May, 2018
Sierra Toy Soldier Company

Sierra Toy Soldier Company

Today's Headlines

Missed the April 2018 Newsletter, view it here!

Welcome to the May Edition of Sierra Toy Soldier News written on a very warm and pleasant day here in the Bay Area.

This month we take our annual trek to the San Antonio Show, over the Memorial Day Weekend. As always if there is anything you would like to see, let us know, as we start shipping next week. I hope you will get a chance to go. It is a great show, and this year King and Country will be featuring their new series on the Vietnam war. Just in time KC announced the Vietnam Series.

To kick this off there will be a dinner on the Saturday with a very special Guest Speakers including Capt. Raymond Lau. Ray, a former U.S.M.C. officer was in Hue itself when TET erupted! Cut off behind enemy lines he, with four other American advisers, spent eight perilous days fighting their way out before rejoining friendly forces. His story is unique and provides another viewpoint of the Battle of Hue at that time... and well worth hearing. Dan Martinez, chief historian of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and host of many military history programs, will also present an overview of the general situation in Vietnam leading up to TET and the events of 1968.

For May the displays change again, this time we are featuring a large Roman Display, starting Drums along  the Mohawk, and some of our Cobi toys. As always follow our new displays on social media.

Follow us on our Social Media Pages

Facebook: Sierra Toy Soldier Company

Instagram: sierratoysoldier

Twitter: @sierratoystore

After a long delay, we are excited to announce that W. Britain’s have some new product on the way. We hope to receive this before the end of the month. Another group of items is scheduled to arrive 6-8 weeks later. We are still awaiting details of what that contains, before we get totally crazy and announce the items arriving. Please watch this space for updates as we receive them.

In this newsletter we have the latest King and Country, Jenkins and First Legion announcements.

Hope you enjoy!

Events

Learn To Paint A Toy Soldier - Saturday May 12, 2018 - Los Gatos, CA - 10.00 – 4.00pm

Come and have some fun learning how to paint a Toy Soldier. Designed for Little and Big Kids, Mums most welcome.

Texas Toy Soldier Show - May 26 - 27, 2018.

The show opens on Saturday May 26 at 9.00 - 4.00pm and Sunday 11 - 3.

The event is held at the
Historic Menger Hotel
204 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, Texas 78205
Phone: 210-223-4361

If you would like details, please contact us at sales@sierratoysoldier.com - subject Texas Show.

Super Sale

Super Sale

This month we are having a very limited sale on a few overstock items from Thomas Gunn, Frontline and a few others. We have reduced the price on these items but only until the end of April, so do not miss out.

Super Sale

Sierra Blog
Events
Sierra Toy Exclusive
King & Country
John Jenkins
John Jenkins Future
First Legion

Retail Store

We are open Monday - Saturday 10.00 - 6.00pm. Sundays 12.00 - 5.00pm

Just a reminder for those of you living in Northern California, or perhaps just visiting, that our retail store dedicated to toy soldiers is now open 7 days a week. The store is located at 29 North Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos, California 95030. (408) 395 3000 www.sierratoysoldier.com

 

Sierra Toy Soldier Facebook Page

Check out our latest arrivals, new dioramas and events at our store!

Sierra Toy Soldier Facebook Page

Sierra Toy Soldier Blog

Check out all the latest announcements. This is updated as soon as there is a new announcement.

Sierra Toy Soldier Blog

Collectors Corner

Occasionally we get a rare opportunity to acquire individual items and complete collections for collectors that are thinning out their collection or from other dealers. These pieces are items that we do not normally stock. All are in mint condition or and in their original boxes, unless specified in the description. Please note these may have been on display.

So these are ideal pages to view if you are looking for that missing piece in your collection or just looking to find some very unique pieces that are not normally available.

Collectors Corner

Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive

Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive with King & Country.
Wojtek the Bear - Available Now! - Final Sets Remaining!

Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive with King & Country. First Edition of 300!

Monte Cassino

Britain's

New Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive Set - Expected 2018!


Zulu Storehouse Attack

The fifth release in the Sierra Toy Soldier Exclusive Range. With this set we wanted to continue to add to our mini series Zulu Storehouse Attack.

