SCHAF Newsletter for August 2017

SCHAF Newsletter for August 2017

Reminder: The next SCHAF Open House will take place Saturday, August 12, 2017. 10am-1pm at Hangar Y-1 Hamilton-Owens Airport.

Foundation Happenings-

Greetings to the members and friends of the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation. Not only has this been a hot summer but it’s also been a busy one as far as SCHAF activities.  July was a month with a lot going on and a month that saw SCHAF making real progress in a number of areas.  The restoration of GF-2 is proceeding nicely and progress continues apace.  If you haven’t been by to see SCHAF’s B-25C recently make a point of doing so because the old girl is beginning to look really good.

A good open house on Saturday, July 8, 2017.  A number of people dropped by to learn about SCHAF and view the progress made in returning GF-2 to her former glory.  A number of young people and their parents were able to find out about the exciting and rich history of aviation and South Carolina’s role in that history.   SCHAF members who were present included Ken Berry, Ron Shelton, David McIntosh, Mary McIntosh, Joe McDonough, Ron Skipper, Marvin Williams, Alton Blanks, Edwin Scott and Ted Podewil.  As always, a great deal of interest in Ted Podewil’s airborne display.

The board of directors of the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation met at Hamilton-Owens Airport in Columbia on Thursday, July 6, 2017.  Board members present were Ken Berry, Cantzon Foster, David McIntosh, Katherine Cuddy, Scott Linaberry and Ron Skipper.  SCHAF members present were: Chris Gillam, David Moxley, John Chamberlain, Edwin Scott, Gary Byrd and Mary McIntosh.  The main topic of discussion was planning for a major fund raising campaign for SCHAF and starting the process to start applying for grants to support the work of the foundation.   Chris Gillam, an affiliate of the University of South Carolina’s Institute of Archaeology who teaches archaeology at Winthrop University, has extensive experience in writing grant applications and briefed everyone on the grant writing process.  It was agreed that SCHAF needs to develop both short and long term goals. It was agreed that continued work on restoring GF-2 is the main short term goal.  Among the long term goals, securing a bigger building to house GF-2 and potentially other aircraft and working toward the establishment of a South Carolina Museum of Aviation.  Also present was Chris Eversmann, airport manager at Hamilton-Owens Airport.  Chris briefed everyone on expansion plans at Hamilton-Owens and said that he and the staff at the airport would be cooperative in assisting the foundation in its endeavors. Since that meeting a fund-raising letter has been drafted and a list of recipients will be developed. During the meeting those attending where told that the major needs for the restoration project are bomb bay doors and parts for the navigation area. Will keep everyone informed on developments in future SCHAF newsletters.

On Friday, June 30th, some of the members of the SCHAF restoration team traveled to Patriots Point in Charleston to meet with the folks restoring “Furtle Turtle,” the Patriots Point B-25.  Both groups were able to swap ideas, compare notes and learn from each other.  SCHAF members making the trip were David Moxley, Ron Skipper and John Chamberlain (pictured above).  Second picture shows David Moxley, Mac Burdette, director of Patriots Point and Katherine Cuddy and David Moxley.  The folks at Patriots Point are to be commended for the great things they’re doing in Charleston. Also, another bit of news about SCHAF’s collaboration with Patriots Point.  SCHAF will be helping out by fabricating parts for the restoration of “Furtle Turtle.”

On Tuesday, July 25, I had the pleasure of speaking to the West Wateree Rotary Club in Lugoff about SCHAF and our mission to preserve and promote South Carolina’s aviation history. A really great group of people who were interested and enthusiastic at finding out about what we’re doing.  Good questions and nice people to meet with. Kudos go out to John Wells for extending the invitation to speak to the West Wateree Rotary Club.

