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.
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”.
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?
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!
If you had been with me at the Palm Springs Air Museum yesterday this is what you would have seen. One of the very few, of maybe six or seven, still flying World War II P-38 aircraft in the entire world. I don’t think I have ever seen one before in person for real. How very exciting! And even more exciting that I got to photograph it as it flew by! Just WOW!
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” 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!