"When you were up there in a plane, you’d get shot at, and you couldn’t call field artillery to support you. You had no ambulance, no medic. There was no tank to come in and run over the enemy. All it took was one accurate aircraft shot, and a plane full of 10 guys was gone. The commanders, for the most part, understood this,” Conway continues, “So there was a little bit more leniency in that regard than there would have been with ground guys. The officers figured, ‘Well, if this guy wants to paint a naked lady on the back of the jacket, what good is it to try to stop him? He could be dead tomorrow morning.’ The main objective was winning the war, not enforcing minor regulations and rules.”
posted by ChuraChura
on Jan 29, 2013 -
The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online
. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork
. A small selection
. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.)
posted by zarq
on Nov 12, 2012 -
NPR show us
and tells the story
of five men who agreed to stand directly below and observe a nuclear explosion.
On July 19, 1957, five Air Force officers and one photographer stood together on a patch of ground about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. They'd marked the spot 'Ground Zero. Population 5' on a hand-lettered sign hammered into the soft ground right next to them.
posted by gilrain
on Jul 18, 2012 -
From blimps to bugs, an explosion in aerial drones is transforming the way America fights and thinks about its wars. Predator drones, the Cessna-sized workhorses that have dominated unmanned flight since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, are by now a brand name, known and feared around the world. But far less known is the sheer size, variety and audaciousness of a rapidly expanding drone universe, along with the dilemmas that come with it.(via) [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar
on Mar 30, 2012 -
Between 2004 and 2005, "Rocky Mountain News reporter Jim Sheeler and photographer Todd Heisler spent a year with the Marines stationed at Aurora's Buckley Air Force Base who have found themselves called upon to notify families of the deaths of their sons in Iraq. In each case in this story, the families agreed to let Sheeler and Heisler chronicle their loss and grief. They wanted people to know their sons, the men and women who brought them home, and the bond of traditions more than 200 years old that unite them. Though readers are led through the story by the white-gloved hand of Maj. Steve Beck, he remains a reluctant hero. He is, he insists, only a small part of the massive mosaic that is the Marine Corps." The full story
ran on Veteran's Day, 2005 and won two Pulitzer Prizes: one for Feature Photography
, another for feature writing
in 2006. A nice single-page version of one section: Katherine Cathey and 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey
.) The Rocky Mountain News closed in 2009. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 12, 2011 -
In August-September 1965, India and Pakistan went to war
for the second time since their independence in 1947. On September 19, a civilian aircraft (Beechcraft Model 18) carrying the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat (bordering Pakistan) was shot down
by a Pakistani Air Force pilot (flying an F-86F). Now, 46 years later, the Pakistani pilot has written a condolence letter
to the daughter of the pilot of the Indian civilian aircraft.
posted by vidur
on Aug 8, 2011 -
With Air Force's Gorgon Drone 'we can see everything.'
"In ancient times, Gorgon
was a mythical Greek creature whose unblinking eyes turned to stone those who beheld them. In modern times, Gorgon may be one of the military's most valuable new tools. This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare
, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town."
posted by homunculus
on Jan 5, 2011 -
After a test flight nearly ended in disaster
at the start of the Civil War, Professor Thaddeus Lowe
recovered his balloon and headed back North. Recognizing the potential use of air vehicles in the war, he managed to get an invitation to the White House in order demonstrate the capabilities of balloons in the war effort. [more inside]
posted by nomadicink
on Dec 30, 2010 -
Lookout Mountain Laboratories (Hollywood, CA) was originally built in 1941 as an air defense station. But after WWII, the US Air Force repurposed it into a secret film studio which operated for 22 years during the Cold War. The studio produced classified movies for all branches of the US Armed Forces, as well as the Atomic Energy Commission, until it was deactivated in 1969. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as "atomic" cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific.
Some of their films have been declassified and can be seen here. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 14, 2010 -
Boeing 747 along with two fighter planes continuously circled jarringly close to the tops of buildings in Lower Manhattan and Jersey City this morning. From the ground it looked as though a plane had been hijacked again, and the Air Force was attempting to force it down. Panic
Another terrorist attack?
No, just a top secret photo op. [more inside]
posted by stagewhisper
on Apr 27, 2009 -
(google video) A former priest's personal journey through the tangled and sometimes violent history between Christians and Jews.
posted by empath
on Oct 2, 2008 -
The "Nuclear Nav."
On March 11, 1958, Captain Bruce Kulka was the navigator on an Air Force B-47 Stratojet carrying nuclear bombs to an airfield in North Africa. Somewhere over the southeastern US, the captain sent him to back the bomb bay to check on a cockpit warning light. As he climbed through the narrow space around the Mark 6 nuclear bomb,
Kulka grabbed the emergency release pin by mistake. [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky
on Oct 10, 2007 -
Air Force Seeks Bush's Approval for Space Arms
The US Air Force seeks to develop several frightening weapons,including one called "Rods from God," which would fire metal rods at a target from the edge of space, striking with the force of a small nuclear weapon.
With a presidential directive expected in the weeks to come, what consequences could an approval have on the global community?
posted by Tlahtolli
on May 17, 2005 -
USAF playing cat and mouse game over Iran
and yes: there is no hard evidence that this is taking place. But we do recall what Bush had earlier said about the axis of evil and his warnings to Iran about nuke capability. "The U.S. Air Force is playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Iran's ayatollahs, flying American combat aircraft into Iranian airspace in an attempt to lure Tehran into turning on air defense radars, thus allowing U.S. pilots to grid the system for use in future targeting data, administration officials said.
"We have to know which targets to attack and how to attack them," said one, speaking on condition of anonymity.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 29, 2005 -
Further Gov't WOD policy contradiction...
Turns out the weel-publicised friendly fire incident in Afghanistan last year may now be attributed to the pilot and bobardier being strung out on speed? Why?
Because in the Air Force, crank is standard issue and refusal to partake can even render a pilot not fit for duty.
This is what they mean by "The War on Drugs"?
posted by BentPenguin
on Dec 20, 2002 -
The F-22 Raptor is the next generation fighter for the United States. At nearly 97 million each, it will be deployed in 2004.This site
gives a remarkably detailed report regarding its design and function. Including such gems as "first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability" and " Humans are good differentiators, but they are poor integrators."
posted by JohnR
on Dec 19, 2002 -