SCHAF Newsletter for May 2017-

SCHAF Newsletter for May 2017

Reminder: The next SCHAF Open House will take place Saturday, May 13, 2017. 10am-1pm at Hangar Y-1 Hamilton/Owens Airport.

Foundation Happenings-

Before we get to what’s been happening over the past month I must start with a mea culpa. In last month’s newsletter I was writing about the March board meeting but referred to it as taking place in April.  An editing mistake on my part and my apologies for any confusion it may have caused. No, I can’t predict the future.  From now on I must remember to engage brain before putting hands in gear to type.  Now on to what’s been happening because April was a very busy and productive month.

Friday evening, April 7th, SCHAF held the first membership appreciation night, a way of saying thanks to the members who have been faithful supporters over the years, and man was it a success.  About two dozen people showed up, renewed their membership, enjoyed some pizza and had a great evening chatting, getting to know each other and catching up on things.  We also picked up some new members.  Bill Rouw from the Canadian Warplanes Heritage Museum presented SCHAF with a beautiful picture of their flying B-25 “Hot Gen.” Videos of the CWHM’s B-25 and Avro Lancaster played on the big screen TV.  Also, great to see Bruce Cotner, who is not only a SCHAF member but also a member of the South Carolina Military History Club, which is a great organization that does much to introduce folks to the fascinating subject of military history. All in all it was a great evening. Big time kudos go out to Katherine Cuddy for planning and organizing the membership appreciation night. Also thanks to the other SCHAF members who brought food, ice and refreshments.   Plans are in the works for another membership appreciation night in the fall and we look forward to an even better turnout.


Membership appreciation night

The next morning, Saturday, April 8th SCHAF held its monthly open house and it was a big success.  The open house honored the 75th anniversary of the historic “Doolittle Raid” by Jimmy Doolittle and his intrepid band of airman on Japan in 1942.  Turnout was great. Between 40 and 50 people showed up to take part in activities remembering the day in 1942 when Doolittle and his men took off from the deck of the U.S.S. Hornet and struck a mighty blow of retribution against the Empire of Japan for their ignominious attack on Pearl Harbor months before.  We were honored to again be visited by Martin Crouch, the son of Horace “Sally” Crouch, who was navigator/bombardier on plane #10 that lifted off of the deck of the Hornet.  We were also honored by the presence of Col. James Kendrick (ret.) and Murray Price, a World War II veteran who is well-known around the midlands.  It was a great morning.  We also had a visit from Boy Scout Troop 224 in Blythewood.

SCHAF members present were: Ken Berry, Ron Shelton, David and Mary McIntosh, Katherine Cuddy, Alton Blanks, Ron Skipper, John Chamberlain, David Moxley, Marvin Williams, Niall McLaughlin, Bill Rouw, Nancy Stone-Cullum and Terri Tokaz.



Crouch, Blanks, Price and Kendricks. Also members of restoration crew


I mentioned earlier that Bill Rouw came down from Canada for the weekend and assisted the restoration team with work on GF-2.  Bill is the crew chief for the Canadian Warplanes Heritage Museum’s flying B-25 “Hot Gen,” and he is extremely knowledgeable regarding the Mitchell bomber.  Bill and Niall McLaughlin spent part of a Friday re-working the brakes on GF-2 and repainting the wheels.  Take a look below at the “before and after.”  Looks great.  This is the point where I’m going to put in an advert for the folks at CWHM.  Bill, along with others at CWHM, is a member of SCHAF.  They have been very supportive of us over the years.  Some of the members of SCHAF are also members of CWHM.  I happen to have their DVD “Reunion of Giants” about their Avro Lancaster which flew the Atlantic a couple of years ago and toured the UK with the RAF’s “Lanc.”  It is a great documentary and if nothing else show your support for CWHM by purchasing a copy.  It’s a great production and you’ll see SCHAF member Niall McLaughlin in some of the scenes.



On Tuesday, April 18th, a dance took place at the Lourie Centre in Columbia commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Japan in 1942.  SCHAF had a table at the event and a number of SCHAF members were present. Turnout was great with a number of different organizations taking part.  Turnout was put at over 150 people. A number of folks from SCHAF including Xen Motsinger Rachel Haynie, Ron Shelton, Alton Blanks and others were present.  The word is that everyone had wonderful time. Below are some pictures.




By the caption above you now know that SCHAF member Alton Blanks celebrated his 90th birthday in April.  Alton is a loyal and enthusiastic member of SCHAF.  He’s at all of the open houses.  He shows up at board meetings and has always been a passionate supporter of SCHAF. Well, Alton’s 90th was a news story recently, because if you’ve know Alton, then you know he’s always dropped by “Mickey D’s” for his morning cup of coffee and a hamburger at lunch.  Here’s a link to the story in The State newspaper: . Link to the story on WIS-TV: birthday Alton, it’s always great to see you.


The board of directors of the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation met on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Hamilton-Owens Airport in Columbia. Board members present Ron Shelton, David McIntosh, Katherine Cuddy and Xen Motsinger. Members present were: Mary McIntosh, John Tokaz and Terri Tokaz.


Since there was not a quorum no action was taken.  Katherine Cuddy, treasurer, briefed those present on the transition of treasurer’s duties and switching of the SCHAF bank account.  It was also reported that leather has been installed on seats in the bombardier’s section of GF-2 and that the restoration team is working on the tunnel section from the cockpit to the bombardier’s station.  It was also reported that Bill Rouw has supplied pieces for the window rollers for the cockpit windows.  There was also discussion about the Sparkleberry Country Fair in Richland Northeast on Saturday, April 29, 2017.  SCHAF will have a display at the Sparkleberry Country Fair.  Drop by if you can.


This year SCHAF is taking part in Midlands Gives, a 24 hour on-line fund raising drive of the Central Carolina Community Foundation.  Ron Shelton will be at the Midlands Gives Expo at Spirit Communications Park in Columbia.  If possible consider a donation to SCHAF through Midlands Gives.  Here’s the link to the Midlands Gives website: .


Would like to take a moment to express thanks to the Nord Family Foundation for their financial contribution to SCHAF.  It is greatly appreciated.  Would also like to welcome a new member to SCHAF.   Welcome aboard to Reed Bull.


It is with great sadness that we have to inform folks of the passing of SCHAF member Bill Paulis.  Bill was a radio operator and gunner on a B-25 during the Second World War and flew on 54 missions in the Pacific.  Here’s a link to his obit: .  Bill, you’ll be missed. It was always a pleasure to see you.

Historical Notes-

We start off this month’s historical notes with a non-aviation item, but an important one nonetheless.  A primary mission of SCHAF is to educate people, especially the generations coming along about the rich, varied and exciting history of aviation and of the people who have sacrificed much in protecting freedom and building the world in which we live.  I’m sorry to say this but it seems that more and more that history is a subject being ignored in our schools and by people in general.  In our “live for the moment”, instant gratification world many people’s eyes glaze over when you mention events from the past.  It’s important that people get to know events from years gone by; because if we don’t know where we’ve been, we won’t understand where we are and where we are going. Here’s an article about academic amnesia: . If you follow no other link from this month’s newsletter follow this one. Read it and share with anyone you can.


Much has been happening in the midlands over the past month marking the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Japan.  Here is a great article on that historic event: . Another article about the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid, this one from The State newspaper: .


Back in the December newsletter, I think it was, I provided a link to some great pictures from the Battle of Britain.  Here’s a link to some more outstanding photos from the Battle of Britain: .


A good story from the Daily Telegraph of London about the project to return a third Avro Lancaster to the air: .


Meanwhile, here’s the story of America’s paddle-wheel aircraft carriers that sailed the Great Lakes: .


Here is the fascinating story of a Chinese-American ace who had already scored eight victories against the Japanese before the United States even entered World War II.  Had not heard of him until recently when I was doing a search on another subject.  Anyway, here’s the story of Art Chin: .


A story about what might have been the first American plane to make it into the air when the forces of Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941: .


A story about an airplane from World War II that you may not be familiar with, the Commonwealth Aircraft Boomerang: . With a name like Boomerang you know it just had to come from the land down under.


Another aircraft that you should be familiar with, especially if you flew In the 1950s or 60s, the Vickers Viscount.  I remember flying on a Continental Airlines Viscount from Love Field in Dallas to Lubbock, Texas in 1965.  From the always worth reading Shortfinals blog: .


