SCHAF Newsletter for July 2017

SCHAF Newsletter for July 2017-

Reminder: The next SCHAF Open House will take place Saturday, July 8, 2017. 10am-1pm at Hangar Y-1 Hamilton/Owens Airport.  

Foundation Happenings-

A good open house on Saturday, June 10, 2017. Crowds weren’t as big as previous months but those who showed up were interested and enthusiastic about the work of SCHAF.  Met some nice people who were interested in the story of GF-2 and the mission of SCHAF.  SCHAF members present were Ken Berry, Ron Shelton, David McIntosh, Mary McIntosh, Katherine Cuddy, Ron Skipper, David Moxley, Robert Smith and Joe McDonough.  We would also like to welcome two new members to the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation, Craig and Lynn Martin.  They were both at the open house and joined after finding out more about SCAHF. Also thanks go out to Doug Strickler, who dropped by and donated a number of items to SCHAF including photographs, documents and material dealing with his father’s career in the United States Air Force.   It was also a pleasure to see Robert Smith, who is a member of SCHAF and an N.C.O. in the South Carolina State Guard.  Years ago, when GF-2 was freed from her watery prison, Robert was one of the members of the Explorer troop that took up the first efforts at restoration.  He was very impressed with the progress that has been made.

I made mention in last month’s newsletter that the last weekend in May Robert Simmons and the team restoring “Furtle Turtle” the B-25 at Patriots Point paid a visit to Hamilton-Owens Airport to meet with the SCHAF restoration team and share ideas regarding both projects. In the coming weeks the SCHAF restoration team plans a visit to Patriots Point to help them out with the restoration of their B-25.  Below are some pictures of the visit.  I’ve said it before but the folks at Patriots Point are great people and they’re doing important work and introducing the public to the Palmetto State’s important role in the history of aviation.  SCHAF is proud to support the mission of Patriots Point.  

On the subject of “Fiurtle Turtle” last month’s newsletter had some pictures of the project to restore the Patriots Point’s B-25.  Robert Simmons sent in some more pictures and it looks like they’re doing a great job and making progress.

 

The board of directors of the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation did not meet during the month of June. A meeting will take place in July.

By the way, heard recently from SCHAF members Franklin Hall and Robert Brutschy.  Glad you’re still enjoying the newsletter.  Both had good suggestions for future newsletters.  Thanks.

Historical Notes-

As we get ready to celebrate Independence Day let us remember those made our freedom possible.  A good video about Jerry Yellin, the man who flew the final combat mission of World War II: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/395572/jerry-yellin-world-war-ii-veteran-interview#.V1WPMBFESM8 .

Would like to remind everyone that it was 73 years ago on June 6, 1944, as Allied forces were fighting their way across the beaches of Normandy that SCHAF’s B-25, GF-2, had to ditch in Lake Greenwood.  The left seat student pilot was Dan Rossman, who passed away a few years ago and to the end was an enthusiastic member and supporter of SCHAF.  This year also marks the 75th anniversary of GF-2 coming to the Palmetto State.  Some other historical notes; June also marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway when the U.S. Navy soundly defeated the naval forces of Imperial Japan.  Some links dealing with the Battle of Midway. First one about the battle itself: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/447727/battle-midway-american-naval-improvisation-proved-decisive , and one about the plane that played a decisive role, the Douglas Dauntless or SBD: http://www.avgeekery.com/slow-but-deadly-the-sbd-dauntless-turned-the-tables-at-midway/ . Another link listing the carriers, both American and Japanese that took part in the Battle of Midway: https://www.strategypage.com/articles/midway/carriers.asp .

Here’s an interesting piece about a certain B-25 that some of us in SCHAF have been aware of for years. It was in Virginia for years embroiled in legal proceedings, then ended up briefly in South America, but is now in Australia undergoing restoration in the colors of the Dutch East Indies Air Force, which flew with the Royal Australian Air Force in World War II.  Here’s the dope on “Lucky Lady” which is being restored as “Pulk”: https://acesflyinghigh.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/reevers-warbirds-b-25-mitchell-restoration-pulk-a-dutch-tribute/ .  The folks doing the restoration are Reevers Warbrids.  Here’s link to their site: http://www.reevers.com.au .  And here’s the link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ReeversWarbirds/ .  Oh, here’s an interesting tidbit about this particular B-25. She was the camera ship for the 1969 movie Battle of Britain . In the past month SCHAF has established contact with the folks at Reevers Warbirds and it appears that some sort of long distance relationship might be established where both sides swap info on restoring our respective Mitchell bombers.  Have had the pleasure of communicating with Peter Smythe at Reevers Warbirds.  They look to be a great group of folks and we’re glad to get to know them.  Greetings go out to our new friends in the land down under.

