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VCS-7 USN D-Day display

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To commemorate a little known group of Naval Aviators who played an important part in the events of June 6, 1944, this is a mannequin I put together to represent the 17 U.S. Navy pilots who flew Spitfires and carried out gunfire spotting missions for the battleships and cruisers offshore during the opening of the Normany campaign. For the full story, please visit the two part article on my web site here: https://pilotsmanyourplanes.com/Page_80.html

and here: https://pilotsmanyourplanes.com/Page_185.html

and my post in the Forum's Aviation section here: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/241669-navy-spitfire-pilot-a-d-day-remembrance/



Based on vintage photos of the unit's pilots, this display represents the typical clothing and equipment of these fliers. You will note the mix of standard Navy flight gear and RAF equipment they put to use. We see here components of the aviation working green uniform (shirt and trousers) combined with an M-422a intermediate flight jacket, summer flying gloves, AN-6530 goggles, nylon scarf (from a Navy parachute canopy), .38 Victory revolver in issue shoulder holster, Mark I knife and Navy standard seat parachute with AN-6520 pararaft. RAF items include a fully wired type C flight helmet, type G oxygen mask (converted to a microphone carrier by removing the oxygen tube) 1941 Mae West (complete with bladders and survival accessories) and 1943 escape boots with sectional charts of the French coast. Personal items are an issue pilot's watch, crash bracelet and Corpus Christi graduation ring.


Having just returned from a cross-Channel flight, our pilot awaits the rearming and refueling of his Spitfire before the day's second mission. He is seated on an Air Ministry folding wooden chair. Having finished his tea (from a NAAFI 1/2 pint mug) he is about to enjoy a smoke while scanning the latest Invasion headlines in the June 7th "midnight" edition of the London Daily Mirror. Enjoy!





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I’m with Jerry, one of the best mannequin displays I’ve ever seen! Wow! I never knew of the US Navy Spitfire pilots on D-Day!


Thanks for sharing this!







Collector of WWII M-1helmets and WWII Airborne items

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Great to see this representation of (to me unkown) history!

Looking to buy D-Day and 101st/82nd related groupings

Doolittle Raider Jacob DeShazer: 'If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord', and believe in your heart that God raise Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9)





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Great display! You hit every little piece there, and then some! Love the cig and mug especially!

506th Fighter Group Historian

Interested in all items relating to the 7th AAF, especially those of the VLR P-51 Pilots of the 15th, 21st, and 506th Fighter Groups.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry Paul to be here just now, didn't pay attention before.

That's fantastic to say the least, one of the most beautiful pilot's I've ever seen as for its pose and facial features. Same about the great items in super condition and the meticolous research, but this was virtually needless to point out.


That cigarette could be the difference in bringing the whole from 100% to 110% as for a realistic picture... great. Sometimes in the past I've already thought about putting a cigarett on one pilot of mine, but its posing could be not the most appropriate - your's is perfect.

Ciao - Franco.

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thanx so much Paul.


Yes sometimes back then I was tempted putting a cigarette on the P-38 pilot, being it very realistic and no need to have the oxy mask on - the USN fighter guy isn't good as for facial features (only stylized) and the modern characters are/were not correct, for some reasons.

But that would involve drilling a hole between the lips; or choosing to keep the cigarette in one hand, with or without the B-3A glove. Whatever the reason, it seemed to me not a good thing, so still nowadays no cigarette :-(

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