KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS (And More)

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Ben Dover
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KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS (And More)

Post by Ben Dover » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:40 am

Some of the F-51's flown by the 132nd Fighter Bomber Squadron at DOW Field, Maine still had evidence of WWII markings. One Mustang had "IT'S SUPER MOUSE" polished out but still visible. It was formerly assigned to the 352nd Fighter Group during WWII. There were Mustangs in the air 24 hours a day at DOW for a while.
The sound of Mustangs being boresighted was a daily occurance. Mustangs could be often seen with bombs headed to the bomb range, or off to gunnery practice accompanied by a T-6 towing a sleeve, an hour or so later the T-6 would return and drop the sleeve along side the runway. It was a thrill to see the returning Mustangs peeling off sharply on their landing pass. If done sharp enough there would be a lot of backfiring. I'll bet the pilots enjoyed it. There is nothing sweeter than the sound of a revved up Mustang.
The unit arrived at DOW with in a formation of 16 Mustangs, and for a few weeks there were trainloads of equipment arriving at the base, all this just a few feet from our large office window. Mustangs and Army Trucks, exciting times for Ben Dover. Post WWII DOW was a "who's who" list of WWII Aces.
Last edited by Ben Dover on Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ben Dover
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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS

Post by Ben Dover » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:31 pm

The 132nd Fighter Bomber Squadron was a busy outfit during the daytime, the 5 Ton 4X4 Tractors used to haul the fuel trailers were a semi gloss yellow, Most of the CCKW Cargo types were O.D as well as their WWII Jeeps. Clarktors were Yellow and the Cletracs were OD. I remember the Air Police getting a few new 1951 vintage 1/2 Ton Pickups in Strata blue before the unit went inactive in 1952. The flightline crews during their 51-52 tour had GI Issue motorcycles to use, I do not remember the type.
I may have already mentioned that the men of this unit introduced split manifold Chevys and dual exhaust V-8 Fords to the area, and there was more than a few times that they left the Main Gate to Dow 3 abreast.
The 6 Cyl Chevy with split manifold and duals sounded almost like an airplane.
My Survey Crew Party Chief was from Nebraska and served at Dow 1951-1952 as an Armorer on the F-51D. He returned here to live in 1956 and I am very grateful for it. 12 ears later, we were surveying the highway by the base and his best childhood friend from Nebraska, an F-101 Pilot stationed at Dow drove by, a pleasant surprise.
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Wolfman
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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS

Post by Wolfman » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:56 am

Looks like you were having one of those late night moments, Joel. I have those myself. Amazing the memories that come creeping back. I like to sit around the kithen table by candle light late at night.
No TV B.S. to bum me out !!
Lots of good memories. Life overseas or in the military wasn't all bad.
Really peaceful !
Mike Wolford
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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS

Post by Ben Dover » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:05 am

The exciting memories have never faded. Been surrounded by WWII trucks and Veterans for 7 decades, our business had WWII trained Army Truck and Aircraft mechanics, and was at the main gate to DOW Field in the 40's-50's. Dow was home to thousands of WWII veterans with their stories fresh in their memories. Our WWII Surplus truck parts were bought by WWII veterans who fixed and drove these things, all had stories to tell. Hanger flying in the office and burger joint was non stop for years. Nothing wrong with a lifetime hobby with all that background plus the fun of later serving with and being trained by WWII Vets. And why not enjoy sharing the memories and experience with those who have not been so lucky?
Many of the NOS parts used on my MB, M-38A1, and CCKW came from right across the street at Dow Field.
And I just came back from enjoying a little Bluegrass on the XM radio along with a Tim Horton's Coffee and Bagel while parked by Dow Field Hangar #1 where thousands of WWII Aircraft passed by on their way to the ETO. :wink:
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS

