Douglas A-33

Douglas A-33


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Douglas A-33

The Douglas A-33-DE was the designation given to thirty-one Douglas 8A-5s that had been ordered by the Norwegian government in 1940, but were taken over by the US Army Air Force after the German invasion of Norway.

The Douglas 8A-5 was an improved version of the Air Corps’ Northrop A-17 attack aircraft, which by 1940 was on the verge of being declared surplus to requirement. The Northrop Corporation had been formed as a partly-owned subsidiary of Douglas in 1932, and had been responsible for the production of the Northrop Gamma and the related A-17, but in April 1937 Douglas had been forced to buy the remaining 49% of Northrop, and in September the Northrop Corporation had become the El Segundo Division of Douglas aircraft. The series of military aircraft based on the Gamma then became known as the Douglas 8A (having been the Northrop model 8)

The 8A-5 was the most powerful and best armed of the series. It was powered by a 1,200hp Wright R-1820-87 engine, a big improvement on the 825hp engine of the A-17A. It was armed with four wing mounted 0.30in machine guns, two 0.50in machine guns in pods below the wing and two rear-firing flexibly mounted 0.30in guns, and could carry up to 1,800lb of bombs.

The Norwegian Government ordered thirty-six 8A-5s early in 1940, but not had been delivered before Norway was invaded by the Germans. The aircraft were completed between October 1940 and January 1941, and were delivered to a training centre that had been set up for the Norwegian Government in Exile at Island Airport, Ontario. It was then decided to train Norwegian aircrew in standard RAF and RCAF facilities, making the 8A-5 surplus to requirements. Thirty-one of them were given to the USAAF, given the designation A-33-DE, and used as training aircraft in the Zone of the Interior.

Engine: Wright R-1820-87
Power: 1,200hp
Span: 47ft 9in
Length: 32ft 6in
Height: 9ft 4in
Empty Weight: 5,510lb
Loaded Weight: 8,600lb
Maximum Weight: 9,200lb
Maximum Speed: 248mph at 15,700ft
Climb rate: 5.8 minutes to 10,000ft
Ceiling: 29,000ft
Guns: two 0.50in and four 0.30in forward firing machine guns, two rear firing 0.30in machine guns
Bomb load: 1,800lb

Suggested Reading
McDonnell Douglas: v.1, Rene J. Francillon (Amazon.co.uk)
McDonnell Douglas: v.1, Rene J. Francillon (Amazon.com)


One Man Exposed the Secrets of the Freemasons. His Disappearance Led to Their Downfall

In the early morning hours of September 12, 1826, a Batavia, New York stoneworker named William Morgan went missing from the local jail. Morgan was not a man of importance. In fact, he was known as a bit of a drunk𠅊 drifter who, according to historian and author of American Hysteria: The Untold Story of Mass Political Extremism in the United States Andrew Burt,“had moved his family relentlessly throughout the countryside, hauling his wife, Lucinda, and two young children from one failed venture to the next.”

But Morgan was more than the vagabond he appeared to be. He had also managed to infiltrate the secret society of freemasons and was threatening to publish a book exposing the powerful organization’s tactics. As a result of his plan, the local Masons began harassing Morgan, hoping to stop the publication of the exposé.

After being held in prison on trumped up charges, Morgan was bailed out by a group of Masons and carried away, never to be seen again. The conspiracy surrounding his disappearance fueled local anti-Mason sentiment, which in turn led to a national anti-Mason movement that shook to the core one of history’s most influential secret societies and changed American politics forever.

Long before the Freemasons became a flashpoint in early 19th century politics, the order was a humble stoneworkers organization, believed to have been formed in England and Scotland in the 1500s. The organization soon took on a more philosophical air, using the principles of stonemasonry as a guiding metaphor in order to secretly assist its members in other areas of business and society.

The first Masonic lodges began showing up in the colonies in the early 18th century, and swiftly gained power and influence. Members of the Freemasons eventually played a pivotal role in the formation of the United States� of the 39 signatures on the U.S. Constitution belonged to Masons𠅊nd, by the time Morgan disappeared in the 1820s, it had representatives entrenched at every level of the country’s social, economic and political hierarchies. Nowhere was this more true than in New York.

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

To Morgan, and his friend David C. Miller, a local newspaper publisher struggling to keep his publication afloat, the successful Freemasons presented a daily reminder of wealth that seemed, for them, simply unattainable. As A.P. Bentley wrote in his 1874 book History of the Abduction of William Morgan and the Anti-Masonic Excitement of 1826-30, The two men 𠇎ntered into partnership to print a book which the public was to be told disclosed the secrets of masonry, in hopes to make a fortune out of the gaping curiosity of the vulgar.”

Under the false pretenses of being a Mason himself, Morgan gained access to the local lodge and documented several of the organization’s cryptic ceremonies and induction rituals. Once Morgan had these veiled details down on paper, Miller began teasing their very public release. In August of 1826, Miller hinted at the incendiary nature of the upcoming exposé, saying he had discovered the “strongest evidence of rottenness” in the centuries-old institution.

Miller and Morgan’s threat to reveal the innermost secrets of the Masons spread quickly. In every neighboring county, Masonic chapters were soon gripped with panic, fear and outrage at what the two men might disclose. Imagining the worst, committees were organized to assess the potential fallout from Morgan and Miller’s proposed story. As the publish date approached, the Masons began a targeted campaign of harassment against the two would-be book publishers.

Law enforcement officers loyal to the Freemasons arrested and jailed Morgan and Miller for outstanding debts. Miller’s offices became a target as well. On September 8, a posse of drunken Masons tried to destroy his print shop, and it was damaged by a small fire two days later.

On September 11, a gang of Masons showed up at Morgan’s house with an arrest warrant for petty larceny. It seems he had borrowed a shirt and tie from the owner of the local tavern and never returned it. Soon after he arrived at the police station, the charges were dropped, but Morgan was immediately arrested for another petty debt of $2.65. Late in the evening, he was bailed out by group of Masons led by Loton Lawson—the mastermind of the kidnapping, according to Light on Masonry, a 19th century compilation of documents about freemasonry.

He was escorted hurriedly into a carriage and taken away, never to be seen again. The last word anyone heard Morgan utter was, allegedly, “Murder!”

Anti-Freemason, William Morgan (1774 - c.1826).

Kean Collection/Getty Images

The rumors of Morgan’s disappearance spread throughout New York. With each new county that heard the news, it seemed the brutality and drama of the kidnapping grew exponentially, while the desire to portray it accurately diminished at a similar rate. The “insular, secretive, powerful” Masons, as Burt described them, soon became a popular symbol of everything that was wrong with the country.

The men accused of Morgan’s disappearance were put on trial, but in January of 1827, they were handed relatively lenient sentences. Although they had been involved in a potential murder, the four defendants—Loton Lawson, Eli Bruce, Col. Edward Sawyer and Nicholas G. Chesebro—received prison terms ranging from one month to two years in jail, convicted, as Burt put it, of 𠇏orcibly moving Morgan from one place to another against his will.” The all-powerful Masons had, in the eyes of those who opposed them, gotten away with murder

𠇎verybody loves a good conspiracy story,” says Burt. 𠇊nd that was the initial spark—headlines, outrage, crimes, a murder. It didn’t take long before a movement was borne.” The outrage led to calls for political action. Citizens from all over New York state met and declared their intent to stop voting for candidates with Masonic ties. If New Yorkers didn’t want to be ruled by the Masons, their most immediate course of action was to vote them out. That sentiment extended to the media as well, as Mason-owned newspapers were boycotted.

