Friday, December 9, 2011

Korean War Flight Log

In the museum's Cold War gallery is the flight log from Lieutenant Cliff Church, who flew combat missions in the Korean and Vietnam Wars in an A-1 Skyraider "Spad" fighter/bomber.  Church had the distinction of flying in one of the first and last Spad squadrons.  During his tour in Korea, he flew off the Norfolk-built and -based USS Lake Champlain (CV-39). 

Flight log books are a staple of any type of flying, whether it's a civilian or military flight.  This particular log records the type of plane and the specific plane the pilot is flying (under the "model" and "Bureau Number"); the type of flight ("Character of Flight"); the number of hours flown; and most importantly, the type of landing.  This last category was the score the pilot received from the carrier's deck landing officer on how well the pilot landed on the flight deck.  The higher the number, the better the landing.

Developed in the late 1940s, the A-1 was the Navy's and Marine Corps' workhorse bomber in the 1950s and 1960s.  Able to carry a large payload of ordnance and built to withstand ground fire, the plane was used often in air-to-ground strike missions.

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