Douglas DC-3 (C-47A) N8021Z started its career with the USAAF (full details further below), was operated for civil use
a series of companies; I read somewhere (but don't know if it is true) that it flew in for an air show and for
whatever reason (engine trouble, ceased for unpaid bills?) got stranded here. Another one wrote that "it flew
in, on borrowed engines, to be an attraction for the nearby Hangar Hotel".
In recent years it was done up very nicely and acts as a gate-guard here at Gillespie County Airport.
By 20Nov2010, on www.aerialvisuals.ca, N8021Z still had markings applied 'Beep Beep'.
Another source, www.airport-data.com also shows it before this fine makeover, dated 13Mar2011.
C-47A-90-DL, c/n 20444
Delivered 03Jun44 43-15978- ATC Morrison 04Jun44 - Miami 10Jun44 - Love 22Jun44 - Nashville 25Aug44 - Tinker 18Dec44 - Nashville 01Apr45 - Gravely Pt 25Nov45
RFC Augusta 04Apr46
NC25644 Winged Cargo Inc, Philadelphia PA (1947) - Standard A/L Inc, Long Beach,CA (1946 to Jun49)
Proctor & Gamble Co., Cincinatti,OH 31Mar53 -
N5W Rereg'd 05May53 - N5PG Rr Oct68
CF-QZU, Proctor & Gamble Co. Canada Ltd E19Oct71 - CF-PAG Rr 30Nov71
CF-PAG Laurentian Air Services Ltd, Ottawa 05Sep73 - C-FPAG Rr 1975
Alliance Aviation Ltd - registration lapsed 29Nov77
N8021Z Sunset Acft Sales & Lsg Inc, Miami, R12Jul71 - Atkins Aviation Inc, Rockport,TX R06Oct80
N511AA S Shapiro, Rockport,TX B Jan81 (not taken up)
,IFL Group, Waterford,MI B(bought) 28Aug91 - operated by Corporate Express, 'Beep Beep'
Craftech Enterprises, Inc. McAllen,TX R27Nov98
Falcon Aero Inc, R15May2000
- with International Air titles at Edinburg,TX - engineless in 2001, i/s ('in service on date given') Aug2003.
Reference: Air-Britain, DC-1, DC-2, DC-3 'The First Seventy Years' (Vol.2)
'Beep Beep' has changed to 'Sleepy Time Gal' : a distinct improvement I would say!
Douglas C-47 N8021Z at Fredericksburg - Gillespie County Airport
In the back is the 'Hangar Hotel'; must try it some day
The Admiral Nimitz Foundation has supported a world-class military museum complex from humble beginnings on Fredericksburg’s Main Street since 1971.
Chester W. Nimitz was a native son of Fredericksburg who achieved greatness as commander of the Central Pacific Theater in World War II.
The original Nimitz Museum has been established in the former Nimitz Hotel.
But I came for the Pacific War Museum a.k.a. National Museum of the Pacific War, as displayed in the George H. Bush Gallery.
North American Aviation B-25J Mitchell bomber, 44-86880; at the Nimitz Museum in Fredericksburg,Texas.
This diorama celebrates the 'Doolittle Raid' on Tokyo in WWII; specially-modified B-25s were launched from
the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, a rather daring feat in itself.
This B-25 had been displayed at the now closed Reese AFB for many years, before arriving (in parts) at this
museum; and after being assembled once again, 44-86880 was placed on display in 1999 as '02344'.
|History on B-25 44-86880:
United States Air Force, Reese AFB, Lubbock, TX, 1959-1997
- Displayed on pole as 44-6880
National Museum of the Pacific War , Fredericksburg, TX, 1997-present
- Displayed on diorama of U.S.S. Hornet.
Not for the first time this trip through Texas I came across 'the Doolittle Raid'...
The Doolittle Raid on 18Apr1942, also known as the Tokyo Raid, was an air raid by the USA on the Japanese capital Tokyo and other places on Honshu island during WWII, the first air raid to strike the Japanese Home Islands.
It served also as retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 07Dec1941.
The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James Harold 'Jimmy' Doolittle, USAAF.
Sixteen USAAF B-25B Mitchell medium bombers were launched from the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier USS Hornet, deep in the Western Pacific Ocean, each with a crew of 5 men. The plan called for them to bomb military targets in Japan, and to continue westward to land in China — relanding a medium bomber on Hornet was impossible.
Fifteen aircraft reached China but all crashed, while the 16th landed at Vladivostok in the Soviet Union.
All but three of the 80 crew members initially survived the mission. Eight were captured by the Japanese Army in China; three of those were later executed.
The B-25 that landed in the Soviet Union was confiscated and its crew interned for more than a year. Fourteen complete crews, except for one crewman who was killed in action, returned either to the United States or to American forces.
The raid caused negligible material damage to Japan, but it succeeded in its goal of raising American morale and casting doubt in Japan on the ability of its military leaders to defend their home islands
I found it puzzling that I came across so many displays in Texas commemorating the Doolittle raid, since James Harold Doolittle was born in California (1896) and died there too (1993, aged 93).