The fervor in New York slowly made its way around the nation. As early as the next elections in 1828, anti-Masonic candidates were winning offices all over the country. Even the sitting president, John Quincy Adams, declared that he had never been, and would never be, a Mason. The Anti-Masonic party𠅌onsidered America’s first “third party’—had officially gone national. In 1830, they became the first political party to hold a presidential nominating convention, a custom eventually adopted by all major American political parties.


Approval granted

Subsequently, after initial concerns, regulatory bodies gave the go-ahead for the merger. The European Commission said it found that the proposal would lead to a notable strengthening of Boeing’s existing presence in the worldwide market for large commercial jets.

The European Union body said the following:

“The Commission considers that this strengthening arises from MDC’s own competitive potential in large commercial jet aircraft, from the enhanced opportunity for Boeing to enter into long-term exclusive supply deals with airlines (already exemplified by those with American, Continental and Delta), and from the acquisition of MDC’s defence and space activities, which latter confer advantages in the commercial aircraft sector through “spill-over” effects in the form of R&D benefits and technology transfer.”

However, Boeing affirmed that there will be the cessation of existing and future exclusive supply deals. Moreover, there would be “ring-fencing” of McDonnell Douglas’ plane activity. There also would be licensing of patents to other jet producers. Most significantly, the company said that it wouldn’t abuse relationships with suppliers and customers while reporting regularly to the European Commission. Approval was subsequently granted.


What Douglas family records will you find?

There are 631,000 census records available for the last name Douglas. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Douglas census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 115,000 immigration records available for the last name Douglas. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 121,000 military records available for the last name Douglas. For the veterans among your Douglas ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 631,000 census records available for the last name Douglas. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Douglas census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 115,000 immigration records available for the last name Douglas. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 121,000 military records available for the last name Douglas. For the veterans among your Douglas ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.


The LAST B-24 built at Douglas in Tulsa – The Tulsamerican was found in the Ocean nearly 70 years after Fatal Crash

A search for the remains of the plane known as the Tulsamerican had been going on for years. In 2010, a team from the Croatian Conservation Institute’s Department for Underwater Archaeology finally found the aircraft at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea, near the Isle of Vis. The plane was broken in two.

Brendan Foley is an archaeologist who participated in a month-long recovery project at the site. He said that they found equipment, clothing and human bones in the wreckage.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) sponsored the recovery effort. They are testing the bones found in the plane to determine who they belong to and hopefully bring closure to a 70-year mystery. In July 1944, the last of 18,000 B-24J “Liberator” bombers built in the Douglas Plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma, rolled out the doors of the factory.

The LAST B-24 built at Douglas in Tulsa

The citizens of Tulsa purchased that plane. It had a unique art design on its nose with a copy of the art on handmade scrolls at each of the crew’s stations. That particular aircraft was known as the “Tulsamerican, ” and it was one of the more famous of the warplanes in WWII.

One of the lead bombers, the Tulsamerican, was severely damaged and crashed into the Adriatic while attempting to return to its Italian base

In October 1944, the Tulsamerican was assigned to the 765 th Bomb Squadron. On its 151 st mission, it was sent along with every available plane to attack oil refineries around Blechhammer and Odertal to support Allied forces in the Battle of the Bulge. 527 B-17s and B-24s launched that day with 300 P-38s and P-51s to escort them.

The attack was at the edge of the planes’ range. The crews were ordered not to lower their ball turrets unless an attack was imminent or the target had been reached to help conserve fuel. Unknown to Allied command, the Germans had placed their best Luftwaffe fighter groups in the area due to the Battle of the Bulge.

The plane was well known because of a campaign to raise money to pay for it

As the Allied bombers neared their target, the German planes attacked. The assault lasted only fifteen minutes, and the pilots never had a chance to get their ball turrets lowered.

The Tulsamerican flew in a formation of six B-24s. They were flying through clouds and nearly collided with another group of B-24s which had the effect of disorientating the pilots as they maneuvered to avoid a collision. Lieutenant Ford was commanding the bombers and led them higher and a mile to the right. Unknown to him, the Nazi pilots had spotted the planes with their turrets withdrawn and tracked them through the clouds. The Luftwaffe fighters attacked the bombers from below, right where they were most vulnerable without their ball turret guns.

Missing an engine and leaking fuel, the Tulsamerican released its bombs and headed back to base. Over Hungary, it ran into flak guns and took more damage. Lieutenant Ford decided they had to crash land the plane and aimed for the Isle of Vis. Unfortunately, the aircraft ditched in the ocean, and three of the crew died on impact. The rest of the men were recovered by local fishermen and a British Rescue Team.

The Tulsamerican was a B-24 Liberator heavy bomber with a 33-meter wingspan and a 20-meter long fuselage. It had ten 12.7 caliber M2 Browning machine guns.

According to the DPAA, there are still 73,000 service members listed as missing from WWII.

Val Miller is the last remaining survivor of the Tulsamerican wreck. He was pulled from the water by a couple of local men. He did not speak to them and never learned their names. They took him to the island where he was treated for a broken leg by a British doctor. He spent 16 months in hospital before being discharged.

Miller went on to obtain a law degree and served in the Oklahoma state House of Representatives for four years. He then practiced law in the oil and gas field before retiring.


Douglas A-33

Douglas A-33 (Model 8A-5) adalah versi terbaru dari Northrop A-17 untuk pasar ekspor, dengan mesin yang lebih kuat dan peningkatan beban bom.

Pada tahun 1932, Northrop Corporation telah dibentuk sebagai anak perusahaan yang sebagian dimiliki oleh Douglas dan 1937, Model Northrop 8 dikenal sebagai Douglas 8A diproduksi di El Segundo Division dari Douglas aircraft.

  • Francillon, René J. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920. London: Putnam, 1979. ISBN 0-370-00050-1.
  • Pelletier, Alain J. "Northrop's Connection: The unsung A-17 attack aircraft and its legacy, Part 1". Air Enthusiast No 75, May–June 1998, pp. 62–67. Stamford, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing. ISSN 0143-5490.
  • Pelletier, Alain J. "Northrop's Connection: The unsung A-17 attack aircraft and its legacy, Part 2". Air Enthusiast No 77, September–October 1998, pp. 2–15. Stamford, Lincolnshire: Key Publishing. ISSN 0143-5490.
  • Wagner, Ray. American Combat Planes of the 20th Century, Third Enlarged Edition. New York: Doubleday, 1982. ISBN 978-0-930083-17-5.

Artikel bertopik pesawat terbang dan penerbangan ini adalah sebuah rintisan. Anda dapat membantu Wikipedia dengan mengembangkannya.


James ‘the Black’ Douglas: The Most Feared Knight in Scottish History

In my humble and entirely professional opinion, James Douglas could beat William Wallace in a fight. Before you scream ‘heresy!’, let me bolster that admittedly extraordinary claim with equally extraordinary evidence.

