A couple of weeks ago I attended the airshow at Chino; a presentation on, and a walk around a TBM Avenger at Western Museum of Flight; and finally an airshow (sort of) at Lyons Air Museum. It was hotter that the dickens at Chino but they still did an excellent job of putting those old warbirds (and a few new ones) in the air. I went on Friday when it is not so crowded.
Ron Carlson, a bush pilot from Alaska, was ferrying the TBM from Australia to Texas with stops along the way that included Cindy Macha’s WMOF. It was a very educational moment for me. I do not think that my dad flew the TBM but it was in service at the same time that he flew the SBD and then transitioned to fighter (F6F). Unfortunately Ron experienced a major mechanical problem over Arizona a few days later and the plane crashed after Ron and his radioman bailed out.
On 11 and 12 May (Friday and Saturday) I helped “man” a membership recruiting table at Lyon Air Museum at John Wayne Airport. I saw a couple of our members and talked to a number of veterans while there. I was not recruiting for GPS so nothing to report on that issue. It was a table sponsored by the Freedom Committee of Orange County, an organization that I have mentioned in previous columns. The event was the Colling’s Foundation “Wings of Freedom Tour”. Parking was a bear but the airplanes were worth the effort.
I am writing this column a few days before Memorial Day 2018. I looked around to try to find a word or two that encapsulated my feelings about this day. My goal was to determine what to say to our members on Memorial Day that makes sense. It is certainly not, “Happy Memorial Day”. I looked around and found this quote from General George S. Patton, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God such men lived.”