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Fun with 50s and 60s kits of USN Warbirds (Has been since 2007 ...)

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Has been since 2007 that I've built a Warbird, with a health decline largely responsible for that.

But ...

Last month I started having the 'want to' again after years of poking along at railway and sci-fi builds.

So ...

I dug out the 5 kits I still had & Bought a Brewster from the renewed Squadron Shop.


EDIT: April 5, changed thread title to more accurately reflect thread direction.


There are;

Two Hayakushiki in that box, one recon, one air defense. (recon job is a really shapely airplane)

Two Avengers in that box, one Lindberg, one Monogram, both vintage kits with operating features. 😁

One Revell/Monogram P-40B, not pictured, another vintage kit.

(am pondering buying Airfix's recent P-40B, it looks good and has a very nicely done pilot guy)

And the recently bought Brewster, which I'd thought about getting since learning of it in the 1970s. Yes, I'm a greybeard model builder. 😸

{sure wish Tamiya had posed the Brewster's and Hayakushiki's pilot guys HOTAS}


They will join the sloooowly in-progress 1/48 scale Lindberg models of 1910 era planes like those in the movie Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.


So that's nine kits to poke along at whichever ones I'm in the mood for that day.


Again, none will be super detailed, merely getting the kit made is going to be an accomplishemnt.


Also ...


Decided to see if I could get back in to the painting of little people.

So, began with all these kits' pilot guys & some model RR people & some pilot guys for sci-fi build ideas.


🎨🎨 Paint jobs will vary & be more for fun than historical exactness.


The Recon Hayakushiki will be painted as a civil registered plane imagined as mine, but still have the Japanese pilot guys.

Lindberg Avenger will get anachronistic Yellow Wings because that livery is a favorite.

Brewster will get Yellow Wings for maybe a fictional squadron; or a civil paint job imagined as my plane; or a fantasy/what-if paint job with VF-84 Jolly Rogers tail art, which also would be grand on a Brewster Buccaneer, ya know!

Its cockpit paint has been done to my personal tastes in the 'aluminum lacquer' silver with the wing spar/fuel tank/rudder pedals floor having a black top as seen in a prototype photo found online.

(that Brewster Buffalo is a little bitty thing! Especially next to the Avenger!)


The will be hung up, which really brings attention to Brewster's ventral viewport, and Avenger's weapons load of a torpedo and 2 depth charges.


Monogram Avenger's paint job is undecided, will build it later.


P-40 will get fantasy/what-if paint job replicating one I did in late 1980s or early 1990s.

Silver overall with red dot stars and tail stripes.

:smiley-transport007: However ... the 1/72 WW1 Aero Squadron decal I used on fuselage side is no longer made by Microscale. Was a camel and a pyramid.

So,  Hmm.





Edited by southwestforests
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Here, these pages have the reference photo which led me to paint top of Brewster's wing spar/fuel tank/rudder pedals floor black;











For contrast here's an image where it is in that aluminum lacquer, 



(ya know, if Airfix did a 1/24 kit of a Buffalo I'd buy it as long as it had a really nice pilot guy & made the versions with the window in the bottom.

Oh, and it has to have the working pull-out chart drawer/shelf/table under the instrument panel too. And give the pilot guy alternate arm parts where he can either be flying the plane or working on the navigation chart pullout.)

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Well, I went and did a few things to start the Monogram/Revell TBF after saying just above that it was going to wait.


Got the fuselage compartment windows glued in.


Wing fold hinge parts are there but not used in the instructions. They can be figured out.


Circular raised stops for the wings and the aft cabin door will be left in place.

As will raised copyright lettering under one horizontal stabilizer.

The copyright MMI has been replaced by copyright Revell with the original 1956, or is it 1958, date intact.

There is also raised Monogram Models lettering inside one fuselage half in cockpit area.


Two parts I don't remember from the 1970s are a pair of 'posts and railing' looking things numbered 45.

See lower right of photo. 

Wonder what they do. 


