Photography by Ian L. Sitren

Posts tagged “Red Tails

Memorial Service For A Great Man

The Memorial Service at the Palm Springs Air Museum for a great man, Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Robert Friend. I am so very honored to have been part of planning, the flight operations, photographer, writing the story; and even more so, knowing him.

Personal big Thank You to the people who I reached out to help on the photography side things. It was too much and too important for just one person. Thank You to Rick Rowell and Ian Glover. And a huge Thank You to Scott Plummer and Lisa Plummer for their incredible video coverage and photography. Truly Thank You! 

PF 4-5 2019 AUGUST Beacon Press_


Bunny Looking Good

Shooting this morning for the Palm Springs Air Museum. A flight of ” Bunny” the P-51 Mustang dedicated to the “Red Tails” of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. The actual “Bunny” was flown by Lt. Col. Robert J “Bob” Friend (February 29, 1920 – June 21, 2019).

Bunny-Takeoff_DSF1041

Photographed with my FujiFilm X-T3 and XF100-400 lens. Pilot Tom Nightingale.


The Salute

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.

19-1740 PSAM Bob Friend memorial graphic v1-sm copy

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”.

 


Tuskegee Airman Harry Stewart

Opportunities to be present with such great people are always not to be missed. At the Palm Springs Air Museum yesterday to photograph and video Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Harry Stewart. By the way, he is 95 years old. Here is a very fun minute…

How do you solve one of the unforeseen problems of enduring a 6 1/2 hour mission in a fighter aircraft? You might never have thought of this! Explained by Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Harry Stewart.

Yesterday at the Palm Springs Air Museum for the West Coast World premier of the Colonel’s book “Soaring to Glory: A Tuskegee Airman’s Firsthand Account of WWII”, along with author Philip Handleman.

The Colonel flew forty-three combat missions as a Tuskegee Airman in World War II. For his flying prowess with the famed 332nd Fighter Group, known as the Red Tails, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

It was a standing room only event and his book was a sell out!


Memorial Day 2019

Just some of what I did (shoot some video) on Memorial Day at the Palm Springs Air Museum

Aircraft start up for the flyover and flower drop, Memorial Day 2019 at the Palm Springs Air Museum. A World War II Mitchell B-25 bomber, F4U Corsair, P-63 Kingcobra “Pretty Polly”, Red Tail P-51 Mustang “Bunny”, PB4Y-2 Privateer and T-33 jet “Shooting Star”.


Reno Air Races Recap

Again I am honored to be part of the Palm Springs Air Museum. Here as photographer, content creator, social media manager and even in flight operations at the 55th National Championship Air Races in Reno for 2018. Thanks!

Col-Bunny-Flightline-20180916-_DM40059-2

Polly-Home_Pylon-20180913-_DM40537-2

Polly-JD-20180913-_DM40033

Col-Awards-20180916-DSCF2197

Bunny-Flightline-20180915-_DM40469

Polly-Flightline-20180915-_DM40369-2

The Palm Springs Air Museum again became the standout at the 55th National Championship Air Races in Reno this September. The most prestigious race in the fastest motorsport in the world saw our Red Tail P-51 Mustang “Bunny” and our P-63 Kingcobra “Pretty Polly” fly around the pylons in front of crowds estimated to be 150,000+. “Bunny” flown by pilot Mark Moodie took a Third Place “on the podium” win in the Silver Unlimited Race with a speed of 333.562, less than one mile per hour away from first place! “Pretty Polly” flown by pilot Jim “JD” Dale made for a crowd favorite in 7th Place in the Silver Unlimited Race with a speed of 307.781. We finished with both aircraft “in the money”!

We were most honored for the second year in a row to be joined by a man who is indeed a very special friend to the Air Museum, 98 year old Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. Bob Friend. With us everyday at the Races to meet people and sign autographs, we were most proud to have him start our airplanes and watch as they taxi’d out for the Finals. The honor even extended further as the Colonel joined us on stage for the Awards Dinner to accept our trophies as he was given an extended standing ovation by a hangar filled with 1,000 racers and crew and family and friends. A moment in time that brought many to tears as cameras and cellphones saved the moment for history.

