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by dragon53 » Sun May 01, 2011 1:43 pm

For Memorial Day---Model Collection #5

P-51 Mustang "Cripes A' Mighty" flown by Maj. George Preddy, 328th Fighter Squadron, 352nd Fighter Group, "Blue Nosed Bastards of Bodney"

Greensboro native Preddy is the all-time leading Mustang ace with 26.8 kills and was recommended for the Medal of Honor when he shot down six German fighters in less than five minutes. Some military historians consider Preddy to be the best US fighter pilot in the European Theater.

This model represents Preddy's first of three Mustangs.

This model represents Preddy's third Mustang which he was flying when he was killed by friendly fire.

Preddy's crew chief was the unit's barber who advertised his services on "Cripes A' Mighty" with his red-and-white barber's pole. The "1/3" refers to his haircut price of "1" shilling and "3" pence. More red-and-white barber advertising is visible on the antenna and machine gun ports.

Note the Swastika "kills" on "Cripes A' Mighty"---at the time of his death, Preddy was the top-scoring USAAF pilot in Europe.

NCSU alumnus Lt. Bill Preddy, younger brother of George Preddy, was killed in action two weeks before Germany surrendered. Preddy was shot down strafing a German airfield. He was rescued by a Czech civilian who took him to a German military hospital and died after the German doctors refused to treat his wounds. In his first dogfight, Preddy shot down two German fighters.

F-22 Raptor "Cripes A' Mighty", 192nd Fighter Wing, Virgina Air National Guard

F-22 #4082, the flagship stealth fighter of the 192nd FW, was painted in a "Cripes A' Mighty" paint scheme as a tribute to Maj. Preddy. The 192nd FW is a direct descendant of Preddy's 328th Fighter Squadron.

AV-8B Harrier II, VMA-223 "Bulldogs", MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina

This model represents one of the two Cherry Point Harriers used in the movie TRUE LIES (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eliza Dushku). I'm proud of this model because I'm the one that suggested the model company release a TRUE LIES Harrier two years ago.

In TRUE LIES, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Eliza Dushku on a Cherry Point Harrier.

In another scene from TRUE LIES, Cherry Point Harriers attack Arab terrorists as they attempt to smuggle nuclear warheads across a bridge.

F/A-18 Hornet "Chippy Ho!" flown by Capt. Joseph Aucoin, VFA-195 "Dambusters", USS KITTY HAWK

Capt. Aucoin, an NCSU graduate, was the Commander Air Group (CAG) aboard the KITTY HAWK and flew the CAG's uniquely-painted CAG jet, "Chippy Ho!". Aucoin is featured in the book BLACK ACES HIGH in which he took over the underperforming VF-41 "Black Aces" aboard the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT and transformed it into one of the Navy's elite squadrons during combat over Kosovo. Rear Adm. Aucoin is currently the commander of Carrier Strike Group 3 based aboard the flagship, the aircraft carrier USS JOHN C. STENNIS.
This model is a limited edition with 720 released worldwide.

NCSU alumnus Rear Admiral Joesph Aucoin

AD-4 Skyraider flown by Cdr. Swede Carlson, VA-195 "Dambusters", USS PRINCETON

During the Korean War, repeated attacks to destroy the key Hwachon Dam by B-29 bombers carrying six-ton bombs, Navy bombers and Army Rangers were unsuccessful. Finally, it was decided to try to attack the dam with Skyraiders carrying old World War II anti-ship torpedoes still in storage aboard the PRINCETON. The eight Skyraiders, the second flight led by Carlson, destroyed one of the dam's sluice gates and seriously damaged a second. Because of the mission's success, VA-195 changed its name to "Dambusters" from "Tigers". VA-195's attack on the Hwachon Dam was the last time the Navy used torpedoes in combat.
Carlson also led VA-195 on airstrikes against an important North Korean bridge that UN forces named "Carlson's Canyon". Carlson's raids on the bridge were the inspiration for James A. Michener's best-selling novel THE BRIDGES AT TOKO-RI which was made into an Oscar-winning movie starring William Holden and Grace Kelly.

