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.
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!
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!
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.
Skidoo To You!
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!
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.
A United States Navy Hellcat. A carrier based plane that destroyed more enemy aircraft during WWII than any other Allied Naval Aircraft. Flying out of the Palm Springs Air Museum.
The C-47 And D-Day
Yesterday over Palm Springs, a C-47 painted with the D-Day invasion stripes. The alternating black and white stripes were for easy identification by the Allies during the Normandy landings 70 years ago. The Palm Springs Air Museum flew their C-47 “What’s Up Doc” in honor of that anniversary of the largest seaborne invasion in history. Can you imagine the sky being filled with over 1,000 C-47’s dropping 13,000 paratroopers and towing assault gliders!
Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie The Riveter”
Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie The Riveter” for the May 29, 1943 issue of the “Saturday Evening Post”. It depicted a more robust Rosie but still feminine with her lipstick and curls. But the message is clear with the American Flag background and her standing on a battered copy of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”. The original painting sold at auction in 2002 for almost $5,000,000. It is now displayed at museums. A photograph of the poster today at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
The First Commanding Officer of the Women’s Army Corp
Oveta Culp Hobby, the first commanding officer of the Women’s Army Corp created and encompassing 350,000 women during World War II. She was also the first secretary of the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare. A photograph of a photograph today at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
One Of Only Three Zero’s Still Flying In The World
One of only three World War II Japanese Zero’s still flying in the entire world. In the skies over the Palm Springs Airport courtesy of the Palm Springs Air Museum earlier today. This Zero, owned and operated by the Commemorative Air Force, was delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Group #3. It originally had an air cooled rotary engine producing 1,130 hp and a top speed of 388 mph at almost 20,000 feet. In today’s flight demonstration you could easily see it’s nimble and powerful maneuverability. I also have video which I will post here in the next day or two. Very Fun! Here is the video I shot of the Zero starting up and heading out to taxi. https://vimeo.com/93085158
The Only Dual Control P-51 Mustang
Another photograph from Wednesday at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The Collings Foundation P-51C Mustang, the only fully dual control version still flying. As well, there are fewer than five of the early B and C versions still flying. General Dwight Eisenhower rode in the back seat of one of these two seat versions over the beaches of Normandy to direct the D-Day Invasion of World War II.