The magnificent flying machines of WWII and their deadly payloads as never seen before: Colourised images bring pilot's daring escapades to life (19 Pics)

  • The black and white WWII photographs were colourised by design engineer Paul Reynolds from Birmingham 
  • The images show crashed aircraft engulfed in flames, captured Nazi prototype planes, and several bombs 

  • The pilot of a US Navy F6F Hellcat escapes after a crash landing on the USS Lexington aircraft carrier in 1945. Hellcats were credited with destroying more than 5,000 enemy aircraft whiel in service with the US Navy, Marine Corps and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm - more than any other Allied naval aircraft. A total of 12,275 were built in just over two years during World War II

    Personnel of No 92 Squadron RAF push one of their Supermarine Spitfire Mark VIIIs from the mud on the waterlogged landing ground at Canne, Italy. The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries before, during and after World War II

    Bomb-carrying Corsairs of a US Marine Squadron warm up at an advanced Pacific base for a strike against the Japanese. The Corsair was designed as a carrier-based aircraft, but its landing performance rendered it unsuitable for Navy use and was instead deployed for land-base use by they US Marines. After the carrier's landing issues were tackled, it became the most capable carrier-based fighter bomber in World War II

    Squadron Leader J A F MacLachlan, the one-armed Commanding Officer of No 1 Squadron RAF, standing beside his all-black Hawker Hurricane Mark IIC night fighter, 'JX-Q', at Tangmere, Sussex. MacLachlan was wounded in action in February 1941, and his arm was so severely damaged that it was amputated and replaced with an artificial limb. He continued to fly for several years, where he shot down 16 German and Italian aircraft over 250 missions. In July 1942, he crashed over France and he died from his injuries at a military hospital

    Douglas SBD 'Dauntless' dive bomber balanced on nose after crash landing on carrier flight deck, June 21, 1943. The naval scout plane and dive bomber was manufactured between 1940 and 1944. It's best remembered for being the bomber that delivered fatal blows to Japanese carriers during the Battle of Midway in 1942

    The B29 - one pictured above after crashing into the ocean, was a four-engine, propeller-driven heavy bomber designed by Boeing. It was one of the largest operational aircraft used during the Second World War. The 'Superfortress' featured a pressurized cabin, dual-wheeled tricycle landing gear and an analog computer-controlled fire-control system

    The crash landing of F6F-3, Number 30 of Fighting Squadron Two (VF-2), USS Enterprise, into the carrier's port side 20mm gun gallery on November 10, 1943. Lieutenant Walter L Chewning, Jr, USNR, the Catapult Officer, is climbing up the plane's side to assist the pilot from the burning aircraft. The pilot, Ensign Byron M Johnson, escaped without significant injury. Enterprise was then en route to support the Gilberts Operation

    A military member checks B-29 bombs ahead of a departure to Tokyo in 1945. Unlike many World War II bombers, the B-29 Superfortress remained in service long after the war ended and wasn't retired until June 1960. Among other things, the aircraft excelled at low-altitude nighttime bombing and high-altitude strategic bombing. One of its final roles in WWII was carrying out the atomic bomb attacks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

    Two men hoist a Tall Boy - a 12,000-lb MC deep-penetration bomb 0 from a bomb dumb into its carrier. The Tallboy was an earthquake bomb developed by the British aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis and used by the RAF during the Second World War

    The Bristol Type 156 Beaufighter, pictured flying over a snow-covered landscape, was developed during the Second World War. The RAF first deployed the aircraft druing the height of the Battle of Britain, and it proved to be well-suited for a night fighting role. The aircraft could accommodate heavy armaments and early airborne interception radar

    The Americans had their own uniquely nicknamed bomb - the Fat Man. It was the codename for the atomic bomb that was detonated over the Japanese city of Nagasaki by the United States on August, 9, 1945. It was the second of the only two nuclear weapons ever used in warfare, the first being Little Boy, and its detonation marked the third-ever man-made nuclear explosion in history. It was built by scientists and engineers at Los Alamos Laboratory using plutonium from the Hanford Site and dropped from the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bockscar

    The P-51 Mustang, pictured, was a long-range, single-seat fighter and bomber that was used during the war. The P-51Bs and Cs were used to escort bombers in raides over Germany and elsewhere. The Mustang pilots claimed to have destroyed 4,950 enemy aircraft during WWII

    The Kugisho MXY7 Ohka Model 11 ('I-18')  was captured from the Japanese Navy Yontan airfield, Okinawa on April 1, 1945. The kamikaze attack aircraft, nicknamed 'Baka' or fool, by US sailors, was used mainly against US ships invading Okinawa. It was primarily effective due to its high speed in its dive downward. The I-18 is now on display at The Air Museum Planes of Fame in Valle, Arizona

    One image shows a close-up of the damaged tail of the Boeing B-17F-5-BO (S/N 41-24406) 'All American III'. The left horizontal stabilizer was torn completely off, and the aircraft was nearly cut in half by the collision with a German fighter over enemy territory. The aircraft was able to return safely to bas after having the rear fuselage nearly cut off during the collision

    The Grumman TBF Avenger aircraft was manufactured by General Motors in World War II. THe torpedo bomber was initional developed for the US Navy and Marines, but was eventually used by militaries across the world. The TBM-3, pictured above,  was the most common of the avengers, with about 4,600 produced

    Other images in the colourised collection show what are believed to be captured Nazi prototype planes. n the battle to stay ahead of the enemy in World War II, American engineers were willing to employ any trick - including stealing the ideas from their Nazi counterparts. So they shipped hundreds of German aircraft to a field in Seymour, Indiana, where they proceeded to take apart the machines to learn how they were built - and then buried any evidence of doing so

    Allies seized around 80 different types of aircraft throughout Europe and then shipped them to Indiana, where they were flown, taken apart and then put back together. While many parts or planes were saved for museum displays, others were discarded - thrown into pits in the field and covered with tons of dirt. Pictured above, a captured Nazi prototype plane

     In one photo, aircraft used by the RAF can be seen as the sun sets in Lancaster. The Avro Lancaster was Bomber Command's most famous bomber durin World War II. It was used in several raids in Germany, including the '1,000 bomber' raid on Cologne in May 1942

    Paul Reynolds, from Birmingham, colourised the photos with a digital pen. He said: 'The only problems I come across are the condition of the photos especially private commissions, most are torn, folded, creased, water damaged, dust spots and discoloured which then has to be digitally repaired with a brush, this process usually takes longer than the paint, but the finished photo is 100 per cent sharper and more pleasing on the eye'

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