Author Archives: jfwknifton

B-24 Liberator

Some more photos of how to put a WW2 RAAF Liberator bomber back together again, should you ever want to. The original blog post courtesy of Paol Soren

Paol Soren

Thirty three kilometres South West of Melbourne, in the suburb of Werribee in a hangar on the old Werribee Airfield. This airfield was an adjunct to the Point Cook base and during the War it was used to park ‘planes for assembly of aircraft brought over from England. For a bit of History look here.

One of the old hangars is now the home of the B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration. Their website is http://www.b24australia.org.au.

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by | December 14, 2017 · 2:43 pm

Look at that fat bloke, Stan (2)

Please don’t look at this series of blog posts and just think “I don’t like football” and then go on your merry way. All of these blog posts are about much more than football. In particular they concern the eternal battle between sporting genius and cream cakes.

In the last post, I said that there was one football match that I wish I had seen. It took place just a few months after I was born. It was England v Hungary, played on a cold, dull, misty afternoon on November 25th 1953 at Wembley. This game would later be called the “Game of the Century”
Kick off was at 2.15 pm because there were no floodlights. Hungary were the greatest team the world had ever known. They were Olympic champions, undefeated since 1950:

A good ten years ago I bought the programme for “Goal of the Century” on ebay. I paid more for it than I cared to communicate to my wife, but the big thing was that it contained three autographs. Of that more later. Here is the front cover:

The back cover showed, perhaps, the suggestion of a possible contributory factor to England’s problems:

The programme did everything possible to welcome the Hungarians. There was a pronunciation guide:

And news of an exhibition about Hungary:

There was a nice bit of “whistling in the dark”. A list of recent results against those pesky foreigners:

A couple too many draws, perhaps, but we had beaten both Belgium and Argentina. But had we played too few home games against foreign opposition ? Just five in eight years.

The programme had adverts for other games at Wembley but they were very inward looking. Firstly, the Varsity match:

And then, the next best thing to the biggest England game of the season:

Next time, we’ll look at the players and the timetable for the day’s events.

 

 

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Filed under Football, History, Humour, Personal

Mosquito . The Wooden Wonder.

This post is from Paol Soren in Australia, about his visit to the RAAF museum where they are currently restoring an Australian Mosquito. I know that a lot of the aviation fans who follow my blog will enjoy this, so, thanks a lot, Paol!

Paol Soren

My first job after year twelve was in a large Lawyer’s firm in Collins Street, Melbourne. There were two of the originating partners still alive and the one I knew was Mr Cook. Mr Cook had his right index finger missing and one day he noticed me looking at it and decided to tell me what had happened. Cookie had been a Pathfinder pilot during the War. He flew an unarmed and unarmoured plywood Mosquito over Europe. His job was to fly at great speed into the full horror of war, drop marking flares onto the target and then get the hell out of the way as the bombers flew over to destroy Hitler’s war machine. One night a German Messerschmitt got a bit cross with him and fired his machine-guns. Only one bullet hit the Mosquito passing through the cockpit and blowing the top off the plane’s joystick and Mr…

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by | December 10, 2017 · 9:18 am

The Mosquito at Hendon (2)

Last time, I wrote about the De Havilland Mosquito at the RAF Museum at Hendon. This individual is painted as a Mosquito B.35, TJ138, in 98 Squadron markings, reflecting the squadron’s time spent at Celle in Lower Saxony, flying Mosquitoes during the occupation of West Germany from 1945-1951:

The squadron badge is Cerberus, the 3 Headed guardian of Hell because, quoting the RAF website:

“This squadron claims to have barred the way (front and rear) during the German retreat in 1918 and so considered Cerberus, as the watchdog of Hades, a suitable badge.”

I don’t understand that to be honest, but if the RAF are happy with it, then so am I.

And I’ve never known what that ridge along the fuselage was for:

Such slim, sleek lines:

A bit closer. You can see why Mosquito crews had to be careful of these propellers. They are so close to the fuselage:

Here’s the bomb bay:

And even closer up:

The Mosquito was capable of carrying 4,000 lbs of bombs. Best of all, it had an uninterrupted bomb bay, with no struts or barriers to prevent the aircraft from carrying a 4,000lb Cookie. That meant that two Mosquitoes and the four men in them could carry the same as a B-17 with 10 men. A Lancaster carried 14,000lb with 7 men, the only heavy bomber capable of outdoing the Mosquito in this kind of contest.

