In 1945, US. Marine Corps combat photographer 1st Lt David Douglas Duncan flew a unique mission to capture Marine Corsairs attacking Japanese positions with 5-inch rockets. Disappointed with the results of shooting from the back seat of an Avenger, he enlisted the help of Major Edward H. Taylor, Commander of the USAF's 28th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, who was also operating from Yontan Airfield on Okinawa. The unit had a new experimental pod, similar to the drop tanks carried by their Lockheed F-5 lightnings, but designed to evacuate wounded men to distant medical facilities. The pod had a clear plexiglass nose, and a jettisonable rear half. On June 13th Major Taylor piloted his F-5 with Dave Duncan in the pod attached to the left wing pylon, and followed a group of eight corsairs from VMF-323, nicknamed the Death Rattlers as they made their rocket attacks. Although he wore a parachute, it was an extremely hazardous way to get the pictures - and it was hot, noisy, and very uncomfortable. Despite having to constantly wipe condensation from the plexiglass, he accomplished his mission to capture some incredible photographs of some great pilots and their legendary planes.
*This original work is available for purchase. Acrylic on canvas. Painting size in inches: 24 x 30. Contact Steve Cox by the phone number listed on this website for more information. Please reference "David Duncan's Wild Ride."
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David Duncan's Wild Ride
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