Anyway, the movable parts will be made movable for the entertainment value of doing so.


👷‍♂️ Three crew guys come with kit but only 2 seated in plane. Guy for aft compartment will be selected from vintage pilot guys who long ago saw their planes cut up for sci-fi builds.


And speaking of the aft compartment and of hinges, there is no hinge for the door. A working one will be fabricated.


And ...


After saying no superdetaining ...


Bomb bay top and sides are going to be made.

With a bit of an anachronism.

Kit is a dash-something which which I remember reading moved bomb/torpedo drop controls to pilot and deleted bombsight window in aft bomb bay wall.

Model is going to be hung up with bay open, so that feature will be added since the wall has to be made anyway & I like that feature.


Even though model is to be hung up with cockpit unviewable there will be at least some styrene shapes added to represent the side consoles.


Final note, main landing gear tires are so skinny on this thing, easily half the width of those in Lindberg's kit.

Fuselage looks a hair skinnier too, like a Hellcat compared to a Wildcat.




Edited by southwestforests
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Tis good to see you building something here SWF ... and those famous last words "Again, none will be super detailed, merely getting the kit made is going to be an accomplishment."

And then in the next post "After saying no superdetaining ... " ... it sounds like the bug has bitten you.

The adding detail bug.

The fun for me is just that. Adding scraps of styrene that, after painting, look like it's supposed to be something.


You'll get into the swing of things and you'll have a ball building these kits ... and they may even be displayed, instead of hung from the ceiling.


Either way, have a blast! Add that window to the bottom, that chart drawer, cut and saw and glue some styrene, relax and work through those health issues!


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17 hours ago, K2Pete said:

it sounds like the bug has bitten you.

The adding detail bug.

Thanks! 😄


Oh, that bug bit in the 1970s with 1/35 Tamiya and 1/32 Monogram tanks; and a 1/72 Monogram P-51B with canopy cut open, cockpit details made of lacquer saturated cardstock, and pilot's control stick arm reposed to be waving at someone, which won the youth category a model contest. And with various brands of 1/72 tanks up till 2006 after a major health crash end of 2005.


And there have been the trains too, https://flic.kr/s/aHsmNta2w7 and https://flic.kr/s/aHskMwP9GX


Some samples from that health crash time in a KCAMPS contest around 2005 of 1/72 and 1/76 models based for miniatures gaming.


Hasegawa Churchill Mk1

Fujimi M36

Matchbox Krupp Protze, featuring a couple metal guys

Matchbox SdKfz 11 with a couple guys having aftermarket heads from Preiser







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Just now, southwestforests said:

with a couple guys having aftermarket heads

And speaking of aftermarket heads ...


Those 2 middle guys wear each other's head well.

Pilot from Lindberg's also 1950s Convair XFY-1 Pogo will become TBF's aft fuselage guy.

(the XFY is getting cockpit and pilot from Monogram F-84, which will then get resin cockpit and a pilot guy yet to be determined)

(a sci-fi build is getting the F-84's stores)

(Hey, 1970s Monogram, y'all Could Have Made it A LOT Easier to build the F-84 with gear up‼️)


 But what was Monogram's 1958 deal with the pilot having "classic" 1950s-60s "Mummy legs" & the less visible gunner guy having nicely molded legs

That is beyond my understanding.


Even though the Monogram running man isn't being used in the in-flight build he got some love with a deformed hand and a far too thin foot being reshaped.


(Say in your Buzz Lightyear voice, "Cat hair. Cat hair everywhere".) 🙀












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On 3/19/2023 at 3:49 AM, K2Pete said:

... and those famous last words "Again, none will be super detailed, merely getting the kit made is going to be an accomplishment."

And then in the next post "After saying no superdetaining ...

Uh-oh ...


Famous last words indeed! 🤣


Just had a fun sounding idea for a "What If" ...


Avenger pair as specialist nighttime submarine hunter-killer aircraft. Noting that the Lindberg Avenger has a pair of depth charges and a short torpedo.