Here’s one of the two very powerful Merlin engines. Behind it, something so modern and so boring that nobody would want to fly it:

Did you spot the mystery item behind the Mosquito on the left? My guess is that it is part of the lighting system or perhaps a flying Stealth Lawnmower invisible to radar.

Here’s where the bombardier sat. The next time you watch “633 Squadron”, notice how the inaccurate swines have painted over the Perspex in a vain effort to disguise a bomber pure and simple as a fighter bomber with four cannons:

It’s so shocking and so obvious when you look at it:

One thing you can be sure of though. This particular Mosquito was not in “633 Squadron”, surely the only flying Mosquito in the world that was not used. Perhaps it was an economy measure. The owners of all those different Mosquitoes did charge a whopping £2 a day to rent one.

The last photograph shows two people (not with me) and three other aircraft. One is Japanese and if it’s not a Kawasaki Ki 100 then I don’t know what it is. The World War I aircraft top right, I really don’t know what that is, either. I’ve just forgotten. Perhaps an SE5?

The aircraft on the left has the distinctive tail of the Fokker DVII and guess what? It is one!

 

A note to say that my hand is now capable of a little light typing so I have managed to catch up on my replies to all the kind comments you made on my previous six blog posts. From now on, it should be back to normal, although I am well aware that operations go in pairs, and it will only be a matter of time until the right hand needs a full service.

 

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Filed under Aviation, Bomber Command, Canada, History

Have You Heard the News?

Forget the cricket and the DUP, cheer yourself up for Christmas!

Re-blogged, incidentally, from “A trivial mind at work” by Dennis Wagoner.

A Trivial Mind At Work

If you were watching the news this week you may have missed these headlines from the past few days:

  • Waffle House customer cooks own food while worker sleeps (the customer left himself a generous tip for the delicious meal)
  • Squirrel vandalizes New Jersey city’s Christmas lights
  • ‘Drunk’ opossum found in Florida liquor store (policeman reports that opossum was ‘drunk as a skunk’)
  • Grenade found in box of donations at California Goodwill
  • Musician uses car’s windshield wipers to play violin
  • Police recover stuffed zebra head after caught-on-camera burglary (why would one have a zebra head? why would one steal a zebra head?)
  • US Government Shuts Down Flat-Earther’s Rocket Launch (the only thing Flat-Earthers have to fear is sphere itself)


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Victory!

The power of the people! 374,304 signed up in just 4 days!!

Life In The Gym

I’m delighted to tell you that the beautiful military working dogs who were scheduled to be put down this week have been given a reprieve.  They will be “re homed” with people who will care for them the way they deserve after all their hard work!

IMG_9519

Thank you, thank you to all of you who took a minute to sign the petition.  It made all the difference in this case.  The number of signatures topped out at 374,304 (in just 4 days) and was still going strong, before the Defence Secretary responded and ordered that the dogs be saved.

IMG_9520 Love and hugs to all who helped in the quest to save these dogs!

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Puppy Love

These brave animals deserve better than this. Incidentally, I reblogged this from “Life in the Gym” by Dr Lynn.

Life In The Gym

Help save the lives of some military working dogs

Sign the petition at the bottom of this post.  It costs nothing and only requires your name and email address.

kevin Kevin and his handler

Military working dogs are highly trained canines who go to war to help do very dangerous work.  Dogs have fought alongside American forces in every conflict since the Revolutionary War (but only officially since WWII).  The particular dogs in danger of having their lives taken, worked with UK forces on the battlefield.

According to an article in The Sun, two Army dogs who helped save thousands of lives while on duty in Afghanistan will be put down next week, be­cause Top Brass say they can’t be re-homed.  This is despite having trained, military dog handlers who are willing and able to take them in and provide a home for them.

IMG_0784 Kevin worked in Afghanistan (Helmand Province) sniffing…

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