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An informative & entertaining online magazine from The Dakota Hunter about vintage aviation with a focus on the Douglas DC-3 / C-47 / Dakota.

This DC-3 Club Magazine will be updated every week with new posts running parallel with Hans’ FB site (https://www.facebook.com/thedakotahunter)

The Dakota Hunter Blog

Raiders of the Pacific: PT-Boat Mosquitos & PBY Catalina Black Cats as Rogue Sharks, Vol.1.

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In this Dakota Hunter Blog, you’ll read about two fighting groups of WW II fame, that conquered a solid reputation for often operating in isolation behind enemy lines. With a small group or on their own, fighting their mini battles in a World War of unreal proportions as history had never seen before. In that immense Pacific Ocean, the largest stretch of water in this world, mighty Naval fleets, and Armadas of fighters and bombers went to fight the “Empire of the Sun” with hundreds of thousands of soldiers, pilots, and sailors. But there was a handful of men out there in that war theater that fought the war on a much smaller scale against that same enemy. Those were the special Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) squadrons of the US NAVY with their PT-Boats (patrol-torpedo), named the “Mosquitoes” and the squadrons of the USAAF/RAAF with their PBY-5A Catalinas, named the “Black Cats”.

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Japanese Monster Aircraft Carrier Submarines

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER Blog, you can read about the Japanese Monster Aircraft Carrier Submarines, built initially for raiding the US Coasts.
The Japanese Navy under the visionary Admiral Yamamoto (architect of the Pearl Harbor Assault in December 1941) developed a plan for a fleet of huge Subs that each carried 3 Hi-Tech attack/ bombers inside a tubular hangar, that was mounted on a double tubular fuselage. The novel design of the I-400 series (built in December 1944) gave stability with 2 hulls welded next to each other and made up for the largest Submarine ever built until the 1960’s nuclear subs came out.
Overall length was almost 400 whopping feet (122 m) and an unrivaled armament of a huge 140 mm canon (never seen before on a sub) plus 4 power packs with 25 mm AA guns and special torpedo’s inside. The Monster Subs were weighing 5,700 tons, carrying a crew of 200 and possessing a range of over 50,000 miles, with weapons and 3 aircraft designed to become the first Submarine fit for an offensive strike on the US mainland targets on West & East Coast!

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The awesome B-54 UltraFortress, Boeing’s best Piston Prop Bomber that failed to ever fly!

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER Blog, you can read about the ultimate, most stretched version of Boeing’s successful Bomber B-29 that had delivered the World’s first Atomic Bombs in early August 1945. The Empire of the Sun stumbled on its feet and within a week, the beaten nation surrendered unconditionally, having no more answer or defense against such destructive power. That final attack on Japan propelled the B-29 bomber straight into the “Aviation Hall of Fame”, along with other allied fighters, bombers, and transports as the P-51 Mustang, the B-17 Flying Fortress, the B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell, the Douglas C-47, the P-38 Lightning,  the P-47 Thunderbolt, to name a few.

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Dumbo PBY Catalina saved 56 USS Indianapolis sailors from massive Shark attack

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER Blog, you will read about some backgrounds of what is known as the largest Shark attack ever in naval history and the heroic role of a single PBY Catalina that arrived on the horror scene where hundreds of sailors were adrift in the open ocean for more than three days.
It all happened in the closing days of the Pacific war when the Heavy Cruiser USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-58, causing the second largest US naval disaster after the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941. To make things worse, the mighty battleship sank so fast that no SOS/ distress signal could be sent out or was not picked up, leaving nearly 900 sailors adrift for days in the shark infested waters of the mid-Pacific. Read More

Tribute to the Canso/ PBY Catalina, the new Photo Album soon out!

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Feature Photo depicts a majestic landing of the Catalina between the Towering Icebergs in Greenland. More photos of the Catalina Odyssey plus the Atlantic crossings are in my new book, soon out. You can acquire the above photograph 10 x 7 in/ 25 x 18 cm, as a FREE bonus, autographed by the author if you sign in with a click on the Register bar below with your email. A newsletter and order form will arrive soon and with the ordering, you will receive this image as an inlay in the book. Happy Newyear to all my friends, followers and visitors. Photo courtesy Daniel Kordan.

