On This Day…May 25th.
Nice set of Spitfire references for weathering.
Spitfire MkVb of RAF 222 Squadron (ZD-H) named ‘Flying Scotsman' In Essex, England, 25th of May, 1942.
Pilot, South African Flight Lieutenant Laurie, is a flier of the 222 Squadron (Natal).
A Whitley Bomber demonstrates a parachute jump for the King of England near Windsor, May 25th, 1941.
Kittyhawk I AK752 is shown at RCAF Station Rockliffe in this photo dated May 25th, 1942.
This P-40 was built as a Kittyhawk I for the RAF. It was purchased by the British Purchasing
Commission and did not fall under any Lend-Lease agreement and therefore had no U.S. Army serial number. It was allocated the RAF serial AK752 but was handed over to the Canadians and eventually given the RCAF serial 1028. She served with 132(F) and 133(F) Squadrons in defence of Canada's West Coast and is said to have shot down two Japanese bomb balloons (see previous ‘OTD...' episodes).
In 1947 she was acquired by a farmer in Alberta and used as a parts bin before being buried in 1952, spending the next twenty-three years thirteen feet below the ground. In 1975 she was found and excavation started with the rusted exhausts, which, because they reminded the workers of dinosaur bones, led to the Kittyhawk being christened, ‘Curtissaurus' Rex,' (oh, what a nameplate for a diorama...). Over the course of thirteen years AK752 was restored back to flying condition by Steve Seghetti in California and Col Pay in Australia.
Her current owner, James E. Smith of Fortine, Montana, obtained the Kitty in 1994 and is today one of many aircraft in Mr. Smith's Stonehenge Air Museum, which is part of Crystal Lakes Resort, Montana, US.
US soldiers exploring a Demag factory assembled Panther of 1.Pz Rgt. 4 in Lazio province, Italy, may 25th, 1944.
Battleship Haruna undergoing post-conversion trials, 25 May 1928. The haunt was to undergo several upgrades before becoming a significant presence for the IJN in WWII.
French troops and H35 tanks advancing through a blitzkrieg torn village during the invasion of France, 25th of May, 1940.
USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and other American warships at U.S Fleet Activities Yokosuka naval base, Japan, 25th May 2006.
On Friday 25th May 1917 a flight of 23 Gotha bombers set out for a raid on London. Two of the attackers had to turn back on route and when the remaining 21 reached London it was covered by a thick layer of cloud. The aircraft turned south into Kent looking for targets of opportunity. They shed their bombs in a course of death and destruction reaching to the English coast.
The final target was Folkestone, where the Gothas dropped 40 bombs, where the worst damage was in Tontine Street. At 6.22pm just one single bomb fell right outside ‘Stokes Brother′s Greengrocers' where true to very English form, a queue had formed after a fresh delivery of potatoes.
Appropriately enough as we approach D-Day, a gorgeously shot photo of the British Supermarine Spitfire, with U.S P51 Mustang at Duxford Airshow, England, 25th May 2014.
Above, the often photographed Messerschmitt Bf 109E1 (of 5.JG52) ‘Red 13' piloted by Albert Griener and force landed in Rehlingen, Germany, on 25th May 1940.
Albert Griener early 1940.
Below are some more photos of this Emil.
May 25th, 1944, and in the Burmese jungle the ‘Chindit's 111 Brigade' clung to a stronghold (‘Blackpool') where 2000 men were isolated and had been under attack for days from a stronger and better equipped Japanese Force. The Chindits were a special forces unit, trained to drop behind enemy lines and disrupt and destroy enemy lines while being supplied themselves by air drops. However, Japanese Anti-Aircraft guns made re-supply to 111 Brigade virtually impossible.
John Masters, Brigadier, had sent several ‘Most Immediate' messages requesting permission to withdraw but had no reply. The Chindit units worked under a strict protocol of no action unless sanctioned. Masters reached a unilateral decision that would invite court-martial and ordered a strategic retreat, knowing that doing nothing would be certain death fit his entire unit.
The horrors of war is an almost constant theme in this series, but Masters faced a new depth in terms of agonising decisions; what to do with his soldiers who were so injured they were essentially being given palliative care.
These were strong men who, when suffering from dysentery would march naked through the jungle, men who were trained in resilience to torture and were used to hard life and death decision making. However, on that May 25th day, Masters made a heartbreaking choice to euthanise his mortally injured soldiers. Unusually, given the obfuscation that often surrounds such events, he had the courage to write about it afterward.
Decency forbids that I replicate almost any of Masters' description of that experience, but on this memorial weekend, for modelers especially given that 90% of our subject matter relates to war, I think it is important to reflect on the nature of sacrifice, responsibility, and duty.
Above, a British signaller in Aquino, Italy, May 25th, 1945. Photo below is house to house clearing, same day, same town.
25th of May, 1944 - outside Piedimonte, San Germano (Italy), an M10 Tank Destroyer keeps watch on the Italian countryside.
25th of May, 1944. England. An Australian Spitfire Squadron is briefed before a mission.
Best I can tell, these are of the RAAF Squadron 453. Any further thoughts welcome.
Beaufighters of 252 RAF Squadron, attacking at the harbour of Preveza, Greece, May 25th, 1943. Photograph below is of a Beau from the same squadron, in Egypt, date unknown.