Certainly “Bunny” stole the show in so very many ways. A Red Tail dedicated to the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II and specifically to the aircraft flown by Lt. Col. Bob Friend, many would say she is the most beautiful of all P-51 Mustangs. But we had another very special girl with us, “Pretty Polly”. One of perhaps only four P-63 Kingcobras still flying, it has been forty years since a Kingcobra raced at Reno. Race fans, aviation fans, aviation photographers all greeted the news of “Pretty Polly” at Reno and her arrival and racing with huge enthusiasm and appreciation. Our Race Pit was continually visited by Kingcobra fans who specifically came to see her. Even a fan from Japan came by wearing one of our Air Museum ‘Pretty Polly” shirts! Pilot Jim “JD” Dale was on hand to talk with so very many and they were in luck because “JD” is a tremendously knowledgeable Kingcobra historian and of course one of the very few Kingcobra pilots.

The National Championship Air Races Reno gives the Palm Springs Air Museum the opportunity to bring our message of living history to expanding audiences around the world. Millions of people online will share in our adventure being there. We have endless numbers of people to Thank in getting us to Reno. Mechanics, pilots, the people who loaded the trailers, and so very many volunteers. And of course the individuals and sponsors who donated to funding our being able to make it happen. Everyone has their own reasons for being part of Reno with us. But to a person, it is unselfish and giving, whether through their money or labor. To everyone a huge and heartfelt Thank You! And an excited; see you in Reno for 2019!


Sigma 150-600mm Lens

I have been trying out the the Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | S lens. On my Canon 1DMkIV. And a no fail serious camera strap from Vulture Equipment Works.

Just worked with it for the 2nd time. Yes it is sharp and the color fidelity is beautiful! You might look at the lettering on the prop and say it is blurry. Actually that is exactly how it is on the prop. This was at 150mm. The aircraft is at the Palm Springs Air Museum; a Red Tail P-51 Mustang “Bunny” dedicated to the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.

Sigma_P51-20180901-_DM40004

Sigma_P51-crop-20180901-_DM40004

Sigma150600


Meet The Heroes

Not just the machines but the men too! On Memorial Day come meet Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Bob Friend and Captain Rusty Burns. Two of the airmen of the iconic “Red Tails” of World War II. Watch our own P-51 Mustang “Bunny” take to the skies, the “Red Tail” dedicated to the Mustang that now 98 year old Col. Friend himself flew during the War.

Also with us will be B-17 Flying Fortress Gunner, US Army Air Force Tech Sgt. Mike Kovich. Now 102 years old, Mike was shot down in March of 1944 over Germany and was a POW until April 1945.

And meet 106 year old US Navy Radioman 2nd Class Marvin Cohn. Served in World War II from 1943-1945 aboard the USS Purdy. The Destroyer was attacked off the coast of Okinawa by Japanese aircraft suffering extensive damage and 73 casualties.

So please visit the Palm Springs Air Museum on Memorial Day. It is a day to meet the heroes of history. Thanks!

I am very proud to have photographed this Red Tail P-51 for this very special poster.

PSAM Reno Poster


Back Seat Mustang

This was me in the back seat and it could be you in the Palm Springs Air Museum P-51 Mustang “Bunny” this coming Memorial Day weekend, Saturday through Monday!

A flight experience in one of the most iconic aircraft of all time. The fighter that changed the course of the air campaign in World War II. Hear the roar of that distinctive Merlin engine as it pulls you into the skies!

Dedicated to the famed “Red Tails” Tuskegee Airmen, on Monday you can personally meet 98 year old Lt. Col Bob Friend, the man who flew this aircraft dedicated to the one he flew over Europe during the War. Also meet Tuskegee Airmen Captain Rusty Burns!

Call 760-778-6262 to reserve your time. Your flight experience of history $1895.00. A flight you will not forget!. Thanks!


National Military Appreciation Month

May is National Military Appreciation Month and May 19th was National Armed Forces Day. buzzbox premium cocktails joined with the Palm Springs Air Museum to honor the so very many by celebrating the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. Watch and listen as Air Museum Volunteer and United States Air Force Veteran Al Crossley tells his story and takes a flight in the “Red Tail” P-51 Mustang “Bunny”.  Thanks!


A Reno Air Race Thank You!

A full page Thank You in the Desert Sun newspaper today to all of our Palm Springs Air Museum Sponsors who made our “Red Tails Race Team” so very successful at the National Championship Air Races Reno 2017! Also a Thank You to the many of you who so graciously donated but wished to remain anonymous. Every one of you made it possible for all of us to participate and to honor the heroic and brave Tuskegee Airmen at this prestigious event! Thank You! Thank You!

