Friday, June 29, 2012

Dad's WWII Mosquito

War Diary, 416th Night Fighter Squadron,
Pontedera Airfield, Italy
22 April 1945

Last night we were warned that the enemy might start withdrawing from the front lines in force and our commitment was to go on armed reconnaissance looking for convoys to attack.  We had five armed reccons and one patrol.  Visibility was good but practically no movement was seen along enemy highways.  Lt. Bateman was the only pilot who saw anything to attach.  He destroyed 4 trucks and damaged another.  Base closed in again and Lt. Johnson, flying the last mission, had to land at Pisa.  Capt. Miller and Lt. Parker got an early start for Rest Camp on Capri.  About 0900 hours Major Morrison got a message from XXII Tactical Air command ordering an all-out, maximum day effort against enemy motor transport, reportedly withdrawing in great numbers in the Po Valley.  We were given a central Po Valley area to search and Major Morrison searched for signs of enemy movement on the first mission, taking off at 1100 hours.  He was followed by Lt. Kangas, who took off ten minutes later.  After this two planes took off together every hour.  Major Morrison searched our area thoroughly and saw no traffic at all on the highways.  Some P-47’s on same mission saw him and were discussing on the R/T as to whether or not he was a ME-410.  He overheard them and said: “If it’s this plane on deck wagging its wings you are talking about, it’s a Mosquito!”.  They let him alone then.   At 1300 hours Lt. Kangas with his observer, Lt. Herron, were an hour overdue.  A check through sectors and G.C.I Stations revealed no word had been received from them.  At this point wing telephoned that Lt. Fuller and his observer, Lt. Lander, had pranged two miles off the runway at Forli.  Lt. Bruton on the same flight returned and said Fuller had been hit by flak and lost one engine near the Po River at San Benedetto, forcing him to go to Forli for a landing.  Lt. Bateman returned from his mission reporting that the Mosquito flown by Major Urso and Lt. Simpson, his observer, had either exploded or crashed near San Benedetto.   A P-47 was seen coming out of a dive on it.  A telephone call from Forli reported Fuller and Lander safe after crash landing in a orchard.  A telephone call from 350th Group reported a P-47 pilot observed a Mosquito, hit by flak, made a crash landing near San Benedetto and burst into flames, one parachute seen to open.   Lts. Robinson and Johnson returned after a very successful attach on 2 locomotives, box cars, a steam crane, a barge and 6 M/T destroyed and damaged.  Both experienced ground fire and a gas line in Lt. Robinson’s Mosquito was hit, all the gas leaking out of the tank.  Our daylight missions were called off and we went home to get some rest before a night that promised to be busy.  Nothing was heard of Kangas and Herron.  Fuller and Lander were home when we got there.  Unable to let down wheels or flaps they overshot the runway at Forli.  Nothing was left of the airplane, Fuller suffered only a sprained foot.  One shell had gone straight through the cockpit between the pilot and observer.  There was a pile of baggage in the hallway at the Villa – three new crews just arrived.  We had a drink before supper with the C.O.  The day seemed long.

File:De Havilland DH-98 Mosquito ExCC.jpg

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More Pump House

So clean, disenfected and softened water is finally flowing inside and out this tiny pump house.

Built this door out of recycled garage doors and a welded steel frame a few years back.

Part of the complete water system is this 750 gallon, three tank rain water collection system I installed a couple years ago. Empty right now, where is that rain?

Looking inside the door,  it's cramped.

Here is the final install which if you follow my blog you have seen before.

This is the 40 Gallon Retention tank which stores the chlorinated water used to kill the two types of iron bacteria in the well water.

Water from the well gets a 1 PPM (Parts Per Million) dose of deluted chlorine from the PulsaFeeder on its way to the Retention tank where is is stored until water is needed from the house or garden house.

Chlorinated water flows from the Retention tank to the taller carbon filter , a Fleck 5600 to be dechlorinated before  moving on.  Here the water path splits either out to the yard spigots or to the smaller water softening filter media tank, a Fleck 5600 STX

The large tank is the pressure tank for the well, the smaller tank houses "salt" to create a brine solution for rinsing the water softening tank media during it's regeneration cycle. The common misconception is that water softening systems dump sodium into ones diet. Actuall no more than a piece of toast. The brine soution is used to flush and deionise the calcium and other particulates. The final steps of the regeneration process is to rinse with clean water to remove the sodium.

Voila' (Wa La)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Two stoves

Finally our 20" stove arrived, 20 days after the internet vendor said it would. A bit miss leading -"Stainless Steel Like".  We thought about sending it back but the more we looked at the color we changed our mind.  Before using our new gas appliance I will call our gas company and have them come up and do a low pressure test.  It's the right thing to do and keeps us proper in the eyes of the propane and insurance company.

All that's left to do in the kitchen is the cabinet doors and drawers

20" Danby Designer

Our other stove is wood burning.  Haven't decided if, or where we will use it.  Now this is not one of the newer air tight models but here in Kingston there are no clean air laws.  We paid $150 for it.  I took it part, cleaned, painted and replaced all the nuts and bolts with stainless.  Not a true restoration on an antique.

