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Past Issues

Volume 7, Number 4 - 4th Quarter 2006

LOGBOOK is a quarterly magazine covering the entire spectrum of aviation history, from the first flight to just yesterday. Civil, Military, Airline, General Aviation - We bring you the stories that have rarely or never been published before, told by the people who lived them. If the story is known, we dig to find additional information, documents and photographs to add to the knowledge about the topic. Short stories, sea stories, personal remembrances, in-depth information and simple hangar flying are the kind of unique aviation history you will find in the pages of LOGBOOK.

Back Issue: Sorry - Sold Out

Going to War in a Battle

For the Royal Air Force, the first days of World War Two were a tough time, indeed. Many of the aircraft in the inventory were hopelessly outclassed by the enemy fighters they faced. One such aircraft was the Fairey Battle. With a crew of three, this light bomber was once considered a highly capable machine, faster and more maneuverable than most contemporary fighters. However, by the start of the war it was now completely unsuitable for its mission. Notwithstanding, the Battle was still deployed and thrown into the fray.
British author Gordon Thorburn writes of the pilots and crews that heroically flew the Battle against almost insurmountable odds. With typical British understatement, several veterans give first hand accounts of their service, doing their best with an aircraft that should have been relegated to an earlier era.

George C. "Gorgeous George" Watkins - Record Setting Naval Aviator

George Watkins retired from the U.S. Navy as a Captain in 1973, after a 30-year career. By that time he had established a number of records, like in 1962 becoming the first U.S. pilot to total over 1,000 arrested carrier landings. He retired with a total of 1,418 carrier landings on 37 aircraft carriers to his credit. Earlier, in 1958, he had attained the world’s jet high-altitude record of almost 77,000 feet. As a Navy experimental test pilot during three tours at Patuxent River, Maryland, he flight tested 75 different models of aircraft, and had piloted over 200 different types of planes during his flying days.
A former Naval Aviator himself, author Fred "Crash" Blechman tells the exciting story of this accomplished pilot.

Flying Is Good For You

The barnstorming era in the United States was a colorful time that produced an equally colorful cast of characters. While many people assume barnstorming was a uniquely American phenomenon, it actually spanned the globe. Australian writer Mary Garden records the life and times of her father, Oscar Garden, who she calls the “Barnstormer of the Skies.”
Learning to fly in the early 1930s, Oscar Garden would spend several years flying exhibitions, giving joy rides and generally barnstorming around New Zealand, Australia, Africa and the Middle East. Often living out of the cockpit, Garden tried a number of schemes in an attempt to make a life in aviation. One advertising slogan coined by Garden to coax riders into the front seat claimed that “Flying Is Good For You.” Like many of his contemporizes, Garden would eventually settle down to the more stable life of an airline pilot. This heavily illustrated article shows that the popularity of the early days of the vagabond pilot was a world-wide occurrence.

Carrier Operations in Korea - The Early Days

The Vought F4U Corsair The Vought F4U Corsair
On that fateful day – 25 June 1950 – when the North Korean Peoples Army (NKPA) invaded South Korea, the United States Navy had only one aircraft carrier in the entire Theater of Operations. The USS Valley Forge (CV-45) – a Ticonderoga-class aircraft carrier, sometimes referred to as a long-hull Essex-class – was in the South China Sea at the time, en route to the Philippine Islands. On board was Carrier Air Group FIVE (CVG-5), which had a compliment of 86 tactical aircraft, including two squadrons of Grumman F9F-2 Panthers, two squadrons of Vought F4U-4B Corsairs, and one squadron of Douglas AD-4 Skyraiders. Also assigned were detachments of special mission aircraft, such as Vought F4U-5N night fighters, Vought F4U-5P photo-reconnaissance birds and Douglas AD-3W airborne early warning aircraft, plus a new machine to carrier aviation – Sikorsky HO3S-1 helicopters. After a quick replenishment at Subic Bay in the Philippines, the “Happy Valley” headed north. Passing Formosa, CVG-5 launched several aircraft in a show of force to warn the Communist Chinese to keep their hands off the island. Assigned to Task Force 77 (TF77), Valley Forge arrived on station in the Yellow Sea – off South Korea’s western coast and below the 38th Parallel – on 3 July. At 0500 that morning, Valley Forge launched its first missions of the Korean War.
David R. McLaren chronicles the first phase of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations on the Korean Peninsula.