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Gauls




Enemies of Rome

Aztec


Soldiers who succeeded in capturing two enemies were awarded a uniform consisting of a body suit called a “tlahuiztli”, a tall conical cap called a “copilli” and a shield marked with black designs described as “hawk scratches”.

The Tlahuiztli was made of sewn cotton. Red, yellow, blue or green feathers were meticulously stitched to the cloth in the workshops of conquered city-states and sent to Tenochtitlan each year as tribute.

The Huaxtec area held a particular fascination for the Aztecs because it was rich in cotton. The goddess of spinners and weavers was called Tlazolteotl.

For this reason the soldiers thought it appropriate to wear hanks of un-spun cotton through their ear spools, as well as the “Yacameztli” or “nose moon” in gold in honour of her role as a patron of the moon.



Aztec Empire – Conquest of America

Drums along the
Mohawk




Drums Along The Mohawk

Girls with Guns


The militia/frontiersman spirit derives from an early American dependence on arms to protect themselves from foreign armies and hostile Native Americans. Survival depended upon everyone being capable of using a weapon.

Prior to the American Revolution there was neither budget nor manpower nor government desire to maintain a full-time army. Therefore, the armed citizen-soldier carried the responsibility. Service in militia, including providing one’s own ammunition and weapons, was mandatory for all men.

Firearms therefore played a vital role in American settlement and expansion, therefore American women were no stranger to their use, and even competent in the manufacture and repair of weapons.

Both the necessity to hunt and the need for protection from the sometimes hostile native culture, made the use of firearms a crucial component in the settlement of America.



Raid on Saint Francis, 1759

Knights of the Skies


Many variations of aircraft engine starting have been used since the Wright brothers made their first powered flight in 1903. The methods used have been designed for weight saving, simplicity of operation and reliability. Early piston engines were started by hand, with geared hand starting, electrical and cartridge-operated systems for larger engines being developed between the wars.

Hand starting of aircraft piston engines by swinging the propeller is the oldest and simplest method, the absence of any onboard starting system giving an appreciable weight saving. Positioning of the propeller relative to the crankshaft is arranged such that the engine pistons pass through top dead centre during the swinging stroke.

As the ignition system is normally arranged to produce sparks before top dead centre there is a risk of the engine kicking back during hand starting, to avoid this problem one of the two magnetos used in a typical aero engine ignition system is fitted with an ‘impulse coupling’, this spring-loaded device delays the spark until top dead centre and also increases the rotational speed of the magneto to produce a stronger spark. When the engine fires, the impulse coupling no longer operates and the second magneto is switched on. As aero engines grew bigger in capacity (during the interwar period), single-person propeller swinging became physically difficult, ground crew personnel would join hands and pull together as a team or use a canvas sock fitted over one propeller blade, the sock having a length of rope attached to the propeller tip end. Note that this is different from the manual “turning over” of radial piston engine, which is done to release oil that has become trapped in the lower cylinders prior to starting, to avoid engine damage. The two appear similar, but while hand starting involves a sharp, strong “yank” on the prop to start the engine, turning over is simply done by turning the prop through a certain set amount.



Knights Of The Skies – WWI

British WWI




British Forces

Corsair


The Vought F4U Corsair is an American fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War 2 and the Korean War.

The Corsair was designed as a carrier based aircraft. Initially its difficulty in landing on carriers, rendered it unsuitable for Navy use until the Royal Navy overcame the landing issues.

After the carrier landing issues had been tackled, it quickly became the most capable carrier based fighter bomber of the Second World War.

USS Bunker Hill (CV/CVA/CVS-17, AVT-9) was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. The ship was named for the Battle of Bunker Hill in the American Revolutionary War. Commissioned in May 1943 and sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations, the ship participated in battles in the Southwest Pacific, Central Pacific and the drive toward Japan through Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and air raids on the Japanese homeland.