Zulu Storehouse Attack

King & Country

King & Country May 2018 Releases!

Romans

  • - A standing ready Roman soldier preparing to fight off the enemy and... defend a fallen Legionary.
  • - His sword broken... his shield and helmet lost this fallen legionary is lucky to have a friend around to help...

Romans

American West - Apaches

It’s a little known fact that during the “Apache-Wars” of the 1880’s in America’s southwest one of the major factors in helping the U.S. Army finally defeat the Apache tribes was the use of Apache Scouts. It was General George Crook who first pioneered the use of ‘rival’ Apaches to pursue and help capture other Apaches on the opposing side. As Crook said at the time, “It takes an Apache to think like an Apache and catch one too!”

  • - This kneeling pointing Chiricahua warrior points in the direction where the enemy is hiding... Now, is he pointing at some of the hated ‘Long Knives’ or some fellow Apaches...? You get to decide.
  • - As one warrior stands bound his captor, wearing the Cavalry corporal’s coat, stands guarding him.

Apaches and Buffalo Soldiers

D'Day

What can sometimes be overlooked is the many weeks and months that went into planning and developing the strategies that would make this invasion so successful and hasten the end of the war.

Also sometimes passed over are the other military leaders who ably supported the Supreme Allied Military Commander, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower in many of his plans and decisions for that fateful day...

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded a team of many of the best Allied military leaders of WW2 among them were...

Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder (1890-1967), Ike’s Deputy Supreme Commander of the AEF (Allied Expeditionary Force). Tedder, a senior Royal Air Force officer was a loyal and trusted subordinate ensuring Gen. Eisenhower’s instructions were fully understood and carried out.

General Omar Bradley (1893-1981), the ‘soldiers general’, had a distinguished career even before D.Day having successfully commanded U.S. troops in North Africa and Sicily. He was chosen to command the First United States Army during the Invasion of Normandy and was responsible for both of the American landings at OMAHA and UTAH beaches. Later he took over the Twelfth United States Army Group which ultimately comprised 43 Divisions and over 1.3million men.

After WW2 he was promoted to become the 1st Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

General Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976) was Commander of Allied Ground Forces for the invasion and made major contributions to the original planning of ‘Overlord’. Although popular with soldiers and civilians, he could frequently be tactless and arrogant causing unnecessary conflict with his American allies and others.

After D.Day he was a key figure during the campaign in north west Europe and received the surrender of all German Forces in North Germany, Holland and Denmark in May 1945.

Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay (1883-1945), Commander in Chief of All Allied Naval Forces for ‘NEPTUNE’, the naval part of D.Day. Previously he had overseen and been responsible for the successful evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk in 1940.

Ramsay’s long experience and naval skills greatly contributed to the Invasion’s success. Sadly, he was killed in a plane crash on his way to meet Field Marshal Montgomery on 2 January 1945.

D.DAY MAP BOARD

Here is the large Map Board showing one of the many planning maps for D.Day complete with seaborne routes for the invasion fleet and the individual landing beaches for the American, British and Canadian forces.

SPECIAL NOTE:

This DD315 set comprises the four Allied Commanders and the Special D.DAY Map Board.

Three additional Special Promotional Sets DD315-1, DD315-2 and DD315-3 include a figure of the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower in different uniforms for just US$20 extra while stocks last.