On Thursday, July 27th the Historic Columbia Foundation held a tour of the Curtiss-Wright Hangar at Hamilton-Owens Airport.  The historic Curtiss-Wright Hangar will soon be the new home of the Hunter-Gatherer brewery in Columbia.  In recent months restoration work has been taking place and the hangar is beginning to look really good.  John Sherer with the Historic Columbia Foundation talked with folks about the history of the hangar while the folks from Hunter-Gatherer talked about their planned brewery operation.  SCHAF rolled GF-2 out of hangar Y-1 and talked about restoration efforts and aviation history in the Palmetto State.  There was a good crowd and everyone really enjoyed the evening.  For those of you who are not familiar with the history of the Curtiss-Wright Hangar here’s a brief run down. It is one of the few remaining hangars built by the Curtiss-Wright Flying Service. Owens Field was Columbia’s first municipal airport and among the visitors in the 1930s were Amelia Earhardt and Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Over the years the hangar had fallen into disrepair but a bright new future seems assured.  The Curtiss-Wright Hangar, by the way, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Here are some links; first a link to a story in The State newspaper: http://www.thestate.com/news/business/article128005539.html .  Here’s something from the website of the Historic Columbia Foundation: https://www.historiccolumbia.org/events/behind-the-scenes-tour-curtiss-wright-hangar . Here’s a link to a story that ran on South Carolina Public Radio: http://huntergathererbrewery.com/south-carolina-brewer-expanding-to-old-airplane-hangar/ .  Finally I would like to put in a plug for the Historic Columbia Foundation. They’re great folks who are doing yeoman’s duty at preserving and promoting the history of the capital city.  Here’s a link to their website: https://www.historiccolumbia.org .

Here’s a recent article from The Columbia Star about SCHAF member Robert Smith, who back in the 1980s was one of the Explorers who carried out the original restoration of GF-2: http://www.thecolumbiastar.com/news/2017-07-21/Front_Page/Explorer_has_B25_dj__vu.html . Robert is now with the South Carolina State Guard and is very involved with SCHAF.

 

Historical Notes-

I’ve been mentioning the Christopher Nolan movie Dunkirk in previous SCHAF newsletters. It’s one of those movies I’ve anticipated since I first heard about it.  Well, the wait is over, It hit the theatres just over a week ago and word on is that this is one to see.  It’s already shaping up to be a blockbuster. The verdict? Every bit as good as expected; a cinema masterpiece.  The reviews are almost all positive, in fact some of them are raves.  The Chicago Tribune says the great thing about Dunkirk is its decency: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/kass/ct-dunkirk-movie-kass-met-0723-20170721-column.htmlTIME magazine says it’s a film about men who care about a greater good: http://time.com/4864051/dunkirk-review/ . Another article about the history behind the movie: https://thefederalist.com/2017/07/21/the-history-behind-the-movie-dunkirk/ . Here’s a good article on why Dunkirk could mean more movies in the future aimed at adults: http://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/commentary/dunkirk-is-a-great-film—-unlike-most/article_779685a6-730a-11e7-b4dd-8b37080f0630.html .  Run, don’t walk to the nearest theatre. You’ve got to see this one. Has some great aerial scenes.

It was in August of 1945 that the B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan thus bringing the end of World War II one step closer.  Here’s the story of why the bomb had to be assembled in the air: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/first-atomic-bomb-had-to-be-assembled-in_flight.html .

 The story of America’s first stealth fighter, the F-117 Nighthawk: http://nationalinterest.org/blog/americas-first-stealth-fighter-the-legend-the-f-117-17976 .

 Here’s an interesting site called Shorpy.  It contains a wealth of photographs from earlier eras on a variety of subjects including aviation.  Here’s the link to the aviation section: http://www.shorpy.com/image/tid/47 .

A long, long time ago; when people sent postcards and airships were considered cutting edge: http://rectoversoblog.com/2012/07/26/dirigibles/ .

Before there was Republic Aviation, manufacturers of the outstanding P-47 Thunderbolt, there was Seversky Aviation.  Here’s a story about their P-35, predecessor to the P-47: http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/1998/04/stuff_eng_detail_p35.htm .

From Life Magazine in 1942.  The end of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers: http://www.cbi-theater.com/life072042/life072042.html .

Below I’ll touch on the subject of squadron nicknames and college athletics but right now regarding the subject of aircraft markings, here’s an interesting piece on one of the most recognizable insignia of any air force around (with the exception of the white star on American military aircraft), the roundel of the Royal Air Force: http://www.classicwarbirds.co.uk/articles/the-history-of-the-raf-roundel.php .

An interesting video that shows how historic aircraft were transported to the National Museum of the United States Air Force: https://theaviationist.com/2016/03/21/unique-video-shows-how-historic-aircraft-were-transported-to-the-national-museum-of-the-united-states-air-force/ .