What if ...



... they were both given underwing radar pod.


... they both had a searchlight pod on opposite wing from radar.


... they were a fictional dash version which had 20mm cannon outboard of the wing mounted .50 cal machineguns.

... and the .50s and 20mm all had flash hiders.



... the Monogram/Revell Avenger kept the cowl mounted .50 and it too got a flash hider; maybe it doesn't have the wing mounted .50s but only the wing mounted .20mm and uses the saved weight to pack some underwing rockets.


... the Monogram/Revell Avenger kept its long torpedo and got aftermarket depth charges under wing roots.


... undersides were painted black over standard camouflage, be it Atlantic grey and white or worldwide tricolor.


... they got the 1943 red border insignias for a spot of color, 



... now, imagine you are the U-boat crew surfaced off New Jersey on a starry night and you discover the pair above coming at you ... 😲


... or they could be Pacific raiders hunting nighttime Japanese movements ...


😃 This is starting to sound like a very fun project. 


I might have to look in the bank.


And order parts.


EDIT: I just did, from the renewed Squadron shop.


What is not yet known is what to do for the underwing radar pods. Have saved images from the web. Haven't found aftermarket parts: buying the parts would save on making the parts and making my hands hurt even more than are are already guaranteed to.


Edited by southwestforests
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Okay, irrevocably committed to adding detail parts. 😄

Dug out the Monogram/Revell Avenger's .30 cal nose MG to turn it in to a .50 with flash hider.


 Unsure what exactly I'm going to do for the full gun since it is rather bigger than a .30.

But I'll be the barrel trough still needs a bit more depth.


Tamiya Brewster F2 and Monogram/Revell Curtiss P-40 fuselages are not glued, are just taped to hold cockpit parts in place while gluing it to one half of fuselage.

Brewster fuselage is something like only 2/3 length of TBF fuselage.


EDIT: Yep, cowl gun barrel trough needs to be deeper anyway,




Edited by southwestforests
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  • 2 weeks later...

'Box stock' build just went totally out the window for the Monogram one.


A few minutes ago I sawed out the cockpit's middle seat to make something suggesting the original equipment bay there.


And, for whatever it is worth, finally got around to ordering the following, which has been pondered for a couple years,



Also ordered from Squadron the Revell USA rerelease of the vintage Monogram SBD with moving parts.


Looks like I got the final one currently in stock for now as status changed to Out of stock after my order.


And from Sprue Brothers ordered the Revell USA rerelease of the vintage Monogram F4U with moving parts.


Current instructions downloadable as a PDF show a cockpit floor and an instrument panel I do not remember being in the 1970s one I built.


(so, no going out to eat after weekly meetings of our creative writers group this month)

(hey, you decide your priorities and make your choices)


🎨🖌️ Over the last couple days I've gotten the Monogram kit's molded-in engine face painted satisfactorily considering current health.

Am still getting there on the Lindberg kit's fully dimensional two rows of cylinders.


Thought about ignition wiring and said NO, not with how my hands are now.


Back to SBD, was reminded that Revell Germany has a quite nice one with even a part and decal for the pull out chart table under pilot's instrument panel, a quite nicely detailed cockpit, 5 section canopy, and 2x tail guns. 😄

But no aircrew figures at their posts doing their thing. ☹️





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1 hour ago, dai phan said:

I know it could be late but I would do away with the Lindberg TBF.

Ah, but that's not the point here, the point is to have fun with vintage kits which have moving parts, basically, to play. 😁

And ...

After finding a PDF of the Accurate Miniatures kit instructions it starts with three strikes against it  for having no crew guys. ☹️


And then ...


There is the thing where health decline over the last 20 years or so has significantly changed how I build models and paint miniatures,

There will be no more of this kind of thing,



And sometimes there will occasionally be no model building, period, for months at a time.

Simply because disease processes, thankfully slow moving, are not allowing my body to do that.


Therefore, high parts count high accuracy kits have lost both their practicality and their appeal. 


