ICAS With Another 1500
I just returned from the ICAS convention, International Council Of Air Shows at Paris Las Vegas. I am the Aviation Coordinator (and photographer) for the Palm Springs Air Museum. “Delegates” numbered 1,501 and 247 exhibitors in the trade show. This Tuesday morning opening session hosted by “Good Morning America” David Hartman featured three World War II Veterans; Tuskegee Airman Colonel Charles McGee, B-29 gunner and Japanese POW Staff Sergeant Kargin Thomasian, and B-29 Pilot Lt. Col. Bob Vaucher.
I went to a hotel restaurant for lunch and ended up sitting next to Colonel Vaucher. The Colonel had flown the first B-29 strategic combat mission over Japan on June 15, 1944. And he flew as lead pilot in a massive 525 B-29 formation over Tokyo Harbor during the formal Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. As a Lieutenant with a total of 2.5 hours in the B-29 he took delivery as Pilot in Command of the first B-29 to enter service. His Second in Command was a Captain but with only 90 minutes of B-29 time.
I did invite Colonel Vaucher to come see us at the Palm Springs Air Museum. And I expect in the next few months he may do that. In talking with him, I think he finds where he has been in his life as amazing as we do.