On This Day…May 29th.
29th of May 1940: Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division test pilot Lyman Bullard, Jr. took the U.S. Navy's new prototype fighter, the XF4U-1, Bu. No. 1443, for its first flight at the Bridgeport Municipal Airport, Bridgeport, Connecticut. The hull wing design by Rex Buren Beisel would be developed into the famous F4U Corsair.
Further along her evolution, Vought-Sikorsky F4U-1 Corsair, Bu. No. 2170, with test pilot Willard Bartlett Boothby, 24th of October 1942. The r st, as they say, is history...
A-20A Havoc bomber of US 58th Bomb Squadron flying over Oahu, US Territory of Hawaii, 29th May 1941. A few months later two of the 58th's Havocs were destroyed at Pearl.
Below, the only flying A-20 on the planet at Oshkosh, 2017.
Albacore aircraft of No. 820 Squadron FAA having just taken off from HMS Formidable in the Indian Ocean, 29 May 1942.
The photo was taken from the HMS Warspite.
Friedrich-Karl "Tutti" Müller was born in Berlin Lichtenfelde on Dec. 25th, 1916. He became a prolific fighter pilot who scored victories across virtually all theatres in WWII.
At the outbreak of WWII he served in 8./Jagdgeschwader 53 (JG) in the rank of Leutnant. On May 27th, 1940 he scored his first of eight victories in the French campaign. During the Battle of Britain, he added two RAF fighters to his credit. From June 1941 onwards he flew in battle at the Eastern Front and by September of ‘41 he had scored 20 air victories.
In the spring of 1942, the unit was transferred to Sicily in the Meditteranean and he shot down three Hurricanes over Malta. In May the unit returned to the Eastern Front where by September 19th, 1942, Müller claimed his 100th ‘kill'.
In November of 1942 Müller was promoted to Gruppenkommandeur of 1./JG 53 and he led his unit to Tunisia. Up to April 1943 he had made 115 kills. At this point he was struggling with stress, unable to fly, and was sent on leave. On his return he was given command of IV. / JG 3 in defense of the Reich. On March 8th, 1944 he shot down three four-engined bombers, raising his tally to 122 kills and later that month was posted as Geschwaderkommodore JG 3.
Just a few weeks later, May 29th, 1944, in Salzwedel, Friedrich-Karl Müller lost his life while landing his Messerschmitt Me 109 G-6 (Wrk.Nr. 410827) - his Gustav stalling at a height of less than 50 feet. He was promoted posthumously to Oberst.
In more than 600 opersational sorties, Friedrich-Karl Müller scored 140 ‘kills'.
Below, our own Tolga Ulgur's beautiful homage to a great flier.
P-26A ‘Peashooter' fighter in a full scale wind tunnel at the Boeing factory in California, United States, 29 May, 1934.
The Yorktown in Dry Dock No. 1 at Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, 29th May, 1942.
F4U-1 Corsair fighter of US Marine Corps fighter squadron VMF-213 'Hell Hawks' being prepared for flight aboard USS Copahee (CVE-12) on 29th May 1943.
And the legendary VF-3 pilot Lieutenant Commander John S. Thatch's Wildcat at Naval Air Station, Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii.
This photo was taken on 29th May 1942, five days before Thatch shot down Japanese Air Commander Joachim Tomonaga as he tried to torpedo the Yorktown at Midway. A story for another day...
(Above, same aircraft, built by iModeler's equally legendary @lgardner )
Incendiary bombs tumble from 20th Air Force B-29s over Yokohama in May 1945.
Bf 109G-8 of 1.NAG 11 (The Nahaufklärungsgruppen - a tactical recon group) Pilots (the Gustav pilot may be Ludwig Soukop) celebrate together in Italy, 29th May. 1944. Soupop was killed in a dogfight with US fighters in February of ‘45.
The USS Yorktown (Essex-class, CV 10) in the channel leaving Pearl, Hawaii, 29th May 1944.