In April 2016, I wrote my first Dakota Hunter Blog `Catalina Photo Album`. That blog became overnight an overwhelming hit in the number of Shares and Likes on War History Online Magazine and on Facebook.  From this experience, it became clear to me that my huge collection of Catalina photos that I have in stock (most never been published previously) would deserve a better place than being stored in boxes out of sight of anybody. I went in search of other collections and soon had a plan: making a photo album from the best of all 3000+ photos that I could find. An album in 8,5 x 11-inch landscape format as a Luxury Coffee Table Book with such awesome photos selected as rarely seen in Vintage Aviation books.

Anticipating the publication of my book, I have made on my website an Early Bird Registration form that you can fill in with your name and email. You will receive a Newsletter, an Order form and a Free Bonus if you send me this, click right here below for getting the free autographed photograph of the book’s front cover (see below) that you will receive when ordering the book;

Register now for receiving a FREE Bonus with the later purchase of my book.

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Madagascar Air Force Boneyard: Tragic end of Douglas C-47s, Mig-21s and Antonovs

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER BLOG, you will read and see photos of  yet another Aircraft Boneyard that existed for years in Madagascar.  In one of my previous Blogs, I wrote about the Greek Boneyard (c.q. Museum) that still exists with a collection of a Junkers Ju-52 3m, a Stuka, an F-104 Starfighter and C-47s. A weird mix of German and American aircraft. This Blog, however. is about a Boneyard with a mix of Russian and American aircraft that I visited some years ago with my friend Bart Nopper. It took place on that huge Island of Madagascar, 300 miles east of Africa in the Indian Ocean.

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PBY Catalina, A-26 Invaders, P-51 Mustangs: CIA Rebel Air Force attacking Indonesia, 1958.

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER Blog, you will find the story of an almost forgotten episode in the long and fascinating history of the Civil Air Transport Corp (CAT), in 1959 converted to AIR AMERICA.  A misleading name that might give you the impression that this CAT Corp. was a decent airline operator, where you could book a flight for yourself or for cargo hauling. That was correct at the front door operation of the company, but there was also a dark side, where you would be very unwelcome for any reservation.  Allegedly, CAT was the covert air support operations agency of the CIA and hence involved in all of the more or less stealthy revolts , guerilla’s  support, uproars, and other activities directed against the advancing communist influence in SE Asia in the 1940’s-1950’s. The CAT Corp.  soon had a certain reputation: where their aircraft arrived in ‘sterile’ markings, things went awry, turmoil and insurgent uprising were imminent! Read More

Florida Mosquito Control DC-3. How WWII Hero C-47s fly ZIKA killer missions in 2016.

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER BLOG, you will read about a WWII Veteran Douglas C-47  that ended its operational career as a Chemical Warfare Machine. Sixty years after the War came to an end, this Douglas C-47B  was found in Florida, where it had served for years as a Mosquito Control Sprayer near Fort Meyers on the western coastline . Remarkable feat: The first Douglas DC-3 came in US Public Service in 1936, while the same type of aircraft (an ex -military model C-47) still flies in US Public service, some 75 years later.

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Where Patton awarded McAuliffe: the 101st Airborne HQ Chateau in Bastogne revisited.

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In this Dakota Hunter Blog, you will read about an insane plan that the Germans deployed in a final effort to break the imminent Allied invasion of their homeland. This Ardennes Offensive aka “The Battle of the Bulge” took place just 5 months before the Third Reich would completely collapse in April 1945. While all military fronts around Germany’s borders from the West and South were about to be squeezed to inside the German “Heimat”, a most daring (or rather a desperate) counter attack with SS panzer divisions and Infantry was launched from the Ardennes in Luxembourg and Eastern Belgium.   Read More

War on Drugs, fighting the flying Pirates of the Caribbean

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER Blog you will find a series of amazing photos of Caribbean Drugs Runner aircraft that were left abandoned, crashed, seized or wrecked. From the earliest start of the illicit drugs trade from Central/ South America to the USA, aircraft played an important role in the transport. One of the first to exploit aircraft on a larger scale for such trade was Carlos Lehder, a car thief, marijuana dealer, and smuggler from Medellin, Colombia. The tale of the modern day “Pirates of the Caribbean” is described in this Blog.  Read More

Marianas, that B-29’s fixed aircraft carrier in the Pacific was built 72 years ago.

