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20th Century Aviation Magazine PODCAST
April 2016 | Lakeland, Florida. Concurrent with the onset of British psychedelia and psychedelic rock, U.S. Army aviation was introducing new methodologies and technologies to aerial warfare. Rotary-wing weapons platforms were ascending in importance and therefore the conflict in Vietnam is often referred to as “the helicopter war.” One of the two helicopters that most affected warfare in Asia was the “HueyCobra” (aka “Cobra” or “Snake”). Almost exactly 50 years later, and in conjunction with two noteworthy milestones in Cobra history, two brothers met and made a trek to Lakeland, Florida. At an airfield a sleek, lethal-looking reptilian (“Snake”) with two long, wide, rotor blades awaited their arrival. The men’s goals were to fly with the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation (AAHF) in a Bell AH-1 Cobra.
Contact Preston Aviation at KGIF to schedule a Piper Cub or Boeing Stearman ride and/or flight instruction. Ring 863.956.2526 today!
Of interest to Americans:
The RCAF Handley Page Halifax Bomber. (Many RCAF-Americans served in RCAF Halifax squadrons.) Halifax 57 Rescue is an aircraft recovery group. We are planning to recover the Halifax, HR871, from the Baltic Sea, with our friends “Havsresan” of Sweden, to be restored and displayed at the Bomber Command Museum of Canada in Nanton, Alberta. Please, we need you as Americans to support the recovery too.
On 8th August 1943 HR 871 landed in the Baltic Sea just off the southern Swedish coast. All 7 crewmen bailed out. The Halifax has rested unknown and unseen for almost 73 years, only recently discovered in only 15 metres (50 feet) of water. Halifax 57 Rescue and Havsresan are pleased to announce after months of negotiations we have official Swedish government permission to salvage this RCAF Halifax bomber.
We are appealing to all Canadians, Americans and all aviation history aficionados to support the recovery of HR871 this summer and bring her back to Canada. Thanks to our colleagues and allies at “Havresan – Sea Journey” of Lund University of Sweden we can save Halifax HR871, literally from ‘the sands of time’. Support the Recovery of a RCAF Halifax Bomber! Click here to donate.
The HR871 served with the 405th Squadron and during the 4 years this bomber squadron was based in England. A total of 776 airmen were lost in combat in 405 Squadron with (23) RCAF Americans from 20 different states killed-in-action and (224) RCAF lads killed flying in 405 Squadrons Wellingtons, Halifaxes and Lancasters. I have met with the family of RCAF gunner Tom Withers, Jr. an AMERICAN who was from Roseland, Virginia and he sent letters to home of his combat tour with 405 Squadron and this is what he wrote: “… to say goodbye to you was not an easy thing for me to do. However, I believe you both will understand that I could not well do anything else since everything that I, as well as both of you, believe in is now in a very precarious position. My training, inclinations, and whatever abilities I may have, seem best suited for the choice that I have made. And there is no question of serving Canada to the neglect of my mother country. He who serves Great Brittan or any of its dominions also serves the U.S. and visa versa”… Love Tom July 27, 1942 Tom’s Halifax was shot down and crew lost over Germany… a member of the 405th.