Post by Wolfman » Wed Apr 23, 2014 6:24 am

War birds in action. I had a ring side seat.
Great entertainment as long as I wasn't in the middle of it.
Hunter/Killer teams were always fun to watch. Two light observation choppers skimming the jungle floor. When they found something, There were two Cobra gunships on station high above that moved in and went to work.
Huey gunships at work were like watching a balley.
Puff the Magic Dragon was something to see at night. Out of the darkness would come what looked like a laser beam. Actually tracers so close together they looked like a solid line. When the tracers hit the ground, it looked like someone kicked a firefly nest. Tracers going everywhere. White Phosphorus was really spectacular in the dark as well.
Got to watch a B-52 strike once. ( from a distance ) That was really awesome.
More peaceful moments. I grew up 45 miles from Indianapolis and on Memorial Day, I always listened to the 500 mile race. In 1970, I was in the jungle near An Khe, Listening to the race at midnight ( 12 hour time difference ), in the back of an M-113a1 on a transistor radio with an ear plug. Didn't want to make any noise. AFVN was the only station in town.
Mike Wolford
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EAA ( 44 yrs)
4th Inf. Div. - 5th Inf. Div. - 2nd Armor Div. - CIB


Ben Dover
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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS

Post by Ben Dover » Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:05 pm

Stopped at DOW FIELD Hangar #1 today with the MB to enjoy a Tim Horton's bagel and a cup of coffee, not much activity but the memories flashed back to Armed Forces Day 1952 and the display of aircraft and equipment. There was a Sabre from Presque Isle AFB, A Privateer from the Naval Reserve in South Weymouth Mass, and the the usual line up of aircraft assigned to Dow, T-6 Texan, DF-51D Mustang, C-47, T-33, F-80C from the 49th Fighter Interceptor (last one I saw with underslung tip tanks), a C-45 and a B-25. The Korean War was going on and the F-80 was actually from the Maine air Guard and was used during the Korean call up by the 49th FIS. The F-51 D's at the base were from the Iowa Air National Guard that was called to active duty and assigned to Dow. A P-51 landed and taxied up and parked near the open house area and I still remember the short pilot with a mustache and WWII 50 Mission Cap which seemed strange at this late date. The Clarktor Tugs always fascinated me and I would have loved to own one.
The early 50's were exciting years at Dow, the GI's stationed at Dow never had to worry about a ride when walking into town, there were plenty of cars that stopped and offered them rides to town.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
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stever0_3
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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS

Post by stever0_3 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:12 pm

Great to hear about the old days Ben!

Regards

Steve

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HISTORY IN THE MAKING

Post by Ben Dover » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:01 am

Each memory back in time is an adventure The other day was history in the making. A joint flight of transient 10 Israeli F-15's , 5 Royal Jordanian AF F-16's along with their support C-135 type Tankers and a Gulfstream Conformal Early Warning aircraft passed thru. The C-135 types appear to be converted 707's. (SUNDAY 30 AUG 2015)
Attachments
F-16 Jordanian.jpg
F-16 Jordanian.jpg (52.28 KiB) Viewed 1722 times
Gulfstrream.jpg
Gulfstrream.jpg (43.96 KiB) Viewed 1722 times
F-15 Israeli.jpg
F-15 Israeli.jpg (79.59 KiB) Viewed 1722 times
Jordanian F-16.jpg
Jordanian F-16.jpg (53.43 KiB) Viewed 1722 times
Last edited by Ben Dover on Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
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stever0_3
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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS (And More)

Post by stever0_3 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:55 am

Brilliant Pics. Thanks for sharing.