James Douglas, Robert Bruce’s indomitable captain during the Wars of Independence, is overshadowed only by Bruce himself as the most compelling of Scotland’s fourteenth century personalities. Douglas is something of a Janus figure in the history of the British Isles. While many Scots came to know him as ‘the Good’ Sir James for his championing of Bruce’s cause, it was his mastery of fear as a tool of war, his personal ferocity in battle, and his brutally effective raiding style that caused people in the north of England, often subject to said raids, to bestow on him his most enduring moniker – ‘the Black’ Douglas. His bogeyman reputation amongst the English was such that, while he was still very much alive and active, mothers in Northumbria and Cumbria supposedly sang to their children:

Hush ye, hush ye, little pet ye,

Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye,

The Black Douglas shall not get ye…

A chilling folk story has this refrain followed by a calloused hand grasping the mother’s shoulder, and a growling voice uttering, “don’t be too sure of that…”

James Douglas doing his black work at the Douglas Larder. Illustration by Andrew Hillhouse (andrewhillhouseprints.co.uk)

…and me doing my best Black Douglas impression!

Douglas led and partook in many dramatic episodes in the period between joining Bruce in 1306 and his death in 1330, including the crafty and brutal retaking of his ancestral home, Douglas Castle, in the incident know as the ‘Douglas Larder’ in 1307, and the capture of the nigh-impregnable Roxburgh Castle in the Borders by surprise attack in February 1314. Douglas fought at Bannockburn, though he was not a commander of his own schiltron spear formation as depicted in John Barbour’s The Bruce, but rather acted as a sub-commander connected to King Robert’s own force.

In the aftermath of the battle, Douglas pursued the defeated Edward II to Dunbar, with Barbour suggesting he did so with a force outnumbered by the king’s five to one and following so close that the English king’s company dared not even stop to ‘make water’. This and other actions brought James the reputation of being “mair fell [fierce] than was ony [only] devill in hell”. His battle record speaks for itself: according to Barbour, Douglas gained fifty-seven victories to thirteen losses, and those losses were more tactical withdrawals than true routes.

Threave Castle, built by Douglas’ son Archibald ‘the Grim’ Bothwell Castle, a Murray then Douglas stronghold Eroded Douglas arms at Bothwell Castle

The final and perhaps most famous episode of all came with the death of King Robert Bruce on June 7 th , 1329. Upon his death Bruce assembled his captains and tasked Douglas to bear his heart on crusade to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, possibly as posthumous repentance for Bruce’s murder of his rival for the crown, John Comyn, at the High Kirk in Dumfries in 1306 and the suffering he inflicted on his own people with his ‘scorched earth’ tactics. Jerusalem, however, was firmly in the hands of the Mamluk Sultanate, but an alternative cause was readily available in the form of King Alfonso XI of Castile’s crusade against the Moors in Andalusia, Spain. Douglas and a hand-picked group of Scots knights bade their homeland farewell, promising to return Bruce’s heart to Melrose Abbey upon their victory and with Douglas bearing the heart in a cask around his neck.

A battle ensued in the shadow of the Castillo de la Estrella, the ‘Castle of the Stars’, near the village of Teba between Seville and the Moorish power base in Granada. Somewhere a command was misinterpreted, causing the Scots to charge the Moorish lines unaided. Inevitably they were surrounded. His end clearly upon him, the story as recounted by Sir Walter Scott goes that Douglas removed the cask from around his neck, declared aloud “Pass first in fight…as thou wert wont to do, and Douglas will follow thee, or die”, then charged the enemy one last time .

When the surviving Scots searched the field following the crusader’s victory, they found Douglas dead, hewed with “five deep wounds” and with the cask unharmed underneath his broken body. Douglas’ flesh was boiled from his bones as per the usual custom for long-distance transport of noble remains and his heart was removed, now a companion to that of Bruce, while his skeleton was interred in St Bride Kirk in his home village of Douglas. It is this episode that gives us the term ‘Brave heart’, used by Scott, but never in reference to Wallace – the true Braveheart is Robert Bruce, and his steadfast friend the Black Douglas.

The Castillo de la Estrella (Castle of the Stars), the scene of Douglas’ epic last stand Monument commemorating James Douglas and the Andalusian Crusade

The specifics vary depending on whom you ask. No mention of such last words is made in The Bruce, the main source for later writers, and so it seems that it was, like so much else, a product of Scott’s imagination in Tales of a Grandfather. After all, if ever there was the Romantic equivalent of a ‘Midas touch’, Scott possessed it. What we know is that Douglas fought and died at Teba bearing Bruce’s heart the specifics, as with all great stories, are perhaps best left to the imagination.

In case you’re still not convinced, it seems Douglas was not only a master of the arts of war but the art of the one-line comeback. During the Andalusian Crusade an English knight approached Douglas when the Scot first arrived at the crusader’s court. By that time Douglas’ reputation had haunted the imaginations of warriors throughout Europe, and none could believe that this master of terror was the man before them – he didn’t even have facial scars, and everyone knows a true knight bears his scars like a badge of honour. The English knight remarked as such, and Douglas – retaining total poise and, I like to imagine, taking a bit out of an apple like a cartoon villain – retorted, “Praise God, I always had strong hands to protect my head.” Basically, anyone who got close enough to give him a scar didn’t survive to tell the tale.

Another was a snap back at the Pope himself. While laying siege to Berwick, then a part of Scotland but occupied by an English garrison, Douglas received a letter from the Pope. It demanded that he cease shedding the blood of fellow Christians and abandon the siege at once, on pain of excommunication and eternal damnation. Douglas, not one for half measures or heavenly ideals, made his intent clear. His reply was as simple as it was defiant: “I would rather enter Berwick than paradise.”

Much of my time at the National Trust for Scotland’s Bannockburn Heritage Centre was spent telling the story of James Douglas and the heroes of the Wars of Independence. Photo by Lenny Warren/Warren Media www.warrenmedia.co.uk

Regardless of whether or not you now agree with the bold claim I began this article with, what is undisputed is that James Douglas is one of the finest soldiers, tacticians and individual warriors that Scotland has ever produced. His name may be eclipsed by those of Wallace and Bruce, but in his own time he stood on the pantheon right alongside those giants of history. Some stake their claim to history through fame and fortune, but James Douglas cared not for these trappings his was the way of the sword, aimed always at the terror-stricken hearts of his people’s enemies.


These Interceptors First Faced the Soviet Nuclear Threat

To say that the United States was unprepared for the dramatic expansion of Soviet military power during the immediate post–World War II period would be a gross understatement. No one could have realistically predicted that by 1949 the Soviets would acquire the technology to produce atomic bombs and aircraft capable of delivering them to North America (the Tu-4, a copy of the B-29). When the threat became apparent, U.S. Air Force Air Defense Command (ADC)—responsible for protecting America from air attack—was years away from being ready. A radar warning network across the northern U.S. and southern Canada was in the initial stages of development, but more acute, the only radar-equipped all-weather airplanes in ADC’s inventory were a handful of pro peller-driven night fighters, 41 Northrop F-61C Black Widows and 150 North American F-82E/F/G Twin Mustangs. Although the USAF had already made far-reaching plans to equip ADC units with missile- armed supersonic interceptors, these aircraft were not expected to become operational until the mid-1950s—and that was not nearly soon enough.

As new turbojet engines became available late in WWII, the U.S. Army Air Forces issued an Advanced Development Objective outlining the requirements for a jet aircraft to replace its existing fleet of prop-driven night fighters. The specification called for a two-seat, radar-equipped airplane with a top speed of 550 mph, an operational ceiling of 35,000 feet and a combat radius of 600 miles. In early 1946, after reviewing six design proposals, the USAAF narrowed the field to the Curtiss Model 29A and Northrop Model N-35, and Convair’s unorthodox delta-wing Model 7002 was spun off as a separate experimental project under the designation XF-92. Contracts to proceed with construction of night fighter prototypes were given to Curtiss as the XP-87 and to Northrop as the XP-89, with the expectation that prototypes would be flying within 14 months (mid-1947).