Sir Barnes Wallis is known as the designer of the Vickers Wellington as well as the “bouncing bomb” that was used during the “dambusters” raid to destroy to dams in Germany and damage a third.  He was also the father of the 11 ton “Grand Slam” bomb used in the later part of World War II.  Want to find out more? Here’s a link: https://shortfinals.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/a-bigger-bang-the-22000-lb-mc-grand-slam-bomb-brooklands-museum/ . Speaking of the “Dambusters,”: https://shortfinals.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/apres-moi-le-deluge-the-upkeep-mine-and-the-dams-raid/

One more item about Barnes Wallis, this one concerning after the Second World War: http://www.tailsthroughtime.com/2010/06/as-second-world-war-began-to-wind-down.html .

Late last year one of my trivia questions had to do with the comic strip Terry and the Pirates . One of the characters in the strip during the Second World War was Colonel Flip Corkin, who was based on the real life commander of the First Air Commando in the China/Burma/India Theatre, Colonel Phillip Cochran.  Here’s a link to story from that time in Life Magazine about the Air Commandos: http://www.cbi-theater.com/air_commandos/aircommandos.html .  More about Phillip Cochran: https://army.togetherweserved.com/army/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=ShadowBoxProfile&type=Person&ID=105771 .

Long time readers of the SCHAF newsletter may have suspected that I’m a big fan of the Curtiss P-40 which in its various variants was known as the Kittyhawk, Warhawk and Tomahawk.  Oh well, guilty as accused.  As a young boy I was enthralled by pictures of the shark-toothed P-40s of the American Volunteer Group, the legendary Flying Tigers.  For all you P-40 fans out there here are the top facts about the P40:

https://www.warhistoryonline.com/military-vehicle-news/top-curtiss-p-40-warhawk_facts.html .

The story of a WASP who fought for women to be buried at Arlington: http://voiceofoc.org/2016/05/a-high-flyer-in-wwii-she-fought-for-women-to-be-buried-at-arlington/ . Another item regarding those intrepid women, a new hangar has been dedicated at the National WASP Museum as part of their expansion project: http://aerodynamicmedia.com/wasp-museum-hangar/#more-13711 .

From last year, the discovery of a sunken Avenger torpedo bomber discovered in the Pacific on the ocean’s floor: http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/80873/scientists-discover-sunken-world-war-ii-aircraft-and-airmen .

The story of a dark and tragic incident in American history, the bombing of Tulsa in 1921: http://fly.historicwings.com/2017/02/the-bombing-of-tulsa/ .

Let’s turn our attention to the Great War or World War I and the Germans secret weapon in the air.  The Allies called it the “Fokker Scourge:  https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-i/fokker-scourge-imperial-germanys-secret-weapon-first-world-war-xc.html .

Good Reads-

This month’s book is more than just a good read, it’s a great read.  Hit the Target: Eight Men Who Led the Eighth Air Force to Victory Over the Luftwaffe by Bill Yenne is a really well-written and interesting book about some of the men who turned the Eighth Air Force into the mighty air armada that, along with RAF Bomber Command, would play a major role in breaking the back of the Third Reich.  You’ll meet people like Car “Tooey” Spaatz, Ira Eaker, and Jimmy Doolittle.  Men who through their leadership and efforts and much hard work and tragedy emasculated the Luftwaffe which in turn made ultimate victory in Europe possible.  You’ll also meet the men, some of them characters, who put it all on the line in the skies over Europe; men like “Hub” Zemke, whose fighter wing would become known as “Zemke’s Wolfpack,” along with Robert Morgan, who as pilot of the “Memphis Belle” would become a hero to a nation, as well as an infamous womanizer. There’s also Maynard “Snuffy” Smith, a Medal of Honor recipient who was the sort of person for whom the word reprobate was coined.  You’ll meet Robert “Rosie Rosenthal, a B-17 pilot who would later serve as a member of the prosecution’s team during the Nuremburg trials when the Nazis were finally forced to face the justice of the civilized world.  Finally, you’ll meet Curtis LeMay, the controversial but at the same time brilliant aerial tactician and strategist who played a major role in making the “Mighty Eighth” the instrument of retribution it would become and would also play the premier role in crippling the Japanese Empire in the Pacific with his change in tactics in missions to attack the Japanese home islands.  I know, over the years I’ve said “you’ve got to read this one” and I’m saying it again. This one belongs on your bookshelf.  Run, don’t walk, to the nearest bookstore or on-line bookseller and get this one.  It’s that good.

