SCHAF Newsletter for March 2017

Reminder: The next SCHAF Open House will take place Saturday, March 11, 2017. 10am-1pm at Hangar Y-1 Hamilton/Owens Airport.

 

Greetings to all members and friends of the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation.  2017 is already shaping up to be a productive and active year for SCHAF; this after what was a successful 2016, a year that saw much in the way of accomplishment.  February was a busy month so without further ado let see what all has been going on with SCHAF.

 Foundation Happenings-

SCHAF held its February open house on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at Hamilton-Owens Airport in Columbia and it was a big success.  The event marked the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Doolittle Raiders at Columbia Army Air Base (now Columbia Metro) and we were honored by having Martin Crouch as our guest. Martin is the son of the late Horace “Sally” Crouch, who was bombardier/navigator on plane #10 that launched off of the deck of the U.S.S. Hornet in 1942. Martin talked about his father’s love of God, country and family and how important the Tokyo Raid was to America in 1942 and how proud his father was to have served with the legendary Jimmy Doolittle.  Martin also shared stories about growing up with “the colonel” and how his father shaped the man he became. Martin also showed folks the Congressional Medal that was presented to families of the Doolittle Raiders.  Martin, it was a true pleasure and honor to have you share a Saturday morning with us.  In April the SCHAF open house will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid.  Martin will again be with us and we hope to have a good turnout.

 

SCHAF members on hand included Ken Berry, Ron Shelton, Ron Skipper, Katherine Cuddy, John Chamberlain, Marvin Williams, Bruce Cotner, Frank Young, Bill Blythe, David Moxley, Alton Blanks, Terri Tokaz, Rachel Haynie and myself.  We were also visited by Cub Scout Troop 343 from West Columbia.

We were also privileged during the open house to be visited by Robert Simmons, Deputy Director of Museum Operations at Patriots Point in Charleston.  With Robert were three Patriots Point volunteers who will be working on the restoration of the B-25 at Patriots Point.  They talked to members of the SCHAF restoration crew including Ron Skipper, Katherine Cuddy and John Chamberlain and came away very impressed with what we have accomplished in the effort to return GF-2 to her former glory.  There is the possibility that SCHAF will be assisting Patriots Point with their B-25 restoration at some point.  Again, Robert it was a privilege to have you and the other folks from Patriots Point spend the day with us at the open house.  SCHAF stands ready to assist and help Patriots Point anyway we can.

 

The Board of Directors of the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation held its monthly meeting on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at Hamilton-Owens Airport in Columbia.  Board members present were Ron Shelton, David McIntosh and Scott Linaberry.  Members present were Mary McIntosh, Alton Blanks, Katherine Cuddy and Ron Skipper.

Katherine Cuddy and Ron Skipper were elected to the board.  Katherine will serve as SCHAF treasurer and Ron Skipper will serve as crew chief or foreman of the GF-2 restoration team.  It was also reported that SCHAF will be taking part in Midlands Gives this spring.  SCHAF will be present at the Midlands Gives Expo at Spirit Communications Park in Columbia in May.  There was also discussion regarding the possibility of SCHAF assisting Patriots Point in the restoration of their B-25 bomber.  Also discussed was the planned membership appreciation night which will take place Friday April 7th and the open house on April 8th, 2017, which will recognize the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in 1942.  It was also agreed that a second membership appreciation night would take place in October to mark the 75th anniversary of GF-2’s delivery to the United States Army Air Corps.

 

Recently a foundation that SCHAF member Xen Motsinger is affiliated with donated an airplane to SCHAF, something called a Pober Pixie to be exact.  This past Saturday a number of SCHAF spent the morning cleaning her up.  Folks who helped with the cleanup included Katherine Cuddy, Xen Motsinger, Ron Skipper, Bill Blythe, Parker Shelton and Ron Shelton.

Made mention earlier that our April open house will mark the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle raid on Tokyo.  During the month of April a number of events will be taking place in Columbia to honor the memory of the raiders.  Here’s a link to an article in The Columbia Star listing some of the other events taking place in remembrance of the Doolittle Raiders: http://www.thecolumbiastar.com/news/2017-02-24/News/Midlands_observes_75th_anniversary_of_the_Doolittl.html .

 

See, I told you it was a busy month.

 

Historical Notes –

Some good news from late last year.  An Avro Lancaster’s future is assured: http://aerodynamicmedia.com/kb882-saved/ .

 

A Hundred Years of Fighter Planes: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/military-vehicle-news/from-the-first-world-war-to-the-year-2035-a-hundred-years-of-fighter-planes.html .

 

File under what could have been; the F-103 ramjet fighter: http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-f-103-could-have-been-americas-mach-3-ramjet-fighter-17807 .

 

A short documentary on YouTube about an Army Air Corps squadron in World War II known as “the Back Door Gang” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e64O_6XXk-M .

 

Can you name them all?  The top ten U.S. fighter aces of World War II: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/instant-articles/top-10-u-s-fighter-aces-word-war_ii-x.html .

 

During World War II what was the world’s biggest airline? Why the Air Transport Command of the U.S. Army Air Forces, of course:  http://www.cbi-theater.com/look090445/look090445.html

 

I’ll bet this is an interesting museum to visit, a seaplane museum in Ireland: http://www.flyingboatmuseum.com/aviation-museum/ .

 

An interesting posting from Aces Flying High, an Australian aviation blog that’s always worth a visit, about the first crossing by air of the South Atlantic: https://acesflyinghigh.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/the-first-ever-air-crossing-of-the-south-atlantic-in-1922-portuguese-naval-aviatiors-never-give-up/ .

 

Good Reads-

This month’s good read is the story of a legendary destroyer in the United States Navy; a ship that now calls the Palmetto State home.  Hell from the Heavens by John Wukovits is the story of the U.S.S. Laffey and its amazing and redoubtable skipper Julian Becton, who led his ship and crew through the Normandy invasion and then to the Pacific where on April 16, 1945 during the invasion of Okinawa the Laffey endured and survived attacks by twenty-two kamikaze warplanes.  It’s the story of unbelievable courage and heroism and a crew that cared for their captain and each other and under horrific circumstances survived and came home heroes.  Want to know what real bravery and nerve under the worst of conditions is all about, then you need to read this one.  By the way, I’m sure most everyone knows that the Laffey now calls Patriots Point in Charleston it’s home; a fitting place for one of the U.S. Navy’s proudest warriors.

 

 

Odds and Ends-

Last month’s trivia question involved a storied name in aviation and aerospace history.  I was looking for a company known as the “iron works” for the sturdy, rugged and tough aircraft it built.  For many years its premier client was the U.S. Navy. They would build some of the legendary fighters of World War II and in the jet age they would continue to provide the navy with carrier aircraft.  The company is Grumman.  Grumman Aircraft Engineering was founded in 1929 by LeRoy Grumman and some associates who had worked for Leoning, an aircraft manufacturer in the 1920s.  Leoning merged with Keystone Aircraft and Grumman and a group of engineers decided instead of relocating they would found their own company on Long Island in New York.  Grumman would go on to build such legendary planes as the F4F Wildcat and the F6F Hellcat as well as the Grumman Intruder and the F-14 Tomcat.  In the mid-1990s it was bought by Northrup and the company is known today as Northrup Grumman and is still a leading member of the aerospace industry.  Here’s a link to the Wikipedia entry on Grumman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman . Congratulations go out to Franklin Hall, Frank Young and Ron and Linda Skipper for coming up with the right answer. Also providing the correct answer was Wayne Fritz.  An aside, if you visit Patriots Point in Charleston you’ll see a number of examples of Grumman aircraft on the U.S.S. Yorktown.

 

Now for this month’s trivia question. This time around I’m looking for a person.  Here are some clues.  He was a pilot during World War II in the Royal Air Force.  In the thirties as an RAF pilot he lost parts of both legs when he survived a crash.  He had prosthesis fitted and resumed flying.  He was known as an irascible character.  Okay, let’s tell it like it is, he was known for being blunt and a bit caustic; yet the people who knew him loved and respected him.  He was one of the “few” during the Battle of Britain and later in the war he was shot down and was a prisoner of the Germans.  He kept trying to escape and finally in exasperation the Germans took away his prosthesis.  In the fifties a movie was made of his life.  Give me the name of this forthright flyer.  Answer next month.

 

Something interesting from late last year.  The C-47 used by Gen. Claire Chennault returns to China: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-10/16/c_135758381.htm .