D-Day '44

Berlin 1938

  • - A young teenage recruit to the Bund Deutscher Madel, the girls’ wing of the Hitler Youth. She is wearing the standard BDM uniform of white blouse, black neckerchief and below-the-knee dark skirt. Most girls wore white ankle socks and their own black or brown shoes.
  • - Every year after the Nazis came to power they organized a ‘WINTERHILFSWERK’ a winter relief programme that was financed by charitable public donations. Its aim was to provide food, clothing and coal to other less fortunate Germans during the inclement months. BDM Girls and Hitler Youth boys led the way in gathering money from the general public all over the Reich. K&C’s smart young BDM girl is doing just that with her collecting tin held out before her.
  • - This older BDM girl is carrying the large red and white, swastika emblazoned emblem of the entire Hitlerjugend movement. Of interest she is also wearing the short, mid brown jacket that was worn in cooler weather by the BDM. A black beret completes here uniform.
  • - The BDM like the rest of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) was organized at both a local and national level into troops and districts... Similar to pre-Nazi Boy and Girl Scout groups. Each local ‘troop’ might be anywhere from 30-100 members and had their own individual BDM pennant, a medium-sized triangular flag design in black complete with the HJ diamond and the group/troop number in white. Our marching BDM girl carries the pennant over her right shoulder.
  • - Much emphasis was placed in the BDM with outdoor sports and activities... Hiking was particularly popular and during the summer and autumn months troops of young BDM girls would hike out of their towns and cities into the countryside to help local farmers gather their harvests or just for the pure fresh air and exercise. This ‘240’ girl is a brunette.
  • - As above... but a blonde this time!

Berlin'38 Leibstandarte

WWII - Hitler, Blondie and Eva Braun

Again, as many ‘BERLIN’38’ collectors know we have done many ‘Fuhrer Figures’ over the years but only one showing Hitler with his favourite German Shepherd dog ‘Blondi’. As that set has long since been retired we decided, due to collector demand, to design and produce a brand-new one... and something a little different, but first some additional back-ground.

‘Blondi’ (1941-1945) was given to Hitler as a pup by the head of the Reich Chancellery, Martin Bormann. As evidenced in many photographs Hitler was very fond of the animal and it accompanied him even to the Fuhrerbunker in Berlin in early 1945. During that time she had a litter of five puppies.

As the end of his Third Reich grew ever closer Hitler determined not to be taken alive and was given a cyanide pill. To ensure that it would work another such pill was ‘tested’ on the unfortunate ‘Blondi’ with fatal results. In the end of course Hitler shot himself!

Here, however we see him in a more pleasant time during the summer of 1942 wearing a white ‘Summer’ version of his regular uniform. By the Fuhrer’s side stands a seemingly happy ‘Blondi’.

Eva Anna Paula Braun (1912-1945) was Adolf Hitler’s mistress from 1932 until one day before he and she committed suicide in the Fuhrerbunker in May 1945.

For several years Eva also enjoyed the company of her two small Scottish Terriers, ‘Negus’ & ‘Stasi’ and would take them everywhere with her.

When she stayed at Hitler’s mountain retreat, the Obersalzberg Eva would often be seen in the ‘Dirndl’, the traditional female dress worn in Austria, South Tyrol and Bavaria.

That is how K&C have depicted her... together with her two little ‘Scotty dogs’.

Battle of Tarawa - US Marines

  • - From mid 1941 onwards virtually every USMC officer and senior NCO was issued with the M1 Carbine, Officially it was to replace the pistols and submachine guns previously used by them. For many however it was still useful, practical and plain old common sense to carry at least one additional weapon and that was usually the Colt 1911 A1 automatic pistol. Our Marine carries both... Sensible guy!
  • - When the bullets are flying you should get as close to the ‘deck’ as possible. This Marine, M1 at the ready, edges his way forward.
  • - I based this Marine’s pose on a photo I have of big John Wayne in the classic ‘Corps’ movie, “The Sands of Iwo Jima”. What better name to give him than ‘Stryker’!

Battle of TARAWA

Vietnam - Tet'68

By November 1967 half a million American soldiers were fighting in South Vietnam and General William Westmoreland, the commander of U.S. Forces there felt confident in saying, “the end begins to come into view...”

In North Vietnam however a major military offensive was being planned that would change everything and would ultimately have a decisive impact on American commitment to fight the war and on U.S. involvement in South Vietnam.

On January 30, 1968 on the eve of TET, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year North Vietnamese Army regulars and local Viet Cong militia launched a massive attack on ALL major towns, cities and military bases throughout South Vietnam.

Nowhere suffered more devastation and saw more bloody fighting than the old imperial capital city of HUE. After seizing control of most of the city the NVA and VC were counterattacked by both ARVN (Army of the Republic of South Vietnam) and U.S. Forces including United States Marines.

Now began a long and bitter struggle to retake the city.

King & Country’s first new ‘VIETNAM’ release in over 20 years begins to refight this epic battle.

