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The learning curve is steep with this one...

Discussion in 'Aircraft' started by KMZgirl, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. KMZgirl

    KMZgirl Member

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    Ever have a real light bulb moment? I've been learning off and on about WWII/CBI for going on 12 years now. I just figured out yesterday that Liaison and Commando were planes! I kept seeing Liaison and Commando Squadrons in the order of battle and couldn't figure out what they were. I hope you got a good laugh at my expense, because, I sure did.
     
  2. KMZgirl

    KMZgirl Member

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    I thought there were liaisons and commandos ON the planes. Duh. Wonder what else I'll figure out. This one only took me 12 years. Lol While, I have your attention. Can someone please explain to me what the 71st Liaison Squadron actually did? I have no concept of their "job" so to speak. As a child, I remember finding a Dumbo (patch?) in my father's trunk. It is long gone. I probably lost it while playing. Thought it might provide a clue to part of his service. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Easy to be confused, Churchill's favorite airplane was called "Commando".
     
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  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, not planes, as in the Curtiss C-46 Commando, but the Liaison & Liaison(Commando) squadrons did use planes. They did use various light aircraft like the Stinson L-1 & L-5, the Taylorcraft L-2, the Piper L-4, etc. These aircraft usually performed reconnaissance & artillery spotting, they could also be used as transports, and were used for the evacuation of wounded. The L-aircraft were the prime choice for these missions because of their ability to operate from short unimproved fields. The emblem of the 71st Liaison
    bears out most of their use
    [​IMG]
    Carrying wounded, dropping supplies, carrying mail/documents/supplies.

    They also used the slightly larger Noorduyn C-64A/UC-64A Norseman - It was an excellent "bush" aircraft, but lacked the STOL(Short TakeOff Landing) capabilities of the L-aircraft - it was used primarily for supply/resupply missions.

    To give you an idea of what they did, here is a writeup for the 127th Liaison Squadron.
    CBI UNIT HISTORIES
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Churchill's plane was also a B-24 bomber
    [​IMG]
     
  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Yep, pudgy airplane for pudgy PM.
     
  7. KMZgirl

    KMZgirl Member

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    Thank y'all. I don't know that he was in the 71st. Just thought he had some connection due to having Dumbo in his trunk. It's a good possibility.
     
  8. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Don't mock. Churchill flew (tens of?) thousands of miles during the war in long flights in unpressurised unheated aircraft. Not bad for a man in his late 60s.
     
  9. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    who you calling an old man? :)
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, he only took two extended flights in Commando...And I don't know of many B-24s that had a galley and comfortable bed.

    After Commando, he flew in a modified Lancaster named Ascalon.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    They could have taken out Tirpitz if they'd dropped the cigars and champagne on board. (Don't get me wrong, I really like Winston Spencer Churchill. He was, after half American. :bobble2: )
     
  12. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    From Getting There: Churchill's Wartime Journeys - The International Churchill Society

    A trip to the Middle East and on to Moscow in August 1942 involved the first airplane assigned specifically to WSC: an American-built Consolidated LB-30A named Commando. Based on the four-engine B-24 bomber but with a single tail like U.S. Navy variants...........

    Despite being assigned to the PM, Commando was a far cry from the flying boats. Her deep fuselage lacked windows (the cargo plane on which she was based didn’t need them); the only outside light came from the cockpit. There were drafts, and at first no heat; the shelves in the back of the cabin were the only sleeping accommodation, though a simple cooking stove was provided. Lacking cabin pressurization, Commando rarely flew over 8000 feet, enough to surmount most bad weather. Her name painted at a jaunty angle under the cockpit, the lumbering giant was painted matte black, for she often flew at night.

    None of Churchill’s airplanes was pressurized. Since he was susceptible to pneumonia, a special oxygen mask was made for him by the Institute of Aviation Medicine at Farnborough. He slept wearing it, even with Commando’s low altitude.

    Churchill ventured abroad four times in 1943, including two of his longest wartime journeys. On 12 January he flew on Commando from RAF Lyneham to Casablanca. The trip lasted nearly a month, including subsequent stops at Nicosia, Cairo, Tripoli and Algiers, and was his final journey on that aircraft..
     
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  13. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    AL504 was modified to a single tail in 1944 at Davis-Monthan AAF - after Churchill's last use of the aircraft. It had the standard twin vertical stabilizers of the LB-30A in '43. The 'no windows' description is not exactly accurate either. There were two circular windows installed in the waist window coverings and another rectangular window in front of the waist window opening. There appears to be a small window under the stabilizer and the normal tail turret location had a plexiglass covering.
    al504.jpg
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Minor correction.

    Commando was delivered as a normal twin tail Lib, the single tail was added later, when the a/c was taken out of service and modified as a prototype VIP transport in September, 1943.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    As an aside in reference to the title. If the learning curve is steep it actually means the material is learned quickly. Shallow leaning curves are the one that imply slow learning. That's due to the axis of the graph being time (x axis) and learning (y axis). So if you learn quickly the slope is steep but if the material is learned slowly the slope is gradual.
     
  16. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    A steep learning curve means there is much to learn and that it is a difficult process. Does "A Steep Learning Curve" mean learn fast or learn in a hard way?
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If you actually look at the curves it means the opposite. Common usage flipped the meaning.
     
  18. WILD DUKW

    WILD DUKW Active Member

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    The saying refers to a large amount TO BE LEARNED over a short period of time. It is a prospective learning curve rather than a retrospective learning curve.
     
  19. KMZgirl

    KMZgirl Member

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    Well, I'm pretty common. Lol
     
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  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Only since the 1970's....
     

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