Although the two designs were similar in terms of their straight-wing layouts and takeoff weights, they differed substantially: The XP-87 was powered by four Westinghouse J34 engines paired in nacelles on the wings and featured a wide-section fuselage in which the pilot and radar operator were seated side-by-side, whereas the XP-89 incorporated a slender fuselage, with the crew seated in tandem under a long canopy and two Allison J35 engines housed in side-mounted nacelles below the wings. Both aircraft were designed to eventually be fitted with a nose turret housing four 20mm cannons. In the course of mockup inspections during 1946, Curtiss received the go-ahead to complete its flying prototype, but Northrop was directed by Air Material Command to make numerous design changes before proceeding further.

On March 5, 1948, nearly a year behind schedule, the XP-87 prototype was the first to fly. In June, most likely as a result of the USAF’s haste to obtain any type of jet interceptor, Curtiss received an order for 57 F-87A production aircraft, plus 30 RF-87A photoreconnaissance versions. Meanwhile, Northrop’s black-painted proto type, now the XF-89, made its first flight from the Muroc flight test base in California on August 16. In trials carried out between competing prototypes during the fall of 1948, the Air Force concluded that the Curtiss and Douglas entries were both seriously underpowered, while the somewhat faster XF-89 was deemed to have better potential for long-term development.

NORTHROP F-89

Canceling the Curtiss contract in late 1948, the USAF awarded Northrop a letter agreement in January 1949 to tool up for production of 48 F-89As, which was raised to 75 when the official production contract was granted in September. In the interval, the movable nose turret was discarded in favor of a fixed armament of six nose-mounted 20mm cannons, and the name Scorpion was officially adopted. The second prototype, delivered in a natural metal finish, began testing in November 1949, but the Scorpion program came to an abrupt halt in early 1950 when the first XF-89 was destroyed during a low-altitude speed run. The cause was found to be a failure of the horizontal tail surfaces induced by tail flutter, attributed to engine exhaust gas. The second prototype, redesignated YF-89, was subjected to extensive modifications before the flight program was allowed to resume. The changes included a longer, more pointed nose to house an AN/APG-33 radar and Hughes E-1 fire-control system, revised intakes and the addition of deflector plates behind the engine exhausts to minimize the tail flutter problem. Takeoff and climb performance was improved by fitting afterburning J35- A-21 engines that increased available power by 25 percent.

Eight F-89As incorporating the YF-89 improvements were delivered to the Air Force between September 1950 and March 1951, but were retained in the test inventory to conduct operational suitability trials. The first true operational Scorpions, 37 F-89Bs that were delivered between early 1951 and early 1952, differed from the A in having an autopilot and improved flight instrumentation. After initially entering service with the 84th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS) at Hamilton AFB, Calif., the type equipped three more squadrons during 1951 and 1952.

Early operations with F-89Bs were marred by frequent engine failures and problems with the complex Hughes fire-control system. Starting in late 1951, the B models were followed by 164 F-89Cs, featuring improvements to the fuel system, new balance mechanisms on the horizontal stabilizer and a succession of engine up grades. F-89Cs became operational in early 1952, and went on to equip seven squadrons however, the entire Scorpion fleet was grounded in September 1952 following the loss of six aircraft due to complete wing separations. An investigation revealed that the main attachment brackets had failed when twisting moments were imposed on the wings during high-G maneuvering. Over the next 15 months, all 194 F-89As, Bs and Cs were returned to Northrop in batches for the installation of stronger, machined attachment brackets plus fins added to the tip tanks that counteracted the twisting force. F-89s awaiting modifications were allowed to resume operations, but with restrictions on speeds and load limits.

The most numerous Scorpion production variant, the F-89D, debuted in October 1951 and became fully operational in early 1954. One of the early interceptor concerns facing ADC was adequate firepower plus the ability to fire weapons from greater ranges and at deflection angles that would permit better rates of closure. A new weapon designed specifically for that purpose, the 2.75-inch (70mm) Mighty Mouse folding-fin aircraft rocket (FFAR), was introduced in 1950. On the F-89D, the tip tanks were replaced by enlarged pods, each containing 308 gallons of fuel in the rear section and 52 FFARs carried in honeycomb tubes in the forward section. The rockets had an effective range of 2,000 yards, and when fired in salvo, could blanket an area the size of a football field. The fixed guns were removed to make room for an entirely new straight-tapered nose section that housed a new Hughes APG-40 radar and E-6 fire-control system, permitting beam attacks of up to 90 degrees of deflection. An upgrade to J35-A-35 engines boosted top speed to 635 mph (0.86 Mach) at 10,600 feet.

By the time the last of 682 F-89Ds were delivered in March 1956, they equipped 23 ADC squadrons located in the northern U.S., Canada and Alaska. Other proposed versions—the F-89E single-seat escort fighter, the F-89F powered by J47 engines and armed with guided GAR-2 Falcon missiles and the F-89G with a more advanced fire-control system—never progressed beyond the design stage.

The addition of a Hughes E-9 fire-control system and the ability to carry Falcon missiles resulted in the introduction of the F-89H in September 1955, with 156 examples delivered by August 1956, at which time Scorpion production ended. The wingtip pods of the H were designed to each accommodate three Falcons and 21 FFARs. Divided equally between semi- active radar and infrared homing types, the Mach 2.8 missiles could be fired at targets from four miles.

The final operational variant, the F-89J, came from 350 F-89Ds converted between November 1956 and February 1958, and was the first fighter of any type to be equipped with an air-to-air nuclear weapon. Douglas Aircraft had begun development of the unguided MB-1 Genie rocket in 1955. The 822-pound weapon could accelerate to Mach 3.3 and deliver its 1.5-kiloton nuclear warhead against targets within a radius of six miles, virtually annihilating everything within a 1,000-foot sphere. The Js retained the FFAR-armed tip pods of the D or mounted 600-gallon tip tanks. One or two Genies (and later up to four Falcons) could be carried on underwing racks. F-89Js first entered operational service in early 1957 and re-equipped Scorpion units through early 1958.

The process of phasing Scorpions out of active service began in 1954, when all remaining F-89Bs and Cs were transferred to Air National Guard (ANG) units. With the arrival of the long-awaited supersonic interceptors (F-102As in 1956, F-104As in 1958 and F-101Bs and F-106As in 1959), the USAF started turning over its F-89Ds and Hs to ANG units during 1957, and the last F-89J had been transferred from active service by the end of 1960. Scorpions continued to serve with ANG units through the 1960s, the last F-89Js being retired from the 132nd FIS of the Maine ANG in 1969.

LOCKHEED F-94

In the fall of 1948, given the predictable delays associated with the testing and production of the XF-89, USAF officials looked at the alternative of adapting a jet interceptor from an already proven airframe. The most likely candidate was the Lockheed TF-80C (later T-33) trainer, a stretched, two-seat derivative of the F-80 that had flown in March 1948 and was already entering production. During October the Air Force authorized Lockheed to modify two TF-80Cs under the designation ETF-80C (later YF-94), and in January 1949 awarded a formal contract for procurement of 150 production aircraft as the F-94A. The conversion of the basic airframe to an interceptor configuration, however, was not as straightforward as had first been believed. In order to compensate for the loss of performance caused by the added weight of armament, radar and fire-control equipment, it was necessary to enlarge the aft fuselage so that the Allison J33-A-33 engine could be fitted with an afterburner. The installation of an AN/APG-33 radar set and Hughes E-1 fire-control system gave the nose its distinctive upturned profile, but left space for only four .50-caliber machine guns—exceptionally light armament for an interceptor.

