The annual remembrance ceremony was held yesterday in downtown Columbus under the auspices of the Columbus Historical Society (CHS) and within their dedicated memorial park behind their well-known “Depot Museum.”
CHS President, Shirley Garber lead the ceremony which featured Professor Brandon Morgan,whose presentation was entitled: “Protector and Aggressor: Pancho Villa’s Complicated Relationship with the Lower Mimbres Valley.“
Visitors came from as far as Kansas, Washington (state), and several from El Paso, Texas, as well.
The CHS always holds its service on the exact date of the tragic raid, regardless of which day of the week on which that date falls, whereas Columbus itself, holds their Raid Day events over the closest weekend to that date of March 9, 1916, assuring working families can make the occasion. Next year, in 2024, the date of the actual raid will fall on a Saturday, which will mean the attendees will number in at least the hundreds.
Yesterday’s turnout was estimated to be just short of 60 people. This weekend the renowned “Cabalgata Binacional,” traditionally witnesses a large group of Horsemen and women coming up from Mexico to meet with hundreds of horsemen and women from the states. It’s an across-the-border celebration less of the raid, and more about the kinship and closeness of the sister nations. As in recent years past, the large public event is directed by its principal organizer and promoter, Norma Gomez, who is the landlord for the FASF headquarters Office in Columbus. The celebratory occasion is usually attended by several thousand celebrants.
The following photos are of yesterday’s Memorial Service:
Richardand Elizabeth Pendleton in the foreground speaking with John Tyo
L to R: Allen Rosenberg(an ex-Marine!), in a 1916 Army uniform, joking with Corby Burns, and Patricia Kiddney
CHS Officers and distinguished guests on the Gazebo for the Ceremony – with Professor Brandon Morganat Podium
Audience gathering in readiness to hear the program
After the ceremony concluded, Steven Zobeck (L) and Dr. Kathleen Martin (R) look on as Dr. Morgan shakes hands with Pancho Villa look-alike re-enactor, Rafael Celestino
L to R: Rafael Celestino, Patricia Kiddney, Head Columbus Librarian, Maria Constantine, and Columbus C of C Director,Norma Gomezpose with Darrel Nash (R), Historian for the famed Buffalo Soldiersof the Punitive Expedition – Normahad just presented the Environmental Book Chihuahua to the Library, courtesy of the Mexican Government.
L to R: Maria Constantineand Norma Gomezdiscuss the Buffalo Soldiers museum and the soldiers’ organization with Darrel Nash
The FASF’s sister historical organization in Columbus, NM, the Columbus Historical Society (CHS) has just heard a report from the two Silver City, NM Co-Directors of the Chiricahua Apache Naion’s two Directors, Joe Saenz and Bill Bradford. The program was organized by long-time FASF Trustee, Kathleen R. Martin, Ph.D. The meeting was attended by 16 members of the CHS, mostly from the Columbus and Deming areas, and by a special visitor, Dr. Jeffrey Sheppard. The meeting was chaired by the CHS President, Shirley Garber.
WolfHorse Joe Saenz is of Huichol and Tci-He-Nde (Red Paint People) ancestry. He is the owner and operator of Wolfhorse Outfitters and Guides of The Gila National Forest, which is located in Silver City, NM. The short term above, “Nde,” means Apache in their native tongue. Besides his role as Co-Director of the Apache Foundation, Wolfhorse is also a member of the Apache National Council.
Bill Bradford is a fully licensed attorney, also an Apache Nation Councilman, and additionally serves as the Nation’s official Chief Legal Counsel.
The entire presentation to the CHS was video recorded and appears below in its entirety.
Wolfhorse Joe Saenz opens up the program for the Society
Wolfhorseexplains the Apache history in the United States as Bill Bradford listens at right.
