Originally Posted by Lithonion
That thing is looking great Tony. Nitroplanes should have given you that DC-3 cause you probably already got a few peeps to buy one just seeing yours.
Although, its not a DC-3 anymore.
Appreciate the kind words! For any Air Force Enlisted Member, the story of A1C John Levitow (Medal of Honor) is well known. Building this AC-47 is a tribute to him and every Vietnam Veteran. I'm really looking forward to seeing it in the air!
A1C John L. Levitow Biography
Airman First Class John L. Levitow (November 1, 1945-November 8, 2000), was an AC-47 gunship loadmaster for the 3d Special Operations Squadron who became the lowest-ranking Airman ever to receive the Medal of Honor for exceptional heroism during wartime. On February 24, 1969, Levitow was asked to fill in for the regular loadmaster on an armed AC-47 named "Spooky 71". They were flying night missions near the Tan Son Nhut Air base area when Long Binh came under attack. It was Airman Levitow's job to set the ejection and ignition controls on Mark 24 magnesium flares and pass to the gunner. These flares were three-foot-long, 27 pound metal tubes that would burn at 4000 degrees, illuminate with intensity of two million candlepower and burn for more than a minute.
As they were patrolling the area the pilot, Kenneth Carpenter of "Spooky 71" had seen muzzle flashes outside Long Binh Army Base. The pilot threw the AC-47 and its eight-man crew into a turn to engage the Viet Cong in the Tan Son Nhut Air Base area.
On the pilot's command, the gunner pulled the safety pin and tossed the flare through the open cargo door. Suddenly, Spooky 71 was jarred by a tremendous explosion. A North Vietnamese Army's 82-millimeter mortar shell hit the right wing and exploded inside the wing frame. The blast raked the fuselage with flying shrapnel. Everyone in the back of Spooky 71 was wounded, including Levitow who was hit by shrapnel that he was quoted as saying "felt like being hit by a two-by-four."
Despite his wounds, Levitow saw a loose, burning Mark 24 flare had been knocked free in the fuselage and was rolling amid ammunition cans that contained 19,000 rounds of live ammunition.
Through a haze of pain and shock, Levitow, with 40 shrapnel wounds in his legs, side and back, and fighting a 30-degree bank; crawled to the flare and threw himself upon it. Hugging it to his body, he dragged himself back to the rear of the aircraft and hurled it through the open cargo door saving the plane and aircraft. When the aircraft finally returned to the base, the extent of the damage became apparent. The AC-47 had more than 3,500 holes in the wings and fuselage, one measuring more than three feet long.
Levitow received the Medal of Honor from President Richard Nixon on, May 14, 1970, on Armed Forces Day. Levitow died of cancer on November 8, 2000. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. His grave can be found in section 66, site 7107, map grid DD/17.
Here's a great write up with rare photos: