Dance the Night Away: Valentine s Hangar Dance Preview. Saturday, 13 February, 2016

Save this PDF as:

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Dance the Night Away: Valentine s Hangar Dance Preview. Saturday, 13 February, 2016"


1 The Membership Newsletter for The Military Aviation Museum Winter 2016 Inside this Issue: Dance the Night Away: Valentine s Hangar Dance Preview Landing Signal Officers 2 Goxhill Tower Update 2 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4 3 Hangar Talk: Best-Seller 3 Cadence Fest at MAM 4 Planes, Trains & Santa 4 Warbirds Over the Beach 5 SHRMF Open House 5 Old Friends Reunited 6 Civil Air Patrol Medal 7 Creeds Elementary 7 Military Aviation Museum Virginia Beach Airport Fighter Factory Warbirds Over the Beach Saturday, 13 February, 2016 This coming Valentine s Day weekend you re welcome to jump, jive, and swing the night away at the Military Aviation Museum, from 6:00pm to 10:00pm! You re invited to our eighth annual 1940s Valentine s Hangar Dance, on Saturday, 13 February, Come dressed in your finest 40s-vintage fashions, alongside your sweetheart, as our Navy Hangar is transformed for an exciting dinner and dance. Seating is limited. Make sure to buy your tickets early before we sell out! Seats are $50.00 per person. Singles are welcome! Telephone (757) or go online to to reserve your seats! Thank you to Atlantic Shores Retirement Community for sponsoring the Hangar Dance and their support throughout the year. So don t forget to mark this Valentine s Day weekend in a swingin fashion February 13th, at the Military Aviation Museum. It will be a date to remember! q A Toast to the Past: Aerodrome Wine Classic - Saturday, 16 April, 2016 For more information and to purchase your tickets for this event, visit On 16 April, 2016 from noon til 5pm, the Military Aviation Museum will celebrate an occasion we hope embodies the spirit of a bygone age, paying homage to aeronauts, the joie de vivre of a generation, and the inseparable link between motoring and aviation. You are invited to savour the varietal bouquets of regional wines, the romance of aeroplanes, and the elegance of artisanal automobiles at the third annual Aerodrome Wine Classic. To be enjoyed by all in attendance: the finest vintages of Virginia s wineries, grown in the ancient soil of the New World. A vestige of this tradition lives on in the form of this annual springtime event. q

2 PAGE 2 VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1 Hangar HappeningS Landing Signal Officers Visit The Museum RAF Goxhill Control Tower Update By Mike Potter RAF Station Goxhill, near Hull, England, was the first English airbase turned over to the arriving Americans in The base became known as Station 345 in American service. Landing Signal Officers, also known as LSOs, are an integral part of carrier aviation in not only modern Navy carriers, but since day one in carrier operations by every country that operated aircraft carriers. LSOs are the onboard eyes of the pilots as they try to land their warbirds aboard carriers. The Navy selects and trains experienced pilots to become LSOs in today s fleet. Part of that training is to learn the history of LSOs. To that end, several of the Museum s volunteers, all retired Naval Aviators and fellow LSOs, donate their time and host the current LSO class from nearby NAS Oceana here at the museum and present a lighthearted look at the history of LSO through slides, real historic equipment and then by walking these airmen around our Navy Warbirds. The highlight is an up close look at our FG-1 Corsair cockpit as explained by our veteran Corsair pilot Obie O Brian. q One of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the museum is the ongoing rebuilding of the original Watch Office that was relocated from Goxhill, England to our museum. The unmistakable vision of this iconic symbol of the air war in Europe is nearing its external completion, and it is easy to see in one s mind s eye the base commander standing on the balcony, awaiting the return of the P-38 s of the First Pursuit Group s training missions. The brickwork is almost complete, and when the temperature allows, the concrete for the roof will be poured. It is easy to see in the photograph where the beams will support the wooden balcony, and soon the door and window frames (built by the same manufacturer that did the originals in 1942) will be added. As this building nears completion, other activities seem to be heating up as well. A certain ebay troll has evidently been working overtime, lurking in the ether in the wee hours of the morning. A curious item appeared this month on the Director s desk. As seen in the photograph, a curious blue box (Royal Air Force blue to be exact), has white stencil lettering that says Do Not Remove-Officers Mess as RAF Goxhill and Station 345 as well. As many already know, RAF Station Goxhill near Hull, England was the first English airbase turned over to the arriving Americans in The base became known as Station 345 in American service. Might this piece of recreational equipment find its way into the Watch Officer s quarters in the control tower? q

3 VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1 PAGE 3 The Mossie Goes To Oshkosh It is Monday morning, July 20, I am preflighting the only totally restored DH-98 De Havilland Mosquito in the world for a flight. Not just any flight, but a flight that has been awaited for three years by many. This is not just a flight around the pattern; this is not a flight to just another airshow; this is not another photo flight with a camera ship to get more stunning photos of its beauty in flight this is a trip to Oshkosh! Airventure 2015 was the destination of the day, with the plan to arrive at 3:19 pm Central Standard time in the middle of the show. There was weather to clear early in the first third of the flight before it rose to more towering obstacles, so my crew chief and Fighter Factory mechanic John Brawner and I departed in the morning. Our first stop was Findlay, OH where we took on fuel and became guests of the airport manager, Matt McVicker, and the small awaiting crowd. After answering many questions from the enthusiastic greeters, Matt treated us to lunch and we then relaxed until it was time to depart for Oshkosh. After a flyby on departure to thank the appreciative folks at Findlay airport we headed straight out across Lake Michigan direct to Oshkosh. Upon arriving in the vicinity of Oshkosh, we contacted the Air Boss of the Airventure airshow that was in By Chief Pilot Mike Spalding progress. Our entry was to be in the middle of the show for everyone s first look at a De Havilland Mosquito. We were told that we had to hold south of the airport until the new Airbus A350 finished its demonstration. At 5 miles out, I watched this enormous aircraft put on quite a show of amazing maneuverability for its size. Just after the A350 landed, we were called in to do a couple of passes for the crowd. It was just as exciting for me as it was for the crowd, as it was their first time to see a Mosquito fly, and it was my first opportunity to fly in the Oshkosh airshow after many years of attending as a spectator. After landing, we were directed to the Warbird ramp, where to my surprise was another Mosquito. It was Kermit Weeks Mosquito that had landed there in the late 1990s and had not flown since, and is doubtful that it will fly out of there. It was a nice contrast though with our freshly restored aircraft sitting next to a bomber version that appeared to have just dropped in from the war and left unattended. Our Mosquito was well received by the crowds for the entire week. I could not get away from the plane to enjoy the rest of the Airventure event until Thursday afternoon because of all the attention given the MAM Mossie with the enormous curiosity of the crowd and continuous questions of how it was made and the method of assembling the wood and metal parts together. Fortunately for me, Warren Denholm and his crew from AvSpecs in Ardmore, New Zeland was there to handle the particulars of the restoration project. And they should know, as they took on the 8 year project to restore this Mosquito for the owner Jerry Yagen. Jerry and his wife Elaine were also there to see his greatest project in the glory it has awaited for three years. Tuesday, the aircraft was towed into center stage in Warbirds in Review. This is where the Mosquito was presented, along with an announcer, Jerry Yagen, Warren Denholm, Dave Phillips (the original test pilot that flew it in New Zeland) and I, and answered questions from the announcer and a group of several hundred spectators. This was also broadcast on the big screen there and throughout the week at Airventure. Thursday was another day to fly in the airshow, where we flew with our Canadian friends at the Canadian Warbird Heritage Museum who were there with their Lancaster Bomber. Before flying however, the judges came to look over the aircraft and grade it on many levels such as appearance, quality of workmanship, level of difficulty of the restoration, its originality and attention to detail, etc On to Saturday night the awards banquet! It was a quick and quite simple affair that cut to the chase. There was some stiff competition with 2 P-51 s and a post WWII Corsair, but when they announced and the winner of the Grand Champion WWII N114KA, De Havilland Mosquito, there was cheer from all, but I don t think there was surprise. This award was 8 years in the making and another three years in waiting. All that had kept it from winning was being present. And now it has its deserved trophy that is now displayed in the museum. We departed the following morning, the final day of Airventure, during the show, with a couple of victory passes for the crowd before the three hour trip home, feeling very proud and honored to be so fortunate to fly such an immaculate and magnificent machine and a trophy to confirm what we at MAM already knew. q Best-Selling Author Speaks at MAM Hangar Talk In November, the museum was fortunate to have an international best-selling author launch his newest book at one of the museum s Hangar Talk events. Author Adam Makos walked onto the world stage in 2012 with his NY Times Best-Seller A Higher Call. Aviation enthusiasts know this book as the real-life story of a Luftwaffe fighter pilot who risked his career and likely his life by putting a gravely wounded American B-17 bomber on course for its home base instead of sending its ten crewmen to their deaths. There is already a movie deal in the works for this book, and the museum has told author Makos that we know where he can find a genuine Bf-109 G4 for his movie rather than completely resorting to CGI! Adam s new book Devotion, is the wonderfully written story of Medal of Honor recipient Tom Hudner and his squadron mates in VF-32 in Korea. Flying Douglas Skyraiders from the Essexclass aircraft carrier USS Leyte during the Battle of the Chosin reservoir, fellow VF-32 pilots and panelists Marty Goode and Herb Sargent were with Tom Hudner in the thick of their ground support missions. Marine Corps veteran Dwayne Trowbridge told the crowd what it was like to be on the receiving end of the Skyraiders loving attention. The museum s own Korea veteran Obie O Brien joined the speakers for a book-signing after the talk, and the museum gift shop still has a few copies of this excellent book available that are signed by all of the participants of this memorable Hangar Talk. q

4 PAGE 4 VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1 MUSEUM Events The Museum Welcomes Cadence Fest 2015 Planes, Trains & Santa Kicks Off the Holiday Season What goes better than warbirds, craft beer, great food, a band concert and good friends on a beautiful November afternoon? The answer not much! That is exactly what happened this past November when Young Veterans Brewery hosted an afternoon concert and food truck gathering called the Cadence Fest on the grounds of the Museum. Young Veterans Brewing Co. is a team of 2 U.S. Army veterans with a passion for hand crafting ales. Six bands played throughout the afternoon, headlined by the Manchester Orchestra. Watch for the next Cadence Fest this coming summer. q The holiday season was kicked off in grand style with our annual Planes, Trains & Santa show over Thanksgiving weekend. Record crowds turned out for the three-day event. The Navy hangar was emptied to make room for the Tidewater Division - National Model Railroad Association s layouts of model trains. We had steam powered trains and too many different gauge-sized layouts to name. The pride these engineers take in their layout details is remarkable. I haven t seen so many buttons to push on these layouts in my life. These interactive train tables gave kids of all ages a wonderful weekend of fun and amazement. The lobby was bustling with activity. The Marine Corps Reserve was present gathering donated toys for their annual Toys-for-Tots campaign. Of the three years I have had the pleasure of working the event, this is the largest amount of donations our guests have given the Marines. Shane Webb worked his display of 3-D paper airplanes designed and shaped as realistic replicas of our museum warbirds. The guests got a chance to watch him up close as he cut out and assemble these 3-D paper designs. The Greater Atlantic Rescue Dogs organization brought out several of their rescue and therapy dogs to frolic with the kids. They posed with Santa, many family guests and took advantage of the great weather to roam the flight ramp and lounge by the Christmas tree. The holiday season was kicked off in grand style with our annual Planes, Trains & Santa show over Thanksgiving weekend. Record crowds turned out for the three day event. The highlight of both Friday and Saturday was the arrival of the big guy Santa arrived in grand style from the North Pole to the flight ramp in front of a wall of children and anxious parents. With record turnouts, Santa was escorted to his chair by the Girl Scouts of Troop 530 and went straight to work and met with all the children listening to their wishes and ensuring his Nice list was complete. While waiting to see Santa on Saturday, the families got a chance to see the cadets from the Coastal Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol and meet a Virginia Beach Police Officer working the Crime Solvers table. In the middle of all this activity, the gorgeous warm weather allowed the Museum to offer plane rides to our guests and many got the chance to see the B-25 Mitchell bomber takeoff and land when it launched to conduct a flyover of Old Dominion University s final home football game. q

5 VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1 PAGE 5 Mark Your Calendars: Warbirds Over the Beach Air Show Returns this Spring Our May Air Show is a destination event for your calendar! Our guests come from all over the world to enjoy the sights, sounds, and even the smell of the glory days of military aviation. Many of you grew up reading the exploits of military heroes, and you ve watched all the great aviation movies, but when you hear the thunder of a Merlin, Allison, or a Wright engine coughing to life and then see and hear them throttle up, you are transported to an entirely different level of understanding of history. Now is your chance to enjoy it all over again! Purchase Your Tickets today online at or in person at the Museum s Gift Shop. q MAM Participates in Education Open House at the Chrysler Museum The Military Aviation Museum was invited to participate in the annual SHRMF (South Hampton Roads Museum Forum) Education Open House held at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk on January 21, The evening found Mike Potter, Mitch Welch, and myself manning the MAM s table and rubbing elbows with representatives from other area museums such as The Hermitage, Nauticus, and The MacArthur Memorial. The event was held in conjunction with the Chrysler s monthly Third Thursday event. Area educators were invited and admitted free to the event, and close to 150 educators responded. Teachers from throughout Hampton Roads had the opportunity to check out what area museums had to offer, and it was an excellent opportunity to showcase our museum to public, private, and homeschool teachers. Mike gave an informative 15 minute overview of the MAM during the general meeting in the By Joe Badali, MAM Education Outreach Lead Chrysler auditorium. Events Coordinator Mitch Welch did a great job with the table presentation, focusing on our newly formed partnership with Creeds Elementary School as an example of how our museum can help teachers create amazing learning opportunities. As a former school principal, I was able to provide teachers with a point of contact while emphasizing our commitment to Education Outreach. We felt it was a very successful evening. Area teachers left with knowledge of and information about the resources that our museum has to offer. q

6 PAGE 6 VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1 Old Friends Reunited A memorable event occurred today, November 21, 2015, as two old friends were reunited: Hans Meyer who was a Luftwaffe pilot, and the MAM s Bf 109 (like the one Hans flew so many years ago) came together. Hans grew up in Germany during the turbulent times preceding WW II; his early interest in aviation was evident as a teenager. Flying gliders in the Hitler Youth Program for him was an exhilarating experience, and when the Luftwaffe gave him the opportunity in 1944 to become a fighter pilot, the seventeen-year-old jumped at the chance. Hans flew the Bf 109 on the Eastern Front and had confirmed kills of five Russian aircraft. Hans often said: The 109 was a great aircraft fun to fly easy to maneuver responsive. To see one again would really be something. Hans got his chance. The Bf 109 was waiting at the Fighter Factory, and he enjoyed several minutes to quietly reminisce with this old friend. There were a few of By Lar Stampe us standing back and watching the two have some time together; there must have been a thousand thoughts going through Hans mind as he walked around the aircraft it was much like a pre-flight inspection. We watched him as he sat in the cockpit; his eyes scanned the instrument panel, he checked the throttle position, and then gazed out through the windscreen for several moments as if lost in another time. We could only imagine what he was thinking, but this time belonged to him and we did not break the stillness of the moment. After he climbed out of the cockpit, Hans walked around the aircraft giving it a careful look; he answered a few questions about the markings (he was quick to notice the new insignia on the vertical stab), and jokingly added: You now need to paint a green heart below the canopy my old squadron. It was a grand day for Hans and for us. q Congressional Gold Medal Honors Civil Air Patrol s WWII Service Veteran Virginia Eichbeg Bloom On October 25th last year, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Cadets and staff were present to see Virginia Eichbeg Bloom receive her Congressional Gold Medal for service during World War II. The Gold Medal was presented to Ms. Bloom on behalf of Congress by Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms at the Military Aviation Museum. Family, friend and members of the Coastal Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol landed at the museum to celebrate this veteran s accomplishments and offer heartfelt thanks for her efforts and service to our country. As a special treat following the awards ceremony, Virginia joined the Museum s Chief Pilot, Mike Spalding, for a flight in the Museum s Piper Cub, Glimpy. When Virginia returned, her grin was as big as Glimpy s wings! Born in Richmond in 1929, Virginia joined CAP in She trained as a cadet navigator in a Piper Cub aircraft giving directions to CAP pilots, checking visuals, and making avionics calculations by long hand as a 14-year old CAP cadet. She proudly answered the call that, as she recalled, wished young people to do something worthwhile to care for our troops... when you re a kid, there wasn t much you could do. Furthermore, Mrs. Bloom noted that anytime someone was flying and she could hitch a ride, she would do so. She loved to fly. Part of her CAP service and war efforts was to gather scrap metal for manufacturing - even small bits of tin foil from cigarette packs - and deliver it to the reclamation center. She would also collect hats and gloves for servicemen overseas. She took a correspondence course in armaments related to pistols, their maintenance and cleaning. Continued on Next Page

