific Thunder” (out in August, you can pre-order on Amazon now) to build anything new for the group build but here’s my Trumpeter SBD-2 from VMSB-241 built a few years back, […]

P-47s flown by Mike Gladych in the 56th Fighter Group

by Tom Cleaver on June 1, 2017 in Aviation -- 6 Comments

Writing in the “Flight Journal,” P-47 special issue, famed Grumman test pilot Corky Meyer – the last actual “airplane person” to head a major airplane company – named the P‑47 Thunderbolt the “best fighter of World War II ‑ ETO.” […]

Tamiya P-47D Thunderbolt

by Tom Cleaver on May 27, 2017 in Aviation -- 17 Comments

The P-47D “Hun Hunter XIV” is well-known, having appeared in the documentary “Thunderbolt” made by William Wyler and John Sturges during World War II. Not much has been written about the 57th Fighter Group, the first USAAF unit to enter […]

Frank Luke’s SPAD XIII

by Tom Cleaver on April 25, 2017 in Aviation -- 7 Comments

In 1910, Armand Deperdussin founded the Societe Provisoire des Aeroplanes Deperdussin (SPAD). The company built racing airplanes designed by Deperdussin; a monoplane designed by Chief Designer Louis Bechereau in 1913 set a world air speed record of 125 m.p.h. that […]