Regards

Steve

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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS (And More)

Post by Ben Dover » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:35 am

Imagine the pride those transcient foreign jet fighter pilots have.

back to the IOWA Air Guard being activated at DOW FIELD during the Korean War. For several weeks after the flight of 16 F-51D's arrived, railroad and transport activity was stepped up with the arrival of their equipment.
Many of the Airmen came East in their private vehicles and introduced Dual Exhaust Ford Sedans and straight six Chevy Sedans with Glass Packs and Split Manifolds to Bangor. They were at DOW thru 1952 and when they left there was a lot of their property auctioned off at the salvage section of The Base Supply facility just around the corner from us. One of the items was about 50 new and used WWII Issue U.S. ARMY HEADQUARTERS FIELD DESKS. Am guessing that part of their mobilization TO&E was to have the HQ FIELD DESKS to take along. I sold a lot of these a t the various New England rallies back in the 70's-80's and kept a crated one to use for my MV correspondence.
A note of interest during the Korean War activation of this Air Guard unit from out West, is that some of the pilots still wore the "50 Mission Crush" officers caps as late as 1952.
Last edited by Ben Dover on Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
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COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

Ben Dover
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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS (And More)

Post by Ben Dover » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:05 am

Sure miss the F-51's and F-80's during 51-52 at Dow Field The Mustangs were Iowa ANG that were called up during the Korean War Period, the F80C's were from Maine ANG that were taken over by 49th Interceptor. There was a Mustang or F-80 in the air 24 hours a day providing air defense for the east coast. One of the F-80's that began use with the Maine Air Guard and was flown by the 49th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, is now on display at the EAA.
My mother was a member of the Ground Observer Corps (51-52) and I used to envy those volunteers. I became a member during 55/56 and it was exciting to plot the aircraft spotted from the various towers around the state. I remember taking a report of a B-17 with one engine out. It was most likely an Air rescue Service B-17 or the PB1-G version used by the Coast Guard
I believe I may have mentioned this before, M/SGT Emerson, the NCOIC at the Filter Center was also assigned to the AC&W unit at the Charleston Radar Site. He took a handful of the members out to tour the site, I remember a couple of Maine ANG F-94's requesting a practice intercept on a B-36 from Limestone AFB (later Loring AFB) They could not catch it due to the combination of speed and superior altitude capability of the B-36 It was flying at 50,000 feet. Those of you who have never heard a B-36 in flight are missing something as it had an unique sound.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS (And More)

Post by GI. » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:32 am

Ben,
That unique sound was the six 4360 eng's, I was a flight engineer on C-124's for nine years which had the same 4360's only four, they made a sound no other acft. made, you did not have to look up to tell what what it was, esp. the B-36 with six of them, "the 4360 was the baddest of them all".
While taxing they smoked bad, back-fired, looked like they were going to die at any second, but when power was applied they sounded great. :wink:
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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS (And More)

Post by Ben Dover » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:32 pm

I remember the similar rumble of the C-124 and it's elephant like squealing brakes. Although it was not a recip, the turboprop powered C-133 had a similar sound. One of our good customers was M/Sgt Solomon who was assigned to Trans Alert, I remember a C-133 landing in blizzard conditions at Dow with one engine out in early 1959, Sgt Solomon had lots of good maintenance stories and was a maintenance advisor to Belgium on their new F-84 F's.
Dow was a busy air base Presque Isle AFB and Loring AFB both just under 200 miles to the North. Lots of MATS flights of aircraft being delivered via Dow back in the early 50's.
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
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COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

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Re: KOREAN WAR MUSTANGS (And More)

Post by Ben Dover » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:21 am

Armed Forces Day open house 1951. Watched a P-51 land and taxi to the ramp. One of my grammar school classmates dad was the pilot. He was wearing his WWII "50 mission crush hat".
2011 MVPA PIONEER AWARD - MVPA #1064
HONOR GRAD-WHEELED VEHICLE MECHANIC SCHOOL 1960 - US ARMY ORDNANCE SCHOOL(MACHINIST) ABERDEEN PG 1962 - O-1 BIRD DOG CREWCHIEF - 300,000+TROUBLE FREE M-38A1 MILES
LIFE MEMBER AM LEGION-40/8-DAV
7 MIL SPEC MAINTAINED MV'S
COL. BRUNO BROOKS (ARMY MOTORS) IS MY HERO

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