P-38 Lightning "Scat II" flown by Capt. Robin Olds, 479th Fighter Group

Legendary ace Olds is one of the most famous aces and combat leaders in USAF history. On his first combat mission, Olds shot down two FW-190s. On his second combat mission escorting B-17 bombers over Germany, Olds and his wingman intercepted 50 ME-109s. Olds shot down three ME-109s which made him the first ace of the 479th FG. He was the 8th Air Force's top P-38 ace with nine kills. Olds was a triple ace with a career total of 16 kills.
During the Vietnam War, Olds was given command of the under-achieving 8th Tactical Fighter Wing and told to turn the wing around. Under Olds, the 8th TFW became the USAF's top-scoring fighter wing with 38.5 kills with Olds accounting for four MiG-21s. One of Olds' pilots was Capt. Steve Ritchie of Reidsville, North Carolina, the USAF's only pilot ace of the Vietnam War with five kills.
After Vietnam, Olds was named Commandant of Cadets, United States Air Force Academy with orders to restore honor to the institution after a major cheating scandal.
Olds was an All-America tackle at West Point and has the distinction of being the only person to be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame and the National Aviation Hall of Fame.
There is a tale among fighter pilots that the USAF wanted to freeze Olds in his flight gear and put him in a cryogenic glass chamber in the Pentagon. A sign on the glass chamber said, "In case of war, break glass".

Olds, with his trademark handlebar moustache,  inspects a Sidewinder missile on his F-4 Phantom II "Scat XXVII" during the Vietnam War.

SR-71 Blackbird "Rapid Rabbit" flown by Capt. Dennis Bush, 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing

"Rapid Rabbit" was the first SR-71 to be deployed to Kadena AFB during the Vietnam War. Hugh Hefner gave his personal permission to allow the Playboy Bunny to be painted on the SR-71's rudders. "Rapid Rabbit" was damaged beyond repair during a landing, and it was then used to provide spare parts for other SR-71s. One of "Rapid Rabbit"'s rudders was installed on SR-71 #7975 which appeared in the movie SPACE COWBOYS (Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones).
This limited edition model is a Japan-only model and was bought from a Japanese dealer. Only 1,000 were released.

My two SR-71 models: "Rapid Rabbit" and "Ichi Ban".

F-4 Phantom II "Black Bunny" flown by Capt. Tom Cavley, VX-4 "Evaluators"

Squadron VX-4 is used to test air-to-air missiles and electronics. "Black Bunny" was the first VX-4 jet to use the squadron's traditional glossy, all-black paint scheme which was an experimental camouflage to see if it reduced aircraft visibility. The Playboy Bunny was added to its tail after being inspired by Hugh Hefner's personal DC-9 jet with its Bunny logo.

Hugh Hefner's personal all-black DC-9 inspired the Playboy Bunny on VX-4's "Black Bunny".

F-4 Phantom II No. 1 flown by Cdr. Bill Wheat, Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron "Blue Angels"

The "Blue Angels" flew their first demonstration in 1946 and were named after the Blue Angels nightclub in New York. The F-4 Phantom II is the only aircraft flown by the "Blue Angels" and the USAF "Thunderbirds".

F-4 Phantom II #64-0776 flown by Lt. Col Robert Titus, 389th Tactical Fighter Squadron "Gunslingers"

Titus began his military career as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. In 1949 he joined the USAF and flew 101 combat missions during the Korean War as a F-51 Mustang and F-86 Sabre fighter pilot. During the Vietnam War, Titus flew 400 combat missions and was the commanding officer of the 389th FS, He shot down three MiG-21s. Two of his kills were on the same mission---one of the MiGs was downed by a Sidewinder missile and the second MiG was downed by a 20mm cannon pod---one of the rare kills by a cannon pod  (Maj. Robert Anderson also shot down a MiG-21 flying Phantom #64-0776).  Phantom #64-0776 is currently on display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.
This is a limited edition model with 500 released.

A-4 Skyhawk flown by Lt.Cdr. Michael Estocin, VA-192 "Golden Dragons", USS TICONDEROGA

During the Vietnam War, Estocin was flying an Iron Hand mission to suppress surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites over Haiphong. Even though his Skyhawk was severely damaged by a SAM, he destroyed three SAM sites and relayed valuable SAM information to the main attack group. Estocin, with his fuel almost gone, made a fiery landing on the TICONDEROGA although he suffered burns. A week later, he convinced his commanding officer he was healthy enough to fly another Iron Hand mission over Haiphong. Again, his Skyhawk was severely damaged by a SAM, but he continued his attack and fired a Shrike anti-radar missile at the SAM site. As he and his fighter escort were returning to the TICONDEROGA, the escort pilot saw the Skyhawk plunge into the ground. Estocin was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The guided missile frigate USS ESTOCIN was named in his honor.