Lacking guns and most operational equipment, the first ETF-80C flew on April 16, 1949, but almost immediately encountered unexpected flameouts during afterburner operations. While engineers from Allison and Lockheed were still working to resolve the problem, news that the Soviet Union had detonated an atomic bomb caused the F-94 contract to be increased twice, first to 288 aircraft, then to 368 before year end. Once the afterburner problem was fixed, the first F-94A was delivered to the USAF for testing in December 1949. With a top speed of 606 mph, it finally gave ADC an all-weather aircraft capable of intercepting a Soviet Tu-4 before it reached continental airspace. Thus despite many shortcomings such as unreliable electronic systems, frequent engine failures, inadequate cockpit space and unsafe ejection seats, F-94As were placed in operational service during the spring of 1950 with two ADC units based in Washington state, the 317th FIS at McChord and the 319th FIS at Moses Lake. Whatever may be said of the early F-94s, they were still the first frontline USAF aircraft equipped with afterburners and the first jets to equip ADC units.

The externally similar F-94B appeared in late 1950 with improvements to the canopy, cockpit arrangement, instrumentation and electronic systems, as well as Fletcher-type inline tip tanks in place of the earlier underslung versions. In April 1951, the 61st FIS at Selfridge AFB in Michigan became the first ADC unit to reequip with the B, and 356 examples had been delivered to the USAF by January 1952, bringing ADC’s force of F-94As and Bs to a total of 465 aircraft. While most were attached to units within Continental Air Command, with a smaller number serving with Alaska Air Command, three F-94A/B squadrons were deployed to Japan in 1951-52 for Korean War service. Their initial mission was to protect Japan from possible incursions by Soviet bombers, but they were later moved to forward bases in Korea for alert duty against North Korean night intruders and all-weather escort protection of B-29s. From early 1953 until the armistice, F-94Bs of the 319th FIS, operating out of Suwon, were credited with shooting down four enemy aircraft during night interceptions.

In mid-1948, even before the F-94A was ordered, Lockheed had tendered an interceptor proposal to the USAF for the considerably more advanced Model L-188. While utilizing a fuselage similar to the F-94’s, the L-188 was to be powered by a Pratt & Whitney J48 and feature an entirely new thin-section wing. Due to other interceptor projects in various stages of development, the Air Force expressed very little interest at the time. Lockheed, confident that the aircraft would eventually be procured, proceeded with construction of a company-funded demonstrator in 1949, which flew under civil registration N94C in early 1950. This resulted in a reappraisal of Lockheed’s project to the extent that the USAF purchased N94C and ordered a fully militarized prototype as the YF-97A. As a result of trials following delivery, the YF-97A underwent numerous refinements, acquiring a power-boosted swept horizontal stabilizer to reduce vibration at high Mach numbers, an enlarged vertical fin to improve directional stability and spoilers to enhance roll control. In lieu of gun armament, the nose section was modified to accommodate a battery of 24 FFARs surrounding a radome that housed an AN/APG-40 radar set. In September 1950, after an official decision had been made to procure more than 600 aircraft, the designation was changed to F-94C and the factory name Starfire was applied, apparently only to this version.

Although the first F-94C production model was delivered in July 1951, development problems with the fire-control system and cockpit seals, combined with engine flameouts caused by gas ingestion when the rockets were fired, delayed actual service entry until mid-1952, when the Starfire became operational with the 437th FIS at Otis AFB in Massachusetts. Starting with the 100th production model, streamlined fairings containing 12 FFARs were added to the leading edge of each wing, doubling firepower, and the feature was retrofitted to earlier Cs. Despite being 35 percent heavier than the F-94A/B, the F-94C’s added power and lower-drag wings yielded a top speed of 640 mph at sea level and allowed it to go supersonic in a dive. Progress in other interceptor programs caused procurement to be scaled back, so that a total of 387 F-94Cs had been delivered when production terminated in May 1954. At their peak during the mid-1950s, Starfires equipped 12 squadrons within ADC.

Due to advances in interceptor development, the active service life of all F-94 variants was comparatively brief. The process of phasing out F-94A/Bs commenced in mid-1953, and F-94Cs had been removed from ADC’s active inventory by early 1959, with the last operational Starfire retired by the Minnesota ANG that summer.

NORTH AMERICAN F-86D/L

The most numerous of the ADC’s interim all-weather interceptors were North American F-86D/Ls, some 2,506 examples of which were accepted by the USAF from 1951 to 1955. In early 1949, soon after the F-94A had been ordered into quantity production, concerns over the viability of the F-89 program led Air Force officials to seek yet another alternative, this time based upon North American’s excellent F-86 Sabre, just then entering operational service. From the start, a decision was made to retain the single-seat configuration, but changes needed to incorporate the electronics and weapons for an interceptor led to departures from the basic F-86 design of such magnitude that it was redesignated the YF-95A. Instead of cannons or machine guns, it was to be armed with 24 FFARs carried in a tray that retracted into the belly, and in a parallel project, Hughes Aircraft was given the job of developing an all-new fire-control system (E-3 and later E-4) that would enable the new interceptor to fire its rockets from a head-on course as opposed to a traditional pursuit curve from behind.

When the final design of the YF-95A emerged, it bore only 25 percent commonality with the F-86A. Although the aircraft shared a similar J47 power plant, the rear of its fuselage was redesigned around an afterburner that boosted available thrust by 28 percent. To accommodate the AN/APG-36 radar and Hughes fire-control system, the forward fuselage was faired into a bullet-shaped radome over a reshaped, chin-type air intake. The cockpit layout was reorganized and enlarged for the additional electronic equipment, and access was improved with a redesigned canopy that hinged at the rear. Revisions to the empennage included increased fin area and an all-flying horizontal stabilizer in which dihedral was removed. Due to the urgency of the project, North American was authorized to start construction of two prototypes in July 1949 and tool up to build 122 production aircraft as the F-95A. Soon afterward, the official designation was changed to F-86D, and in September the contract was expanded to include another 31 aircraft.

Lacking armament and electronic systems, the first YF-86D flew from Edwards AFB in California on December 22, 1949. When the second, fully equipped prototype flew seven months later, trials indicated a top speed of 692 mph (Mach 0.91) at sea level. Although the aircraft was still in the preliminary development stages, mounting tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union— mainly due to the Korean War—generated significant increases in the F-86D contract, and the total order had risen to 979 aircraft by the middle of 1951. Deliveries of production models began in March 1951, but continuing problems with the fire-control and electronic fuel-control systems caused actual operational readiness to be delayed for two more years. The first production version to have true head-on intercept capability, Block 5s equipped with E-4 fire- control systems, did not begin operational evaluations until mid-1952, and further testing and development led to many other improvements incorporated into subsequent production blocks: power-boosted rudder, new radios and single-point refueling (Blocks 10-15) fuel filter de-icing and 120-gallon drop tanks (Blocks 20-25) automatic approach coupler control and omni- directional radarranging (Blocks 30-35) new glide-path indicator and J47-GE-17B engines (Block 40) and drag parachute and J45-GE-33 engines (Blocks 45-60). The final batch of Block 60 F-86D “Sabre Dogs” was delivered in September 1955.

