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The planes were rescued from all over the world, in jungles, swamps, mountain tops, deserts, hundreds of feet below the water and even trapped and encased in ice hundreds of feet below the surface of the Greenland ice cap. Many planes were even resqued from the waters of Lake Michigan near my home.

Warbirds 1989 E411 CG Part 01

They were aircraft lost during training exercises during the war. The stories of their crews, discoverers, salvagers, and restorers, and their eventual placement in museums or flying air shows was very interesting. View all 4 comments. Jul 13, Scot McAtee rated it it was amazing Shelves: first-reads. This was a First Reads win for me, but I only enter giveaways for books that catch my interest. I was happy to have won this one. Judging from the cover, I expected something along the lines of Clive Cussler's "Sea Hunters," and that's pretty much what I got with a little extra.

First, let me say something about the book itself. It's a hardcover I expected paperback and the dust jacket is eye catching and printed on heavy stock. I felt like I was opening one of those fantastic, expensive books that only libraries generally can afford to purchase. There were high quality pictures on virtually every page and even though I read every word, my young son was able to glean almost as much from the captions in a good way.

It was very interesting to read the stories of how the planes came to be abandoned and it was even more interesting to read about the lengths people went to just to recover them. The plane in the Greenland ice cap was an amazing story. I was disappointed that there wasn't more to that story or more pictures, simply because I was fascinated by the account. I wish they'd shot a documentary of that one and the Swamp Ghost the plane on the dust jacket.

If anything, I wish Veronico had more pictures and more anecdotes from each of the chapters because I wanted more. I think I read this book over three days, which is tough to do when you've little kids in the house. It was enthralling to me and I would definitely read another volume should Veronico choose to publish another.


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It was easy to read, even for a guy who's not a gearhead, and anyone who finds this book remotely interesting from the book description will enjoy this read. View 2 comments. I enjoyed it, but It was pretty much what I thought it would be, a book with good stories of how planes were lost and then recovered, some to fly again. Although th tales were nicely told, the extensive references to aircraft numbers make the seem more of a book for aficionados, the author almost lost me in the introduction.

Still, enjoyable, but I think more so if you're a recovery or airplane geek. Great book! I really enjoyed the historical facts that were included, and all the details about finding lost aircraft. Feb 08, Daniel L. Hidden Warbirds - Lost and Found One of the great ironies of World War II is that the conflict involved an effort to build aircraft at a rate unprecedented in history. New planes kept rolling off lines in factories one across the US that used to make nearly every conceivable household good, one after the other, around the clock, as has been so well documented in The American Aircraft Factory in World War II.

It is with several of these now classic photos that the story of Hidden Warbirds begins. World War II was over. Society was enjoying newfound wealth; with so many bright and shiny things to enjoy, few gave much thought to aircraft that were now obsolete, old-fashioned relics of little use in the Atomic Age. The new bombers dwarfed even the best of what World War II had to offer. Gleaming jet fighters, silver bullets in the sky, flew faster than the speed of sound.

Airliners offered the comforts of the fanciest hotels. Jetliners would do the same but at much higher speeds. With all this gleaming silver hardware, who could be bothered by rumbling, olive-drab anachronisms?

Hidden Warbirds

The once-mighty aircraft of World War II faded from memory. Several machines were brought to life in films like Tora, Tora, Tora and The Battle of Britain, re-enacting old, glorious battles and dogfights. The flying machines in those films caught the imagination of a small group, the spark that would start the warbird movement. It would be some two decades, however, before interest in World War II aircraft would attract the attention of the general public.

Many people were captivated by these flying machines, exotic curiosities, now that most veteran aircraft were long gone. As interest in old warbirds grew, their value increased accordingly. The initial batch of World War II aircraft were found among private citizens who converted the old machines to crop dusting, firefighting, and search-and-rescue operations. More came from the air forces of poor nations looking to update their fleets, the most notable examples being the B Liberators from India and F-4U Corsairs from Honduras. Enthusiast started to comb remote parts of the world, thick rainforests, high mountains, and deep oceans and lakes for old wrecks — once discarded trash — to rebuild and restore into showpieces.

Part One delves into the recovery and restoration of a Curtiss Helldiver, Douglas Dauntless, and Vought Vindicator the sole survivor of its type , the last bearing the proud history of its pilots having been awarded Navy Crosses for their valor. This part of the book is the subject of great controversy; the Black Widow is genuine I have witnessed the restoration of that aircraft at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum , but whether the aircraft built up from the remains of the Japanese machines can be considered genuine artifacts rather than reproductions is being hotly debated.

Part Three takes us from the steamy tropics to the frozen north, where a Lockheed P Lightning was recovered under the Greenland ice, and Martin B Marauders and B Liberators were found in the Alaskan Arctic wastes. Part Four covers some lucky finds, a P Mustang in a garage, a Lockheed Harpoon on a deserted grass strip, and a very derelict BE in the woods behind the house of a scrap dealer — the old aircraft was too tough for modern implements of destruction to cut into bite-size pieces!

Part Five, most astonishing of all, chronicles the recovery of entire fleets, either form the scrapyards of small Latin American countries that no longer needed their Mustangs and Corsairs to huge Boeing B Superfortress bombers stacked up on a compound like toys after they were used for target practice at the height of the Cold War when, as has already been mentioned, nobody cared about these old warplanes.

How many are still out there? To what extent will someone go to rebuild an aircraft from what not long ago was considered junk? Veronico also leaves us with an excellent bibliography for those who want to read further on this unusual subject, in books, magazines, or online.


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  5. We will be treated to even more in a follow-up volume. Aug 29, Steven Hull rated it it was amazing. Nicholas Veronico has done a service to those interested in the preservation of vintage military aircraft by chronicling the rescue and restoration of aircraft associated with World War II. Nicholas A. The follow-up to the acclaimed Hidden Warbirds , Hidden Warbirds II delivers 14 more accounts of the adventures of warbird hunters and restorers searching out 20 more of the last salvageable warbirds on earth, and then bringing them back to life to be displayed or even flown again.

    The sometimes lengthy trials, tribulations, and adventures involved with recovering various aircraft quickly pull the reader in, and the descriptions of the painstaking process of bringing the wrecks to life are likewise highly engaging. Considering the balance of stories in the book, the last frontier of warbirds often seems to be the wilderness itself. In this volume, a German Dornier Do 17 is recovered from the English Channel, several aircraft are recovered from freshwater lakes, a few more from the sea, and others from bogs, swamps, and forests.

    Even the guns were located, but they were buried on the site. Thus not every story about a crashed or abandoned warbird is factual. Not likely. Or the story of a B four-engine bomber in a forest? Possible, but highly unlikely as well. How about an ex U. Navy patrol bomber, a type that saw combat in World War II, sitting on a grass strip sunk up to its axels in mud? All you have to do is fl y it out before the land used as a runway becomes houses. Sounds like tall tales, each and every one of them. About a hundred miles northeast of Hayward, the U.

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    Air Force depot at Mc-Clellan Air Force Base, near Sacramento, California, had seen hundreds of Mustangs pass through its overhaul lines and dozens were sold surplus from here as well. In addition, thousands of pounds of Mustang parts were auctioned off as they were no longer needed in an all-jet air force. Butch Schroeder had heard stories of the garage Mustang, but never could confirm its existence.

    Finally tracking down the story, he found this photoreconnaissance version of the PD in Missouri. Schroeder approached the owner, who had worked on the Mustang for years. It was the right time and a deal was struck. Image credit: Butch Schroeder.

    Caption credit: Hidden Warbirds by Nicholas A. In the late s, someone had purchased a Mustang at a surplus sale possibly at McClellan , and then attempted to sell it to Israel or one of the Latin American countries looking for aircraft in the late s or early s. The plane was reportedly disassembled, crated, sitting on the dock, about to be loaded on a ship, when U.

    Customs stepped in and seized the Mustang.