Wolfhorse and Bill Bradford – Joe spelled out the Apache Nation Foundation’s website (it’s at end of the video, too)
Wolfhorse and Bill Bradford – Dr. Martin is at left raising her hand to ask a question of Wolfhorse
Listening from L to R: Mary Galbraith, Carol Krum, Clint & Kathy Townsend, and Joewho was discussing the manymisconceptions present-day Americans have about the native Apaches as Bill Bradford looks on.:
L to R: Dr. Martinwith a check for Joe Saenz, Bill Bradford, Pres. Shirley Barber, and VP Jim Tyo with Bill’s check.
The below video is the “Apache Nation Today and Yesterday” Presentation by Wolfhorse JoeSaenz and Bill Bradford as given without any deletions. Suggest seeing it right here in full screen and high-definition quality. The full video including both presenters is 1:22:32 in length.
Major Mat “Sled” Park, a combat-experienced F-16 Viper fighter pilot, now an instructor at Holloman AFB, in NM, spoke to the Flight 24 Daedalians of El Paso, Texas, about the current life of an Air Force fighter pilot, and of the possible future of his profession as we begin our merge into the 6th Generation of U. S. Fighter aircraft. He also extolled the exciting and rewarding life of both a fighter pilot – – – and a career in the USAF. Almost uniquely, it happens that “Sled’s” wife, Danielle, is also an F-16 Viper instructor pilot at Holloman. They met while on duty in Japan, married, and now have two children. The Air Force arranges for them to serve together.
Colonel Mario Campos
Here’s Major Park’s story, told by Daedalian Flight Captain, Colonel Mario Campos – at left. (All members of the Flight 24 are also long-time members of the FASF):
Maj Mathew “Sled” Parkgrew up in Phoenix, Arizona with his two brothers. His father served as an F-16 pilot for 20 years and his mother put up with their video games, fights, and affinity for getting into trouble. He often went on long backpacking or motorcycle trips with his brothers, exploring the varied terrain of the Southwestern United States.
Maj. “SLED” Park
Sled went to the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2007 where he dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot . . . until the Air Force determined he was not medically qualified to fly fighter planes. Disheartened but not defeated, he elected to learn Russian and major in Eastern European geopolitical studies in order to work as an intelligence officer in the USAF and eventually at the state department. A last-minute Hail Mary waiver allowed him to attend UPT at Sheppard AFB, TX where he tracked his first choice (F-16s) in 2012.
After graduating from UPT and IFF in 2013, he went to Luke AFB, Arizona, and graduated from the F-16B course at the 309th Fighter Squadron (QQMF), which was coincidentally the same fighter squadron from which his father had retired. His first assignment took him to Misawa,Japan, home of the PACAF Wild Weasel Block 50 F-16s. He deployed in 2015 as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, where he flew 376 combat hours in support of friendly troops and experienced firsthand the atrocities committed by ISIS on the people of Iraq, Kurdistan, and Syria.
He returned to Misawa, completed the Flight Lead Program, went on way too many TDYs and exercises across the PACAF theater, and eventually returned to the United States to learn to become an instructor pilot at Holloman AFB, NM. It was there that he married his wife, Major Danielle Park, USAF, also an F-16 pilot, but not a better one, (if you ever ask him). The couple quickly had two children and transferred to the USAF Reserves as a full-time instructor pilot after 5 years on active duty in the Regular Air Force in New Mexico.
Sled and his wife (below photo on a mountainside) live in the mountain resort town of Cloudcraft, NM, and primarily spend their time exploring the state with their children and dogs on various camping, climbing, sailing, and hiking trips.
Sled and Daniellelove mountain climbing
Sled and his wife were recently hired by the Air National Guard (ANG) in January of 2023 and intend to move to the Midwest, where they will continue to fly SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) missions and assist their unit with regular alert responsibilities.
Getting things set up for the meeting: L to R: Col. Alan Fisher, and Sled Park chatting with Connie Sullivan
Flight Captain Colonel Mario Campos sets the Daedalian Shield up for the gathering.
