Tuskegee Airmen receiving “escape kits” (cyanide) at air base in Ramitelli, Italy. March, 1945.

Tuskegee Airmen receiving “escape kits” (cyanide) at air base in Ramitelli, Italy. March, 1945.

fuckyeahhistorycrushes:

From Cracked.com:In 1942, when he was just 12 years old, Arkady Kamanin begged his dad, a commander and decorated war hero in the USSR Air Force, to  let him enlist, so Arkady’s father let him join up as a mechanic.  After mastering the ins and outs of Soviet planes, Arkady got promoted to flight mechanic and navigating officer. That’s the guy who’s just supposed to sit in the back seat of the plane and fix anything that goes haywire, but while on a mission in 1944, Arkady’s pilot was hit by a bullet. Arkady mustered up courage and, with some guidance from the crew on the ground, he landed the plane perfectly. This understandably impressed Arkady’s dad, who then allowed his son to go into flight training. Two months later, Arkady became the youngest fighter pilot in World War II.  
 Once, while returning from a patrol flight, Arkady spotted the smoking wreck of a Soviet U-2 plane, landed his own craft while enduring heavy German fire and rescued the pilot, along with the sensitive information he was carrying. He was awarded the Order of the Red Star, the Soviet version of the Congressional Medal of Honor. 
By war’s end, Arkady had racked up an impressive list of commendations. He received “two combat Orders of the Red Star, the Order of the Red Banner, the Medal for the Victory Over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945, the Medal for the Capture of Budapest and the Medal for the Capture of Vienna.” All by age 14.

fuckyeahhistorycrushes:

From Cracked.com:

In 1942, when he was just 12 years old, Arkady Kamanin begged his dad, a commander and decorated war hero in the USSR Air Force, to  let him enlist, so Arkady’s father let him join up as a mechanic.

 After mastering the ins and outs of Soviet planes, Arkady got promoted to flight mechanic and navigating officer. That’s the guy who’s just supposed to sit in the back seat of the plane and fix anything that goes haywire, but while on a mission in 1944, Arkady’s pilot was hit by a bullet. Arkady mustered up courage and, with some guidance from the crew on the ground, he landed the plane perfectly. This understandably impressed Arkady’s dad, who then allowed his son to go into flight training. Two months later, Arkady became the youngest fighter pilot in World War II.  

 Once, while returning from a patrol flight, Arkady spotted the smoking wreck of a Soviet U-2 plane, landed his own craft while enduring heavy German fire and rescued the pilot, along with the sensitive information he was carrying. He was awarded the Order of the Red Star, the Soviet version of the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

By war’s end, Arkady had racked up an impressive list of commendations. He received “two combat Orders of the Red Star, the Order of the Red Banner, the Medal for the Victory Over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945, the Medal for the Capture of Budapest and the Medal for the Capture of Vienna.” All by age 14.

Pilot and observer inside the cockpit of a two-man biplane, in France, during World War I. Holding up the regimental mascot of a pet dog and with big smiles on their faces, a pilot and an observer are pictured before setting out on a journey over enemy lines. 
Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. A cheery pilot and observer with their mascot pup ready for a flight over the German lines.’

Pilot and observer inside the cockpit of a two-man biplane, in France, during World War I. Holding up the regimental mascot of a pet dog and with big smiles on their faces, a pilot and an observer are pictured before setting out on a journey over enemy lines. 

Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. A cheery pilot and observer with their mascot pup ready for a flight over the German lines.’

A fighter pilot and his Commanding Officer consult a map before setting off for the German lines. The co-pilot checks over the instrument panel with a member of the ground staff who is taking notes. France, WWI.
Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. C.O. with pilot and observer referring to photos and maps prior to setting out for the German lines.’

A fighter pilot and his Commanding Officer consult a map before setting off for the German lines. The co-pilot checks over the instrument panel with a member of the ground staff who is taking notes. France, WWI.

Original reads: ‘OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. C.O. with pilot and observer referring to photos and maps prior to setting out for the German lines.’

"Glory to the heroes of the Patriotic War! Glory to Stalin’s falcons!"

"Glory to the heroes of the Patriotic War! Glory to Stalin’s falcons!"

The caption in the first image reads “British fighter pilot, shot down near Douai, July 1918.” My guess is that the first image is a doctored version of the second, original one, which may have been reproduced as a postcard. There is also some discrepancy between the dates. The caption on the “postcard” one says 1918, and the second claims it’s 1915.

Source for the first.

Source for the second.

Hans-Joachim Marseille, “The Star of Africa” (1919-1942) - Luftwaffe fighter pilot and flying ace credited with 158 air victories.

Hans-Joachim Marseille, “The Star of Africa” (1919-1942) - Luftwaffe fighter pilot and flying ace credited with 158 air victories.