The following is my column that was written for the June OpPlan. There was not sufficient space to run it but I think that it still holds up. Don’t forget to bring a friend to our luncheons and help us grow our membership. Also, please respond to my letter asking for updated email addresses. We want you to keep receiving Hal’s handiwork.
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 than 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 Chicago who flew in Alaska, was ferrying a TBM he purchased in Australia from Stockton, CA to Chicago, IL with stops along the way that included the Western Museum of Flight at Torrance Airport. 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 aircraft (F6F). Unfortunately Ron experienced a major mechanical problem over Arizona the next day and the plane crashed with Ron and his radioman bailing out safely over the mountains near the White River Indian Reservation. The plane has not been found.
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 Collings 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.”