Newly retired Flight Captain Col. Alan Fisher delivered the Daedalipan Flight’s Shield for display at the meeting.
Colonel Bob Pittwas interrupted for the photo shoot while talking with Connie Sullivanat his right. In the background are Colonel Campos speaking with Major “SLED” Park, the meeting’s guest speaker.
L to R: Foreground: Col Mario Campos, Connie Sullivan, Virg Hemphill, and Roger Springstead, in the rear with backs to the camera are: Ulla Rice, Major Park, Col. Fisher,and AFROTC students Adam Hernandez, Maximilian Rothblatt – – – at the rear, facing camera: Jerry Dixon, Cliff Bossie, Judy Campos, Melissa Fisher, AFROTC students, Jorge Villalobos and Lyn Salas
L to R:Cols Bob Pitt and Mario Campos
Colonel Campos introduces the guest speaker, Major Mat “SLED” Park
Colonel Campos presents Major Parkwith his token of the Flight’s appreciation.
(L to R) Col. Mario Campos, Adam Hernandez, Maximilian Rothblatt, Jorge Villalobos, Lyn Salas, Maj. Mat ‘Sled’ Park,and Ric Lambart – Photo byCol. Alan Fisher
Remember the revolutionary “Rotary Engine” with which MAZDA Automotive toyed so unsuccessfully? They launched their first rotary-powered autos back in 1967 using the revolutionary new non-reciprocating (non-conventional) power plant invented in the early 1950s by German engineer Felix Wankel.
The engine was truly unique: It had very few moving parts when compared to the conventional piston-engined autos of the day: It was not just simpler in design, but much smaller, lighter per horsepower output, and smoother in operation, BUT more costly and inefficient in respect to fuel economy than the conventional engines with which it competed. There were so many issues with the Rotary Engine over its years of production, that Mazda, in 2012, dropped its use altogether in its production lineup.
But, today, the entire future of the basic rotary engine appears to be showing amazing new possibilities altogether, the direct result of a relatively new R & D firm located in Bloomfield, Connecticut called LIQUIDPISTON. Its new Rotary hybrid cycle engine is called the “X-Mini.” Its new rotary X-Mini engine employs a patented Thermodynamic Cycle. Instead of the hundreds of parts involved in producing power in a conventional piston engine, the X-Mini has only two (2) principal moving parts. LiquidPiston boasts 10 times more power-to-weight ratio with a 30% greater overall efficiencywhen compared to conventional piston engines.
A Honda single-cylinder 49cc piston engine alongside a 70cc X-mini Rotary Engine
A standard 35 HP diesel engine (left) next to LiquidPiston’s 40HP diesel engine (right)
The engine is capable of using a variety of different fuels, including modern Jet A (aviation) or JB-8 fuel, ordinary diesel, as well as other grades of popular gasoline. In short, this reinvented Wankel rotary has apparently overcome the many problems of its predecessors. It employs what LIQUIDPISTON calls “compression ignition,” which is how standard diesel engines obtain their power . . . without the need for spark plugs. The company has moved through three (3) prototypes of its unique engine, all proof-of-principle motors, models 1X, 2X, and 4X. These models have been made in two horse-power rated configurations: 40 and 70 HP.
Here are two versions of the Mini-X engine: The one on the left is air-cooled and at right is a liquid-cooled version.
The firm is proud of its ability to obtain a 1.5 HP per Pound ratio, which is remarkable by any measure. since typical general aviation aircraft powerplants are only seen as obtaining 0.68 HP per Pound ratios. – – – or, in another way of perceiving the difference: LIquidPiston’s X-Minis are more than twice as powerfulper pound of engine weight than are their conventionally powered piston competitors. The U. S. Army has already awarded a contract to the young company for power supply units for some of the artillery weapons (see the below photo).
The Compact Artillery Power System (CAPS) generator unit powers the digital fire control system on an M777 Howitzer artillery piece.
