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The Membership Newsletter for The Military Aviation Museum Spring 2018
INSIde ThIS ISSue: Hurricane & One-Armed Man 2
History of the Hurricane 2
Zeppelin Ladder 3
Margaret Horton Story 3
Summer of Flight Schedule 4
Summer Camp Preview 5
Flying Proms Preview 5
RAF Centennial Celebration 6
Youth Unplugged 6
Military Aviation Museum www.MilitaryAviationMuseum.org
Virginia Beach Airport www.VBairport.com
Fighter Factory www.FighterFactory.com
Warbirds Over the Beachwww.VBairshow.com
Join the Military Aviation Museum for our 9th installment of The Flying Proms Symphony Air Show on Saturday June 16th!
The Flying Proms offers guests a truly unique experience. Getting its roots from the United Kingdoms traditional Proms, the Military Aviation Museums Flying Proms is the only event of its kind in North America. u
Warbirds Over the Beach Air Show Prepares for Takeoff
Flying Proms Preview
An impressive line-up of fighter and bomber aircraft headlines the upcoming annual Warbirds Over the Beach Air Show, May 18 -20th at the Virginia Beach Airport. Hosted by Military Aviation Museum, the air show highlights World War II aircraft. The museum is home
to one of the largest private collections of World War II military aircraft, each perfectly restored and in pristine flying condition. These planes will be in the air throughout the weekend, especially on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. In addition, many exhibitors will display their craft from personal collections around America.
A live swing band and many other period performers will provide musical entertainment while guests get an up-close look at these vintage aircraft. Visitors will also meet distinguished World War II veterans and talk with them about their personal wartime experiences. Re-enactors portraying World War II troops from Allied and friendly Axis countries will set up encampments throughout the airport grounds giving guests an authentic feel of life in the military during the 1940s. Finally, vehicle, armor, and artillery demonstrations round out the weekend activities on both Saturday and Sunday.
Come out and bring the family for a full day of great flying, interesting displays and some of the best food you have tasted from our area food truck providers. If you are here on Saturday, stay for the Hangar Dance that begins at 4PM. Come as you are straight from the Air Show field or dress up if youd like. Some will wear vintage 40s attire, military uniforms, or stewardess/pilot outfits! Featured dance performers, Swing Virginia, will help teach you the dance steps! Last years dance was a big hitwhat a way to cap off a great day of flying!
For ticket information, visit www.VBairshow.com or call (757) 721-PROP (7767). q
View our Summer of Flight schedule and read more about our upcoming events on PAGe 4 .
The Military Aviation Museum is more than just airplanes and hangars. We strive to tell the stories that surround these planes. People, both men and women, had such an impact on the history of these warbirds.
In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we will begin a Summer of Flight series where volunteers will tell the stories of these aircraft. In this issue we will give you a taste of what is in store each Saturday as we feature a select warbird, talk about it and perform a flight demonstration.
The stories selected were compiled by our volunteer Historian, Felix Usis, from resources too numerous to site from around the globe. Enjoy! u
A Note from the Director:
PAGE 2 VOLUME 11, ISSUE 2
Joggin for Frogmen 5K Race Preview
In 1933, Hawker's Chief Designer, Sydney Camm, decided to design an aircraft which would fulfill a British Air Ministry specification calling for a new monoplane fighter. His prototype, powered by a 990 hp. Rolls Royce Merlin 'C' engine, first flew on November 6, 1935, and quickly surpassed expectations and performance estimates.
Official trials began three months later, and in June 1936, Hawker received an initial order for 600 aircraft from the Royal Air Force (RAF). The first aircraft had fabric wings. To power the new aircraft (now officially designated the Hurricane,) the RAF ordered the new 1,030 hp Merlin II engine. The first production Hurricane flew on October 12, 1937, and was delivered to the 111 Squadron at RAF Northolt two months later.
A year later, around 200 Hurricanes had been delivered and demand for the airplane had increased enough that Hawker contracted with the Gloster Aircraft Company to build them also.
