Flyover For WWII Nurse 101 Years Old
June 1942, Doris Howard arrived in Palm Springs as an Army nurse at the newly converted hospital, previously the famous El Mirador Hotel. Serving throughout the war, taking her to other countries, she even survived a Kamikaze attack.
Returning to Palm Springs and what is now Desert Regional Medical Center all these years later, we were honored to do a flyover for her in the Palm Springs Air Museum WWII era C-47 on Friday May 14, 2021. The full story and more photos from the ground in the Desert Sun newspaper at http://bit.ly/DorisHoward
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.
Journey To Royal Screening
Please join us at the Palm Springs Air Museum for an exciting Workprint Test Screening of the World War II docudrama, JOURNEY TO ROYAL followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, on Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 1:00pm to 3:30pm.
The film tells the extraordinary true story of Lt. Royal Stratton and the 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron who, over the seas on an embattled South Pacific, flew over 800 rescue missions to save the lives of 576 men.
Over the last decade, the filmmakers have traveled the world locating and interviewing the surviving members of the Squadron, as well as other WWII veterans, who share their firsthand accounts of some of the most pivotal and consequential events of that War. Their goal is to preserve the values of, and celebrate the contributions made by, the Greatest Generation.
Daffy At War…
This is really a wonderful fun exhibit at the Palm Springs Air Museum. I know, I got to photograph many of the pieces for the commercials and ads and magazine features. Tonight (Friday at 6) is the reception. So come on out and join me for it! Here are the details…
– Many of us as children grew up watching Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry, and the rest of the Warner Brothers, MGM and Walt Disney cartoons. These fond memories stay with us as adults. But how many of us now know that these children’s cartoon characters played an integral role in boosting morale during World War II? You can see your beloved cartoon characters in a new exciting exhibit here at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
– For an in-depth look at the exhibit, join us in welcoming the two owners of the collections that make up Wartime Designs: the Insignia Art of World War II. Tonight Friday, December 1 at 6 PM, a reception Meet and Greet about this exhibit takes place inside the Pacific Hangar at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
– This is really a wonderful and incredible exhibit that you will truly want to experience, and learning more about it from those who have brought it to us adds so much more dimension!
– Tickets are $15 for Air Museum members and $20 for non-members paid in advance. Tickets at the door are $25. To RSVP, call Carol at (760) 482-1836. Thank You!
More P-38 Fun
Starting up and rolling out, a P-38 Lightning fighter plane from World War II. One of perhaps fewer than six still flying in the entire world. You can see from my video that the Palm Springs Air Museum visitors get an up close experience like none other. Not as close as I am, but right there to get their hats blown off their heads and get a good whiff of the spray of motor oil. How fun is that!
A Scene From WWII
Makes you think that you are looking at a scene from World War II. One of the very few remaining flying P-38 Lightning fighters taking off for flybys at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Photographed just yesterday against the scenic backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains. Something to see all the time at the Air Museum and special programs and flight demonstrations on Saturdays. Be there!
One Of Only One
Saturdays at the Palm Springs Air Museum brings us great programs and flight demonstrations. This last Saturday brought us the only still flying World War II P-51A Mustang. There are other still flying Mustangs but this is the early A version powered by 1200 hp Allison engine. It had a maximum speed of 409 mph and carried four .50 caliber machine guns. The plane was designed to be strictly an air to air combat aircraft. Now owned by Planes Of Fame in Chino CA. I had the pilot stop mid-air right in front of me so I could shoot this photograph. Ok maybe not.
The words spoken by narrator, Leonard Graves at the beginning of each of 26 episodes. One of the greatest tellings of the history and battles of World War II beginning with an unforgettable musical score by Richard Rodgers. The man who wrote over 900 songs and for 43 timeless Broadway musicals.
The beginning of each episode just breathtaking. For today, remembering Pearl Harbor; “And Now The Pacific Boils Over”.
Could He Have Imagined?
Sunday morning December 7, 1941 on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean. A Japanese pilot starts the engine of his VAL Dive Bomber. The destination is Pearl Harbor. The mission is to destroy the United States Naval Pacific Fleet at anchor. He hears and feels the drumming of that aircraft engine. Could he have possibly imagined the everlasting world changing events that he would release as he began his takeoff?
No Matter How Old You Are!
Always so very fun no matter how old you are! The sound and the power of this vintage aircraft taking flight. Just this past Saturday at the Palm Springs Air Museum. A World War II Navy fighter, the Bearcat F8F-2, here flown by pilot Steve Barber.
Among my very favorite “Nose Art” at the Palm Springs Air Museum… “Pretty Polly”. This P-63 King Cobra from World War II is now a very rare aircraft and this one even more so because it is still flying.
I have been posting a lot of my aircraft photography over the last week and I have been asked by people when I was going to be posting more of my photography of beautiful women. “Pretty Polly” is my transition going into next week when I will show you more of those gorgeous women, and some guys too! So keep coming back! Thanks!
Busy Day Flying
Last Saturday at the Palm Springs Air Museum. One of the Museum’s premier aircraft, piloted by the equally premier Tom Nightingale, headed out for takeoff. Waiting while the Stearman biplane comes back in to pick up another happy passenger.
“Bunny” is a P-51 Mustang restored and dedicated to the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. And specifically to Lt. Col. Bob Friend. To this day you can find the Colonel often at the Air Museum and many times in the back seat of this very special aircraft.
