Aviation History

Find here all articles related to Aviation History, ranging from World War I to Vietnam War. Learn more about various aircraft types, incredible stories about planes and its pilots and much more…

“I Was Almost Shot Down Flying A Nazi Plane” recalls US WWII Fighter Pilot

Decorated fighter pilot Duke Ellington aka “Ed” explains how he got to fly a German ME-109 fighter plane during the war after a German airfield was captured in Sicily. So this is July 1943, the 8th army is in the process of taking Sicily, and one German airfield was captured so quickly that the Luftwaffe didn’t …

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Me262 at former Luftwaffe Airfield Lübeck

Luftwaffe and RAF Aircraft on Lübeck Airport, 1946

Argunners Magazine has the privilege to publish a selection of photographs from Gerald Trevor Roberts’ archive, who served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II. After World War II had ended, he was transferred to the former Luftwaffe airfield of Lübeck – Lübeck Airport is now a minor German international airport–, where he served …

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Messerschmitt Me262 in Bodensee, 1946. (Credits: Erich Sallard)

The Messerschmitt Me 262 – First Operational Jet Fighter

The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe (“Swallow”), also called the Sturmvogel (“Stormbird”) in its fighter-bomber version, was the world’s first operational jet fighter. It had the potential to create havoc for the western Allies during World War II. When officials demonstrated the plane to Adolf Hitler at Insterburg, Germany on Nov. 26, 1943, Hitler said that …

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A Heinkel He 177 V5 heavy bomber prototype in flight, 1942/43. (Credits: U.S. Navy)

Heinkel He 177 Bomber was a ‘Flying Tinderbox’ during World War II

Heinkel He 177 Adolf Hitler talked about the Heinkel He 177 Greif (Griffin) bomber in a meeting with his military staff on Feb. 1, 1943. Speaking to Generaloberst (Colonel General) Hans Jeschonnek, chief of staff of the Luftwaffe as part of a rambling exchange about tanks and aircraft, the Führer said: “I have to say …

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Boeing B-17E in flight. (Credits: U.S. Air Force)

When Eisenhower lost a B-17 bomber in a bet to Montgomery

The liberation of Sfax, Tunisia on April 10, 1943 was a joyous occasion for nearly everyone involved. The Allies gained an important Mediterranean port, the Tunisians in the city were liberated, and British Lt. Gen. Bernard Montgomery won a B-17 bomber from Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. That last one may need some explanation. Rommel retreats to the Mareth …

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Tsutomu Yamaguchi in 2009 (Credits: Justin McCurry via Wikipedia)

Tsutomu Yamaguchi: Survivor of two Atomic Bombs

On August 9, 1945 a Boeing B-29 Superfortress nicknamed “Bockscar”, piloted by Major Charles Sweeney, took off from Tinian’s North Field just before dawn around, carrying a plutonium bomb nicknamed “Fat Man”. Its initial target being the Japanese town of Kokura but after reaching the city, both pilots of the B-29 “Big Stink” – which accompanied the …

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Empire State Building 1945 after Crash

A B-25 crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945

On Saturday, July 28, 1945, 27-year old Lieutenant Colonel William Franklin Smith, Jr. was piloting a B-25 “Mitchell” bomber on a routine personnel transport mission from Boston to Newark Airport. Lt. Col. Smith, who served previously in the 457th Bomb Group with over 500 combat hours, asked for clearance to land, but was advised of zero visibility and …

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