Dwight F. Brooks, B-17 Model Airplane Builder

Dwight F. Brooks II, a World Class Model Airplane builder, constructed the large B-17 model owned by Earl Joswick and donated by his son after his passing to the 8th AFHS-Mn.

The Story of Ten Aces and Earl Joswick

The Ten Aces Crew Photo.

Earl Joswick is in the front row, 4th from the left.

Ten Aces was the name of a U.S. 8th Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress shot down in 1944 on one of several dangerous missions sent over Nazi Germany to destroy the ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt.

Among the ten members of the aircrew was Earl B. Joswick, from Deephaven, Minnesota, who served as the Ball Turret Gunner. Earl had enlisted in 1942 right out of high school and his crew, stationed at Horham, England with the 95th Bomb Group, was on their 14th combat mission when Ten Aces was suddenly hit by flak.

Earl described what happened to a reporter for the Chanhassen Villager (2009).

"The flak was so thick it looked like you could step out of the plane and walk on it. We bailed out at 23,000 feet and made it to the ground through all that fire. I hit a tree and cracked the bones in my leg. One of the guys on my plane, the bombardier saved me. He helped me strap wood to my leg to keep it together and helped me walk. We were able to stay hidden for five days, but we then came up on some farm people and Hitler Youth. They came after us with these huge corn knives, but one of the farmers held them off with a shotgun and he took us to town. He brought us to the Gestapo near Mannheim, Germany.

We were POWs for 14 months with little food and [were] frequently beaten and kicked. The worst time was the Death March in February 1945, when they marched us 500 miles in the middle of the winter through knee-deep snow. For me it was pretty bad because I still had a broken leg. If it was not for my friends, I would not have made it. I went from 170 pounds to 98 pounds.

When we were liberated, we hiked to Camp Lucky Strike in France. We tried to stay and continue to fight, but they wouldn't let us stay in; they then sent us back to the United States. . . .

Yes, we did lose friends, but in some ways, I was very fortunate. All 10 guys who flew with me came back after the war. We didn't lose one of them. We were called the Ten Aces and we were lucky. . . .

We stuck up for each other, supported each other through anything and took care of each other. We didn't have as many rules and regulations, so we had to depend on each other. . . . you looked out for one another and worried about them. If one guy had 5 cents and another had $20, we would go out and everyone would have a good time. You didn't just think of yourself."

Earl Joswick (1923-2010)


About Earl's B-17 Model:


The large scale B-17 Model of a Flying Fortress was constructed by Dwight F. Brooks II, (1929-1996) who has been described as a "World Class" Model Airplane builder. The model was originally painted in a different paint scheme but was later repainted as "Ten Aces" after Earl acquired the model. After Earl's passing it was donated to the Eighth Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota, an organization Earl had been a past President of.

Longer Version

A History of the Earl Joswick / Dwight F. Brooks II B-17G Scale Model

By Kevin Callahan

The Eighth Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota's large 1/10 scale B-17G Model of a WW II, USAAF Flying Fortress was constructed by Dwight F. Brooks II, (1929-1996) who was a world class museum quality model builder with many published articles. The model was originally painted in a different paint scheme but was later repainted as the U.S Eighth Air Force's Ten Aces after Earl Joswick acquired the model.

Earl Joswick, a WWII Veteran, was the Ball Turret Gunner on the original Ten Aces, USAAF, 8th Air Force, 95th Bomb Group, Horham, England, and survived the infamous 1945 "Black March" as a POW after the plane was shot down on one of the missions in 1944 to the ball bearing plant at Schweinfurt, Germany. After Earl Joswick's passing the model was donated by his son to the Eighth Air Force Historical Society of Minnesota, an organization Earl had been a past President of.

Myron Asper, a retired USAF aircraft mechanic and wood carver, undertook the restoration of the model to its present excellent condition and fixed some condition problems which had developed over the years. Most of the damage had probably occured while moving the model. Myron worked on restoring the model for a year and completed the restoration in September of 2014.

Myron Asper hand carved a Norden Bombsight and Bombardier chair for the nose of the model and made many other improvements and repairs. He documented his work with many digital photographs. He made guns for the model that look like .50 caliber guns. Both wing tips had been broken, so he reputtied and reglued them to be stronger. (The model should not be handled or moved by its wing tips.) He put in new cockpit windows to replace those broken out as well as new side gun ports windows in the front which were also broken out. He fixed the plexiglass or plastic front nose dome which was reputtied and looks significantly better. The fuselage side door was reglued, which had been cracked open..On the tail elevator one side had broken off. He reputtied, reglued, and redrilled the holes making it stiffer. On the wingtips, one of the landing lights was broken, so he put in a new lens and backing and repainted it. The ailerons were weather beaten and he reputtied, sanded, and fixed the aileron tabs. On the back of the wing near the fuselage some parts were broken out. so he rebuilt that area. Underneath the letter "B" on the wings and tail, a diamond decal was showing through. He pulled that off, sanded the diamond and matched it and put the letter B back on, so the earlier underlying diamond decal on both top and bottom of wing was no longer visible. On the fuselage and also near the cockpit he fixed the chipped paint. The bottom guns on the ball turret were broken out and he glued back in more detailed new guns. The guns were originally facing down and still are. There was damage to the front wing (on the left wing as you face the model) where part of it had broken off. The back was 1/4 inch higher than it should have been. He matched the height and fixed the wing damage. Using an airbrush he painted approximately 15 coats of new paint and 8 to 10 coats of wax on the model. On top of the rudder there was a light notch through which electrical wires were visible, which he puttied in. The tail wheel had been broken off, which he put back on. To fixed it. he had to cut cut a hole, which he later reputtied and made look perfect. One of the wheels was loose, so he drilled a hole in it and pop riveted so it would not turn. On some engines the propellers would not turn, so he took them apart, reoiled the bearings, and repainted any chips or scratches on the propellers.

