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Past Issues

Volume 12, Number 4 - 4th Quarter 2014

LOGBOOK is a quarterly magazine covering the entire spectrum of international aviation history, from the first tentative attempts at flight, to history that was made just yesterday.

LOGBOOK is a distinctive publication in the field of aviation history. At LOGBOOK we certainly enjoy bringing you in-depth articles written by some of the world’s premier aviation historians. More importantly, however, we also enjoy working with, actively encouraging and publishing the first-time, one-time and fledgling author. These are the folks who actually lived the aviation history they are writing about, which lets the reader experience the action from a unique perspective. This allows LOGBOOK to bring you aviation history you will find no other place.

Back Issue: Available

Seaboard Flight 253 - Down in the Kuriles

Time dims memory - more precisely, time dulls the recollection of details, yet the memory of the main event stays alive. Fortunately, over the years since 1968, I have kept alive my recollection of that day Seaboard World Flight 253 strayed off course and ended up in Russian hands. Recently, I received valuable documents and anecdotal evidence that have helped me fill out this account.
Captain Bill Eastwood tells his story.

Panthers and Cougars in the Argentine Navy

By the mid-1950s, the Argentine Navy - La Armada Argentina - began negotiations to equip its fighter force with jet planes and, after analyzing several different proposals, they selected the Grumman F9F-2B Panther. The selection was appropriate because it was the best jet fighter available second hand, while giving a good cost-benefit relation. At the time, the Navy didn’t have an aircraft carrier, although officials were very interested in buying one, so it was considered crucial that the selected fighter have carrier capabilities. The Argentine Air Force - La Fuerza Aerea Argentina (FAA) - had been operating jet fighters since mid-1947, when they bought 100 Gloster Meteor F4s. Half of this order was former Royal Air Force airframes, while the other half was new-build airframes. Elsewhere, other countries in Latin America were also just starting to operate jets, in most cases the de Havilland Vampire, the Gloster Meteor or the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star.
Santiago Rivas relates the history of Argentina's Navy joining the jet fighter world.

Graf Zeppelin - Hitler's Aircraft Carrier, Part 4

Early July 1940, was a heady time for the Luftwaffe. Having just participated in the victorious campaign that stormed across Holland, Belgium, and France – the last-mentioned signing a humiliating armistice with Hitler on 22 June at Compiegne, where, in the same railroad dining car 22 years earlier, Germany had been forced to surrender, ending World War One. Göring’s euphoric air arm then turned itself to the tasks of reorganizing and redeploying along the English Channel anticipating what would become known as the “Battle of Britain” and – if aerial superiority against the Royal Air Force (RAF) could be achieved – Unternehmen Seelöwe (Operation Sealion), the Wehrmacht’s planned cross-channel invasion of England.
The Kriegsmarine, however, was in no position to play a significant role in the operation, having lost heavily in the Norwegian campaign during April-June 1940. A consequence of this Pyrrhic victory was that Großadmiral (Grand Admiral or GAdm.) Raeder was forced to defer completion of Germany’s only aircraft carrier, the KMS Graf Zeppelin, in order to have sufficient facilities, workers and materials to repair his battered battle fleet. The carrier was placed in “storage status” and towed to Gotenhafen (Gdynia, Poland) for safe-keeping. No longer needed for ship-board operations, the Luftwaffe’s two Trägergruppen – carrier groups I.(Stuka)/186 and II.(Jagd)/186 – were incorporated into the service’s normal organizational structure as III./StG 1 and III./JG 77, respectively.
The major program remaining that was associated with the Graf Zeppelin was the construction of the dedicated carrier-based fighter, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 T, or “Toni.” Two weeks before the Luftwaffe absorbed the erstwhile Trägergruppen, the definitive Toni prototype, having completed its manufacturer’s trials at the Messerschmitt plant at Augsburg, was flown to E-stelle (See) at Travemünde for service acceptance evaluations.
Colonel Douglas Dildy continues his comprehensive look at Germany's World War Two aircraft carrier.