S3E4: USMC Corsairs up the Slot: 1st Lt Robert Hanson
The Aviation Medals of Honor
by The Aviation Medals of Honor
6M ago
Continuing the series of episodes on the Corsair and the fight for aerial supremacy in the Solomon Islands. In January 1944, the Japanese defenders at Rabul still had some fight in them. Robert Hanson, a 23 year old Marine Corsair pilot, would rack up an impressive string of victories in January, ending with 25 kills at the time of his death. This episode wraps up the Solomon Islands Campaign with the neutralization of Rabul and a brief summary of the Corsair. Selected references: The Fighting Corsairs, the Men of Marine Fighting Squadron 215 by Jeff Dacus History of Marine Corps Aviation in W ..read more
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S3E3: Pappy Boyington Part 2: The Blacksheep
The Aviation Medals of Honor
by The Aviation Medals of Honor
6M ago
This episode covers Pappy’s time in the South Pacific, his command of VMF-214, The Blacksheep, and their run through the Solomons in late 1943 and early 1944, and finally his time as a prisoner of war. Initially two parts, I condensed it down cutting much of Pappy’s postwar life. If you’re interested in that, there are many books that cover that, including Pappy’s own autobiography which ends with “Just name a hero and I’ll prove he’s a bum.” A difficult episode to do. A lot has been written about Pappy and trying to do him justice while not ignoring his faults was not easy, especially when yo ..read more
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S2E1: Marines over Guadalcanal, WW2: Part 1 - Major John L. Smith, USMC, F4F Wildcat pilot
The Aviation Medals of Honor
by The Aviation Medals of Honor
8M ago
Major John L. Smith was the Commanding Officer of VMF-223, the first fighter squadron to operate off Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. Facing almost daily Japanese raids, 223 fought from the 20th of August, 1942 until relieved on the 13th of October, 1942. Major Smith would leave the island as the Corps leading ace with 19 kills and the Medal of Honor. This episode looks at the two main fighters in the campaign, the Japanese Zero and American F4F Wildcat, the state of USMC aviation in the months after Pearl Harbor, and the early attempts by the Japanese to retake Guadalcanal.  Selected read ..read more
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S1E5: 8th Air Force in Europe, WW 2: Part 5 - Maj James Howard, USAAF, P-51B Mustang
The Aviation Medals of Honor
by The Aviation Medals of Honor
8M ago
The only fighter pilot to be awarded the Medal of Honor from the European Theater of Operations, Maj James Howard took on 30 plus Luftwaffe fighters while protecting 8th Air Force bombers over Oschersleben, Germany on January 11th, 1944. This episode covers the development of the P-51 Mustang, from it's beginnings as a British program to it's arrival in the ETO as an air superiority fighter.  *Although assigned to the 9th Air Force, Major Howard was operationally assigned to the 8th Air Force. Selected readings: Roar of the Tiger: From Flying Tigers to Mustangs, James Howard Fighting at 4 ..read more
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S1E2: 8th Air Force in Europe, WW2: Part 2 - 1st Lt Jack Mathis, USAAF, B-17 Flying Fortress bombardier
The Aviation Medals of Honor
by The Aviation Medals of Honor
8M ago
Part 2 of 4 on the B-17 Flying Fortress and the 8th Air Force. 1st Lt Jack Mathis was a bombardier with the 303rd Bomb Group killed in action on 18 March 1943. He was the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in the 8th Air Force and in the European Theater of Operations. This episode also covers Carl Norden and his Norden M-series bombsight, a cornerstone of the Army Air Forces strategic bombing campaign.  Selected readings: Bombardiers' Information File, USAAF Office of Flying Safety, 1945 The Secret Weapon, Don Sherman, Air & Space Magazine, February/March 1995  The Mighty Ei ..read more
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S3E2: Pappy Boyington Part 1: The Flying Tigers
The Aviation Medals of Honor
by The Aviation Medals of Honor
8M ago
Part 1 on Greg "Pappy" Boyington. Before he led the world famous VMF-214 Blacksheep over the Solomons, Pappy Boyington was a broke, sometimes violent, drunk, about to get kicked out of the Marine Corps. He’s given a second chance when he joins the American Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers. This episode covers Pappy’s early life and time before his time with VMF-214, the Blacksheep squadron, as well as the history of the AVG. Selected readings: Black Sheep: The Life of Pappy Boyington by John Wukovitz Baa Baa Black Sheep by Greg Boyington The Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and the Amer ..read more
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S3E1: USMC Corsairs up the Slot, WW2: Part 1 - 1st Lt Kenneth Walsh, VMF-124
The Aviation Medals of Honor
by The Aviation Medals of Honor
8M ago
1st Lt Kenneth Walsh was the first F4U Corsair ace and a pilot in VMF-124 during the Solomon Islands campaign. He would earn his Medal of Honor over the course of two missions in August of 1943 and finish the war with 21 victories. In addition to Ken Walsh and VMF-124, this episode covers the development of the F4U Corsair and the initial moves of Admiral Halsey up the Solomon Island chain.   Selected readings:  Harnessing the Sky: Frederick "Trap" Trapnell, the US Navy's Aviation Pioneer, 1923-1952 by Frederick Trapnell Jr and Dana Tibbitts  Corsair, the F4U in World ..read more
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Introduction to Aviation Medals of Honor
The Aviation Medals of Honor
by The Aviation Medals of Honor
8M ago
This podcast covers the men and machines behind the Aviation Medals of Honor from World War 1 to Vietnam. This episode is just a brief introduction to my background as a Marine attack pilot and my intent with the podcast. I can be reached at: aviationmoh@gmail.com   Semper Fi, Kelly "Beavis" Ramshur Recommended reading: Above and Beyond: The Aviation Medals of Honor by Barrett Tillman ..read more
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S2E6: 67th Fighter Squadron at Guadalcanal
The Aviation Medals of Honor
by The Aviation Medals of Honor
8M ago
Arriving just two days after John L. Smith and VMF-223, the pilots of the 67th Fighter Squadron quickly learned their P-400 Airacobras were woefully inadequate for the air to air mission. Unable to climb quickly or high enough to intercept the Japanese Zeros and Betty bombers, the P-39 variants were pressed into an air to ground role. From September to December of 1942, this group of Army Air Forces pilots would go about the dirty business of air to ground killing. They would never get the publicity of the Marine fighter aces, but in the words of 1st Marine Division commander General Vandegrif ..read more
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S2E5: Marines over Guadalcanal, WW2: Part 5 - 1st Lt Jefferson DeBlanc, USMC, F4F Wildcat pilot
The Aviation Medals of Honor
by The Aviation Medals of Honor
8M ago
In part 5 of 5 in the Guadalcanal series, 1st Lt Jefferson DeBlanc of VMF-112 becomes the first Marine to achieve 5 victories on a single mission. This episode covers DeBlanc's combat experiences from November 1942 through January 1943, his Medal of Honor mission and recovery following his shootdown, as well as the conclusion of the Guadalcanal campaign.  Selected readings: The Guadalcanal Air War Colonel Jefferson DeBlanc's Story, Jefferson DeBlanc History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War 2, Robert Sherrod Wildcat, the F4F in WW2, Barrett Tillman Time of Aces: Marine Pilots in the S ..read more
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