Thanks-DS


You Have A Race!

This is how the Race starts! The planes join up and fly to the course. As you are watching, you will see the T-33 pace plane climb away and it is on! Six P-51 Mustangs including our Palm Springs Air Museum “Bunny” dive for the first pylons! The Silver Race of the Unlimited Class this past Sunday at the National Championship Air Races in Reno! This was shot on my GoPro mounted along the canopy rail. You can also watch this in HD on my Vimeo Channel at https://vimeo.com/235180990

We had a great successful ten days at Reno and we were honored to have the entire event join us in celebrating the brave Tuskegee Airmen heroes of World War II! You can join us in that too, through this one last weekend and be a part of our “Red Tails Race Team”! You can even get our actual Team T-Shirt and the Official Poster and more. Please check it out and we Thank You so very much for your help… https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/red-tails-race-team

 


10 Days At The Reno Air Races

Flew back Monday in the Palm Springs Air Museum P-51 Mustang “Bunny” from the National Championship Air Races 2017 in Reno. I did 10 days as part of the crew racing “Bunny” and shooting photos and video. Worked hard long hours and every moment was incredible fun. I did keep my Facebook page and the Facebook page for the Air Museum current but neglected my own Blog here and my Instagram. So I will now being going back and posting some of the fun. And there is plenty of it for sure! Thanks!

Reno-Me-P51-sm


Bunny Fly-By

How about a “Bunny” fly-by to get things going! Now come along with us and JOIN OUR TEAM at the Palm Springs Air Museum!

The “Red Tails Race Team” sending “Bunny” our P-51 Mustang to the prestigious National Championship Air Races Reno, September 13th – 17th! “Bunny” will be joined by and honoring the famed Tuskegee Airmen “Red Tails” of World War II. And you can be a part of it!

Lots of cool stuff coming your way for helping us and it’s great fun! You can even get our actual Team T-Shirt and the Official Poster and more. Please check it out and you truly have our biggest Thanks! Right here at… https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/red-tails-race-team

And a Big Thank You to BUZZBOX Premium Cocktails for being our Team Partner!


“Bunny” The Poster

So very fun to have my photograph of “Bunny” the P-51 Mustang on the official poster for the “Red Tails Race Team” going to the prestigious National Championship Air Races in Reno next week!

We are all very excited to have BUZZBOX Premium Cocktails as our title sponsor. They are truly a great partner and will actually be with us in the Race Pit itself with the Team and the Palm Springs Air Museum. We also will be very honored to have with us famed Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. BobFriend. The Colonel and other Tuskegee Airmen will be signing the poster for the fans at the Race.

You can join the “Red Tails Race Team” too and share the fun. Help us make it all happen and get yourself a signed poster or even an actual Team Crew T-Shirt. I would personally be appreciative for your help! Check it out and Thanks… https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/red-tails-race-team

I also want to Thank the Jones Agency for creating a truly remarkable poster!
https://www.facebook.com/TheJonesAgency

PSAM Reno Poster


Labor Day Traffic

Not exactly like getting on a freeway onramp. Just made me think of it. I shot these photos from the backseat of a T-28 Trojan as we were waiting to takeoff at the “Wings Over Camarillo” airshow in August. One of my duties as Photographer and Social Media Manager for the Palm Springs Air Museum. Next stop is the National Championship Air Races in Reno coming up now! And I need your help with that please! Check it out at “Red Tails Race Team” and Thanks!

In_Line-Aug 20 2017_DM41687

In_Line-Aug 20 2017_DM41714

In_Line-Aug 20 2017_DM41725

In_Line-Aug 20 2017_DM41729


Everyone Stops And Looks!

No matter what you are doing, when “Bunny” flies by you stop and look! At the opening for the “Wings Over Camarillo” airshow earlier this month. “Bunny” will be in the show opening again at the prestigious National Championship Air Races Reno, September 13th – 17th! And we are asking for your help today please!

JOIN OUR TEAM! The Red Tails Race Team by helping the Palm Springs Air Museum send the Tuskegee Airmen and “Bunny” the P-51 Mustang to participate in this huge honor. Be part of it along with our incredible “Bunny” pilot Tom Nightingale! Even Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Bob Friend is going at the age of 97 years old!

