A His­tory of the War in 25 Air­planes

70 YEARS AFTER THE END OF WORLD WAR II, THE AIR­PLANES THAT WON IT STILL FLY.

Air & Space Smithsonian - - Front Page - —The ed­i­tors

Why some were great and some were not—and the bat­tles that made them all fa­mous.

MUS­TANGS, MITCHELLS, CATALINAS, LIB­ER­A­TORS, COR­SAIRS. Com­bat air­craft that were ev­ery­day companions to air­men in the World War II gen­er­a­tion have be­come ex­tra­or­di­nary trea­sures to many in the next: sym­bols of the courage and sac­ri­fice that even younger gen­er­a­tions have come to re­gard as part of the na­tional iden­tity. Mu­se­ums across the coun­try have pre­served and dis­play these air­planes; some are ex­hib­ited in pub­lic spa­ces like Chicago’s O’hare In­ter­na­tional Air­port, where a soli­tary F4F Wild­cat hon­ors Navy Medal of Honor win­ner Butch O’hare. Thou­sands of in­di­vid­u­als, work­ing alone or with foun­da­tions, in­vest time and money to keep war­birds fly­ing. Through their good graces, one of al­most ev­ery air­plane de­scribed here flies to­day. This year, the 70th an­niver­sary of Al­lied vic­tory in World War II, war­birds are fly­ing demon­stra­tions in towns and ci­ties across the coun­try. If you’ve never heard a Mer­lin engine growl or seen a B-17 fly a stately pass across an air­field, this is the sum­mer to do it.

J-3 Cub/l-4 Grasshop­per ★ PT-17/N2S Stear­man ★ AT-6 Texan ★ AT-11 Kansan ★ P-40 Tom­a­hawk ★ B-25 Mitchell P-39 Aira­co­bra ★ P-63 King­co­bra ★ PBY Catalina ★ F4F Wild­cat ★ TBD Dev­as­ta­tor ★ SBD Daunt­less ★ P-38 Light­ning B-24 Lib­er­a­tor ★ P-51 Mus­tang ★ B-17 Fly­ing Fortress ★ C-47/R4D Skytrain ★ B-26 Ma­rauder ★ A-26 In­vader F6F Hell­cat ★ TBM Avenger ★ SB2C Hell­diver ★ P-47 Thun­der­bolt ★ F4U/FG-1D Cor­sair ★ B-29 Su­per­fortress

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