Good Reads-

This month’s good read tells about the horrors and danger faced by aircrew during World War II, not only in the air but on the ground after being shot down and facing the possibility of capture and imprisonment or worse in occupied Europe.  The Lost Airman by Seth Meyerowitz and Peter Stevens is the story of Arthur Meyerowitz, the top-turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator that was shot down over France.  Meyerowitz would survive and would evade capture by the Germans but now he was a wanted man, who would spend the coming months on the run, one step ahead of the Gestapo, trying to make his way back to freedom.  It reads like an adventure or spy novel with the young Bronx native surviving by his wits as the Germans pursue him through France and Spain. If you like thrillers, you’ll like this one.


Odds and Ends-

Our trivia question last month involved one of the leading American fighter pilots in the European Theatre of Operations during World War II.  He was the first person in the ETO to surpass Eddie Rickenbacker’s record of 26 kills when he notched up 28 victories.  After the war he was a test pilot for Republic Aviation, which was only fitting since he flew a Republic P-47 Thunderbolt during the Second World War.  He would retire as a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves in the mid-sixties.  After his retirement he moved to Lake Wylie, South Carolina where he became an insurance executive.  He is buried at Lake Wylie.  The person I was looking for was Robert S. Johnson.   Congratulations go out to Linda Skipper and also to Frank Young for coming up with the right answer.  Johnson was born in Oklahoma in 1920 and originally trained as a bomber pilot. He flew in the 61st Fighter Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group.  Among his awards, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart and the Air Medal.  He passed away in 1998 at the age of 78.  Here’s an interview with Johnson from 1998:  shortly before his death.


Robert S. Johnson

Now here’s the trivia question for this month.  I’m looking for the name of a company, a company known not only for cars but for also building some of the most advanced aircraft in the world. This company started in the 1930s as an aircraft manufacturer but after World War II branched out into making automobiles because with the advent of peace the order books for military aircraft were suddenly empty.  Now, in the way of hints I’ll tell you which companies I am not looking for.  General Motors built airplanes during World War II; their Eastern Aircraft Division built the Grumman F4F Wildcat under license (the General Motors FM).  In the 1950s through the 1970s Fiat’s aircraft division produced the G91, a very capable ground attack fighter which was used by the Italian Air Force and the Luftwaffe; but no, Fiat is not the company I’m looking for either.  The company I’m looking for is still producing state of the art combat aircraft. Here’s another hint, they spun off their car division a number of years ago.  Give me the name of the company in question.  Answer next month.


I made mention above of the Fiat G-91.  Want to know more about the “Gina?”  Follow this link: .


A recent news story you might have missed; Air-India makes history with the first round the world trip with an all-female flight crew: .


Another item from the news; the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base get its first female maintenance group chief: .


Could it be that a future Queen of the United Kingdom will be a pilot?  Seems the Duchess of Cambridge has taken the first step: .


Sometimes it does seem that in our world bad taste has taken over.  If you need proof then take a look at the ugliest paint jobs for airliners ,

I rest my case.


I don’t know if this is an example of bad taste or just a bit odd but here it is, a chair made from the engine cowling of a Boeing 737: .


On the subject of airliners, questions you wanted answered (or then again maybe not) about oxygen masks: .  Oh, and have you ever wondered why windows on airliners don’t line up exactly with seats?  Hmmm. Find out why: . And, one final question that may have been keeping you up at night.  Why do airliners have a hole in the tail?  Here’s why: .


A really interesting time-lapse video about the first-ever round-trip flight to the Southern Lights: .


On the subject of flying fast, here’s a posting about filming a SAAB Grippen and getting rock steady footage of a modern jet fighter in flight: .


Last month I included a couple of links dealing with flying cars. Here’s another one; seems a former NASA engineer is now working for Uber to help develop a flying car: .


I’ve mentioned flying boats in a number of past newsletters and like most people I thought of them as something from the past. Seems not though. There’s one place where flying boats are still used.  Where, you wonder? Find out here: .


Meanwhile a humorous little ditty by the late Oscar Brand, the Canadian-American folksinger.  It’s called Give Me Operations: .


In Closing-

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

Again, as in past newsletters we close out things by putting out a call for more folks to get involved with the South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation.  SCHAF needs volunteers and participation in a number of different areas from working on GF-2 to helping out with various events.  If you have an idea for a project pass it along.  Just e-mail me and I’ll pass it along. There’s so much to get involved with.  So much to be done. Why are you waiting?


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 ( )