Lothar (Login Lothar_Wolf) HyperScale Forums from IP address 22.214.171.124
Last night I've watched "Rescue Dawn" for the first time and today spent some time researching Dieter Dengler's history and life. One thing though I could not find: pictures and / or markings of the aircraft he flew on the mission which led to his capture. Are there any known pictures of his aircraft ? I was also searching several decal manufacturers with no luck.
Dengler was shot down 2.Feb. 1966 near the Mu Gia Pass, Laos in A1J #42031 of VA-145, coded "NK 504". The unit marking is a green diagonal band with a black lion, armed with sword. The fin/rudder tip was also green.
Stephen Mudgett created a portside color profile of this aircraft. I have seen photos of this unit's machines, but not #42031.
Strangely, they included a false serial, etc. in "Rescue Dawn" ( I cannot fathom why).
If I may, I would strongly recommend you find and watch Werner Herzog's earlier biographical documentary, "Little Dieter Needs to Fly," wherein Dengler tells his own story. Hezog likes 'men against nature / impossible odds' stories, and this one is excellent.
You may also wish to look for Dengler's book, Escape from Laos.
The "lion" is actually a wingless Griffin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griffin.) The green stripe, Griffin and sword markings were added sometime after their 1964 cruise in Constellation. The markings were in place prior to Ranger's 1965 WESTPAC combat cruise. (I saw them in the hanger bay before Ranger's departure.) The squadron's nickname was "Swordsmen," hence the sword.
Complete BuNo would be 142031.
Bruce, Son of a Spad Driver
Image of a patch that used to adorn Dad's leather flight jacket, 1962-63:
Stephen Mudgett (Login mudrat) HyperScale Forums 126.96.36.199
Here's what I have...
March 6 2010, 12:25 PM
While no BuNo is seen, this photo was taken by a friend of mine that made that same cruise on the Ranger, prior to the date Denglar went down.
A crop of my SPADs print with a profile illustration based on known squadron markings.
The late Leo B. McCudden was Skipper of Ranger at that time. I am curious about what your friend thought of him.
He was a friend of the family; hence lunch in his day cabin, a tour of the ship (I drooled over the VA-145 Spads) and a tour of San Diego Bay in the Captain's gig. Neat trip for a grade-schooler.
Unfortunately, his career ended rather abruptly after making a flippant remark to an interviewer on a new show, called "60 Minutes," when he was in charge of the Guantanamo Bay complex. I have no doubt that he was in line for three or four stars, if not for that interview.
I still have one of his Silver Star medals, which he had been using as a key chain for his MGA!
At age eight in late 1962, I joined the Revell Master Modelers Club for the price of a few postage stamps. I wrote them a letter requesting that they release their 1/40 Skyraider in the markings of Dad's squadron. I received a polite response that mentioned the impossibility of pleasing everyone.
Around 1967-68, I got my first Fujimi Skyraider in VA-145 markings. Not long after, Airfix released their A-1 with VA-145 decals. Superscale, Aeromaster and Strike Eagle produced sheets with VA-145 in various schemes. Hasegawa released their A-1 with, you guessed it, VA-145 markings, as did Revell with a reissue of the old Monogram kit. So, I cannot complain about that anymore!
Some other dreams from those days came true: FJ-4B Fury and F3H Demon in both 1/72 and 1/48, and many other subjects I never thought would be done in any scale. Remember adding a bit of talcum powder to paint for a flat finish, before Pactra came out with their line of flats?
Still have a few of the Fujimi Skyraiders in the stash, by the way.
Tom Booth (Login bookmark460) HyperScale Forums 188.8.131.52
March 6 2010, 7:47 PM
Now that's QUICK service! You should open up a pizza joint. I liked both films and was always interested in what his planes really looked like. The artwork and photo, exactly what I wanted. Thanks for sharing.
Always liked those big birds. The A-10 of their day. A very welcome sight indeed.
Your help with this is really appreciated. I did some cross checking on various decal sheets I have on the Skyraider (which I didn't remember I had) and if I vandalize two SS sheets I can get the correct markings for Dengler's aircraft. Any idea what a typical ordnance load for his type of mission would be? I could imagine a few bombs, rockets and napalm canisters would be appropriate.
Exceptional film Herzog did about Dieter Dengler, by far superior to the "Rescue Dawn" movie to understand the person Dengler. Cost me some sleep, but well worth it. This will become a very interesting build with the information I have now. BTW, I did not realize that Dieter Dengler was born only a few miles from where I live.
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