Reading WWII Weekend, June 6th, 2021

These are the low res images - you can click on any image to load the larger version full screen and then click again for the hi-res version.

The 2021 WWII weekend this year is the first one happening post- pandemic.  Because it is technically at a museum located on airport property, federal mask mandates were still in effect for the entire event, despite the fact that the event was being held outdoors.  That said, enforcement was noticably absent.  Instead, MAAM ( the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum) required that a mask be worn when using the shuttle buses and visiting inside the hanger where all the older veterans were setup.  Beyond that, some food vendors did request masks while waiting in line and ordering.  Thankfully, everyone behaved like adults and honored any mask request cheerfully, without question or complaint.  It was refreshing to see people conduct themselves like rational adults when they're treated as such, rather than dictated to by people who haven't a clue.  Anyway, here are the pictures that I managed to get on my iPhone.

Our first stop was the Spamville Mess Tent, which benefits the local Civil Air Patrol.  As usual, breakfast was scrambled eggs and 2 pieces of sausage or spam, 2 slices of toast and a honey bun, along with juice and coffeee.  For the price and support of the Civil Air Patrol, it can't be beat. 

After breakfast, we came across this restored P-63 King Cobra.  It has the Allison V-12 engine, but unlike its predecessor, the P-39, it also has the bolt on supercharger.  In this confiuration, it has more than enough power to swing that big 4-bladed propeller! 

Here is a good look at the car-like door arrangement as well as the odd looking mid-engine placement.  The purpose of this was to allow the engine to drive the prop through a gear reduction / driveshaft arrangement which allowed the installation of a 37mm cannon that fired through the nose.

A closeup of the armaments bay  in the nose, showing the 37mm cannon and one of the two .50 caliber machine guns.  The big green tube visible below the big cannon rounds is the drive shaft tube running from the engine gear reduction forward to another set of gears that drive the prop.

Bad weather earlier in the week caused some of the scheduled aircraft to cancel.  A last minute, one day only substitution was arranged and included a P-51 Mustang, an F4U Corsair, and a genuine, restored Japanese A6M2 Zero.

The lack of folding wing tips suggests this is an Army rather than Navy version.  Although fully restored, it has been re-engined with a domestic radial.  Here is a link to a short video I took with my phone  that shows just how small it is (at least next to a Corsair) and difficult to hit.  VIDEO

Although rough weather earlier in the week caused a number of the scheduled aircraft to cancel their appearance, there were many more armor and ground vehicles in attendance this year.  I counted 3 Sherman tanks (one of which was the Firefly version), many half-tracks, assorted trucks, weapons carriers and even a Weasel.  There were also two examples of Panser III tanks.  This one had the 75mm high velocity gun while the other had the short barrel howitzer.

One unique vehicle was this Polish machine gun carrige.  It was crewed by two people - the commander/gunner and the driver.  The young man told us that there were only 3 left in existance with one being located in Russia.

I would suspect that this is a mid-1930s design given it's thin, riveted plate armor.  The gun seen here is a Hotchkis machine gun.  It seems to be the ultra-light version of an infantry support vehicle and I am amazed that three of these things managed to survive the war at all.

Who says marines don't have a sense of humor?

One of the many aircraft in attendance this year.  This is a  Canadian example of an "L" bird (liason).  They're also referred to as Warbugs instead of Warbirds.  That was a term I've not heard before but it does seem to make sense.

Who would have thought a rubber chicken would make a good pitot tube cover? 

All in all, I think the event was very successful, given the circumstances.  The weather was fine, people were friendly and the food was good.  Here's hoping next year is even better!