Just over the morning haze, rumbling along in a T-6 Texan, we
looked over the horizon searching for multiple aircraft, smoke on.
The orange groves below us cast long shadows and the lush green
fields of the Florida countryside resembled patches of a random
patterned quilt. Closing in from our right rear, four additional
T-6 Texans in an unmistakable paint scheme gather up in fingertip
formation. With the morning light bathing the aircraft in serene
colors, and props gleam the telltale lightning bolt reflection from
the sun, each aircraft move to an in-trail formation aesthetically
pleasing to any eye.
Let's raise a glass to the "other" warbirds. I'll admit it,
everybody and his brother loves Mustangs and B-25s, and so do I.
But wars need all kinds of aircraft, and here are a few of the
less-famous, but no less significant, war machines of wars great
and small. (Note to experts: many warplanes have multiple
designations. For these, I've used the ones they saw the most
action under: for most of the more recent US warbirds, this means
the post-1962 codes).