Discover and save creative ideas
    People also love


    Battle of Britain - pilots scramble to their planes

    The Tuskegee Airmen | 1943

    Super ladies: Pilot Nancy Harkness Love and WAF co-pilot Betty Huyler Gillies, the first women to fly the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, circa 1943.

    Chivalry in War: Bf-109 pilot Franz Stigler was ordered to pursue and shoot down a stricken B-17 on December 20, 1943. He had never seen a plane flying so damaged, and he could see men huddled inside tending the wounds of other crewmen. No one fired at him. Stigler flew alongside of the bomber and looked at its pilot, Charles Brown, who had no idea he was flying deeper over enemy territory. Stigler decided to wave him back, escorted the plane to the North Sea, saluted and veered away.

    American troops force suspected Hitler Youth members to view the bodies found in rail cars at Dachau Concentration Camp.

    Nancy Harkness Love, September 22, 1942. With the approach of World War II, Love recognized the coming need for pilots to ferry aircraft and identified highly qualified women pilots who could perform such duties. In September 1942, the Army Air Corps' Air Transport Command approved the creation of a temporary, civilian women's flying corps, the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), under her direction. She is pictured here leaning against a Fairchild PT-19A. SI-96-15604

    Erich Alfred Hartmann (1922 – 1993), nicknamed "Bubi" by his comrades and "The Black Devil" by his Soviet adversaries, was a German fighter pilot during WW2 and is the highest-scoring fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. He claimed 352 aerial victories—that is, 352 aerial combat encounters resulting in the destruction of the enemy aircraft—in 1,404 combat missions. Hartmann was never shot down and his Black Tulip design adorning his planes would, by itself, scare Soviet pilots away.

    American crew demonstrate the size of a hole in the wing of a B-17, resulting from German flak during a raid on Ludwigshafen, 1944. The B-17 was famous for sustaining crippling damage and still possessing the airworthiness to allow pilots to fly to safety.

    Ahmet Ali Çelikten (1883 – 1969) was one of only two known black combat pilots in World War I.

    Charles Lindbergh, c. 1925.

    In 1943, Charles B. Hall became the first black fighter pilot to down an enemy aircraft. Hall was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his valor in this World War II action. His squadron presented him with its own reward, a chilled bottle of Coke, a precious commodity in the Mediterranean theater. Hall was a member of the 99th Fighter Squadron.

    Eugene Jacques Bullard (9 October 1894 – 12 October 1961) was one of the only two black military pilots in World War I and warded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor.

    Tuskegee Airmen.

    Elizabeth L. Gardner, WASP pilot, WWII

    "Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., pilot of the ENOLA GAY, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, waves from his cockpit before the takeoff, 6 August 1945."

    World War I Albatross going down. Most pilots did not wear parachutes and chose to plunge to their deaths rather than burn in their planes.

    Hazel Lee, a female Chinese American pilot in WWII. Check out her wikipedia page, she was pretty amazing

    Jimmy Stewart was hardcore. He was rejected from the WWII draft for being too skinny, and kept applying until he had bulked enough. The army tried to give him the celebrity treatment, have him make training films and sell bonds. He fought against it and instead became a fighter pilot, flying over 20 missions in Nazi occupied Europe. He retired a Brigadier General of the USAF. Also, he won an Oscar and starred in countless classics.

    An explosion of an ammunition train somewhere in Europe, caught on film by a pilot’s jerry-rigged camera, during an attack by a group of P-47 Thunderbolts.