Good Reads-

This month’s good read is a short but interesting little book dealing with the history of the Supermarine Works, the Southampton based firm that would give the world the legendary Spitfire as well as a line of record breaking seaplane racers.  Supermarine: An Illustrated History by Christopher Smith is a short but interesting book about the history of the famous firm that claimed R.J. Mitchell as its chief designer and would bequeath the Spitfire to the world.  Lots of pictures and interesting background info for the aviation geeks among you.  You’ll finish it in an hour or so (if you a fast reader like I am) but it will be an hour well spend.  Check it out.

Odds and Ends-

Last month’s trivia question had to do with aircraft markings. If you’ll remember we wanted to know which country used a red, blue and white roundel for a brief period of time.

Nieuport 28 with the World War 1 era American roundels

The answer is the United States.  This roundel was used at the end of WW1 on the aircraft in Europe within the American Expeditionary Force. Inspired by the roundels of the British and French aviation branches, with whom the AEF aerial branch fought, it was used together with a fin flash composed of three blue-white-red vertical stripes, the order of which varied with location and time. By 1919 the United States used the familiar white star with the red meatball in the middle.  That marking was dropped in 1942 to avoid confusion with the emblem used by Japanese forces.  Now here’s the interesting thing, at around the same time the same roundel was also used by the air force of Czechoslovakia though they dropped it shortly after the United States stopped using it. In more modern times it was used by the Republika Srpaska (don’t ask me how to pronounce it) Air Force which would become part of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Air Force during the Yugoslav Civil War.  Congratulations go out to John Tokaz and Wayne Fritz and Frank Young for providing the right answer.

Now here’s our trivia question for this month.  Who was the first person to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross?  A hint.  He was at one time the most famous aviator in the world. Another hint; he also had a beautiful wife.  Okay, who am I looking for?  We’ll let you know next month.

Of course, everyone is aware of the solar eclipse that will be taking place on August 21st and will be visible in the Palmetto State.  It’s seems that around the country a number of pilots will be taking to the air as eclipse chasers.  Here’s the story: http://www.avgeekery.com/pilots-prepare-special-charters-to-chase-the-great-american-eclipse/ .

Another college sports season is almost upon us and soon everyone will rooting and pulling for their favorite team. Clemson will be defending a national title in college football and next year the University of South Carolina will be defending a national title in women’s basketball as well as making another run at the final four in men’s basketball.  As part of an effort to get everyone into the spirit let’s find out about some famous squadrons whose mascots or nicknames are the same as teams in the Palmetto state.  Everyone of course is familiar with the American Volunteer Group or Flying Tigers; so Clemson Fans be proud. Today the 23rd Fighter Group of the USAF at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, consider themselves the descendants of the Flying Tigers.  The 391st Fighter Squadron of the USAF, based at Mountain Home Air Force Base are the “Bold Tigers.”  Don’t fret Gamecock fans; the USAF has the 19th Fighter Squadron, known as the Gamecocks.  In the U.S. Marine Corps VMA-322 were known as the Fighting Gamecocks. The Royal Air Force also has a Gamecock Squadron, 43 Squadron who in the 1930s flew a plane called the Gloster Gamecock.  Okay Tiger fans the RAF also has a Tiger Squadron, 74 Squadron.  If you’re a Citadel or South Carolina State fan, you’re not left out because in World War II the RAF had a Bulldog Squadron, 166 Squadron; a heavy bomber unit that flew the Avro Lancaster.  Folks who pull for Winthrop can take pride in the three Eagle Squadrons of the RAF, Americans who flew for the British in the early stages of the Second World War. If you pull for The College of Charleston know this, the Royal Canadian Air Force has 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron, the Cougar Squadron.  Click on the squadron emblems below to find out more about each one.

 

And now for now for something completely different (as a famous comedy ensemble used to say); creative and funny airline safety videos: http://mentalfloss.com/article/67178/11-creative-flight-safety-videos-around-world .

In Closing-

Well, that wraps up this month’s SCHAF newsletter.  I know I’m always mentioning the need for folks to get involved with SCHAF, but it’s important that as many people as possible step forward in order ensure the continued success of the foundation.  There are any number of areas to get involved with.  If you have an idea or can think of something new for SCHAF to take on, please let us know.  The more people involved the more successful SCHAF will be in the coming years. Come on, it’s time to step up.

If you have something you would like to share please e-mail me or any of the board members for inclusion in future newsletters. Oh, and by the way, if you have not renewed your membership, do so at your earliest convenience.  Go to the SCHAF membership page on the foundation’s website.  Your support of SCHAF is greatly appreciated.

Until next month.

Dave McIntosh ( dmcintoshone@att.net )