WHAT I THOUGHT WAS NOT-IT WAS EVEN BETTER!

and other stuff up in the air
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Ben Dover
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WHAT I THOUGHT WAS NOT-IT WAS EVEN BETTER!

Post by Ben Dover » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:08 pm

Fall 1975. Was getting in my super clean USAF Surplus 1966 Chevrolet Pickup and heard a not so common anymore sound of what I thought was a C-47 on final at the former Dow Field about a mile away. To my surprise it was the B-24 belonging to Dave Talichet coming in to land. I beat it out there in time to see it taxi to the general aviation ramp. Next morning I was there bright and early with a 2' round patch of plexiglass I scrounged from the Army Guard Aviation Shop to patch a hole in the nose turret where a chunk of Plexiglas had broken free on the leg from Labrador to Maine. The bomber had just flown in from Duxford where it had been stored a year or so while being readied for it's flight back to USofA. It had been used by the Indian AF for maritime patrol before being surplused in 1968. It had accumulated over 20,000 IAF hours and was flown by the same Indian crew for nearly 20 years. It is now owned by Kermit Weeks. 20 years later I was fortunate enough to have a B-17 and B-24 ride at the same base. I met Pat Whitehouse during those flights Pat was a retired airline pilot and part time warbird pilot that piloted Collings aircraft and the Memphis Belle B-17. He was also an MV collector with a nice CCKW and a Halftrack. Pat is gone now but left a lasting great impression. I had quite a few warbird flights from that same former Dow AFB ramp, they were OH-23, O-1 Bird Dog, U-6 Beaver, C-47, C-54, KC-97, KC-135, B-17, B-24, and B-25. (Came close to a flight in the HH-43 Helicopter at DOW) Also had many trips to the Hangar 1 at Dow as a youngster when GI's stationed there took me to the hangar to view the T-6, F-51 and F-80 Aircraft they maintained. Even got to spend time with General Yeager at the same base when I was approached by the Air Guard to provide my MB for his use at an Air Show in 1996.

A little trivia here. Dr. Deuce and his famous CCKW took part in the movie "Joe Kennedy Story" which featured this same B-24.
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

steve1973
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Re: WHAT I THOUGHT WAS NOT-IT WAS EVEN BETTER!

Post by steve1973 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:43 am

Great story. :mrgreen:
1941 White M2A1 (90% restored)
1945 M10 ammo trailer (restored)

Ben Dover
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Re: WHAT I THOUGHT WAS NOT-IT WAS EVEN BETTER!

Post by Ben Dover » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:55 am

The last leg to Bangor was from either Labrador or Newfoundland, they had to get a little more altitude, probably to get over some weather, and owner Dave Tallichet remarked that the turbos functioned fine. That last leg was a cold one as that big the hole in the nose turret plexiglass created a tremendous draft. The Flight Engineer and part of the crew were from the UK. We got it repaired next AM as soon as the Army Guard Shop opened and a piece of Plexiglas with tape was "loaned". They were quite anxious to get going as they were scheduled to take part in the Pratt & Whitney 50th anniversary ceremony that morning at 0930 at the plant HQ in Hartford.
They made it OK. I was glad to have helped as it was my first encounter with a real live B-24 with all it's WWII equipment. The story on how it was acquired by David Tallichet is interesting as some of its flights had to go thru territory while India and Pakistan were at war. I noted the propellers were stenciled by "Hindustani Aircraft".
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

Ben Dover
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Re: WHAT I THOUGHT WAS NOT-IT WAS EVEN BETTER!

Post by Ben Dover » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:00 pm

The B-24 now belongs to Kermit Weeks.
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

Mark Jesic
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Re: WHAT I THOUGHT WAS NOT-IT WAS EVEN BETTER!

Post by Mark Jesic » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:19 pm

Amazing story Joel, and you seem really lucky to have rubbed shoulders with these guys. :D


Ben Dover
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Re: WHAT I THOUGHT WAS NOT-IT WAS EVEN BETTER!

Post by Ben Dover » Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:00 pm

One makes a lot of good connections in 7 decades of MV's and military surplus, it is a rewarding hobby that can be shared with so many.
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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