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On Display: Model Aircraft for June D-Day

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On Display: Model Aircraft for June D-Day

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June 6, 1944 was the day the air, land, and sea forces of the Allied armies stormed the beaches of Normandy, France in an  attempt to end World War II. This year marks the 80th anniversary of that very important day, D-Day.  

To mark the observance, Livingston resident Bob Carley is displaying some of the aircraft models he has so passionately and painstakingly made over  the past 50+ years, in the Livingston Library’s display case for the month of June.

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Bob’s 1/48th scale model display shows the amazing aircraft that  helped the Allied countries achieve victory over Germany and the  Axis power. He has American, British and German aircraft and each model is an exact replica of the actual aircraft, and included is information about each aircraft and the specific jobs they did.

The D-Day operation was known as “Operation Overlord”. On that day there were over 11,000 aircraft in the air guiding ships, army  tanks and troops in the fighting. Bombers, fighter planes, cargo  planes and reconnaissance aircraft all took part in the invasion.    

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In Bob’s display you will notice most of the Allied aircraft have black and white invasion stripes on them. Says Bob, “These markings were  quickly sprayed on or hand painted by brush just days before the  invasion. Their job was to identify friend from foe and they helped to save lives.  Our command of the air along with the  British RAF gave the Allies air superiority and helped to end World  War II.”

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Building model aircraft from kits has been a passion of Bob’s for 50+ years. Around the age of 7 he used to watch his father and his uncle, both veterans of World War II build model airplanes, boats and train sets. Bob’s background in metal fabrication and computer programming has helped him in understanding the technology that is used in the development of World War II aircraft.

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At 76 years young Bob still finds pleasure in building World War II model aircraft, vehicles and troops. “Researching that period of time in history by using the library, the Internet, and going to airshows has proved to be very enjoyable to me” comments Bob.

To make sure his aircraft are accurate and authentic he spends as much as 40+ hours completing one airplane.

Some of the models in the exhibit are recent builds and some date back to the 1980’s. Bob continues to improve and update some of the older builds in his 100 plus collection with new ideas and information from his research. 

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