Odds and Ends- 

Last month our trivia question sought the name of a movie.  I thought this one would be easy.  The movie involved a giant ape who fought with biplanes atop what was at the time the world’s tallest building.  The answer of course was the early 1930s version of King Kong.  Now, here’s the aviation connection; the producer was an American who flew as a mercenary pilot for Poland after World War I and would later become one of the most influential people in “tinsletown,” or Hollywood.  Merriam C. Cooper was an American who was a pilot in World War I, then flew for the Poles when the Soviets, who had recently grabbed power in what had been Imperial Russia, launched a campaign against newly independent Poland.  Cooper is an interesting person. While flying for Poland he would be captured by the Soviets, would endure a brutal captivity and would later escape.  Congratulations go out to SCHAF member John Tokaz, who was the first with the right answer.  Kudos also go out to SCHAF member Katherine Cuddy, who also had the right answer.  Want to know more about Cooper. Follow this link: http://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-i/extraordinary-life-merian-c-cooper-forgotten-hero-two-nations-creator-king-kong-xc.html .

 

Let’s turn to our trivia question for this month, and it has to do with aircraft markings. If you’ve closely read previous SCHAF newsletters you will know the answer to this one.  Below is the roundel used by a country to identify their airplanes, but it is no longer in use. No, it’s not the Royal Air Force, their roundels are blue, white, and red.  Nor, is it the French Armee de l’Air (or French Air Force), they are red, white and blue.  Which air force used this roundel for a brief period of time? Here’s a hint, it was only used for about a year after World War I.  You’ll find out next month.

 

Oh, and by the way, trivia fans, start studying up on aircraft markings because I’m thinking about using aircraft markings for trivia questions in the coming months; forewarned is forearmed.

 

Back to the subject of movies.  Faithful readers already know that over recent months I’ve made a few mentions of Dunkirk, the Christopher Nolan film set to come out later this month.  The more I hear about it the more I just can’t wait. It looks to be maybe the best war film since Saving Private Ryan.  Check out the latest trailer: http://www.dunkirkmovie.com . Looks intense. Looks like it will have some great aviation scenes with Tom Hardy as a Spitfire pilot.  Release date is July 21st.  Can’t wait. I’m counting the days.

 

Here is a theme I return to time and time again, but it’s important and we need to keep beating the drum for getting young people interested in careers in aviation. An article from Forbes magazine about the looming shortage in aircraft mechanics: https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliverwyman/2017/04/24/looming-aircraft-mechanic-shortage-may-threaten-the-growth-of-the-global-fleet-and-raise-costs/#75f03b464984 .  If you know of a young person who might be interested in a career in aviation then do everything you can to encourage them.

 

A recent item from the news; Boeing will using 3D printed titanium parts in the 787 Dreamliner: http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/airlines/a26018/boeing-printed-titanium/ .

 

Another item from the news, we’re now in hurricane season.  Here’s an article about the “Hurricane Hunters”: https://airwaysmag.com/avgeek/hurricane-hunters-the-eyes-over-hurricanes/ .

 

Also in the news.  You may have heard that in June it got hot in Phoenix, Arizona that some jets were not able to fly.  Wonder why?  Here’s the answer and it really has more to do with air density: http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/airlines/a27016/why-some-planes-cant-fly-in-high-heat/ .

 

Another interesting news item.  In June the last surviving member of the “Dambusters” raid in the 1943 was included in Queen Elizabeth’s birthday honors list:  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/britains-last-surviving-dambuster-accepts-10636667 .

 

Another item from the news you might have missed.  Did you know that the King of the Netherlands flies “undercover” for KLM?  It’s true.  Here’s the story: http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/airlines/news/a26555/dutch-king-copilot-klm/ . Here’s more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39946532 .

 

Here’s something from the field of aviation archaeology. It has to do with a couple of B-25s discovered off the coast of Papua New Guinea:  http://aerodynamicmedia.com/two-b-25-wreck-sites-receive-first-official-survey-video/#more-13612 .

 

One final reminder, it’s a South Carolina Fourth of July tradition: Salute From the Shore. If you’re on the coast this fourth make a point to see the fly-by that celebrates America’s freedom: http://salutefromtheshore.org .

In Closing-

Well, that wraps up this month’s SCHAF newsletter.  But before we close, a reminder.  Did you know that the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that depends on donations from our supporters? Folks just like you!

Your gift enables us to provide programs which educate the public about the rich, varied and exciting history of aviation in the Palmetto State. As you know, we work hard to benefit the entire community.  Our special events and programs are attractions both for local residents and for visitors from around the state and around the country.

As a donor to our programs, you can proudly say that you make it all happen: from the restoration of GF-2 to our hangar dances and open houses, programs for young people and so much more!  Please consider getting involved as a volunteer or by making a donation to SCHAF. It will be greatly appreciated. 

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.

Hope everyone has a happy 4th of July.

Dave McIntosh ( dmcintoshone@att.net )