During the production run, the fabric-covered wing was replaced by an all-metal one, a bullet-proof windscreen was added, and the engine was upgraded to the Merlin III. Before the Second World War (1939-1945), production locations expanded to include Yugoslavia, Belgium and in 1940, Canada, where it was undertaken by the Canadian Car and Foundry Company. Continued on Page 7
Hawker Hurricane and the One-Armed Man
James A. F. MacLachlan was born in 1919 at Styal, Cheshire and joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1939. He was posted to 3 FTS South Cerney on May 8, 1939 and joined 88 Squadron at Boscombe Down on November 27th. Then equipped with Hinds, the squadron soon afterwards received Fairey Battles and took them to France at the outbreak of war. Then the squadron was withdrawn to England in June 1940, MacLauchlan was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).
MacLachlan volunteered for Fighter Command in August 1940 and was posted to 145 Squadron at Drem on August 18th. He then joined 73 Squadron at Castle Camps on September 28th. He was assigned overseas service on October 19, 1940 and on November 17th he led six Hurricanes off HMS 'Argus' for Malta, where they joined 261 Squadron at Ta Kali on Malta.
At this point, MacLachlan was a flight commander. On January 9, 1941, MacLachlan claimed two Mc200s destroyed, on the 19th a Z506B, a Ju88, two Ju87s and a probable CR42. During the night of February 8th he claimed two Ju88s destroyed. For this performance, he was awarded a Bar to the DFC.
In combat on February 16, 1941, MacLachlan was hit by a Messerschmitt Bf 109 and severely wounded in his left arm. He bailed out and came down on land. After three days in the hospital, his arm was amputated below the elbow. That wasnt going to prevent him from getting back up in the air though.
He claimed his return to active service started with a friendly wager, according to an Australian newspaper. I bet my nurse that I would be flying again a fortnight [2 weeks] after being wounded. Official records say it was technically 16 days from operating room to cockpit.
Back on his feet, MacLachlan was anxious to see if he could still pilot a Hurricane. He discovered that his right hand was good enough to manage the controls for ordinary flying duties. He was not
satisfied with ordinary flying duties though; he wanted two hands so that he could be a fighting man again.
MacLachlan consulted with the base physician and an aircraft mechanic. The trio devised a robot hand, featuring steel fingers. Instrument makers improved it until he was able to move the steel fingers over the fighter controls easily. His reward came when he received notice from the RAF medical board that he was fit for flying duties.
He returned to operations on November 4, 1941, when he took command of RAF No 1 Squadron at Redhill. The squadron began night intruder operations over France. On the night of April 26, 1942, MacLachlan destroyed a Do 217 and damaged another. On May 3rd, he destroyed a Do 17 and a He 111. On June 3rd he destroyed two Do 217s and damaged two more. MacLachlan was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) and on July 31st was posted to 59 OTU (Operational Training Unit), Crosby-on-Eden, as an instructor. Later that year, MacLachlan was sent on a lecture tour of the United States.
In June 1943, he went to the Air Fighting Development Unit at Wittering. On June 29th, MacLachlan, in company with Geoffrey Page, flew a Mustang on a daylight sortie, in the course of which he destroyed two Hs 126s, a Ju 88 and shared a second with Page, who also destroyed two Hs 126s. They took to the skies again on July 18th, but as they crossed the French coast, MacLachlan was hit by machine gun fire.
He force-landed in a field and ploughed through an orchard. He survived the crash but was taken to a German field hospital, as a prisoner of war. MacLachlan died there on July 31, 1943. He was only twenty-four years of age.
He is buried in Route de Caen Communal Cemetery, Pont L'Eveque, France. He was awarded a second Bar to the DFC posthumously. q
The History Behind the Hawker Hurricane
Throughout the Second World War, women stepped up to the plate and filled jobs, releasing the men for more combat roles. This was true in the United States where over 1/3 of the entire work force in the aviation industry were women. The story was very similar in England and the Royal Air Force (RAF). Women filled roles so men could fill combat positions. This is a short story of just one of those brave women.
When an aircraft engine had been serviced, the practice was for the training instructors to run the engine and do a particular test. During the test, a fitter would sit on the tail of the plane. Sometimes, to prevent the tail bouncing up and the propeller striking the ground, fitters often rode the tail plane all the way to the takeoff point. The fitter would then be instructed to get
off the plane for the take-off. This practice had a freak outcome on Valentines Day 1945.
The incident involved a RAFs Womens Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) flight mechanic, ACW2 Marg