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER Blog, you will see photos of the USAAF Boeing B-29 Superfortress Fleet departing from the Marianas Islands for the Bombing of Japan that started on the 1st of November 1944. The Air force bases on the tiny islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam brought for the first time in the war Tokyo within flight range of the mighty B-29. Both the Normandy Invasion in Europe and the invasion of the Marianas Islands (both taking place by mid-1944 on 6 June and 15 June resp.) were the beginning of the end for the Third Reich and for The Empire of the Sun, be it that the Pacific War took more than 3 months longer which caused a terrible extra loss of soldiers and civilians. Read More

D-Day Veteran Douglas C-47 “SNAFU Special” honored with visit of WWII Harleys.

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This Dakota Hunter Blog is a report of our Harley Club’s visit to Normandy. This year on 4 June 2016,  we gave an “acte de presence” at the “Batterie de Merville” Museum. With the Wartime built Harley Davidsons WLA/ WLC types and a Dodge Command car, we brought a tribute to a legendary D-Day veteran Douglas C-47/ Dakota. This contemporary workhorse C-47 was named in its heydays the “SNAFU Special” (Systems Normal, All Fouled Up) and that name, evidently, is applied again on its cockpit LH side, along with that most original 8-ball nose-art and the white “Invasion- striping” over the wings and the tail.

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The Forgotten War in the S.W. Pacific: Air raids from Australia against the Dutch East Indies.

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In this Dakota Hunter Blog, you will see photos and read stories of the air raids against the Japanese airfields, shipping, and harbors in the Dutch East Indies. This post highlights the assaults made by Australian and Dutch pilots of the 18 Squadron NEI (Netherlands East Indies). The Americans fought their heroic battles early in the Pacific War against Nippon  on the Eastern and later the Northern side of  what now is Papua New Guinea (PNG). The battle of the Coral Sea (early May 1942), the Solomon Islands, Wake  Island, Tarawa, those names have risen to epic status and are all well known to the public.

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The Catalina photo album

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This Dakota Hunter Blog shows you some rare photos of the Consolidated Catalina PBY  before, during and after WWII. The Seaplane was a contemporary of the Douglas DC-3/ C-47  with more or less equal dimensions, same radial R-1830 Pratt & Whitney aero engines and belonging to the very selected group of WWII built aircraft that even in the New Age still flies in an operational role. Along with that Douglas C-47 and the Curtiss Commando C-46, they make the Jurassic Park of Aviation with the Catalina still operational in the fire-fighting role. NOTE;  my new photo album about this subject is in the making, titled:

“a Tribute to the Canso/ PBY CATALINA” with 300 stunning photos of this iconic aircraft. See my new blog for more info New Catalina photo album

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Jurassic Park of Aviation Found! How WW II built aircraft still struggle for survival in New Age.

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The remnants of an abandoned 1970’s airplane stretched out in the Desert of “Memories of bygone days“. The type has long gone extinct. Except for a couple of air frames that survive in Museums as static displays, you will never see them back in the Skies. This tale of desolation counts for many aircraft of the 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s. Yet, a few types of the 1940’s have escaped this fate. Their Day of Doom has been delayed for a couple of magic reasons. Come visit the Jurassic Park of Aviation with me in this Dakota Hunter Blog. Read More

WANTED by The Dakota Hunter: DOUGLAS DC-3/ C-47 for new Military Museum, static or flying!

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Feature Photo (courtesy Onno Wieringa) depicts The Dakota Hunter on that classic Harley Davidson WL 750 in front of 2 immaculate C-47’s, in Normandy, dated 6 June 2014. Now, we look for yet another C-47/ DC-3 for a new Military Museum, in flying condition or as a Static Display Gateguard, and are curious to consider your proposals.

The Dakota Hunter is overseeing the procurement of two vintage aircraft for purchase by a new Military Aviation Museum. They are currently in search of the following aircraft;

** Douglas DC-3/ C-47 / Dakota, flying or fair static display condition with (near) complete cockpit layout.
** Fairchild C-119, Flying Boxcar in near complete or static display condition.

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