Lots of cool stuff coming your way for helping  and it’s great fun! Please check it out and you truly have our biggest Thanks! Right here at… https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/red-tails-race-team

Bunny Flag Flyby


Evening Run Up

A little evening engine check before we left for the Air Fair at Big Bear Lake this past Saturday morning. This is the historic World War II fighter, the P-51 Mustang. This one named “Bunny”, it is dedicated to the famed “Red Tails” Tuskegee Airmen.

I am personally asking you to help me and the Palm Springs Air Museum in sending “Bunny” and the Tuskegee Airmen to the National Championship Air Races Reno in just a few weeks! Do it for me! Please! Every few bucks helps!

You will be a part of our “Red Tails Race Team” and get some cool stuff too! Check it out and Thanks… https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/red-tails-race-team


It Was A Playboy Bunny When I Was A Kid!

When I was a kid it was exciting to sneak a peek of a Playboy Bunny. Now I am with an entirely different “Bunny” and it is pretty exciting too! Also for a good cause!
 
Come join me and the Palm Springs Air Museum “Red Tails Race Team” sending “Bunny” and the Tuskegee Airmen to the National Championship Air Races Reno in just a few weeks! Even if you can’t be there in person we will be bringing the fun like this to you and you get some cool stuff too! Even our Crew Member T-Shirt! Check it out and Thanks… Red Tails Racing Team

Reno Bunny!

Thought this is pretty great! My photo of the P-51 Mustang “Bunny” used for the poster for the “Red Tails Race Team”! The Palm Springs Air Museum has “Bunny” entered in the huge and very prestigious National Championship Air Races Reno coming up September 13th – 17th. “Bunny” commemorates the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. And actually you can join the “Red Tails Race Team” and help send “Bunny” and the Tuskegee Airmen to Reno! You can also get this poster and some really cool stuff! Check it out at “Red Tails Race Team“! Please do and Thanks!

17-1756-PSAM-reno-red-tails-poster-v3


Reno Air Races Here I Come!

I am going to the Reno Air Races with “Bunny”! Even I am excited about this! I am the photographer for the Palm Springs Air Museum and we are taking “Bunny” to fly in the prestigious and exciting Reno 54th National Championship Air Races coming up fast next month September 13 – 17 2017!! YES!!

The Reno Air Race is the most unique air racing event and aviation experience in the world, combining the world’s fastest motor sport with spectacular military and civilian aircraft. Over 150,000 people each day will be watching pilot Tom Nightingale fly “Bunny” through her paces!

Our P-51 Mustang “Bunny” is designed to honor the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. And in that honor, the Reno Air Racing Association will be joining us with some very special Tuskegee Airmen events!

You too will be able to join with us! Shortly we will have the details about Sponsorship Opportunities that could also put you right in the racing pits with us! Or you could also be a part of our “Red Tail Race Team” right from home!

So keep watching here and if you cannot wait to hear more ASAP, send me an e-mail to Ian@SecondFocus.com.  Just WOW! Thanks!

Bunny_DM40071


The Colonel’s 97th Birthday

Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col. Bob Friend. Celebrating the Colonel’s 97th birthday at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The P-51 Mustang “Bunny” flown by pilot Tom Nightingale doing flybys, restored as a replica of the famed Tuskegee Airmen “Red-Tail” P-51’s.

Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Bob Friend Turns 97

Tuskegee Airmen P-51 "Bunny"

Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Bob Friend Turns 97


In Person Living History

Today, Saturday you will have an opportunity like none other. A celebration of the 97th birthday of Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Bob Friend. Another true guest of honor and Tuskegee Airman, Capt. Rusty Burns will be there too. Do not miss the chance to greet and meet these two American heroes. There will also be an honoring of World War II “Buffalo Soldier” George Edwards who recently passed away at the age of 96. At the Palm Springs Air Museum beginning at 1:00 PM. You will not only share in birthday cake but also see “Bunny” fly. The P-51 Mustang of Tuskegee Airmen fame!

Lt. Col. Bob Friend and P-51 Bunny

Lt. Col. Bob Friend and P-51 Bunny


Tuskegee Airmen Flies His P-51 Mustang Again!

Lt. Col. Bob Friend, 95 years old, flying in the P-51D Mustang made famous when he flew as a Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. “Bunny” has been fully restored and now flying at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Back on the ground, the Colonel was greeted by Air Museum Director Fred Bell, the man who made the restoration of this great aircraft possible over the last three years. The P-51 pilot for the Colonel and Bunny was Tom Nightingale.