We were in Las Cruce visiting our neighbor at work and happened to mention to one of the staff that were we looking for a small wood stove and he said my uncle has one he wants to sell "would you like to follow me and go look at it?".  Not that this was an impulse buy but on the other hand it was.  The uncle also had another one, smaller, which was us, but he would not let go of that one.

This would be called a Sun No. 40 from King Stove and Range Company out of Sheffield Alabama.

While at $150 this stove was inexpensive, to use it properly it will cost us a $1,000 to add a chimney system.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Time line would be around 1974, a couple years out of high school. A buddy, Dave and I drove down from Seattle to the Sierra's in mom's 1972 Datsun 1200 with an automatic to go back packing up in the snow fields around Mammoth. I still have that old Kelty pack and blue foam pads. Those were the days. Lost touch with Dave.

I had one of those crush hats and a mustache 
1971 Datsun 1200
Mom's had hub caps

1971 Datsun 1200

Dad had a MG 1000 until I dropped the clutch in gravel and spun the teath off the fly wheel. Dad junked the car for 50 bucks. Sorry Dad, that was a great little car.

299 Riley (Kestrel)  1300 Mk.2 (1967-71)

My favorite car from those times was my 1967 Datsun 1600 Roadster. Not as good looking as this restored one but I did have a new paint job.

1967 Datsun 1600 Image 1 of 24


Won't be playing with my trains any time soon. Won't be doing anything. Can't even watch TV. We don't have TV.

Tore off my finger nail last night. Only held on with the last remaining edge. Surprisingly not much blood. Now I will be loosing two nails. 

I was cutting a piece of thin steel with a hack saw in a vice and forgot to stop pushing when the cut was done. Always in a hurry, not for a while now.

Will try and hire a neighbor to help finish up my plumbing job. Not that much to do really, only 8 fittings and three hoses to be installed before the water can be turned on to begin testing and adjusting.

Your right, I wasn't wearing gloves.

I was wearing gloves when I smashed my other finger while moving some logs.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lots of Pipes

Finally my pump house plumbing job is coming together. Still need a few more parts. One of my suppliers sent the wrong item so those will be here in 3 days. Satomi and I need to make a trip to Las Cruces for the rest.

Today the sewer drain line was completed thanks to Satomi's help again.

Had to add a replacement 4" Combo Wye. Lucky that the last plumber didn't use much glue so the old part came off easy.

Satomi sifted and back filled the trench, good as new!. Better!

Once inside things get tight. Just enough room to add a P-trap and air vent.

Vent line tucked in the corner.

Here we see the two black poly pipe drain lines for back flushing the media tanks.  I plumbed the drain two ways, one to the sewer or by changing the valves, the drain can be diverted to a spare yard line.

Here we see the final pipe routing in the SW corner waiting for the media tanks to be set in place. A little electrical work first.

Tomorrow the 40 gallon retention tank will go in the far left corner.
That's it for now.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day four in the tiny pump house

Only hit my head three times today. No pictures since inside the pump house pretty much looks the same as yesterday behind all that equipment. PACKED!!!

Of course the plumbing work is behind all that "Stuff" and like I mentioned, today I went ahead and did a few changes to help me run the drain system and a little better access to the Apollo valves. It is tight. Now I'm on hold waiting on a few more parts.

Tomorrow Satomi and I are heading in to T or C for most of the day. A day off except I will be buying parts for the job so never a day off.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

More Pump House

Another long day inside this tiny pump house.  Today was 1" Pex pipe day.  Now that I'm almost done running pipes I already want to change the layout.  We will see.

All the components in place
Heart of the system is the chemical dispensing tank and pump.
Two different media tanks. Both Fleck 5600 units.
Piping behind the two media tanks.
Pipes everywhere!
This is called a Tank Tee.  Water from the pump enters the tank tee on the left through a check valve.  Mounted on the Tee is a 30/50 Pressure regulator switch, a pressure relief valve in case something goes wrong, a drain valve for a garden hose and what I call the main shut off valve.

 Pretty standard set up.  What I see a lot in these old pump houses is the previous guy used a gate valves.  I don't use gate valves, all that turning, I want the water off now!

For this job I purchased 1" Apollo full flow ball valves.  What I like about these valves is the ball is solid stainless steel rather then chrome plated brass which fails here in Kingston with our hard water.  Apollo valves cost more but they last a lot longer.

My beer with dinner tonight sure tasted good!

Monday, June 4, 2012


Oh Boy! Another well pump house to re plumb. Another one here in Kingston for a neighbor over on North Street.

Due to an Iron Bacteria problem a Chlorination /Dechlorination system has to be installed along with a water softening system for the tank less on demand water heater. All this gear was purchased off the internet from

Going to be tight fit and a puzzle of pipes and valves.
The Chlor/Declor system requires a 40 gallon retention tank, a chlorine tank with a pulse pump and a filter media resin tank. 
Whipped out this rack in just under 2 hours. Nice to have steel inventory at my shop for little projects like this.
Yes it's level
Added a 6" steel well casing extension, a new well seal along with a new brass tee. I wonder why the last two professional plumbers that worked in this pump house did not do this.
Reworked the Tank Tee to accept Pex pipe. Still need to replace the dial gauge and drain valve.
Satomi spend most of the day digging in the hot sun.  Had to expose the house sewer drain for the two filtering system drains.
Out with the old.