    Nick Veronico - Book Alert: Hidden Warbirds II - Available Soon

    The aircraft did not leave the country and was later sold at auction and then purchased by a scrap dealer. Coutches was going into one particular Sacrameto-area salvage yard that was rich in H model Mustang parts—parts that only Mustang Mike needed and wanted. Coutches returned once again, and the scrapman finally told him if he wanted any more H model parts, he was going to have to buy the disassembled PD Mustang.

    Warbirds in Review: Shorty Rankin and Gunther Rall

    The aircraft was ready for transport, so Mustang Mike hauled it home and put it in his backyard. Charles, Missouri, bought the disassembled PD from Coutches.

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    And slowly word got around the neighborhood that there was a plane in a garage. The rumor gained legs as people would see it when the door was up, and by the mids as the warbird movement picked up steam, the rumor had grown and was beginning to spread to pilots in neighboring states.

    Louis on business and I was always looking in the phone book trying to find who I thought was the owner at the time, but I always ended up empty handed. Charles, Missouri. After turning him down, we got to talking about this mystery Mustang, which was thought to be in the same area. So I tried and made a deal to buy the plane. Upon closer inspection, Schroeder determined that the Mustang was a rare photoreconnaissance version of the PD known as an F-6D, and later an RFD, serial number It still had the original data plate showing it was designated an F-6D.

    It was kind of ironic; most of your airplanes have a metal data tag with the information stamped in it. The photoreconn fighter was assigned to U. As the now proud-owner of a Mustang project, Schroeder had to get the fighter from the St. Louis area home to Danville, Illinois, a distance of miles. First he had to call his friends with pickup trucks, then find enough additional friends to help load the project.

    So in essence, to start out with, he worked for me, and then years later, he went off on his own and started Midwest Aero. Air Force T-6G serial number in I kind of always had it in the back of my mind that if I was going to leave a good, solid university position that my hope and goal was to be able to eventually start my own business.

    The project would take three more years of hard work. When we got it, it still had the markings on the wings and was pretty much the way it had come out of the factory. We had to go out and I made about three different trips to California scrounging around. Back then, the rare, original fittings were pretty easy to find because nobody wanted them. I found it in California at a Mustang shop and they were using it just to prop the door open. The armor plating that goes behind the seat.

    He had the camera mount I needed for my aircraft. Dennis Schoenfelder had the camera ports, but they needed some repair work, which was done by John Neel of Low Pass Inc.

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    I probably built most of the systems. I did all of the hydraulic systems, all the electrical wiring, most of all of the installation of the interior components, and basically all of the assembly work. Butch had already restored certain components and had those sitting aside and ready to go in. Try as he might, Schroeder could never locate any factory blueprints for the F-6D conversion. None of the PD Mustang microfilm showed any of the photoreconnaissance modifications, and many parts had to be made from photos, or from original parts that were duplicated.

    We kind of had to back-blueprint it and sort it all out. We just followed the original routing, which in an F-6D the elevator and trim cables are all routed differently than they are in a stock D. The manuals show illustrations of how the cables were routed, but no specifics for cable links and things like that. Mating the wing to the fuselage was a first for VadeBonCoeur. Fuselage to wing was in the middle of a rainstorm, the engine we did the same day and it went just fine. Inside the F-6D, the oxygen bottle arrangement is different from the standard PD. The D has two long and two short bottles in the aft fuselage while the F-6D uses large, bomber-size oxygen bottles.

    In addition, the ribs on the left side of the fuselage were changed to accommodate the camera installations. A lot of it is just learning over the years. When the restoration was nearly complete, Schroeder settled on a suitable paint scheme for the F-6D. Clyde B. East, who, at age nineteen, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and entered the European war flying PAs against targets along the enemy coast. He transferred to the U. The squadron transitioned into the PB, and then into the F-6D. East participated in the June 6, , D-Day invasion, downing an Fw; the December Battle of the Bulge one Bf ; and in March and April downed another eleven enemy aircraft.

    After the war, he remained in the service, and later flew reconnaissance Mustangs and RFs during the Korean War. East retired from the U.