Jungle cat, 1960’s political movement, comic-book hero (and slightly overrated movie), and U.S Navy attack squadron, the name ‘Black Panther’ has seen varied use over the years. It’s the latter usage we’re focussing on here, and the squadron that adopted the name from the 1930s until its disbandment in 1995.
The Black Panthers were a carrier-based air squadron that flew combat missions in the Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War and the First Iraq War, with all of those bar the first using this aircraft, the Grumman A-6 Intruder. This spectacular recreation of the A-6 comes from Master MOCer and TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist), who has constructed the Intruder in A6-E Black Panthers specification in glorious detail.
With folding wings, a sliding canopy, custom decals and a full armament there’s a whole lot more to see. Take a look at Ralph’s A6-E Intruder Flickr album by clicking here, where over twenty high quality image are available.
The first Gulf War – initiated when moustachioed douchebag Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, defied a UN resolution, and then gassed his own people – saw the US deploy its new ‘High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) in large numbers for the first time, as president George Bush Sr. and other world leaders responded to Iraq’s aggressions.
Twelve years later and George Bush Jr. decided to finish what his dad had started, and – for reasons we’re still not sure of – defied a UN resolution and attempted to overthrow the Hussein government. There was good reason in 1991, but in 2003? Er… 911? Nope. Weapons of mass destruction? Nope…
Whatever the reason behind Bush Jr.’s invasion, overthrow the Hussein government he did, and the Humvee played as pivotal a role in the outcome as it did in the liberation of Kuwait a decade or so earlier.
This superb 10-wide recreation of the iconic military vehicle comes from previous bloggee Manuel Cara, who has recreated the desert-spec Humvee in quite astonishing detail. All doors, the roof hatch and the tailgate open, and if anything what’s underneath is even more detailed than what you can see here.
You can head over to Manuel’s photostream via the link above for the complete gallery of images, and if you’re wondering what’s become of the Humvee another decade-and-a-half on from Iraq Round 2, well the old stalwart is finally due for replacement.
The Humvee is still doing service in Iraq though, as the U.S. left many units behind upon their withdrawal from the country to equip the new non-Saddam-run Iraqi military, and because shipping them back to the U.S would have been really expensive.
However the recent rise of Islamic State – due in no small part to the vacuum left as Saddam Hussein was removed from power – has meant that many Humvees have fallen into the wrong hands. There’s an irony there that would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.