The final interceptor variant, the F-86L, was actually an upgrade performed on 981 F-86Ds during 1956. Conversion entailed installation of the SAGE datalink system, which used a ground-based computer to transmit real-time radar information—target speed, altitude, bearing and range—to the aircraft’s E-4 fire-control system.

F-86Ds began entering frontline operational service in March 1953, and by mid- 1955 accounted for 73 percent (1,026 aircraft) of ADC’s overall aircraft strength. At their peak, a total of 1,405 F-86Ds and Ls equipped 20 ADC operational wings. As supersonic interceptors reached operational service, the Sabre Dogs were rapidly phased out of frontline service from August 1956 to April 1958. Like F-89s and F-94s, large numbers of F-86Ds and Ls went to ANG units, serving until the last examples were withdrawn in mid-1965.

As events actually transpired, the three stopgap interceptors ultimately bore most of the brunt of the Soviet bomber threat. Although history has revealed that the perceived threat was greatly overestimated, the huge ADC buildup—with more than 1,400 radar-equipped, rocket-armed interceptors in place by 1955—nevertheless represented a tangible deterrent against any Soviet inclination to make a first strike against the continental U.S.

E.R. Johnson is a novelist, aviation author and practicing attorney who writes from Arkansas. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and a major in the Arkansas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. Suggested reading: Encyclopedia of U.S. Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems, Vol. 1: Post World War II Fighters 1945- 1973, by Marcelle S. Knaack.

Originally published in the May 2014 issue of Aviation History. To subscribe, click here.


Diversification

Following Convair’s lead, Douglas would begin to diversify into other aviation-related niches.

To begin with, Douglas would enter the ejection seat industry, soon becoming one of the world’s major producers of ejection seats, with its main competitor being Martin-Baker, based in the UK.

By the late 1950’s, Douglas Aircraft would also expand into the world of missiles too.

To begin with, the company would begin producing air-launched ballistic missiles (ballistic missiles that could be fired from an aircraft, as opposed to being propelled over a great distance by a rocket like an ICBM is).

Over time, Douglas Aircraft would expand in other aerial missiles, such as air-to-air missiles, surface-to-air missiles and air-to-surface missiles, which would soon become staples of military bases of US-aligned nations.

Douglas Aircraft would also become a pioneer in anti-aircraft missiles. Using its deep knowledge of the inner workings of fighter jets, Douglas were able to design most of the west’s main anti-aircraft missile bases, many of which still exist today!

As the Space Race picked up in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Douglas would expand into producing rockets too, winning a series of NASA contracts, resulting in the S-IVB stage of the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets.


Douglas A-33 - History

Blackie Lawless, was born Steven Duren on 4th September 1956. He lived in Staten Island, New York, where he hung out with Ace Freley of Kiss Fame. At the age of 13, Blackie was stabbed in a fight and at 14 he was sent to Military School to learn discipline. After 18 months of a two year sentence he was thrown out after beating up a Sargent Major.

Blackie was nine when he got his first guitar and in that same year he earned 16 dollars and 35 cents in his first band called THE UNDERSIDE. At the age of 16 Blackie played with an East Coast band called BLACK RABBIT, tauting his talents around local bars. Another early band was called ORFAX RAINBOW in which he played for quite a while. When a singing vacancy came up with the legendary NEW YORK DOLLS, after Johnny Thunders leaves, Blackie takes it up - he had just turned 18.

After six months playing with the then dying NEW YORK DOLLS, Blackie and fellow DOLLS bassist Arthur Kane decide to leave New York and head to L.A. They form a band called KILLER KANE and release a 33 ½ EP. This includes the tracks MR COOL on Side 1, LONGHAIRED WOMAN and DONT NEED YOU on Side 2. Blackie is known at this time as "Blackie Gooseman". Eventually KILLER KANE breaks up, Arthur decides to go back to New York and Blackie stays in L.A.

In 1977, Blackie and Randy Piper join together to form a band called SISTER. SISTER where amongst the first groups in L.A. to experiment with occult symbolism and face make up. It is also believed that Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue) also played in the band for a while. Out of the SISTER experience Blackie meets up with Chris Holmes. While browsing through the "Beaver Hunt" section of Hustler magazine, Blackie spots ex - U.S. Marine Chris and decides to contact him.

Unfortunately, the late 1970's were a bad time for Heavy Metal and SISTER failed to generate record company interest despite their loyal club following. Other bands that Blackie had played in around this time were CIRCUS CIRCUS and LONDON.

Blackie and Randy stayed in contact and in 1982, when Blackie felt that he had good enough material to form a new band he contacted Randy. Chris and Tony Richards were also added to the line up. The band also dabbled with bassist Don Costa for a while before he joined Ozzy.

W.A.S.P were now formed and in late 1982, they started live gigging. Their first gig was at a place called "The Woodstock" in Orange Country, and by May 1983, they were able to sell out the then 3000 seated "Santa Monica Civic Hall". Momentum continued with a number of sold out gigs at the "Troubador".

Late in 1983, Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood went to see the band. He was extremely impressed with the music and outrageous live performances he decided to get involved. A substantial recording contract was agreed with Capitol Records in early 1984 and the band started to record their debut album "W.A.S.P".

The bands first single "ANIMAL" was not included on the album as it would have meant it being banned from major chain stores. Capitol planned to release it as a single only in Europe, in a black plastic bag with a sticker warning of offensive lyrics. At last minute Capitol backs out and the single is salvaged when W.A.S.P strikes a one off deal with "Music For Nations", who release it in its original sleeve in April of 1984.

In August the album "W.A.S.P" (the original title was planned to be "Winged Assassins") is issued followed by the single "I Wanna Be Somebody" in September. Just before the start of their British Tour, Tony Richards decides to leaves the band. He is replaced by ex-Keel drummer Steve Riley. After the tour a further single "School Daze" is issued.

In May 1985, work begins on the bands second album "THE LAST COMMAND", working with Spensor Proffer at Pasha Studio's in L.A. The band also goes on tour without their signature of blood and guts stage show and open for such major acts as Kiss. The album is released in September, with the first track off the album called "BLIND IN TEXAS" being released in October.

Wild Child is issued in June of 1986. Around this time the band comes up with two major inconveniences. Firstly Randy Piper leaves the band and is replaced by bassist Johnny Rod (King Kobra). This enables Blackie to switch back to playing rythum guitar. Also the band starts to run up against on organisation called the P.M.R.C. This was run by U.S. senators wives and wannabes trying to protect decent society from Rock Music. They referred to Blackie as being sick.

The summer of 1986 was spent recording in L.A, with plans to return to Europe to do an Autumn tour. Their first single from the new sessions "9.5. N.A.S.T.Y." was released in September and the tour began in October. To co-inside with the tour, the bands third album called "INSIDE THE ELECTRIC CIRCUS" was released.

Before the start of their British Tour, W.A.S.P fly into London a few days early to appear live at the "Town and Country Club" for a BBC2 special called "Rock Around The Clock". Their usual grand finale with Blackie's cod piece exploding in a shower of sparks was deemed to be unsuitable and was not filmed. Also around this time there were bomb threats at arenas were W.A.S.P were playing and Blackie had his life threatened by gunshots.