7 VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1 PAGE 7 Creeds Elementary & the Museum Work on a Design Challenge The Museum s Special Consultants, Creeds Elementary School 5th Graders, recently conducted a science design challenge about momentum. As part of our partnership with Creeds, the Museum s Staff and volunteers pitched in to lend our expertise and resources to this area of study. Creeds teachers presented the lesson to the students introducing terms such as potential energy, Newton s Law, kinetic energy, force, motion, etc. As part of the next phase of study, the students took a 1-hr visit down the road to the Museum where we presented three generations of warbirds to the students to represent different applications of technology that would demonstrate these new scientific terms. The 1911 Wright Flyer represented very early aviation theory of flight. Canvas, wire and two wings helped demonstrate motion to the students. Following questions, the group moved on to the 1941 Boeing Stearman. There our veteran pilot, Mr. Lou Radwanick, presented advances in technology that would enhance potential energy and motion. Their final stop was with pilot Mr. Ray Scott at the P-51 Mustang, again looking at technological advances such as reducing drag with retractable landing gear, mono-wing vs. bi-wing and all metal fuselages. The next day back at school, the students were asked to take this new knowledge and design and build three different typed of airplanes: a slow flying model, a fast model and a long distance flyer. After numerous test flights in the hallways and classrooms, and getting technical advice from about 9 Museum Volunteers, the students finished their airplanes. Day three rolled around and the 5th graders again found themselves at the museum, this time to collect their analysis by launching their model planes off the Navy hangar balcony along a measured runway below. Although there we no awards given as this was a science experiment, we think it is safe to say that all the kids (young and old) had a great time! It sure was a unique was to help the kids understand and apply these Standards of Learning (SOL) courses of study. Representatives from the VB School System curriculum development department were on hand, and one of the School System Board Members was also present to see this model partnership in action. Watch for our museum to be a bigger partner with our schools in the future! q Continued from Previous Page Following the war, she moved to Washington, DC to work for the Treasury Department and joined the National Capital Wing of the CAP where she served as the Squadron Adjutant. During this time, she hopped a flight to San Antonio with the Air Attaché to Guatemala. The pilots from the National Capitol were in San Marcos and she joined them in ferrying several Piper Cubs to Washington, DC. She remained active in CAP through the 1950s, often escorting groups of female cadets to Andrews Air Force Base for a type of basic training focused on marching and life in the barracks. Virginia raised two daughters and one son. In 1972, with four other women, she opened the first all-woman real estate office in Ft. Wayne, Ind. Virginia currently resides in Virginia Beach. q

8 PAGE 8 VOLUME 9, ISSUE 1 EVENT CALENDAR Volunteer Orientation Class Ever think of Volunteering at the the Museum? The next opportunity happens in March. Go online at org/volunteers.html to register. AACA Automotive Swap Meet Attention all you gear heads, come buy, sell or trade for those parts needed to get your hot rod ready to roll for the summer cruising season. AACA Tidewater Chapter in conjunction with the Museum will host the meet. Aerodrome Wine Festival On the green of the Military Aviation Museum, savor the varietal bouquets of Virginia wines, the romance of early aeroplanes, and the elegance of fine European motorcars at our third annual Aerodrome Wine Classic. MARCH 12 march 12 April 16 Coastal Virginia Beer Festival & Food Truck Rodeo Come out and join the fun for an afternoon of live music, good food, good friends and great airplanes. Tickets will be available at NOVEMBER 22 APril 23 Warbirds Over the Beach Back in action, with new additions to the fleet, the air armada of the Military Aviation Museum will be on display on land and in the air for three days in May. Advanced Ticket Sales on sale now! NOVEMBER May The Flying Proms This distinctive outdoor occasion combines the best of both worlds: a live performance by the musicians of Symphonicity, in concert with demonstration flight by select aircraft of the Military Aviation Museum. JUNe 11 Messerschmitt Bf 109G-4 Membership Newsletter for the Military Aviation Museum 1341 Princess Anne Road Virginia Beach, VA (757) 721-PROP Open Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm ELECTRONIC service requested NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID VIRGINIA BEACH, VA PERMIT NO. 235