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Thread: Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

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  1. #1
    Yoda TOC's Avatar
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    Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

    All my life growing up, I heard about my Uncle Leslie (great-uncle), who was flying P-38's and doing a bond drive air show, lost power, and to avoid spectators, skewered into the ground.

    Could.
    Find.
    Nothing.

    Finally got full name with middle initial (another pilot had same name but one letter off on initial), found he was flying a P-39, from Kingman AAF base to Amarillo, Texas base, one mile from the strip, lost it and crashed. Seems to be not an uncommon malady for the P-39.

    Not a P-38, Not an air show, Not some heroic act.

    Funny, almost....the telling of stories makes them fact...sorta like the www.

    What IS odd is when he died 01AUG44, he was 35. Not a common thing to have a 35 year old 2nd Lt flying fighters, near as I can tell, other than Boyington, right?

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    Yoda TOC's Avatar
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    Re: Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

    2ND LT Leslie E. Cannon O-521737 Army/Airforce State At Large California KIA

    Lubbock Texas newspaper:
    ONE DIES IN CRASH AMARILLO Aug 2 ond Lt Leslie E Cannon Ingle wood was
    killed in a plane crash here yesterday wnile on a flight from Kingman Army
    Air field
    https://newspaperarchive.com/morning...g-03-1944-p-1/


    https://kingmanaafdepot41.weebly.com/1944.html

    August

    Second Lieutenant Leslie E. Cannon was killed in a P-39 at Amarillo Army
    Air Field, TX. He was one mile from the airfield when his aircraft went into
    a spin and crashed.



    https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=97065

    https://www.aviationarchaeology.com/...y/Aug1944S.htm

    440801 P-39Q 44-2319 3018BU Kingman AAF, Kingman, AZ KSSP 5
    Cannon, Leslie E USA TX 1 mi short of runway, Amarillo AAF, TX

  4. #3
    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

    Could be he was a ferry pilot classified as too old for combat duties. Would explain flying in Texas rather than Europe, the Pacific or CBI.

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    waltesefalcon  (05-07-2019)

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    Yoda TOC's Avatar
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    Re: Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

    Entirely possible. 75 years later, hard to glean information, but talked to an uncle last night who was around then....he recalls ferry assignments.

    Also remembers the P-38 stories....maybe he ferried P-38's, too.

    At least I have this much info.

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

    What makes this story even more unusual is by August 1944, the P-39 was pretty much phased out, having been replaced by the more capable P-38s and P-47s.

    We have tall tales in our family as well. The funny thing about one particular story revolving around a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball game is that all the elements actually happened, but not on the same day.

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    Yoda PAUL161's Avatar
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    Re: Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

    Pilots did not like the door as an escape route for bail out either, if it got damaged, getting out of one might be tough.

    Remember, Never Forget
    We Live In The Land of The Free
    Because of The Brave

    How good it feels, the hand of an old friend! Longfellow

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    Yoda John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

    Have a friend who’s mother ferried aircraft in WWII.
    John, BN4

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    Jedi Knight TRMark's Avatar
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    Re: Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

    I thought most P39s were sent to Russia.
    ex spec5 Mark

    63 TR4 Surrey
    50's Cooper Alfa Sports/Racer

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    Yoda TOC's Avatar
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    Re: Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

    Quote Originally Posted by TRMark View Post
    I thought most P39s were sent to Russia.
    Actually, indications are they were sent to allies under lend-lease, mostly Russia.

    I did a lot of reading up on P-39's. Apparently inherently unstable is one term. Exacerbated by the 20MM cannon. When the ammo was gone, CG shifted WAY aft, slow down to land and find yourself at 500AGL in a spin.

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Aircraft, WWII, and relatives

    It's hard to conceive today what those fliers went through in WW II. Unstable planes, flak, enemy fighters. The loss of life was tremendous - I believe something like 75% for combat pilots, less but still significant for training pilots.

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