In 1987 W.A.S.P were listed fifth on the bill of the Castle Donington, "Monsters Of Rock" festival in the U.K, which was headlined by Bon Jovi. Their act included the return of the "Torture Routine" in all its glory. The week before the festival, "SCREAM UNTIL YOU LIKE IT", the theme tune to the horror movie"Ghoules 2" was released. This was then followed by the release of the bands forth album called "LIVE. IN THE RAW". February 1988 leads to Music for Nations following up the original "ANIMAL" release with a live version.

By the end of the year the band were putting finishing touches to their forth studio album called "THE HEADLESS CHILDREN" in Baby O Studios in L.A. Before recording had began, Steve Riley leaves the band and Frankie Banali drummer from Quiet Riot was borrowed for the album sessions. The finished record had a better sound than its predecessors, with the addition of Ken Hensley (ex-Uriah Heep) on keyboards and string arrangements being used on certain tracks.

Mean man was issued at the end of February 1989 and becomes the bands first U.K. Top 30 Hit. The actual album was issued in April and they planed to tour that month too, but the bands inability to find a suitable drummer lead to the tour being re-scheduled for May, when Frankie was free to join the band after finishing touring with Quiet Riot. Their British tour was supported by Zed Yago and was completed at the end of May. Also in May "THE REAL ME" (a cover of The Who's classic from Quadrophenia) was issued. FOREVER FREE was also released and gets to number 25 in the U.K. singles chart.

Rumours start to amount that Chris Holmes has left the band and this is confirmed. Blackie announces that he is working on a new project, a rock opera, which is to be called "THE CRIMSON IDOL" without Chris.

In March of 1992 the single "CHAINSAW CHARLIE" (the first single in three years) is released followed by the album "THE CRIMSON IDOL" in June. It was recorded at Blackie's Fort Apache studios and was written and produced by the man himself.. Frankie Banalli left the band during the recording sessions and Stret Howland took over on drums, also Johnny Rod does not play on the album, but he is later re-recruited for the tour . Bob Kulluck is included and takes over on guitar for studio work only.

August 1992 W.A.S.P play Castle Donington, Monster of Rock festival in the U.K, headlined by Iron Maiden, and also tour later that year. The touring line up included Blackie, Johnny Rod, Stret Howland and Doug Blair.

The single "SUNSET AND BABYLON" is issued in October 1993, followed by the release of the album "FIRST BLOOD….LAST CUTS" in the same month. Around this time Blackie declares that he has disbanded W.A.S.P to pursue a solo career.

Blackie signs a new record deal with Castle records and in June 1995, the album "STILL NOT BLACK ENOUGH" is released still under the name W.A.S.P. Blackie stated that at the time that he had began writing the album, he had intended to put W.A.S.P behind him, but as the album come together there were songs in the classic W.A.S.P style and it seemed natural to call it a W.A.S.P album, anything else would not have been true to the many legions of W.A.S.P fans who had shared the experiences. "BLACK FOREVER" a CD single was also issued too. W.A.S.P do not tour, but Blackie makes personal appearances to promote the record.

March 1997 leads to the release of "KILL FUCK DIE" through Raw Power and a one track limited edition CD of the same name was released a month earlier. The album has a much darker mood to it and has included the return of guitar player Chris Holmes to the band. Stret Howland is also in the band and Mike Duda is added on bass guitar. The band tours and their stage show is very outrageous, it included the raping of a nun and the cutting up of a pig.

W.A.S.P sign a new deal with CMC International Records and Blackie wins a court case against Capitol and contains full control of the W.A.S.P back-catalogue. He re-masters the catalogue and re-issues them with B sides and live performances added.

"DOUBLE LIVE ASSASSINS" is released in the U.K. in February 1998 and in the U.S. in June. This is a live album which was recorded on their world tour in 1997. They join the Metal Manics tour with Iron Maiden, but due to problems with the tour they pull out.

In January of 1999 Blackie announces the name of the new album which is called "HELLDORADO" it is to be released in May followed by a European tour.

After completing a successful European Tour in June 1999. Blackie at to postpone the U.S. Tour due to a injury on his elbow.

February 2000, W.A.S.P embark on their long awaited American Tour. A Best Of CD entitled 'The Best Of The Best' is released in March. The CD included classic songs such as Animal, L.O.V.E Machine and Wild Child. Also there were two extra tracks on the CD, a version of the Elton John hit 'Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting' and a new track entitled 'Unreal'.

The band play a show at the Key Club in Los Angeles on April 22nd 2000. This show was broadcasted live all around the world via the internet. This was an historic event in W.A.S.P history and fans came together from all over the world to watch the same show. It was amazing.

In May of 2000 W.A.S.P took part in charity show sponsored by Concreate Marking in which all proceeds of the ticket sales went to the T.J. Mashal foundation. Other bands that took part in this event where Great White and Megadeath. Parts of this show was also recorded for an Hollywood film.

October 2000 saw the release of a CD called 'The Sting'. This CD is a recording of the Netcast show that took place at the Key Club Los Angeles on April 22nd 2000.

W.A.S.P. released Unholy Terror through the Metal-is label, on April 9th 2001. It was Recorded in Los Angeles with W.A.S.P main man Blackie Lawless at the production helm, 'UNHOLY TERROR' dealt with many issues that Blackie sees in the world today, and never being afraid to comment on these issues through his music said: ''One subject that this album deals with is socio, religious, and political hypocrisy. I had a fundamentalist Christian upbringing and I grew up seeing the world through a different pair of eyes''. In the song 'Charisma', Lawless, who has constantly been the target of religious zealots throughout his career, explains: ''There's a dark side of charisma that mesmerizes all of us when we look at the world figures who possess that dark gift. In the song there's a line that goes 'Preaching fear and using religion with the Bible and Koran', as often organised religions wield a mighty power over it's congregations in the name of God''. That said, this is still a Rock n' Roll record, and sees W.A.S.P's trademark high octane brand of relentless, driving rock, standing shoulder to shoulder with songs about Disaffected Youth and Dictators, Popes and Politicians, and will surely go down as one of their most accomplished albums to date.

They played some European festivals in June, July & August of 2001, before returning to the U.S.A to do an Autumn Tour.

On June 11th, shock rock innovators W.A.S.P. released their most inspired effort to date through Sanctuary/Metal-Is Records.. On the heals of 2001's critically acclaimed Unholy Terror (heralded as an "…excuse to flay your carcass more ruthlessly than anyone else can…" by L.A. Weekly and "…hard, nasty and loud…" by Hit Parader Magazine), Blackie Lawless and company unleased a 10-track demonstration of inspiration through aggression entitled Dying For The World.

With a lineup that included vocalist/guitarist/ringleader Blackie Lawless, longtime contributing drummer Frankie Banali and bassist Mike Duda, and newcomer Darrell Roberts (who joined the band just prior to the Unholy Terror U.S. Tour), Dying For The World was recorded and mixed at Blackie's studio in Los Angeles. The album was actually inspired by letters received from troops who fought in the Gulf War.

Blackie explained: "Our motivation for this record was prefaced by letters sent to us from the tank divisions during the Gulf War, where the troops would actually go into battle blaring 'Fuck Like A Beast' and 'Wild Child.' After the events on 9/11, we felt we would give them a fresh batch in essence, we've literally made an album to go kill people by."

