Honoring a great man, Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Robert “Bob” J. Friend. And I am very honored as well to have stood next to him when I shot this photograph of him saluting during the National Anthem at the Reno Air Races 2017.
This graphic was displayed on the 18x10ft high definition screen over the Memorial Services for the Colonel at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The beautiful painting of the Red Tail P-51 Mustang by aviation artist Stan Stokes.
Some behind the scenes info… I was going to be right next to the Colonel while he was introduced to the huge crowd in the grandstands at the beginning of the race finals. I wanted to be inconspicuous so I had put my Fujifilm X-T1 camera on my shoulder with the Fujifilm 16-55 f2.8 lens. It also made for a smaller and lighter package than the other cameras I had brought along for the races.
The National Anthem started playing and the Colonel raised his hand in salute. Only a couple of feet away from him, I brought the camera up, looked through the viewfinder and fired maybe two or three frames and brought the camera down. I saw the photo through the viewfinder and knew I had shot, for me anyway, a photo of a lifetime. For the Memorial Service, his daughter Karen specifically asked for that photo to be displayed. Afterwards she said “This is how I want to remember him”.
One of the biggest Summer events right here in Palm Springs, Splash House! A rockin’ hard three days of pool parties at three great hotels and two after parties at the Palm Springs Air Museum. And who is the photographer for the Palm Springs Air Museum… ME! And who was at both Splash House After Parties this weekend with a few thousand good looking people having great fun… ME! Outstanding!
A very busy day at the Palm Springs Air Museum on Memorial Day 2017. Lots of historic aircraft for flight demonstrations and the very important “Flower Drop” to honor the true meaning of Memorial Day. How much fun did I have! It’s good to be the Air Museum photographer!
Extra benefit of being the photographer for the Palm Springs Air Museum is flying! Yesterday in a World War II Mitchell B-25 bomber. The United States Marine Corps version PBJ, the only one still flying in the world. My duty station for the Memorial Day weekend, the Palm Springs Air Museum. Come on out!
Always something fun going on at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Yesterday the B-25 bomber crew arrived to fly their plane for the Doolittle Raid On Tokyo flight demonstration. And they arrived in style in this vintage 1952 “Twin Beech”.
This is that 1952 Beechcraft D18S “Twin Beech” starting up and departing. Continuously produced from 1937 to 1969 (over 32 years, a world record at the time), over 9,000 were produced, making it one of the world’s most widely used light aircraft. These aircraft saw military use as light transport, light bomber (for China), trainer (for bombing, navigation and gunnery), photo-reconnaisance, and “mother ship” for target drones. In World War II, over 90% of USAAF bombardiers and navigators trained in these aircraft.