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david leigh-smith
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On This Day…April 6th.

April 6, 2019 · in Photo Collections · · 7 Comments

Hawker Hurricane Mark IIDs of No 6 Squadron, Royal Air Force rolling out at Gabes Gap (Tunisia) on 6 April 1943 for a tank-busting raid.

Gabes Gap' Was a fiercely fought over strip of land on the coast of Tunisia, blocking the advance of the German army north to Tunis. On 6th April a dawn attack was made on the German positions, preceded by a heavy artillery fire. The fighting went on all day, provoking several attacks and counters.

Formation of Douglas Bostons of 24 Squadron, South African Air Force, flying over Gabes Gap, Tunisia.

6 April, 1945: Lt Willis Hardy of VF-17, from the USS Hornet, was among the Hellcats launched to counter Kikusui, the first of the massive kamikaze raids sent to destroy the Task Force off Okinawa.

While flying RAPCAP over the radar picket ships north of Okinawa, Hardy and his wingman shot down 2 escort and 4 Kamikaze aircraft. At sunset they were vectored to intercept a pair of suicide aircraft (Yokusuka D4Y4-Judy) that were tracking a burning picket ship.

With only one operable gun left, Bill dispatched the second Judy after dark, earning him the Navy Cross medal for this his 5th and final victory of the day, closely followed by his very first night carrier landing.

Battleship Haguro in the final stages of fitting out, off Mutusbishi's Nagasaki shipyard, Japan, 6th April, 1929.

Stunning photo of a beautiful ship. This is the last surviving Boeing 307 Stratoliner - marked as Pan American Airlines Clipper 'Flying Cloud' - on display at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Center, Virginia, United States. Photo taken 6th April, 2009.

US B-25J (pilot 2nd Lt Francis A. Thompson) of 499th 'Bats Outta Hell' Bomb Squadron of 345th 'Air Apaches' Bomb Group attacking Japanese Type-C Escort Vessel No. 1, in Taiwan Strait south of Amoy (Xiamen), China, 6th of April, 1945.

Heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper embarking German troops for the invasion of Norway, 6th of April, 1940.

USS Wolverine (side wheel training carrier) lying at anchor in Lake Michigan, United States, 6th April, 1943.

Spitfires of the Royal Yugoslav Air Force. The German army began the invasion of Yugoslavia on 6th April 1941, ending in surrender by the King ( who later escaped to exile) on April 18th, 1941.

Photo taken on the morning of April 6, after the German Luftwaffe forces launched "Directive 25". The German air force attacked the major cities like Nis, Leskovac, Kragujevac, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Sarajevo, Mostar, Banja Luka.

USS Shamrock Bay (CVE-84, bottom of photograph) with two other escort carriers in Oregon, United States, 6th April, 1944. This was photo taken by an aircraft from USS Shipley Bay (CVE-85).

The Akagi, releasing aircraft in the ‘Easter Sunday' raids against Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) !decribed in part in yesterday's post of ‘OTD' - on 6th April, 1942.

6th April, 1943, Lieutenant C,E, Cliburn standing in front of the American 'Delta Rebel' Flying fortress bomber at a US station ‘somewhere in England'...

On the same day, ground staff member of the United States Air Force (Sgt, Lewis Simpson) adds another bomb to the painted record on the 'Delta Rebel' Flying Fortress.

And below, actor Clark Gable is included in the Delta Rebel crew as he was in the process of shooting the documentary film "Combat America."

Delta Rebel was listed Missing in Action during a raid on Gelsenkirchen 12th August, 1943 with Bob Thompson, Co-pilot: Serge Klinkow, Navigator: George Lausted, Bombardier: Mike Couzzi, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Carroll Goodwin, Radio Operator: Bob Brooks all managing to bail from the blazing Fortress and taken Prisoner of War.

Ball turret gunner: Wayne Kienberger, Waist gunner: Bob Ziernicki, Tail gunner: Chas Blonstein, Waist gunner: Micky Lengyel were all listed killed when enemy aircraft set ship ablaze, and Delta Rebel crashed in Brunninghausen, Germany. Air Crew Report 261.

6th April, 1938 saw the first flight of the Bell P-39 Airacobra.

And if I may (after all, it IS a modeling forum), this arrived in the post this very day.

My plan is to take a few days off and complete this kit with a WiP from scratch in a two week window, ready for 30th July ‘'.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.

7 responses

  1. A nice mix, The P-39 prototype looks cool.

  2. Cheers, Robert. I love the photo of the Airacobra being re-armed - now, THAT would be a winning diorama.

  3. Thanks David for another set of AWESOME photos! I particularly enjoyed the formation of SAAF Bostons over the desolate landscape of the North African theater. The SAAF also operated the Hurricanes in North Africa.

  4. Today is also the 102d anniversary of the US Declaration of War on Imperial Germany in 1917, marking the US entry into World War I.

    Not well known, but Clark Gable (who flew five missions over Germany as a gunner) used his star power for the benefit of enlisted aircrew of the Eighth Air Force. At the time he was there, the Eighth was markedly slow in sending replacements for losses; one gunner who was the only one in his barracks to survive First Schweinfurt eventually went mad and committed suicide after being forced to be the only one in his barracks for six weeks. Gable went to General Eaker, commander of Eighth Air Force and told him that if the situation wasn't solved in 30 days, he was going home to testify before Congress about it and "I'll speak to every newspaperman in America, and you know they'll listen to me, General." Within the 30 days, Eighth AF had adopted the "full breakfast table" policy of the RFC in World War I. Gable never said anything about it and it only came out 60 years later in Donald Miller's "Masters of the Air" because he spoke to an airman who knew Gable at the time and was aware of the meeting with Eaker.

  5. @mornem - I was thinking of you when I was pasting these together! Glad you saw them and enjoyed the Boston’s! More SAAF photos coming soon.

  6. Gable was 42- 43 yrs old and volunteered to be a gunner ...after the death of his wife Carole Lombard. His bio also, states that he almost walked off the set when he found out that the set was segregated ... for "Gone with the Wind". Then he passed after making the "Misfits" with Marilyn Monroe...a complex guy in a complex world.

    Between Gable and Stewart who were big Holly weird names and could have easily lead a quiet life they certainly added to the name "The Greatest Generation".

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