Clearly, the below video shows how the Army and Marine Corps might also see fit to use the LiquidPiston-powered new hybrid (Rotary AND Electric powered) drones.
The below short video (4:04 minutes) shows LIQUIDPISTON’s new Rotary powered Drone in Flight. Remember to open the video to full or hi-resolution size by clicking the small Full Size icon in the lower right of the image.
The Columbus Historical Society (CHS) just kicked off the new year with a detailed presentation by Professor Andy Hernandez of Western New Mexico University (WNMU). This event was the first held under the newly elected officers and drew an audience from not just Columbus, but also from Deming, NM. The event’s presenter was arranged by Dr. Kathleen Martin, the Society’s Historian.
The entire: 35-minute PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Hernandez is included below, as are some photos taken at the event. The lecture focused on some aspects of what took place during the raid on Columbus, which entailed the First Aero Squadron’s engagement in the Punitive Expedition, but focused primarily on the overall dynamics of the then-ongoing Mexican Revolution, particularly as to its impact on South Texas, but of course included the Mexican rebel leaders, one of which was Pancho Villa, whose raid on Columbus caused the deployment of the First Aero Squadron in what became known as the Punitive Expedition. That expedition was instigated as the direct result of President Woodrow Wilson’s orders to bring Pancho Villaback – – – either dead or alive.
THE PLAN DE SAN DIEGO: Insurgency and Violence in South Texas During the Mexican Revolution. * See the end of the post for a PDF copy of Dr. Hernandez’s paper on this topic.
Dr. Hernandez explained at the outset that the title had nothing to do with San Diego, CA, but rather a small Texas town of the same name. Many Mexican revolutionaries, including some Tejanos, were in hopes of regaining – or returning – depending upon which side of the Tex-Mex border they lived, much of the then-current U.S. Southwestern territories that were previously part of their homeland.
The Plan de San Diego was actually a bold manifesto that called for an uprising against the United States government on the 20th of February, 1915. The document was, in essence, a call for racial strife and chaos in order to help facilitate the return of the Southwestern U. S. to Mexico.
Some of the most violent characteristics of the plot were the intended killing of North Americans over the age of sixteen to free the Black and Hispanic population from “Yankee tyranny.” Needless to say, as Dr. Hernandezillustrated, while he turned the pages of the era’s history for his audience, this HIstpanic-American call for wanton violence and mayhem created massive distrust among many neighbors in Texas itself – – – and threw the state into all sorts of internal political turmoil.
Fortunately for Texas, a copy of the plot’s plan was uncovered before it could take effect, enabling the Governor of Texas, then Oscar Colquitt to take remedial action to thwart the planned insurrection. His successor in office, Governor James Ferguson, was left to deal with the continued political duress and strife that the Plan de San Diego triggered.
Even the Texas Rangers entered the dynamic, and demonstrated their own brand of corruption and racist behavior, seriously tarnishing their reputation. Some of these Rangers wantonly murdered hundreds of often innocent Mexican-Americans solely based upon their ethnicity.
Another key figure in the tensions and actual violence in the pre-WWI period in the border region was Army General,Frederick Funston, who in 1914 took over the Army occupation forces in Vera Cruz, Mexico, and soon began the serious job of administering the city. This was no small chore because that Mexican port city was known for being an unsanitary and disease-ridden metropolis. As soon as the U. S. withdrew from Vera Cruz,General Funston repositioned his troops on the Texas, New Mexican, and Arizona borders to protect the states from any spillover from the ongoing turmoil of the by-then full-blown Mexican Revolution.
In time, so much Texas economic and social turmoil had resulted from the exposure of the violent Plan de San Diego, and its plot’s instigators and followers, that the Federal government took remedial action to quell the chaos by the assignment of the U.S. Army and some of its National Guard troops to the area to help restore law and order: ie General Funston’smajor role. When General “Black Jack” Pershing was later given command of the Punitive Expedition, his direct commander was Gen. Funston.