He did serve in Texas during the early stages of his military career: at Kelly Field he served with the 104th Aero Squadron and with the 90th Aero Squadron of the 1st Surveillance Group; his detachment of the 90th Aero Squadron was based at Eagle Pass, patrolling the Mexican border.
For the above I have consulted:
I had this aircraft identified as
TBM-1C Avenger BuNo.46214, but I was corrected: it's a wrecked Grumman F4F Wildcat.
George H.W. Bush flew a TBM Avenger torpedo bomber during WW2 and this diorama is dedicated
to that fateful day 02Sep1944, when he was shot down. Perhaps that caused my misidentification.
"As George Bush and his two-man crew dove their Avenger bomber through anti-aircraft fire toward a Japanese radio tower on the volcanic island of Chichi Jima, 150 miles north of Iwo Jima, his plane was hit at 8,000 feet and caught fire. He finished his dive, dropped his four 500-pound bombs successfully on target and headed out to sea.
He could have tried to make a water landing, something he had done once already when another Avenger he was flying lost power. On that occasion, he and his crew got out of the plane and into the life raft before the plane sank. But this time, the burning Avenger could blow up before they got to the water.
He ordered his radio operator and gunner, neither of whom he could see from the cockpit, to "hit the silk", an order heard on the radio by crewmen in other U.S. planes. No response.
He remembers banking his plane steeply to the right to lessen the slipstream pressure on the rear door and help his crew mates exit. Then, at about 3,000 feet, Bush bailed out and hit his head on the plane’s tail.
He landed in the ocean and freed himself from his chute.
Another Avenger dived to signal the location of his life raft, which he swam to and climbed in. His head was bleeding and he was throwing up from having gulped seawater. He secured his revolver and started hand-paddling furiously away from Chichi Jima, where Japanese gunboats had already headed out to get him.
Avengers and the Hellcat fighters that protected them strafed the boats, but soon had to return to San Jacinto.
Young George, who would later be awarded the Navy’s Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions that day, didn’t feel much like a hero. He feared correctly that his crew mates were dead. In that life raft, he began asking himself the question that still haunts him in his Houston office at age 82: “Did I do all I could to save them?” In the raft, he cried.
It seemed like a miracle when more than two hours later the periscope of the submarine USS Finback appeared. "Welcome aboard, sir," a sailor said as Bush was hauled on deck while the sub’s photographic officer recorded the scene on his 8mm camera. Aboard Finback that night, Bush slept fitfully and had the first of many nightmares about his Chichi Jima mission and the fate of his crew mates, John 'Del' Delaney, who had been his radio operator the whole time aboard San Jacinto, and William 'Ted' White, the son of a Bush family acquaintance and the ship’s ordinance officer, who had repeatedly asked Bush to take him on a bombing run for the experience. That morning, White had won approval from Bush and his squadron leader to replace Bush’s regular gunner, Leo Nadeau, on a single mission.
Although Bush didn’t know it just after the crash, one crewman on his plane, according to the squadron commander’s action report, also had bailed out, but his parachute didn’t open and he fell to his death. The bodies of Delaney and White were never found."
, article by Walt Harrington (in part)
Wrecked Grumman 'Wildcat' in the National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg,TX.
The website www.aerialvisuals.ca provided the following identification details:
Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, Last Military Serial: 74161 USN
For the museum's location and its 'aircraft inventory' that same website may be of help, HERE..
The Kawanishi N1K Kyōfū (Allied code name 'Rex')
Those floats must have been hell for the aerodynamics of this aircraft!
The Kawanishi N1K Kyōfū ('strong wind', Allied reporting name 'Rex
') was an Imperial Japanese Navy floatplane fighter.
The Kawanishi N1K-J Shiden ('Violet Lightning') was an Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service land-based version of the N1K.
Assigned the Allied codename 'George', the N1K-J was considered by both its pilots and opponents to be one of the finest land-based fighters flown by the Japanese during World War II.
The Shiden Kai possessed heavy armament as well as surprisingly good manoeuvrability, due to a mercury switch that automatically extended the flaps during turns. These 'combat' flaps created more lift, thereby allowing tighter turns.
Unlike the A6M Zero, the Shiden Kai could compete against the best late-war fighters, such as the F6F Hellcat, the F4U Corsair and P-51 Mustang.
Despite such capability, it was produced too late and in insufficient numbers to affect the outcome of the war.
I had a bit of trouble finding this plane! Until I found it became only visible when a presentation was started.
It probably displays a Japanese '
Zero' but I do not know if it is authentic. It is displayed behind a screen.
Terry Fletcher of www.aerialvisuals.ca provided the identity: Aichi D3A1 Val ('Allies'), c/n: 3357
Within the Gallery the story of the Pacific War is told through multi-media presentations, exhibits and historic artifacts.
Of which I display here only the pictures of the aircraft on display here. The Pacific Theater was not a sideshow to
the war in Europe, but a conflict that affected the course of world history.
I had only two and a half hours for this museum and I was forced to rush myself.