Now, I build to play, I paint to play.


And I want people in the planes.

That is a set in stone non-negotiable.

I will happily reject a superior kit with no crew people in favor of a mediocre kit with all the people.


I don't care to analyze why.

It is me and what I want.

And that's enough reason for me.

After all, I'm the kind of person who puts people in their model trains; who put the kit's people in their Tamiya and Bandai tanks; who put the kit people in their Monogram and Revell and Airfix and MPC and Hawk and Lindberg and Aurora kits in the 60s and 70s and 80s; and puts the miniature people in their miniatures games.

To be any other way would be to reject being me in favor of being some theoretically-something stranger.

And my life to date has been strange enough, thank you.

Enough strange, I want to play with model airplanes.

(don't fool yourself, even AMS is play, really)


Edited by southwestforests
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  • southwestforests changed the title to Fun with 50s and 60s kits of USN Warbirds (Has been since 2007 ...)

And in the mail today after yesterday's storms was a box from Sprue Brothers about 90 miles away in Liberty, Missouri.

Revell USA's reissue of Monogram's 1/48 scale F4U Corsair with folding wings and retractable landing gear.

Hey, according to the molded in copyright lettering, it's as old as I am!


It has an instrument panel, seat, and cockpit floor which I am convinced were not in the blue plastic and black plastic one I built in the 1970s.

Cockpit only had the pilot guy who had a tab on his back which went in to slot on back wall of cockpit.

If this is a change, I'm liking it! 😁


That's the issue I had, with the checkers decals; not remembered is which of the 2 boxes it was,




Also not remembered is the wing-mounted radar pod.


📸 In the picture with instrument panel on left side, see those 2 horseshoe or headphone shaped parts outboard of it? 🎧🎧

I vividly remember them being in black plastic in the 1970s and remember trying to secure them with Ambroid tube cement.

They connect one landing gear door to landing gear strut, which rotates inside the part's loop..


Do remember the three drop tanks.

😲 🍫 It ain't only candy bars which are shrinking, those drop tanks were a lot bigger way back when I was in 5th grade!









🔀 Meanwhile, back at the Avenger, middle seat is now gone and area is ready for equipment boxes.


👉🎨🖌️ No, that is Not the final interior color -- decided to employ a years old unused bottle of Testors 1/4 fl. oz. Zinc enamel as a primer/undercoat before airbrushing a more suitable hue from Testors Acryl.


🚪 Still need to fabricate a hinge for the cabin door, as best as I can determine there are no parts provided for one.





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Yay! Avenger chart table being used in-flight by pilot is shown in book which arrived today.


Have only very rarely seen 1930s and 1940s USN aircraft pilot's slide-out chart tables mentioned in books and never in a model kit until seeing Revell Germany's new (and crewless ☹️ )  1/48 scale SBD-5 kit on their website the other day.


💡 Item 9, the port wing leading edge "Approach light (green, amber, red)" that too is a thing I do not recall ever being mentioned or indicated on a model.
But do note:

I do not have every Avenger kit ever made in every scale.

I do not have every modeling magazine ever published with an Avenger build.

I have not seen every online post ever made of an Avenger build.


▶️ A thing in this book which I have seen mentioned somewhere in writing is that the pilot's canopy sides moved independently & were usable independently, unlike with the typical fighter plane sliding canopies.









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2 hours ago, GreyGhost said:

What great idea and project ..!




Old kits can be a lot of fun. 😄 I am going to loosely suggest the cockpit sidewall panels not supplied in Monogram kit and the Bombardier/Torpedoman's controls not supplied in either kit.


Intent is to hang up the models, thereby removing the cockpits from line of sight, but I still want to add a few details.

The weapons bay has inaccurate closed sides on Lindberg kit and isn't even suggested in the 1958 Monogram/Revell kit.

So, the Monogram kit will get some detail from sheet styrene, likely in the flavor of Lindberg's detail.




▶️📅 🌩️🌪️ And then while we were having severs storms and tornado warnings the other night,

ideas for alternate history stores involving the planes represented by these models came to mind.


