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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Might Need The “Bird Lady’s” Help

One nice thing about staying here on the Charleston AFB is the abundance of wooded areas.  The base itself is huge, but the outlying areas dwarf all the buildings and runways and become a nature preserve.

There are pine trees and Spanish Moss covered live oaks all around.  A wonderful protected habitat for animals and birds galore.

Walking and riding our bikes around the base, we’ve found some different kind of “birds”, too.  Thankfully, for me, they’ve stayed still enough so I could actually snap a few good pictures of them.

For instance, there is this beautiful “Connie”. 

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It’s a Lockheed Constellation, which went into production right around the end of World War II and became a favorite of the airlines until the jet age made them obsolete.  The Connie had a very distinctive triple tail.

Then there is the C-141 Starlifter.  A Jet transport plane that served the Air Force in more recent times.

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This one had me baffled for a little while. I’d never seen this “bird” before.  I scratched my head over it’s identity.  My Bird guide book was no help.

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It had a huge door under the cockpit that opened down to load passengers and cargo.  It is so big it could probably take all of Rick's yard clippings to the dump in one fell swoop.

After carefully walking around the bird as to not scare it off, I found this plaque telling me what its name is.  It’s a new life bird for me.

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The prize of all these birds on display is this one:

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A World War II Douglas C-47.  It’s nickname is the “Gooney Bird” and was a real workhorse.  Thousands were built during the war (on this 1930’s design) and there are still many of them flying today around the world.

This one, however is a special piece of history.  It has been lovingly restored to it’s wartime era paintjob.  It has  D-Day Invasions stripes painted on its wings and fuselage, bright markings put on all Allied aircraft for the D-Day Invasion for quick identification.

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It has on its side markings showing it participated in two combat parachute drops of troops.

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Walking around the plane, there were very obvious signs of battle damage.  All around the bottom were metal patches where bullets and flak shrapnel had punctured the plane during combat flights and were repaired.

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There are a large number of birds here that are making daily flights.  It’s neat to see them take off and land.  These planes can carry an M1 Abrams army tank.  Amazing lift capability.  I couldn’t get too close to walk around so I had to capture this bird from a distance.  A C-17 Globemaster.

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I guess I’m getting pretty good at bird identification.  Judy, The Bird Lady would be proud of me.  :c)

THE END

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Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.

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16 comments:

  1. In the Navy my duties included plane recognition, both friend and foe. We spent many an hour pouring over silhouettes and I was able to identify a bi-plane every time.

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  2. Very clever post. I love your "new life bird" comment. My brother, who flew Phantoms in Vietnam, would especially enjoy your humor.

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  3. We're going to have to start calling you the Bird Man with PDD.

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  4. I always knew you were for the birds! Some of those wings on those old planes are so patched up you wonder how they could even fly.

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  5. I love those kinds of birds. Well, I like the kind with feathers too. Maybe, it's the years I spent around them that I love visiting the museums and bases where they are on display.

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  6. Those are definitely some different kind of birds than what Judy identifies. Guess you will be the bird man of the metal birds and she the bird lady of the feathered!

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  7. Lot's of those C-47's or DC-3's used in Canada's north. In fact they are stars of the show Ice Pilots, featuring Buffalo Airways out of Yellowknife. They are reliable but one time I was flying in one bucking a head wind and we could see a truck on the highway below passing us.

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  8. Ahhhh..somehow I just knew that there were no feathers on these birds :)

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  9. Thanks for the wonderful tour of birdland.

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  10. I was ready to get out my Field Guide to the Birds... but after a quick look thought maybe Bill, who was in the Air Force might be better qualified ;-) Looks like a blog I need to share with him.

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  11. Even I think some of those are pretty cool birds. I would have guess a pregnant guppy for the Globemaster.

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