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  • Lockheed F-94A Starfire

      Developed from the T-33 Shooting Star, the two-place F-94 was the first American all-weather jet interceptor and the first U.S. production jet to have an afterburner. The large radar in the nose permitted the observer in the rear seat to locate an enemy aircraft at night or in poor weather. The pilot then flew the Starfire into proper position
  • Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star

      The Shooting Star was the first American aircraft to exceed 500 mph in level flight, the first American jet airplane manufactured in large quantities and the first U.S. Air Force jet used in combat. Designed in 1943, the XP-80 made its maiden flight on Jan. 8, 1944. (The aircraft was redesignated F-80 in 1948 when "P" for "Pursuit" was changed to
  • Liaison Pilots

    World War II produced another group of enlisted pilots, whose wings bore an "L" in the center, to fly light single-engine liaison aircraft. Included were many enlisted aviation students who washed out of pilot training after having soloed and were given the opportunity to become liaison pilots. Flight training consisted of about 60 hours of flying
  • Legacy of Equality

    The Tuskegee Airmen proved themselves equal to white fliers and support troops, but black Airmen remained segregated after the war. However, they had made it obvious to many leaders, President Harry S. Truman in particular, that segregation in the military was morally wrong, inefficient and should be ended. Stating that the "highest standards of
  • Link Trainer

    Crude pilot training aids had been designed even before World War I, but none had any significant training value. Edwin A. Link provided a giant step forward when in 1931 he received a patent on his "pilot maker" training device. He had perfected his design in the basement of his father's piano and organ factory in Binghamton, N.Y. Organ bellows
  • Lt. Max Lewis Uniform

    Note:  This exhibit has temporarily been removed from display.Items worn by B-25 crewman 1st Lt. Max Lewis, a member of the 445th Bomb Squadron, 321st Bomb Group, 12th Air Force. Items include a sweater, nametag, pilot wings, navigator wings, distinguished unit citation for the 321st Bomb Group, 12th Air Force patch, scarf and A-2 flying
  • Lt. Anthony Savoca Uniform

    Note:  This exhibit has temporarily been removed from display.Items used by Lt. William A. Savoca, a B-26 Marauder bombardier-navigator with the 320th Bomb Group, 12th Air Force, including A-11 flying gloves, tan service hat, A-11 flying helmet and AN-6550-34 flight suit.Click here to return to the Tactical Ground Attack in Southern Europe
  • Long Cold Flights and Long Cold Days

    Attempting to stay warm during the long missions in the cold cockpit of the P-38, many pilots in Europe chose to wear the Army winter combat jacket that was popularly known as a "Tanker Jacket." 2nd Lt. John Carroll of the 55th Fighter Group was wearing this jacket when he was shot down over Holland on Nov. 23, 1943. The damage to the right
  • Luftwaffe Regains Superiority

    A turning point in the air war occurred the second week of October 1943 when the AAF made a series of major efforts against the enemy. On Oct. 9, 352 bombers flew along the Baltic Sea north of Germany to bomb targets in Poland and East Prussia; although some results were spectacular, 8 percent of the bombers were lost. The next day the target was
  • Luftwaffe Interceptors

    The first AAF bombing mission against a target inside Germany was made on Jan. 27, 1943, when 53 planes attacked Wilhelmshaven. Opposing German fighter pilots were fairly cautious, but on Feb. 4, when the AAF attacked Emden, it "stirred up a hornet's nest." For the first time, the Luftwaffe engaged U.S. bombers with twin-engine Me-110s and Ju 88s
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