Myron did not didn't repair the electrical system of the model. There appears to have been an electrical battery pack in the model like one would see for remote controlled model airplanes. Originally there probably was a remote control, which is now missing, to run the wheels up and down on the model and the running lights. The missing remote may still operate all of these functions. The only light working at present is the red light on the bottom of the model. Attempts at substituting a Universal TV remote control were unsuccessful.

Myron Asper also made repairs and improvements to the model's display stand. The display stand is about 4 or 5 feet tall with a steel pole upon which the model sits. He removed the rust, sanded and repainted it, put patches on it. and improved the base. The pole of the stand was previously screwed into a small board. To make the base more secure against tipping he added a larger board for the base of about 4 by 5 feet in size with wheels to more easily move it around on a floor.. The completed model should always be moved on a floor by pushing the pole of the stand, never the model itself, and especially not moved by its restored wings. He also painted the base of the stand and cut the stand's steel pole putting a welded bend in it it of about 5 degrees. This significantly improves the aesthetic appearance of the model and makes it looks like its banking. Myron is presently constructing a rope barrier intended to keep visitors from touching the completed model.

The original construction process that was used by Dwight F. Brooks to construct the B-17G model is documented in a 6 minute slide show of still photos available on the 8th AFHS-MN webpage about the model and on You Tube at http://youtu.be/bD-v7ejvjhY.

A B-17G Flying Fortress has a wingspan of 103 feet 9.4 inchesw (31.63 m). The model's finished wing span is just over 10 feet. This 1/10 scale model was constructed of fiberglass, carved wood, metal plexiglass, and plastic components.

Other large museum quality models were made by Dwight F. Brooks. His reputation as a world class model builder rests is in part upon his work building large ship and submarine models, which are now exhibited in museums. For example, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum exhibits at least three of his large WW II warship models. Photoographs of these models and the diplay information are available online at the "Let's Go See It.com Your Guide to Southern California and Beyond" website under the link to Warship Models.(link address is below). The museum's display placards read as follows.

"SS-383, U.S.S.Pampanito

Built by Dwight F. Brooks in 1982, this model is based on the 312-foot Balao class submarine, U.S.S. Pampanito, built at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in 1943. Pampanito had six patrols in the Pacific and is credited with sinking six large ships and damaging four others. U.S.S. Pampanitoalso rescued downed pilots and survivors of torpedoed transports carrying allied prisoners-of-war. 

The original U.S.S. 
Pampanito can be seen at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, as a floating exhibit of the San Francisco Maritime Museum. Tbe model weighs 100 pounds and is 10 feet long. 

Scale: 4/10 inch = 1 foot 

Gift of the Marbrook Foundation and Brooks Family Members.


Built by Dwight F. Brooks in 1982, this model is based on the 221-foot class VII C German submarine commissioned on October 22, 1941. The original U-406 went on 11 patrols. It only sank one ship and was sunk by depth charges from the British frigate, H.M.S. Spey in the North Atlantic on February 18, 1944. The Brooks model weighs 185 lbs. and is 10 feet, 2 inches long. 

Scale: 1/2 inch = 1 foot 

Gift of the Marbrook Foundation and Brooks Family Members.

The Incredible U.S.S. Cree

U.S.S. Cree (ATF-84) is a 216-foot Apache class U.S. Naval Fleet Tug, built in 1942 and commissioned in March 1943. U.S.S. Cree performed as a towing and salvage vessel during World War II (WWII), cruising throughout the Pacific in numerous military operations. These tugs were specially designed to accompany fighting fleets, and were fast enough to match their cruising speeds. 

Cree and other Apache class tugs were instrumental to the war effort in a number of ways. These vessels were responsible for towing damaged aircraft carriers, battleships, and other vessels and equipment to safe locations. Fleet tugs sometimes acted as fireboats, putting out fires aboard warships with their highly efficient water pumping systems. When necessary, these tugs performed their duties while defending themselves from attack. 

These ships helped out with general defense during air raids, and used depth charges for anti-submarine warfare when needed. In postwar years, fleet tugs were just as important. They performed many different roles, among which towing and rescue duties were just a few. 

Cree received two battle stars in WWII and three in the Korean War. Despite surviving these conflicts, U.S.S. Cree was accidentally bombed by aircraft while towing a target and was decommissioned in April of 1978. It was later sunk as a target in August of that same year. 

This remote-controlled model has a complete lighting system, fully operable water hoses, and rotating radar masts. In case of attack, the U.S.S. 
Cree even has a working depth-charge delivery system and guns that fire blanks! 

Dwight Brooks built this model between October 1979 and June 1980. He obtained plans for the U.S.S. 
Cree from both the Long Beach Naval Station in Long Beach, California, as well as the U.S. Navy base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It weighs 204 pounds and is 9 feet long. 

Scale: 1/2 inch = 1 foot 

Gift of the Marbrook Foundation and Brooks Family Members."

Website: http://www.letsgoseeit.com/index/county/sbarb/sbarb/loc03/warship/warship.htm

According to the Smithsonian's website, a Dwight F. Brooks, possibly his father, donated a World War II, Westland Lysander IIIa airplane, (a short takeoff spy plane) which is on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum.The airplane is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia near Dulles Airport.