Here's what has been determined so far,

With my health the mess it is there is no guarantee, zero guarantee, what will result from all this, but while I can do at least a little bit of it, I will do at least a little bit of it. 🙂



Alternate History piracy in the Mediterranean, 1930s, 1940s.

Whether it was a resurgence of the actual Barbary Pirates, or their descendants seeking vengeance, or some third party capitalizing on the concept, …


When is a war not a war?

It looked like a war in its paperwork, in its objectives achieved, in its casualties taken, in its munitions expended, and in its supplies consumed. Well, it almost looked like a war in its supplies consumed. Nowhere was there listed the provision and application of camouflage paint. Culture was everything here and in the culture to be camouflaged was to be un-proud. To be less than proud was to be weak. To be weak was to be ignored, shunned, even suspected of deviance. If you can not be proud then you must be guilty of something dishonorable, otherwise you would be proud.


Therefore the US Navy maintained its ships in their 1930s liveries with large and boldly shaded hull numbers on a lighter grey suitable for the Mediterranean sun; and its aircraft in aluminum lacquer with their bold chrome yellow wing tops and color coded tails. To be bold was to be confident and confidence was respected here.

That was the US, but what of the other western world colonial powers?


England? England’s Royal Navy was busy in the Far East. There was a token presence in Egypt, a few ships, a few planes, a few troops, and the usual diplomats. Generally the English were respected here but a bit distracted by happenings there, where it seemed they were a bit less respected.


France almost seemed to be supporting the pirates. Or maybe it wasn’t. “Ah, but friend, today is not yesterday, it is a new dawn with a new opportunity, a new gain”. And you could be certain that France was employing that new day for gain for France. Or at least for a gain for a Frenchman. I wouldn’t say that the French were self-absorbed, opportunistic, and corrupt, but, there were certain specific Frenchmen about whom, yes, I certainly would say that. And they happened to be nearby enough for occasional encounters.


Germany was, let’s call it, working through some issues, issues of a nature which presently kept its focus turned inward instead of outward toward colonizing. They maintained just enough of a presence to remind the region that Germany still exists.


Spain was similarly occupied primarily in sorting itself out and had in fact by this point in history shed the majority of its colonies and colonial efforts. Since the Mediterranean coast of Africa had not been Spain’s colonial focus previously it was indeed not now. A few embassies were all the presence it maintained.


And then there were the Italians. Ahh yes, the Italians. Nobody knew what precisely to make of them. The Italian bureaucrat, the Italian diplomat, the Italian merchant, and the Italian soldier, always seemed to not be on quite exactly the same page about their national trajectory here. Even so, they were always Italian, a fact which they were happy to regularly remind everyone in the region of.




And that’s where it presently stands.






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Nice work so far. I built the Tamiya 1/48 Brewster Buffalo as an early WWII overall gray scheme, the kit was nice but it was an early Tamiya so not as detailed as there later ones. I also stray off and do HO diesel locomotives, mostly Blue Box unpowered like GP35s or U33s with decals for the liveries from my home in western New England. Will be watching the Buffalo's progress.

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4 hours ago, jonwinn said:

I also stray off and do HO diesel locomotives, mostly Blue Box unpowered like GP35s or U33s

Ah, good ol' Athearn. 😎 Was always fun to take the basic issue and add road-specific parts and paint. Yes those metal handrails lacked nut and bolt detail but they were sturdy.

Buffalo has been waiting while the Avengers get worked on, but yesterday I did add final instrument decal to cockpit and its fuselage is now ready to close up.


Just dawned on me, I'm doing US Navy 'alphabet airplanes',






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4 hours ago, jonwinn said:

I built the Tamiya 1/48 Brewster Buffalo as an early WWII overall gray scheme, the kit was nice but it was an early Tamiya so not as detailed as there later ones.

That brings to mind that yesterday I looked at the instructions to their 1/32 Corsairs.