A series of U.S.M.C. ‘Grunts’ battling their way street-by-street, house-by-house replicates the battle in miniature with some of the most realistic fighting poses that K&C has ever produced.

Here is just the first small ‘advance party’ of Marines... Many more will follow in the coming months as well as their NVA and VC opposition and some unique fighting vehicles!

  • - Kneeling on the ground this ‘Grunt’ holds his PRC25 radio handset in his right hand and his M16 in the other... This figure is based on a great combat photograph taken during the battle.
  • - A black Marine or in Corps parlance, a ‘Dark Green Marine’, shoulders his M60 Machine Gun and looses-off a burst of bullets at the enemy.
  • - UA black Marine or in Corps parlance, a ‘Dark Green Marine’, shoulders his M60 Machine Gun and looses-off a burst of bullets at the enemy.
  • - Using one of the ‘oldest tricks in the book’ this Marine balances his helmet on top of his rifle to attract an enemy sniper to reveal his position.
  • - The M79 Grenade Launcher first entered service with the U.S. Forces in 1961. Vietnam was its baptism of fire. It could launch grenades farther and more accurately than its predecessors and was much used at squad and platoon level. Our Marine sits on his butt as he aims and fires. The M79 got its “Blooper” nickname from the sound it made as it fired.
  • - In 1966 the M16 was introduced into General Service with the U.S. Military and proved a controversial choice because of its early ‘teething problems’... Many Marines in particular preferred their old M14’s which were rugged, accurate and reliable. However by 1968 virtually every ‘Grunt’ carried an M16. It was light, just 2.5kg, and could fire single shot and fully automatic and would become one of the most manufactured and widespread combat weapons of the 20th Century and beyond. K&C’s Marine kneels as he fires.
  • - Not wishing to expose himself to the enemy this Marine raises his M16 over his head and opens fire on ‘fully automatic’. Although frowned upon as a waste of ammo... in a tight situation you did what you had to do to make the enemy keep their heads down and perhaps allow your buddies to advance or even fall back to safety.
  • - BUY All 7 of these K&C Vietnam Marines, which retail for US$43 per figure, when you buy them individually. OR BUY THEM as a BEGINNERS BONUS Set and the price is just US$279! GREAT FIGURES and OUTSTANDING VALUE!

Vietnam - Tet'68

Streets of Old Hong Kong

As many of you know, Hong Kong is a great port and trading city and merchants come from far and wide to do business here. This is just one example... A Chinese businessman discusses a ‘deal’ with a visiting Malay trader. In days of yesteryear foreign traders would often journey with their cargoes to the destination to finalise the price and details with their opposite number. You could easily imagine this encounter taking place on the dockside of Hong Kong’s magnificent harbor as the hustle and bustle surrounds the transaction.

Orient

John Jenkins

New John Jenkins May Releases!
Enemies of Rome

Spartacus was a Thracian gladiator. Little is known about his life before he became one of the slave leaders in the Third Servile War, which was the slave uprising war against the Roman Republic.

Spartacus may have served in the Roman army, and it is generally believed he deserted, and led bandit raids. It is known he was captured and sold into slavery. In 73 BC he escaped from a gladiatorial training school at Capua along with about 70 other gladiators. Taking refuge on Mount Vesuvius, along with other runaway slaves who the gladiators trained in rudimentary combat skills.

Spartacus it is believed became one of several leaders of the Gladiators’ revolt, along with two Gauls, Crixus and Oenamus.

Initially Rome did not regard the slave army as a serious force and did not send first line troops against it. Spartacus’ army outmaneuvered and defeated the first four forces it confronted, which led to more slaves joining the rebellion, and at its peak the army was believed to have been 90,000-120,000 strong.

Spartacus advocated crossing the Alps to put distance between the army and Rome and find freedom. One of the leaders, Crixus wanted to attack Rome itself where large numbers of slaves would also join them. This led to Crixus and 30,000 men leaving the main army to raid the countryside, who were eventually defeated and killed.

