Douglas C-47 Dakota, Royal Hellenic Air Force Korean Detachment (ΕΚ.Σ.Ε.), Airfix, 1/72

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  • Last reply 4 months, 1 week ago
  • 1/72, Airfix, C-47, Hellenic Air Force, Korea The Forgotten War
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  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Hi everyone!
    First, congratulations Louis @lgardner for the conception of this great GB idea and a big “THANKS” for the invitation!

    Here’s my first entry at this GB: a Dakota, one of the seven that were sent to join the Korean Forces, as part of the Greek Expeditionary Force.

    The Greek Expeditionary Force (GEF) in Korea (Εκστρατευτικόν Σώμα Ελλάδος, abbreviated ΕΚΣΕ) was formed in response to the United Nations appeal for assistance in the Korean War. It comprised a reinforced Hellenic Army infantry battalion and a Royal Hellenic Air Force (RHAF) flight of seven transport planes. Greece was the fifth largest troop contributor to U.N. Forces in Korea.

    The seven C-47s of 13th Flight, with 67 Air Force officers and personnel, departed from Elefsis air base at 0830 on November 11, 1950. They belonged to the 355 Transport Squadron, known for its participation in the recent civil war. The majority of the officers and NCOs of this first mission were experienced airmen, being veterans of the Mediterranean and Middle East Theatre of World War II and the Greek Civil War.

    On December 3, 1950, the first Greek aircraft landed on Korean soil. The Greek flight was immediately attached to the 21st Troop Carrier Sqn. (later renamed 6461 TC Sqn.) of the 374th Wing, United States Air Force, based initially at Daegu. From May 14, 1951, the flight was based at Kimpo air base where it remained until May 23, 1955. During its time in Korea, the Greek Flight carried out 2,916 missions, comprising air evacuations, the transport of personnel and prisoners, drops of supplies and ammunition, the replenishment of allied bases and the collection of operational information. In total, its planes carried 70,568 passengers, including 9,243 wounded. It logged 13,777 flight hours. Losses included 12 officers and NCOs and two C-47s.

    The 13th Flight received a US Presidential Unit Citation for its participation in the evacuation of US Marines at Hagaru-ri in December 1950. 19 members of 13th Flight received the US Air Force Air Medal for the Hagaru-ri evacuation operation in December 1950.

    Had this kit in my stash for quite a while. When I came across an 1/72 “AFTERBURNER” decal sheet that, among others, contained “exotic ” HAF schemes (such as Korean Detachment Dakotas), it was an instant love affair and a definite future build…

    Naturally, this Korean War GB (KWGB), arrived as a gift from Heaven! I could have never imagined a stronger opportunity to start my Korean Dakota.

    Hope you like my choice, my friends!
    If so, please stay tuned (after I will have done some sanding to my beloved Jake of my beloved Empire of Japan GB!
    All the best!

  • Louis Gardner said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Hello Spiros,
    I am very happy to see you building a Greek C-47. This is a perfect choice and a great one to start representing the United Nations Forces. Thank you VERY much for joining our group, and I sincerely mean this.

    My Dad was one of the “Frozen Chosen” and fought alongside the Marines at the Chosin reservoir, however he was serving in the US Army and not the USMC. He always had the highest respect for all C-47 pilots, and Marine F4U / Skyraider pilots as well. I think this is due to what he saw happen firsthand in Korea. Later in life, he told me that the C-47 pilots could land and take off in an area that you wouldn’t expect them to be able to. He also said the Marine pilots “Could drop napalm on a dime”……………and talked about how good they were at close air support. He really opened up to me in his last weeks of life. But growing up as a kid, you never heard Dad talk about any of his experiences in Korea, unless he was around other veterans who were there.

    Hagaru-Ri was an airstrip that was temporarily put into use for resupply, evacuating the badly wounded, and those men that suffered from cold weather injuries from the Chosin area.

