Monday, February 02, 2009

On the runway at MCAS El Toro, 1948

Today's photo shows a FH Phantom jet in front of the tower at MCAS El Toro in 1948. I've included two closeups (click any image to enlarge) to show some of the more interesting details, including the base's flying bull emblem. The press release sent out with the photo reads:
"SPEED KING LEADS MARINE JET FIGHTER FORMATION TO EL TORO.. U.S. Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California.. July 19.. Lt. Col. Marion Carl, Marine fighter ace and holder of the World's speed record of 650.6 m.p.h. landed his FH Phantom jet fighter at El Toro Marine Base Friday as the lead plane in an eight-jet formation from Cherry Point, N.C.
"The World War II hero who shot down 18 1/2 Jap planes over Guadalcanal is now commander of the first Marine jet fighter squadron, and this marks the first mass flight of Marine jets from coast to coast. No attempt was made to establish any record.
"Colonel Carl will lead his eight Phantoms to Seattle and return to the east coast by way of Boise, Idaho and Omaha, Nebr. 'The world's fastest human' set the international speed record at Muroc Air Force Base [now called Edwards AFB] on August 25 last year, flying the Navy's Douglas blood-red Skystreak. in 1946 the Colonel became the first Marine flyer to take a jet off a carrier dock.
"OFFICIAL MARINE CORPS PHOTOGRAPH BY Sgt. Fred G. Braitsch Jr., Public Information Photographer First Marine Aircraft Wing."


Matterhorn1959 said...

The bull insignia design was created by Walt Disney Studios.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Great shot of a very unique aircraft.

Gustavo Arellano said...

Hey Chris: I know this is off-topic, but do you mind posting this picture and query on your blog:

I'm sure your readers would be more familiar with this picture than mine!

Chris Jepsen said...

Gustavo: The photo you link to was taken at the Orange County Automotive Center, 2401 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana in 1973. It was probably taken in December in conjunction with the "Salute to Joe Louis Night" at the Disneyland Hotel.

Anonymous said...

My dad was in one of the first squadrons stationed at El Toro when it opened. And yes, that logo was designed by Walt Disney, along with others, including his squadron's number of either VMF 212 or 113...I forget which.