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david leigh-smith
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On This Day…January 18th.

January 18, 2019 · in News · · 9 · 2.1K

18th January, 1945. British Carrier-Borne F6F with deck crew on some sunbathing duties. Japanese Occupied Sumatra, Indonesia in the Pacific. This image was subject to restricted information but thought to be part of a strike force against oil refineries. Published in Life Magazine. Lovely study in weathering.

British heavily armed patrol of SAS in their jeeps, just back from a three month patrol, 18th Janary, 1943. Great shot of the twin-mounted Vickers K machine guns and Fairbairn-Sykes stiletto dagger worn by the nearest soldier, a weapon well known to the Commandos and US Army Rangers.

Soldiers of the 328th Infantry, 26th Division on January 18th 1945, near Wiltz, Luxembourg.

On January 18th, 1957, Operation Power Flite (United States Air Force mission in which three Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses became the first jet aircraft to circle the world nonstop) landed at Riverside, California. They made the journey in 45 hours and 19 minutes, using in-flight refueling to stay in flight. The mission essentially demonstrated that the United States had the ability to drop a hydrogen bomb anywhere in the world.

As detailed in a previous ‘...' On November 14th in 1910 a young pilot from Iowa became the first man to fly an aircraft off the deck of a ship. Eugene Ely was just 24 years old and had taught himself to fly barely 7 months before he flew his Curtis biplane from a specially modified USS Birmingham deckanchored in Hampton Roads.

On January 18th, 1911, Ely then went on to make the first landing on a Navy ship (on a very, very narrow deck) on the Armored Cruiser USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay. His aircraft was modified and equipped with an arrestor hook, establishing the now standard feature on carrier aircraft.

More than anything, Ely wanted to work for the Navy Air Arm, but since it had not yet been fully established he continued his exhibition flying around the country. Sadly, Ely died in a crash while performing at the Georgia State Fairgrounds on October 11th 1911, less than a year after his historic flight off the deck of the Birmingham.

Another day, another mission for this Stirling crew on January 18th, 1942. These photos remind me of the famous saying, “War is 90% sheer boredom and 10% pure paralysing fear.”

Operation Iskra's key moment came on January 18th 1944, when the 123rd Rifle Division and the 372nd Rifle Division broke through German defenses and linked up near the town of Shlisselburg. This is the day that the Siege of Leningrad was officially lifted. The photos below are from the Russian Three Dimensional Museum openened 18th January 2018, to pay tribute to those events...

Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

9 responses

  1. That Curtiss YA-18 looks suspiciously similar to a later (?) Japanese design, the Irving, Nakajima’s J1N in its earliest lines, doesn’t it?
    Great selection as usual

  2. Agreed, Pedro. It looks a lot like the ‘Gekko’ - the support is greatfully received. Thanks, Pedro.

  3. Great choice with the Hellcat,David!

  4. Cheers, John. The Hellcat is a fantastic photo.

  5. There's something about the look of the BUFF[B-52]. Time watch Dr. Strangelove again.

  6. Great photos, Doc! That Russian 3D museum is VERY well done! Looks like Mr. Putin is pretty impressed. It's easy to see why!

    Also, like Robert, I love the pics of the BUFFs. Awesome, old aircraft - but still doing its' job every day.

    Like you, I agree with the "Gekko" comment, and the Hellcat. A real classic!

  7. Couple things:

    The BPF strike on 18 January was part of the Palembang refinery strikes.

    Lerningrad siege was broken January 18, 1944.

    Round-the-world B-52 flight was "Operation Power Up." I once did an interview with one of the surviving pilots 14 years ago. All gone now.

  8. Cheers, Tom.

    Leningrad date was a typo -

    In terms of the BUFF’s (don’t ask if you don’t know...) I keep seeing the ‘Power Flite’ erroneously quoted, any idea how that name was wrongly attributed?

    Thanks for the editorial input!

  9. Nice selection David, love the BUFF's. Also that last SAS Jeep looks like it's armed with a Browning .30 caliber machine gun. Rat Patrol style!

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