While covering the invasion of Okinawa, Bunker Hill was struck by two kamikazes in quick succession, setting the vessel on fire. Casualties exceeded 600, including 346 confirmed dead and an additional 43 missing, the second heaviest personnel losses suffered by any carrier to survive the war after Franklin. After the attack, Bunker Hill returned to the U.S. mainland and was still under repair when hostilities ended.

After the war, Bunker Hill was employed as a troop transport bringing American service members back from the Pacific, and decommissioned in 1947. While in reserve the vessel was reclassified as an attack carrier (CVA), then an antisubmarine carrier (CVS) and finally an Auxiliary Aircraft Landing Training Ship (AVT) but was never modernized and never saw active service again. Bunker Hill and Franklin were the only Essex-class ships never recommissioned after World War II

Fighter Squadron 84 or VF-84 was an aviation unit of the United States Navy. Originally established on 1 May 1944, it was disestablished on 8 October 1945. It was the first US Navy squadron to be designated as VF-84.

VF-84 flew F4U Corsairs and was formed around a nucleus of veterans of VF-17, the Jolly Rogers. The new squadron’s commanding officer was Lt. Cdr. Roger R.Hedrick, former executive officer of VF-17.

VF-84 was assigned to the USS Bunker Hill. As part of Task Force 58, the carrier and Carrier Air Group 84 (CVG-84) participated in the final drive across the central Pacific. Roger Hedrick was promoted to head CVG-84 on the combat loss of the air group’s commanding officer, and Lt. Cdr. Raymond “Ted” Hill took over the fighter squadron.

VF-84 took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima; raids on Tokyo and other targets in Japan; the discovery and sinking of the Japanese battleship Yamato and support of the invasion of Okinawa, including combat air patrol over the invasion fleet to defend against Kamikaze attack, ground support, and combat air patrol over targets on Okinawa.

On 11 May 1945, while off Okinawa, two Japanese kamikazes struck the Bunker Hill in quick succession, with a bomb penetrating to the pilots’ ready room, killing 22 members of VF-84. Both the Bunker Hill (then the TF-58 flagship) and CAG-84 were knocked out of the war. Although VF-84 was reformed in July 1945 as an F6F Hellcat squadron, the war ended while it was still in training. While in the Pacific, VF-84 was credited with 92 kills for a loss of 4 aircraft and nine of the squadron’s pilots became aces.

  • BH-001(167) USS BUNKER HILL, VOUGHT F4U-1D CORSAIR, VF-84, WHITE 167, 57803, FEBRUARY 1945, Lt. CDR. ROGER HEDRICK. – Roger Hedrick was an ace with 12 confirmed victories. He left VF-17 and became the CO of VF-84 aboard the USS Bunker Hill. In his career he received Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 gold stars in lieu of 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Flying Cross; Air Medal with 2 gold stars in lieu of 2nd and 3rd Air Medal; Presidential Unit Citation; Navy Unit Commendation; American Defense Service Medal: American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 4 bronze stars; Victory Medal, World War ; China Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal.
  • BH-002(183) USS BUNKER HILL, VOUGHT F4U-1D CORSAIR, VMF-221, WHITE 183, FEBRUARY 1945, 1st. Lt. DEAN CASWELL – Caswell flew over 100 missions in WW2, destroyed 10 or more enemy aircraft in the air and 25-30 aircraft on the ground.
    Remarkably, he never received a bullet hole in any Corsair he ever flew. He was awarded the Silver Star, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 5 Air Medals. Dean Caswell was assigned to the USMC VMF-221.
    On April 28, 1945 a 6-aircraft Corsair flight from VMF-221 was operating from the USS Bunker Hill in the vicinity of Okinawa when they encountered approximately 30 Japanese aircraft. The Japanese were trying to stop the U.S. landings on Okinawa. 1st Lt., Dean Caswell and group immediately attacked and Caswell scored 3 victories and 1 probable, this action turned back the Japanese attack. In WWII Caswell had 7 victories and did two tours in Korea and time in Vietnam.



JJD Second World War Aircraft Collection

German Tank Crew



JJ WWII Collection

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