    This is going to be good…………… and I will also be looking for an update on your Jake…… : )

    Take care my friend.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Thanks my friend @lgardner!
    Loved the posted stories of your Dad’s memories
    Must be moving….
    Hope I will do some progress today.
    Thanks for supporting!

  • Allan J Withers said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Good choice Spiros, looking forward to it’s progress !!

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Started my Dakota today.
    Kit is quite good, with engraved panel lines, just a bit of flash and totally unusable decals, which I wouldn’t use anyway.

    Had built the same kit twice in the past, as Hellenic birds, so I kept the unused decal sheets; those were usable (not perfect, a la old Airfix style, bit out of register); my recent one is a total miss…..maybe the batch was all lost cause.
    Glued the windows from the inside. Fit is good.

    Glued the cockpit floor and rear bulkheads.

    Assembled the cargo door (you can choose between two options here, so check your references!), and glued it closed (as I was going to model my Dakota with closed door – there’ practically no interior anyway). Fit was so-so, and I filled/reinforced the joint with some thick liquified styrene, sparingly applied from the inside, wiping off the excess (too much will melt the surrounds and will probably result in ugly sink marks).

    Assembled the 5-piece wing, the 2-piece tailplanes and the front wheels (which sport an interesting tread pattern).
    No, onto some interior painting (and then the final sanding session of my Jake!).
    All the best, great KWGB!

  • John Healy said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Looks like a nice kit, Spiros. Interesting version too.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Thanks John @j-healy!
    Indeed it’s a nice kit, having the right amount of complexity only at certain places.
    Definitely not overengineered, but arguably detailed (sans the interior for those who like open doors)
    I loved that version, as it was “non-standard”; I find it attractive!

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Assembled the engines, which are nicely represented with discrete cylinder rows.

    Started interiors painting, wheel wells also.
    All the best! (Now I’m definitey going to sand my Jake!!!!…..)

  • Jaime Carreon said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Following this one for sure, Spiros. We call them Gooney Birds here, and I was a flight mechanic on this wonderful airplane for several years during my cargo days. Looking good so far!

    A Gooney Bird tale – Douglas C-47B – Monogram 1/48

  • Allan J Withers said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Coming along nicely Spiros !!

  • Louis Gardner said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Spiros, @fiveten
    Man you have been busy !!! and it looks very good………………….

    About a year and a half ago Jaime @jetmex
    Joe Caputo, and I all met up and went to see my friends who restore Warbirds. That day we had the opportunity to see “Placid Lassie” which actually dropped paratroopers over Normandy on D Day in 1944. Here are just a few of the pictures I took that day.

    The rivets on the C-47 are very prominent.

    I know that you have access to one in your local museum, but I thought these pictures would help you and just might save you a trip………….
    Here are a few pictures of the door

    and the side windows.

    This good old C-47 flew to Europe and participated in the 75th anniversary of D Day last year.

    I had to add this one as it was my favorite plane in their hangar. They have it completed now, and it was flying the airshow circuit before the plague………………. I mean the virus kicked into top gear.
    It’s a very rare Night Fighter F6F-3N Hellcat

    Hope this helps you with your build.

    Take care my friend.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Thanks Jaime @jetmex!
    Went through your headline post and your build thread.
    I was amazed!
    Will use them as my reference.
    Thanks again!

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Thanks Allan @kalamazoo!
    Glad you like my progress!

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Thanks Louis @lgardner!
    What a wonderful set of pics! Definitely will be used as my reference, surely will save some trip to my local museum.
    Indee the Dakota has very prominent riveting…..
    …..sometimes (not always) I kinda miss the gloriusly raised riveted models of the 60s….
    …..well, we have the de rigueur engravees now!
    The Hellcat looks amazing, (tempting me to go and have a look at my SoDed Hasegawa one….) and I can see a happy man too!
    Thanks again, my friend!

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months, 1 week ago:

    Got QC clearance!……..

    Cheers all!

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