Instructions were downloadable from Tamiys USA's web page for each version.

Example page, https://www.tamiyausa.com/shop/132-aircraft/vought-f4u-1-corsair/birdcage/

Oh my gosh I'd never get the thing done! 😲

And ...

If only Tamiya's 1/48 Brewster pilot guy of the 1970s, and others, were that nice, f9166331177540b8e69e20d896f0fe4e.jpg

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3 hours ago, crackerjazz said:

Your works are fantastic!

Uh-oh, a certain amount of that could give me a reputation I have to maintain!


But, seriously, thanks!


Tracking info says the Squadron shop order with Monogram Dauntless reissue is out for delivery.



Speaking of fun ...

Am just home from creative writers group weekly meeting.

Didn't write anything for these stories there.


Big Question of the day now is, stay home and start on Dauntless, or, go to park and put kites in the air???
At the moment the kites are ahead in the poll with 100% of the vote of 1 ...

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Revell/Monogram SBD Dauntless arrived from Squadron today. 

Stopped by home to pick it up after creative writers group then went to a local park after a pause at Taco Bell.

Opened kit while eating greasy finger food outdoors.

Perfectly sensible.


Looking good for 1960 molds.

Decals, which are not from 1960, look nice too.


And it calls for another use of the yet to be created Buzz Lightyear meme of "Knockout pins. Knockout pins everywhere."


Ya know, I'm looking at the operating dive brake flaps and thinking about getting a motorized pin vise next month and opening all those little bitty holes.









It's not everybody who gets Officially Licensed by The US Navy ...

(brings to mind I saw a merchandiser display in aisle at Walmart yesterday labeled "Licensed Toddler" something or other, I didn't know you had to get your toddlers licensed these days, sounds like a good idea)




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And the Dauntless is already getting the not box stock treatment. 😁


After looking up SBD cockpit photos, engine color photos, and noting other details while looking for those,

it is getting radio equipment rack added behind pilot's armor bulkhead, well at least some plastic shapes which will suggest it under the canopy.

Also getting a representation of a structure I'd call a rollover protection pylon.

Have seen a couple different shapes in prototype and model photos. Decided to go with shape which could be cut as 1 piece of sheet plastic.


💡 Landing light - there is a landing light under the wing which has the pitot tube, light is located between a couple access panels just inboard of the permanent slats openings. Will guesstimate size of hole to make in wing and figure out something for light fixture.


⁉️ And the much to my surprise found a photo of an SBD registered as NL82GA which has a rubber bumper strip under fuselage for hook end of raised tailhook to contact.

Ah, will have to add that.

And once you know what to look for it can be seen in other photos such as the 1st one here,



 Final 2 photos on that page, pilot with canopy open, seat raised, and bareheaded, no, I'm not going to model him, but it's not because I don't have heads available, it's that the Monogram canopy is molded closed for pilot.


Have also become aware that the 1960 Monogram model's cockpit is made too shallow in order to allow room for bomb drop lever.

It will stay that way.






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That would be a great alternate Dauntless pilot figure and story to relate,

From Flickr photos for San Diego Air and Space Museum,


joyce secciani wasp image Dauntless Cockpit


pictionid69129142 - catalogsecciani0002.tif - title-joyce secciani special collection photo - filenamesecciani0002.tif----Joyce Elouise Sherwood Secciani was born on December 25, 1921 in San Diego, California. She spent all of her school years in El Centro, California. Even as a child, Joyce had wanted to fly and, upon graduating from high school, she signed up for the government-sponsored Civil Pilot Training program at Central Junior College. After getting her private pilot's license, she joined a flying club with 10 members and shared a 65 h.p. Interstate plane. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, private flying was not allowed within 200 miles of the U.S. coast, so Joyce helped another club member transport the plane on a trailer to Arizona so they could continue flying.


In January, 1943, she learned about Jacqueline Cochran's WASP program which was comprised of female pilots who were Civil Service employees rather than military members of the Army Air Force. She signed up and headed for ...



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