<img src="http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h408/dragon8991/A-4ESTOCIN-1-2-2-1.jpg"

F-14 Tomcat "Fast Eagle 102" flown by Cdr. Hank Kleeman, VF-41 "Black Aces", USS NIMITZ

In 1981, Cdr. Kleeman scored the first kill by an F-14 when he shot down a Libyan SU-22 Fitter over the Gulf of Sidra after the Su-22 fired an air-to-air missle. It was also the first time a variable geometry (swing wing) jet shot down another variable geometry jet. A second SU-22 was shot down by Kleeman's wingman, Lt. Lawrence Muczynski, flying "Fast Eagle 107".
Four years later, Cdr. Kleeman was killed when his F/A-18 Hornet flipped over during a landing. In 1994, "Fast Eagle 107" was being flown by Lt. Kara Hultgren, the Navy's first female carrier-based fighter pilot. During an aborted carrier landing, Lt. Hultgren was killed in an unsuccessful ejection attempt.

A-6 Intruder flown by Lt. Eric Hamm, VA-115 "Eagles", USS INDEPENDENCE

During Desert Storm, VA-115 Intruders flew 456 combat sorties and sank 12 Iraqi naval vessels. During Operation Southern Watch in 1992, the squadron's Intruders flew 115 combat missions over Iraq.  Lt. Hamm was killed on a training flight over Japan.
This model is a limited edition with 1,000 released.

<img src="http://i1108.photobucket.com/albums/h408/dragon8991/A-6INTRUDER-1.jpg" alt="" />

C-17 Globemaster III "Spirit of Ronald Reagan" flown by Lt. Gen. John Bradley, 452nd Air Mobility Wing

This model represents the C-17 named in honor of President Ronald Reagan. In 2006, the C-17 was flown from the Boeing factory in Long Beach, California to the dedication ceremony at March Air Reserve Base by Lt. Bradley, chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of the Air force Reserve Command. Nancy Reagan helped unveil the C-17 at the dedication ceremony. President Reagan served in the Army Reserve and Army Air Corps during World War II.
This is a limited edition model of 600.

Nancy Reagan unveils the C-17 "Spirit of Ronald Reagan".

B-24 Liberator "Sleepy Time Gal" flown by Lt. James Moran, 776th Bomb Squadron

"Sleepy Time Gal" was one of many USAAF aircraft with nose art inspired by famous pin-up artist Alberto Vargas. After completing its bombing run on the BMW Works factory in Munich, "Sleepy Time Gal" developed mechanical problems and was forced to land in Switzerland where the crew and bomber were interned until the end of the war. The 776th BS was deactivated after Germany surrendered, but was reactivated in 1953 as the 776th Troop Carrier Squadron. In 1954, the 776th TCS was based at Pope AFB, North Carolina. The 776th TCS's C-130 Hercules cargo planes saw extensive duty during the Vietnam War.


1. Jimmy Stewart (pilot)---Oscar-winning actor (IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, REAR WINDOW, VERTIGO) was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and often assigned himself to fly the dangerous role of lead bomber on raids over Europe.

2. Robert Altman (pilot)---Oscar-winning director (MASH, NASHVILLE).

3. Irvin Kershner (navigator)---director (STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK).

4. Paul Piscerni (bombardier)---actor (THE UNTOUCHABLES tv series) who dropped bombs on the real bridge that was made famous in THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI.

5. Walter Matthau (radioman/gunner)---actor (THE ODD COUPLE).

6. Don Herbert (pilot)---tv personality ("Mr. Wizard").
7. Leo Penn (pilot)---director (STAR TREK, COLUMBO, KOJAK, St. ElSEWHERE), father of Sean Penn.
8. George Olesen (pilot)---cartoonist (THE PHANTOM).

9. Chuck Bednarik (gunner)---NFL player whose hit on Frank Gifford sent Gifford into early retirement.

Frank Gifford is knocked unconscious by Chuck Bednarik.

10. Jack Smight (navigator)---director (THE TWILIGHT ZONE, MIDWAY).
11. Beirne Lay, Jr. (pilot)---writer (TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH).

In TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH, North Carolina native Col. Frank Armstrong was the inspiration for Brig. Gen. Frank Savage (Gregory Peck).

12. Delbert Mann (pilot)---Oscar-winning director (MARTY).
13. George McGovern (pilot)---presidential nominee and US Senator.
14. Lloyd Bentsen (pilot)---Secretary of the Treasury, vice presidential candidate, US Senator.
15. Jim Wright (bombardier)---Speaker of the House.
16. David Westheimer (navigator)---writer (VON RYAN'S EXPRESS).

In VON RYAN'S EXPRESS, Frank Sinatra starred as a captured US fighter pilot.

17. Jack Palance (pilot)---contrary to popular mythology, the Oscar-winning actor and former UNC football player did not get his trademark gaunt looks when he was severely burned when his B-24 caught on fire. Palance denied the story, and military historians searching his military records have found no evidence Palance ever flew a B-24.


1. Tyrone Power (pilot)---actor (THE MARK OF ZORRO, BLOOD AND SAND) who was based at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina in World War II as a cargo plane pilot and flew missions in the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns.

Tyrone Power was based at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina.

2. Joseph Kennedy, Jr.(pilot)---older brother of John F. Kennedy and was killed when his PB4Y, which had been converted into a flying bomb, exploded while on a secret mission to destroy a German supercannon in France.
3. Robert Stack (gunnery instructor)---actor (starred in THE UNTOUCHABLES with B-24 bombardier Paul Piscerni, AIRPLANE, UNSOLVED MYSTERIES).

Robert Stack with B-24 bombardier Paul Piscerni (holding pistol) in THE UNTOUCHABLES.

A-26 Invader "Stinky", 552nd Bomb Squadron, Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina

"Stinky" was the most famous A-26 of the 552nd BS. Based in Beaumont, France, the 552nd's B-26 Marauders were replaced by the A-26 shortly after the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944. After Germany surrendered, the 552nd flew to Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina in preparation for redeployment to the Pacific Theater for the invasion of Japan (Seymour Johnson Field was a central assignment station for units from the European Theater being redeployed to the Pacific Theater). However, Japan surrendered and the 552nd was deactivated while still in the US.
Douglas Aircraft designed the A-26 to replace its A-20 Havoc. The A-26 replaced the A-20 and the B-26 bombers. The A-26 was the fastest USAAF bomber in World War II and the only aircraft to see combat in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

PBY CATALINA "White 69" flown by Lt(jg) William Pfleeger, VP-34 "Black Cats"

Pfleeger received his Navy preflight training at UNC-CH. As a member of the famed black-painted "Black Cats" which specialized in night attacks on Japanese shipping, Pfleeger was credited with sinking or damaging six Japanese ships and rescuing over a dozen US airmen.

Spitfire Mk. I flown by Squadron Leader Robert Stanford-Tuck, No. 92 Squadron

Stanford-Tuck had 30 kills and is perhaps the RAF's best Spitfire pilot. He was personally awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross by King George VI. After being shot down and captured, Stanford-Tuck helped plan the escape of over 200 Allied POWs at Stalag Luft III which was later made into the hit movie THE GREAT ESCAPE.
Stanford-Tuck was promoted to squadron leader of No. 92 Squadron after his predecessor, Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, was shot down and captured. At Stalag Luft III, Stanford-Tuck was reunited with Bushell. Codenamed "Big X", Bushell was the mastermind of "The Great Escape" with Stanford-Tuck and other key POWS assisting him. The Germans suspected Stanford-Tuck was planning an escape and transferred him to another stalag---which probably saved his life. Bushell led the mass escape and was recaptured the next day in a French rail station as he was waiting for a train headed to Switzerland. On Hitler's direct orders, Bushell and the other escape leaders were executed by the Gestapo.
During the Battle of Britain, Stanford-Tuck opened fire on a Luftwaffe bomber which forced it to release its bombs early. The bombs hit the edge of a British army base and killed one soldier who, ironically, was his sister's husband. After World War II, Stanford-Tuck was a technical adviser on the movie BATTLE OF BRITAIN which was produced by Harry Saltzman who co-produced the early James Bond movies.

In THE GREAT ESCAPE, Richard Attenborough starred as escape mastermind "Roger Bartlett" who was based on Roger Bushell.