 

At one time if you had asked me what an Ekranoplan was I would have given you a blank look.  A few years back however I ran across an article about something the Soviets developed back during the cold war years called an Ekranoplan.  Sort of a ship with wings or maybe a boat that can fly just above the surface of the water. Maybe a hovercraft on steroids.  Whatever.  They came to nothing but did have our intelligence analysts scratching their heads.  Anyway here’s the story: http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2007/05/ekranoplans-showcase.htmlPart 2:

http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2009/06/ekranoplans-showcase-part-2.html . Another link about the Ekranoplan: https://www.wired.com/2011/06/ekranoplan/ .

 

 

A recent item in the news; a look at Delta’s Canadian jet airliner: http://www.businessinsider.com/delta-bombardier-cseries-cs100-2016-12/#bombardier-offers-two-version-of-the-c-series-a-130-seat-cs300-and-a-smaller-108-seat-cs100-1 .

 

Here’s something about a very special Boeing 747, the world’s largest flying observatory: http://presurfer.blogspot.com/2016/08/boeing-747-sofia-worlds-biggest-flying.html .

 

What can you do with an old helicopter?  Turn it into a man cave, of course: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/12194974/Sea-King-helicopters-sold-off-as-sheds-and-man-caves.html .

 

Another recent news item.  Special Operations Command wants laser equipped AC-130s by 2020. Well, it is the 21st century. Here’s the link: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/afsoc-shoots-for-ac-130-laser-gunship-mod-in-2020-429957/ .

 

Seems that drones are becoming a regular part of modern aviation.  Here’s an interesting video about an effort at setting a world record for most drones in the air at the same time: https://www.youtube.com/embed/mOBQXuu_5Zw .

 

Exploring a sunken aircraft carrier: https://www.wired.com/2016/08/join-scientists-explore-sunken-uss-independence-aircraft-carrier/ .

 

One of the blogs I visit occasionally is one called Sunshine Skies. It covers civil aviation in the southeast, mainly Florida.  One of the postings was the 10 Most Beautiful Airliners of All Time: http://www.sunshineskies.com/10-most-beautiful-airliners.html . What would your choices for ten most beautiful airliners be?  Write me and let me know and I’ll share your thoughts in upcoming newsletters.

 

On the subject of civil aviation, an article about one of the storied pioneers of the airline industry, the legendary

Pan American World Airways: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-4179352/Pan-History-Design-Identity-book-explores-airline.html .

 

It’ll never fly Wilbur.  An interesting piece about some very bizarre flying machines: http://imgur.com/a/I6ob7 . Neither will this one: http://io9.gizmodo.com/this-weird-vintage-airplane-flies-with-cylinders-instea-1663010423 .

 

Since we’re in the restoration business here at SCHAF I thought it would be interesting to pass along a couple of pieces about restorations taking place elsewhere.  Both from FlyPast magazine.  First another B-25: http://www.flypast.com/view_article.asp?ID=10387&pubID=1&t=0&s=0&sO=both&p=1&i=10#continued .

Then there’s a Handley Page Hampden: http://www.flypast.com/view_article.asp?ID=10272&pubID=1&t=0&s=0&sO=both&p=2&i=10#continued .

One of the things we’re about at SCHAF is getting young people interested in aviation and possibly a career in the aerospace industry.  In the coming years there is going to be a great need for pilots, maintenance personnel and others who help make aviation an important part of our modern world. Here’s an article on why now is a good time to be a general aviation pilot: https://disciplesofflight.com/perfect-time-general-aviation-pilot/ . And I might add now is a good time to get a young person interested in learning how to fly or become involved in aviation.

 

A good piece from the Shortfinals blog about the “trolley ace.”  What’s a trolley ace, you ask?  Why, a very important item on many air bases.  Read on to find out more: https://shortfinals.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/the-trolley-acc-an-indispensable-tool-of-ww2/ .

 

I love a good sense of humor.  I mentioned this years ago when the SCHAF newsletter first came into being but good humor is timeless.  In the UK the Shepherd Neame Brewery brews something called Spitfire Ale. Their ads have become famous for their wry humor.  Below are a couple of their better known print ads.

 

In Closing-

Well, that wraps up this month’s SCHAF newsletter.

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

 

Dave McIntosh ( dmcintoshone@att.net )

South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation   803 731 3254

www.schistoricaviation.org

3100 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29205