Spartacus won 3 more engagements and then for unknown reasons turned south instead of crossing the Alps, which threw Rome into a panic. A new Roman force under a competent commander named Marcus Crassus was sent to deal with the rebellious slave army, and after a long period of pursuit and a few engagements, the slave army was defeated near the headwaters of the Siler River in southern Italy.

Spartacus was killed, but his body was never found.

The Romans crucified 6,000 rebellious slaves as a warning to others.

The story of Spartacus has served as inspiration for books, movies and tv series. He has often been made into a symbol for oppressed people rebelling to overturn their society, although he actually never attempted to overthrow Roman society, but just tried to lead his army to safety and freedom.

Enemies of Rome

Wars of the Roses

**PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WARS OF THE ROSES ARTILLERY SETS WILL NOW BE AVAILABLE IN JULY AND AUGUST**

Wars of the Roses 1455-1487

Drums Along The Mohawk

The initial sets for this series will include militia, wagoneers, and more girls with guns, all suitable for the American Revolution and French and Indian War periods.

These figures can be used for the Battle of Oriskany, fought on August 6, 1777, which was one of the bloodiest battles in the North American theater of the American Revolutionary War and a significant engagement of the Saratoga campaign. An American party trying to relieve the siege of Fort Stanwix was ambushed by a party of Loyalists and allies of several Native American tribes, primarily Iroquois. This was one of the few battles in the war in which almost all of the participants were North American: Loyalists and allied Indians fought against Patriots and allied Oneida in the absence of British regular soldiers.

Early in the siege of Fort Stanwix, an American relief force from the Mohawk Valley under General Nicholas Herkimer, numbering around 800 men of the Tryon County militia, and a party of Oneida warriors, approached in an attempt to raise the siege. British commander Barry St. Leger authorized an intercept force consisting of a Hanau Jäger (light infantry) detachment, Sir John Johnson's King's Royal Regiment of New York, Indian allies from the Six Nations, particularly Mohawk and Seneca; and other tribes to the north and west, and Indian Department Rangers, totaling at least 450 men.

The Loyalist and Indian force ambushed Herkimer's force in a small valley about six miles (10 km) east of Fort Stanwix, near the present-day village of Oriskany, New York. During the battle, Herkimer was mortally wounded. The battle cost the Patriots approximately 450 casualties, while the Loyalists and Indians lost approximately 150 dead and wounded. The result of the battle remains ambiguous. The apparent Loyalist victory was significantly affected by a sortie from Fort Stanwix in which the Loyalist camps were sacked, spoiling morale among the allied Indians.

The series will also attempt to cover probably the most significant battle of the American Revolution.

The two Battles of Saratoga were a turning point in the American Revolution. On September 19th, British General John Burgoyne achieved a small, but costly victory over American forces led by Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold. Though his troop strength had been weakened, Burgoyne again attacked the Americans at Bemis Heights on October 7th, but this time was defeated and forced to retreat. He surrendered ten days later, and the American victory convinced the French government to formally recognize the colonist’s cause and enter the war as their ally.

Drums Along The Mohawk

Provincial Regiments 1759

The 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot, better known under its later name, The King's Royal Rifle Corps, has long been associated with Canada. After Braddock's defeat by the French and Indians in 1755, authority was granted to raise a regiment of four battalions to be recruited in Germany and from German colonists in North America. The regiment was named the 62nd, or Royal American, Regiment of Foot; but it was re-designated the 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot in February 1757. Recruiting for the Royal Americans in North America was disappointing, and more than half its strength was drafted from men rejected by British regiments in Ireland. From this unlikely collection of foreigners and cast-offs was fashioned one of the most renowned corps of the British Army.

Provincial Regiments 1759

WWI - British

British Forces

WWII

JJ WWII Collection

Knights of the Skies

Knights Of The Skies - WWI

Releases Delayed from April!
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

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

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.

  • - 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.
  • - 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

John Jenkins Future Releases!

John Jenkins Future Releases.

John sent details over the weekend of some of this future releases that he announced at the MFCA show.  We have it on our web site as a PDF file, so should be very easy to view. For the techncal amoung you your computer or tablet needs Adobe Acrobat to view, which newer machines typically have.

