P-61’s 75th Anniversary

Hi Everyone,

Sorry to have been out of touch for so long.  I was prompted to write a new post by a friend who forwarded an interesting note about the P-61.    Here is a quote from the Smithsonian Article on the 75th Anniversary of the P-61’s first test flight.

“75 Years Ago Today: The prototype Northrop P-61 Black Widow (XP-61) made its first flight with test pilot Vance Breese at the controls. The P-61 Black Widow was the first U.S. aircraft designed to locate and destroy enemy aircraft at night and in bad weather, which was made possible by the use of onboard radar. See our Black Widow, a P-61C-1-NO, on display at our Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA”

You can see photos of the P-61 on display at this link.

Another noteworthy event this past May is my Father’s 91st birthday.  Richard Ziebart  is a member of the 417th NFS and still loves and wears his Night Fighter t-shirts & caps.  He continues to share his love for the P-61 and all things Night Fighter related to this day.  He’s a wonderful spokesperson for the group.  Here’s a photo of him working on one of the squadron’s planes:

P-61 'Dragon' and R Ziebart

And here is a photo of him celebrating his 91st with his wife Lorraine  Dad at 91


On a closing note, I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.  And please feel free to drop me a note if you have any ideas about additional topics related to the Night Fighters or the 417th that you would like to see posted here.