THE GREAT ESCAPE also starred Steve McQueen (photo), Charles Bronson and James Coburn who previously starred together in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

SPITFIRE Mk. IX flown by Flight Lt. George Beurling, No. 412 Squadron, RCAF

Beurling was Canada's top ace of World War II with 31 kills and was known as "Canada's most famous hero of the Second World War". An expert marksman, Beurling was unpopular with his fellow pilots because of his disdain for teamwork and was repeatedly transferred to other squadrons by his commanding officers. After World War II, he was hired to fly P-51 Mustangs for Israel. En route, he was killed when his plane crashed in Rome. At his funeral, no family or friends were in attendance.

HURRICANE Mk. I, R4118 flown by Wing Commander Bob Foster, 605 Squadron

Foster, an ace with seven kills,  flew Hurricane R4118 on several missions during the Battle of Britain. R4118 flew 49 sorties during the Battle of Britain and shot down five German aircraft before being shot down and damaged in October, 1940. R4118 was later repaired and donated to a university in India for engineering instruction. In 2001, R4118 was returned to England and restored, making it the only Battle of Britain Hurricane still flying.

Typhoon Mk. IB "Bombphoon" #JR550 flown by Flying Officer RA Johns, No. 439 Squadron, RCAF

The Typhoon was designed as a fighter interceptor, but due to poor performance, it was relegated to duties as a fighter-bomber. It was in the "Bombphoon" role that the Typhoon excelled. With its rugged construction, low altitude performance and armament (four 20mm cannon, bombs and rockets), the Typhoon became the RAF's best fighter-bomber of World War II.
Flying Officer Johns was killed in action on his 78th mission when his Typhoon was hit by antiaircraft fire and crashed into a steeple in Speelburg, Germany. Typhoon #JR550 was lost when Flying Officer Ralph MacDonald crashed while engaged in a mock dogfight with another Typhoon over Eindhoven, Holland.

In this scene from BAND OF BROTHERS, paratroopers of Easy Company helped liberate the Dutch city of Eindhoven during Operation Market Garden. One week later, the Typhoons of No. 439 Squadron redeployed to Eindhoven to provide air support for Market Garden.

F/A-18 Hornet WS200 flown by Lt. Col. William Swan, VMFA-323 "Death Rattlers"

WS200 is the squadron commander's personal jet and has the unique Rattlenake paint scheme.
VMFA-323 was formed at MCAS Cherry Point during World War II and got its name when three pilots killed a six-foot rattlesnake on the base and hung its skin the squadron's ready room.
This model was originally released specifically for sale by VMFA-323 and is a limited edition of only 600 released.

UH-1 "Frog", 174th Assault Helicopter Company

AHC-174 served in the Vietnam War from 1966-1071. It's "Frog" gunships were named "Sharks" and the troop carriers were named "Dolphins". The "Sharks" used the nose art of the famed "Flying Tigers" of World War II and was the only unit in the Vietnam War to have official permission from Brig. Gen. Robert L. Scott, Jr., a member of the "Flying Tigers" and author of GOD IS MY CO-PILOT, to use the nose art. Two "Sharks" pilots from North Carolina were Capt. Stephen Riddle (Weaverville) and Capt. Charles Rogers (Monroe--killed in action).

UH-60 Black Hawk, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

The UH-60 was the successor to the iconic UH-1 "Huey" helicopter as the Army's main utility helicopter. It gained fame in the movie/book BLACK HAWK DOWN. This model is customized with members of Delta Force from Fort Bragg and is one of the biggest models in my collection with a 42" length.

The Black Hawk was made famous in BLACK HAWK DOWN.

HH-60J Jayhawk, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina

The HH-60J Jayhawk is the Coast Guard's search and rescue version of the Army's UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City was the first operational HH-60J squadron. The movie THE GUARDIAN (Kevin Costner, Sela Ward, Ashton Kutcher) was filmed partly at Air Station Elizabeth City where it stood in for Air Station Kodiak (Alaska). Over 60,000 pounds of ice had to be shipped to make Air Station Elizabeth City look like Alaska.
THE GUARDIAN was directed by Andrew Davis who also directed THE FUGITIVE which was also filmed partly in North Carolina and also co-starred Sela Ward.

In THE GUARDIAN, which was partly filmed in Elizabeth City, NC, Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner depart an HH-60J Jayhawk helicopter.

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by dragon53 » Sun May 08, 2011 2:38 pm

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