If you are a fan of the American Revolution, you will enjoy the future releases of Drums along the Mohawk and the the Battle of Saratoga. For WWII fans there is also a great prreview of an upcoing German Tank.

Future Releases

First Legion

Mass Battle Napoleonic British 30th Regt of Foot

First Legion is pleased to present the first of what will be many releases for our Mass Battle Napoleon's Europe series! Napoleon's Europe possibly more than other other range lends itself extremely well to Mass Battle treatment because of the nature of the shoulder to shoulder combat and the wonderful myriad of nationalities involved. We have started with the British 30th Cambridgeshire Regiment of Foot. Though we have displayed them below in the classic 2 rank British Line, where this release really sings is in square formation. With five different "kneeling at the ready" figures and 19 different figures in total, a wonderful large square can be formed and at prices far lower than our normal product offerings. Add to this that historically at Waterloo, the British 30th Regiment of Foot did indeed form square and it's truly the sweet spot of the Mass Battle range. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new series and look for expansions to the Napoleon's Europe Mass Battle series over the course of 2018 and beyondl!

Mass Battle Napoleonic British 30th Regt of Foot

Battle of the Bulge - German Panther

First Legion is extremely pleased to present the next vehicle in our “Battle of the Bulge” series, BB019 Panther Ausf G as part of the 1st SS Panzer Division, but this time depicted later in the battle with a winter camo white wash applied. The 1st Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Division was broken down into 4 different Kampgruppes for the Ardennes offensive, each named after their respective commander. The most famous of these was Kampfgruppe Peiper which contained all of the division’s tanks and was the tip of the spear of the “Wacht am Rhein” offensive. Our tank is designed to appear as it would have looked once the snows started falling. It has several features of the later Ausf G including the crew compartment heater, rain guard over the driver's vision port, flame supressing muffler, chin gun mantlet, and the debris guard over the gun mantlet. The Panther tank was certainly one of the finest tanks of the war. While considered a medium tank, its weight was more in line with many of the “heavy” tanks of the war. The Panther’s sloping armor gave it very effective frontal defense and its 75mm main gun had more penetrating power than the Tiger Tanks 88mm gun due to extremely high muzzle velocity. Along with the Tiger tank, the Panther is certainly one of the most iconic tank of the Second World War.

Battle of the Bulge

WWII - Russian Navy

Stalingrad Russians

WWII - Russian T-70 Light Tank

The Russian T-70 Light Tank was the 1942 replacement for the earlier T-60 variant. It was used both as an armored reconnaissance vehicle as well as for close infantry support. It was armed with a 45mm L/46 main gun and a coaxial 7.62 MG. It suffered from many of the shortcomings of other Russian tanks such as a single man turret which made coordination of multiple tanks nearly impossible as the commander had far too many responsibilities within his own vehicle. It did however play a role in the Battle of Stalingrad where its small size among the rubble allowed it a bit more freedom of movement and was relatively easily "dug-in" as a strongpoint for close infantry defense. Starting in 1943, the lighter tanks such as the T-70 were phased out and their role was taken on by the heavier T-34. They continued to see service in mobile artillery, reconnaissance, and rear echelon units moving forward.

Stalingrad Russians

New 75MM and 60mm Painted and Unpainted

With the creation of our new series of 75mm Napoleonic figures, we have decided that not only should we bring our superlative sculpting to this new, larger, scale but to also bring our painting to these figures as well. 75mm Figures are truly works of art and i must confess that this scale is really beginning to grow on us over here. As such, we are going to treat this as an expansion of our Napoleon's Europe series and primarily cover the French Revolutionary Wars in this new 75mm scale. Unlike many 75mm makers who produce figures as standalone pieces, our intention is to produce groups of interrelated figures much the same as we do with our 60mm Napoleon's Europe series such that dioramas and displays can be setup in this wonderful scale. The painting quality we are using on these figures is superior to that we use on our 60mm figures making these a wonderful value compared to other 75mm painted figure offerings.

Unpainted Metal Kits - Scale 60mm and 75mm

Very best regards from Mike & Myszka Hall and the Sierra Toy Soldier team - Aidan, Ann, Barbara, Cody, Gary, Howard, and Michael (the Kilted Vampire).

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