Consisting of songs entitled "Shadow Man," "Hell For Eternity," "Trail Of Tears," "Rubberman," "My Wicked Heart," "Stone Cold Killers," "Hallowed Ground," "Hallowed Ground #5 (acoustic)," "Black Bone Torso," and "Revengence," Dying For The World emphasizes a method of dealing with anger.

A native of Staten Island, Blackie elaborates: "This problem isn't going to go away we WILL have to deal with the Middle East eventually. There is no longer an 'if', it's 'when'!"s 'when'!"

W.A.S.P. cancelled their U.S. tour scheduled for fall 2002, due to the fact that the band are continuing work on a forthcoming studio album, which will be a double record set scheduled for release in the fall of 2004

Due to the enormity and the complexities of what will be a concept/ opera, the band feel that they would need as much time as possible in effort to make the forthcoming release everything that it can possibly be.

W.A.S.P. Reveals Part One of THE NEON GOD
Saga on April 6th

Through Sanctuary/Metal-Is Records

The name is legend, having become associated with such controversial and mind numbing releases as The Headless Children, The Crimson Idol, K.F.D., Unholy Terror, and the notorious self-titled debut. April 6, 2004 will seen the band evolve further with The Neon God: Part One – The Rise, a conceptual rock opera that explores the tragedy and consequences of one boy’s search for acceptance and purpose in his existence.

Opening with the line, “Oh tell me my lord, why am I here?”, The Neon God delved into such deeply emotional (and personal) inquiries, such as where does one fit into the great cosmic enigma? How does love fit into the equation? Should I use my gifts and talents for good or for evil? These are the primary thoughts all people have regarding their existence at one time or another. When addressed by a youth and coupled with an extreme dose of fear, a lethal combination develops.

Part One – The Rise told the story of an abused and orphaned boy who finds that he has the ability to read and manipulate people. By utilizing his gifts, he is able to build a following whose devotion and allegiance create a loyalty so intense that he is poised to become a dark Messiah for the 21st Century. The tracklisting included: Overture, Why Am I Here, Wishing Well, Sister Sadie (And the Black Habits), (Why Am) I Nothing, Underature, Asylum #9, Red Room of the Rising Sun, What I’ll Never Find, Someone To Love Me, X.T.C. Riders, Me and the Devil, Running Man, The Raging Storm

Ambitious in design, but no less potent than previous work, W.A.S.P. had reached a milestone many years in the making. The powerful, high-emotion story is set to the backdrop of W.A.S.P’s trademark nail-biting, theatrical style, from the guitar and soul-searing vocal performance of frontman Blackie Lawless to the intense percussion work of Frankie Banali, the bludgeoning bass work of Mike Duda, and the raging lead guitar styling of Darrell Roberts. One can only imagine what the live show will yield.

Part 2 of The Neon God story will be released by Sanctuary/Metal-Is Records over the summer and will complete the awe-inspiring and jaw dropping story.

Over the years, W.A.S.P. have created some of the most controversial and thought-provoking records in the history of metal. The Neon God is a labor of love for the band, an album that Blackie Lawless has talked about making for years. The Neon God is the next evolution in the musical beast that is W.A.S.P.

In May of 2004 W.A.S.P. embark on The Neon God World Tour. It takes them to Europe and America ending up in the U.S. on 1st September 2004. Blackie continues work on The Neon God Part 2 - The Demise.


W.A.S.P. Unveils Climactic Conclusion of THE NEON GOD Saga
Part 2 come out on Sanctuary/Metal-Is Records September 28th

W.A.S.P. frontman Blackie Lawless is quite possibly the busiest man in hard rock currently. Having completed a nationwide and European tour in support of the first act of the band’s 2004 2-part conceptual opus The Neon God, W.A.S.P. did another run around the world to support the forthcoming conclusion of said epic entitled The Neon God Part 2: The Demise, which was released through Sanctuary/Metal-Is Records on September 28th.


Produced & mixed during this summer, Blackie was ardent in his mission to make The Neon God Part 2: The Demise as potent and intense as its story dictates, so much so, that he was flying back & forth between venues and his Fort Apache studios in Burbank, CA during the first two weeks of the band’s summer tour! The Neon God addresses a tale of deep emotional quandary and revelation, the intoxication of power and the consequences of corruption. It is a story that everyone has experienced at one time or another - the need to belong, the quest for love, the desire for control, and the futility of vanity. Lawless, forthright and ever evolving as a musician and a human being, drew influence for the album’s concept through extensive observation of the world and numerous soul-searching journeys through the deserts of America’s Southwest. Part 1: The Rise was met with radiant applause, heralded as “compelling” by Metal Edge Magazine, “peerless” and “bombastic” by the Las Vegas Mercury, and Hit Parader Magazine attested that it “rarely ceased to entertain”. LA Weekly embraced the concept with vivid appeal, testifying the album as “a lavalike mountainside flow that pulls you inexorably from track to track.”


Deplorably renowned for his lewd behavior coming up through a music community where ‘excess’ meant ‘success’, Lawless frequently engages in musical endeavors that strip his soul and offer glimpses of the man beneath. In a way, each progressing W.A.S.P. release is another chapter in the uncompromising life of Lawless. With a catalogue spanning nearly 20 years, early titles, such as the self-titled debut and The Last Command represent youth and the indulgence of freedom. Releases like The Crimson Idol, Unholy Terror, and Dying for the World peel the blinders from society’s eyes and reveal humanistic truths and offer foresight into an unwritten future.


Ambitious in design, but no less persuasive than previous work, W.A.S.P. has reached a milestone many years in the making. The powerful, high-emotion story is set to the backdrop of W.A.S.P’s trademark nail-biting, theatrical style, from the guitar and soul-searing vocal performance of Blackie Lawless to the intense percussion work of returning drummer Stet Howland, the bludgeoning bass work of Mike Duda, and the rampaging lead guitar styling of Darrell Roberts.


A second leg of The Neon God World Tour commenced in early October, bringing yet another inimitable performance to rabid, music hungry fans, for a W.A.S.P. concerts are no average performances. As Orlando Weekly humbly states, “they know that ‘rock show’ is comprised of two equally important words.”


W.A.S.P. then headline the American blast tour in 2005, playing along fellow bands L.A. Guns, Metal Church and Stephen Pearcy (RATT).

2006 saw the departure of drummer Stet Howland who was replaced by Mike Dupke and when Darrel Roberts leaves in May 2006 he is replace by Douglas Blair.

The album "Dominator" is realeased in April 2007 including the songs "Mercy"and "Heaven's Hung in Black". The Band then embark on a European Tour to support the ablum.


October 2007 lead to "The Crimson Idol tour" to celebrate 15 years of "The Crimson Idol" and Blackie said that they were not going to do anymore touring for sometime except play the European Festivals in 2009.

The album "Babylon" was realeased in October 2009 which included the songs"Crazy" and "Babylon's Burning" through Demolition records.

They embark on a European Tour to suppport "Babylon"

Then in 2010 they then returned to Europe to undertake "The Return to Babylon" Tour where they also played the European Festivals



In 2011 they came back over to Europe to play the summer festivals.

And in September 2011 W.A.S.P. annouce "30 Year of Thunder" which in 2012 will lead to 30 years of W.A.S.P. and on 12 September 2012 it will be the anniversary of when W.A.S.P. played their first show at the Troubadour.

Stay tuned for "30 Year Of Thunder"!

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