Tuskegee Airmen Heroes Of WWII
Off in the distance you see them, a P-40 Warhawk and a P-51 Mustang closing fast. No, not an old photo I found, but this last Saturday in the sky at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
A celebration of the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II and the 96th birthday of Lt. Col. Bob Friend, the oldest living Tuskegee pilot, having flown 140 combat missions over Europe. This is the Colonel sharing his times with some of the many visitors to the Air Museum. Tom Nightingale, the pilot flying the P-40 and often flying partner with the Colonel says that he remembers names and times and places of almost every photo that people can bring up to him. And that the Colonel can go hours on end, over and over talking to people, doing photographs and signing autographs.
The P-51 here is an airplane that has been restored in commemoration to the Colonel’s P-51, nicknamed “Bunny”, that he flew over Europe during the war. But this Saturday “Bunny” had another very special guest, Tuskegee Airman Rusty Burns! At 90 years old I can personally say this man got in and out of that airplane like a 25 year old. Even after a number of high speed passes down the runway, he was all smiles as he left the airplane off the front of the wing, not the closer to the ground back of the wing. Just like he said he always did!
The Dive Bomber Of Pearl Harbor
Yesterday at the Pearl Harbor Commemoration at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Flown by Pilot Tom Nightingale. This Japanese VAL Dive Bomber remains on display for December at the Museum, so I urge you to get over there and take a look. It is truly something to see.
The Aichi D3A Dive Bomber, nicknamed “Val”, was the aircraft carrier borne airplane that flew in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor to the end of World War II. It was responsible for sinking more Allied warships than any other aircraft. This replica flying out of the Palm Springs Air Museum was flown in both the movies “Tora! Tora! Tora!” and “Pearl Harbor”.
Photographed with FujiFilm X series camera and lens
A Date Which Will Live In Infamy
Yesterday, in commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Palm Springs Air Museum flew the two aircraft of the attack. The Japanese VAL Dive Bomber and Zero Fighter. As well, a definitive historical presentation of the attack by historian Michael Carra. The Palm Springs Air Museum is the place for “Living History”.
Photographed with FujiFilm X series camera and lens
President Franklin D. Roosevelt: Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our secretary of state a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.
And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. . .
Source: Courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.
Sleeping With Torpedoes
Nothing better than sleeping just above a torpedo so you can jump on down and blow something up when necessary. Onboard the USS Pampanito, a World War II United States Navy submarine. First commissioned November 6, 1943. Completed six war patrols from 1944 – 1945. A Naval Reserve Training ship from 1960 – 1971. Touring this submarine was really interesting! In San Francisco.
Awe Striking From 70 Years Ago
It is not everyday that you see a B-29 Superfortress start up and taxi out. But you can in the video here. Mostly known for being the airplanes that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was actually in some ways a more ominous part they played in ending of the War with Japan and the end of World War II. Flying in darkness at low altitudes, on March 10, 1945, over 300 B-29’s dropped almost a quarter of a million incendiary bombs on Tokyo itself. Can you imagine air fields filled with these giant bombers all starting up to fly a mission. And then hundreds of them overhead! Seventy years later, you can go this last remaining still flying B-29, for it’s visit today at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
“FiFi” Ain’t No Dame!
“FiFi” is the World’s only still flying B-29 Superfortress. Flown at the end of World War II, it was B-29’s that dropped the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There were 3,970 built and “FiFi” is the only one still flying as you can see in my photographs with her coming in to the Palm Springs Air Museum yesterday. You can go see this immense historic aircraft yourself through Sunday. Not only can you just go and look but you can tour the interior or even book a flight. But do not miss the opportunity to see this incredible part of history!
Bunny And Escorts
Bunny flew in yesterday with two of her friends. Bunny is the P-51 Mustang completely restored and dedicated to the famed Red Tails of the Tuskegee Airmen. A one and half year project of the Palm Springs Air Museum, yesterday a fly in and fly by of Bunny and two P-51 escorts. Truly an exciting sight and sounds!
The Unveiling Of Bunny
Last night at the Palm Springs Air Museum. In honor of the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. A reception for the unveiling of the restored P-51 Mustang fighter plane “Bunny” which they flew into battle becoming among the most decorated and respected heroes in all of the United States Armed Forces.
With an appearance of Tuskegee Airmen welcomed by Air Museum Director Fred Bell and the model for the “Bunny” nose art by famed artist Stan Stokes.
Spitfire And A FujiFilm XT-1 Camera…
Some scenes yesterday at the Palm Springs Air Museum doing some photography and a video with a FujiFilm XT-1 camera. FujiFilm has loaned me their new system for a week so I can check it out! I do like the color renditions and the realism in the photographs. The other things I like is the small size and weight. Two cameras bodies and three lenses would easily fit in a briefcase size carry bag. Very Cool!
Hellcat, Harriers And Hornets
If you had been at the Palm Springs Air Museum yesterday to see a flying Hellcat you would have had a lot more coming your way. The United States Navy F6F Hellcat was a carrier based plane that destroyed more enemy aircraft during WWII than any other Allied Naval Aircraft. A truly huge and impressive airplane that was plenty to see in flight all by itself. But extra added excitement at the Palm Springs Airport with United States Marine Harriers and United States Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets landing and departing during the day. A very unexpected air show! The Palm Springs Air Museum is a good place to be!
The new model Avenger was actually first introduced to the public by Grumman Aircraft on December 7, 1941 as Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan. By early 1942 the first 100 were delivered to the United States Navy. Be sure to watch the video as this TBM Avenger 1900hp engine fires up and the wings are extended on this huge airplane. At the Palm Springs Air Museum. Very Cool!
Dauntless Dive Bomber
The SBD Dauntless is a World War II Naval dive bomber that is best known for sinking the Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. This very rare and still flying Dauntless not only saw service during the war but also appeared in the movies “Midway” and “War And Remembrance”. Flying out of the Palm Springs Air Museum from the “Planes Of Fame” Air Museum in Chino California.