Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Bremerton 1998

 In January of 1998, I was lucky enough to visit the USS Missouri at the Bremerton Naval Shipyard.  I recently got some old film developed and here are a few ships that were there.  Above is the USS Midway, and I want to say USS Sailfish.
 This view of Missouri's stern does not begin to do justice to the length of these ships!!
 The USS New Jersey.
A detail of one of the 5 inch 38 caliber dual purpose guns.

I will be posting more pictures off and on.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bremerton Naval Yard January 1998

I unearthed several rolls of film recently.  I had them developed and printed.  Here is a panoramic I could have never managed 14 years ago.  Computers are so nice.  This was the last time that the USS Missouri was open to the public while she remained in the Continental USA.  Shortly thereafter she was towed to Hawaii, where she remains.  The USS Sperry is at far left.  The USS New Jersey is next, stern to us.  Several Knox class frigates followed by the USS Midway and the USS Missouri.  the remaining carriers I once knew, but the intervening years have erased the names.  Perhaps a diligent person out there could locate the carriers at port on that date and forward them to me.  Note the Hammerhead crane.  I believe it is no longer there.

Be sure to right-click, copy, and save it to your own desk top to view it best.  This was back when film was the only way to take a decent picture.  The intervening years have not been kind to the negatives.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

AH-64 Apache over Moxee

 On December 1, 2012, an AH-64 Apache was flying over Moxee, Washington, apparently awaiting it's routing orders or attack time.  It orbited about a mile south of the town.  
 It was only the second or third time i have seen an Apache.  The first time was somewhere over Zillah, Washington, some 20 years ago, and even then the glimpse was so quick, I was unable to take a second look to verify my ID.

 This time, I had my camera ready.
 What a good looking monster!

Saturday, August 4, 2012


 At the recent Joint Base Lewis-McChord Air Expo, there was a B-1B on display and also one that did a short demonstration.  These bad boys carry the rotary launch system and have swing wings.  This is as close as I have ever come to a B-1.  I actually touched it.

 Here you can see how the wing fold into the fuselage.

 Here you can see the rotary launcher.

 and here you can see the countermeasures.  Those lumps on the tail shoot flares and chaff.
I have more photos that I will likely be posting here.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Spirit of Ohio

B-2A Spirit Spirit of Ohio, #82-1070 over McChord AFB on Saturday, July 21-2012
I attended the JBLM Air Expo over the weekend.  Joint Base Lewis McChord puts on an excellent airshow every two years.  I attended the 2008 show and loved it.  This year I took my family, and although we were late to the event, it was still a great experience!  There were three bombers that made an appearance.  The B-1, the B-2, and a B-52H.  This image is of the B-2A #82-1070, which made a few passes over the base before returning to Whiteman AFB, in Missouri.

Monday, April 16, 2012

USS Washington

The latest Virginia class SSN will be named Washington!  Not since USS Washington, BB-56, has Washington state had a navy ship named for it.  If only the had saved BB-56 from the scrappers' torches, alas, at least we have a sub to watch for!!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Palace Cobra

I like history.  I like aircraft.  When you put the two together, well, I'm hooked.  I have a book that I have read many times.  It's called "When Thunder Rolled," by Ed Rasimus.  It is a book about the author's time flying the F-105D Thunderchief in Vietnam.  He was at Korat RTAFB, Thailand.  It is a well written and extremely entertaining and enlightening book.  You feel like you might be able to actually fly a Thud after reading it!  Well... I did.

I recently ran out of books to read.  I had just re-read the series by Ilona Andrews about the Beast Lord of Atlanta and Kate Daniels.  I read the entire series, at least those that have been published, and was at a loss for things to read.  I decided I might like to read "When Thunder Rolled" again, but then I discovered "Palace Cobra."  It is the follow-on book.  It describes the author's exploits six years later when he returned to Vietnam  flying a different aircraft.  The F-4E.

Thus far, it may as well be the rest of the first book.  I really enjoy the author's voice.  He comes off as knowing what he is doing without sounding pedantic or officious.  The subject matter is interesting, too.  What's it like being a fighter pilot?  Well, the author will let you in.

This time, instead of being in the early days of the war, we are in the closing days, experiencing Linebacker and the run up to Linebacker II.  I highly recommend this book!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

That Darned Osprey

 We were at the park yesterday.  While there, twice we heard and felt a rhythmic-dynamic-rumbling helicopteresqe sound that, had it been closer, surely would have rattled windows.  That sound was from an Osprey. Because of it's two prop/rotors it sounds like two large helicopters.  The way the sound traveled I kept looking low for whatever it was.  Instead of finding anything low, I looked up higher and saw what looked like a private plane traveling slowly across the sky.  I did not have binoculars, but there was no other possible source for the sound visible.  I snapped a picture and then looked at it on my screen and lo-and-behold it was an Osprey.  I can't wait to see one up close.  These things sound so awesome.
We saw one fly over Yakima, Washington twice, within about 20 minutes of each other.  It's seems possible that they were the same one in an orbit.  This was the first time I've seen them fly at a respectable altitude, before I've only seen them flying at considerably LESS than five hundred feet!  Does anyone else have Osprey sightings they'd like to share?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Very Interesting Story

Imagine being a fighter pilot flying a P-51 and then being shot down behind enemy lines.  Then imagine, as you find yourself near hunger, deciding to surrender to the German Air Base.  As evening rolls in you have second thoughts, and then in the morning steal a German Focke Wulf and fly home...Sounds like a lovely made up story, doesn't it?  Well, read the real thing here!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Last Deployment of the Big E

The USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier will begin her final deployment in the next few days.  I have always been a fan of the old girl, and her predecessor.

You can read more here: USS ENTERPRISE.