Although the Plan de San Diego plot did not fulfill its intended purposes, it did leave the area with significant scars in regard to much worsened interracial and Anglo-American vs Tejano relations for many years to come. There was still active segregation in Texas well into the mid-1960s. Your webmaster lived there for several years and remembers this blight all too well.
To see any of the below photos in high resolution or full size, just click on them.
Dr. Kathleen Martin introduces Professor Andy Hernandez to the audience. Watching at right are, Steven Zobeck,seated, and Shirley Garber, the CHS’s new President.
Seated above asDr. Hernandezreadied to give his presentation are, L to R:Jim Tyo, Steven Zobeck, Ron Wize,Gordon Taylor, Librarian Maria Constantine, Retired Luna County Chamber of Commerce Director, Mary Galbraith, Columbus Vice MayorBill Johnson, Carol Crumb, Shirley Garber, andDaniella Sandoval.
Dr. Andy Hernandez describes some further reading for those interested in following up on his lecture’s topic.
Professor Hernandezanswers some questions about his citation of recommended additional reading sources.
Center in the cap,Steven Zobeck asks Dr. Hernandez some questions . . . Marilyn Steffen at left in a gray jacket, and Shirley Garber, at far right, listens intently to Steven’squery about the German role in the Revolution.
Dr. Hernandez experienced an especially attentive audience of history enthusiasts, without one person not paying full attention to his flow of often newly encountered historical facts about the Mexican Revolution – – – and its effect on the U.S.
Dr. Hernandezproduced more references for his audience for those who would like to continue their research into this subject of the Mexican Revolution and its profound effect on our border states, in particular South Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.
The New CHS Leadership officially thanks the season’s first speaker. L to R above: Leonard Steward, Treasurer; Jim Tyo, VP; Daniella Sandoval, Secretary; Dr. Andy Hernandez; Dr. Kathleen Martin, Historian; and new the CHS President, Shirley Garber.
Click on the lower right-hand corner ‘FullScreen’ icon to see the video in its full size
A few days ago, at their monthly meeting, the Daedalian Flight 24, all long-time members of the FASF, tried out a new meeting location in picturesque downtown historic El Paso, Texas. They had most recently been convening at the Ft. Bliss Golf Club but missed the elegance and efficiency of the old El Paso Club, which was also downtown.
The Daedalians had held their regular monthly meetings at the El Paso Club for some 37 years, but it was closed because of the COVID pandemic and has not yet re-opened. In the meantime, the group decided to try the historic ANSON ELEVEN restaurant as a substitute gathering facility. The ANSON is dedicated to the memory of General Anson Mills, who built the building in which the restaurant (named in his honor) is located, back in 1911, thus the number after his first name of Eleven. Interestingly, General Mills was the actual designer of El Paso as a city, drafting the plans back in the late 19th Century while stationed at Ft. Bliss. General Mills, after retiring from the U.S. Army, became an extremely successful entrepreneur and millionaire.
Below are a few photos taken of the Daedalian Meeting (Click any picture for hi-resolution):
L to R above: Early arrivals; Col. Bob Pitt, Julie Pitt, Connie Sullivan, Marian Diaz, Josiane Solana, Gerry Wingett, Roger Springstead, Jerry Dixon, Col. Mario Campos, and Judy Campos, Virg Hemphill, and Kathleen Martin.
L to R above: Marian Diaz, Josiane Solana, Gerry Wingett, Roger Springstead, Jerry Dixon, Col. Mario Campos (Flight Captain), Judy Campos, Virg Hemphill, and Dr.Kathleen Martin.
L to R above members and guests watching “An American Love Affair” about the Curtiss Jenny . . . Mariana Diaz, Josiane Solana, Gerry Wingett, Roger Springstead, Jerry Dixon, Melissa, and Alan Fisher . . .
Clockwise from lower R: Mariana Diaz, Josiane Solana, Gerry Wingett, Roger Springstead, Jerry Dixon, Julie Pitt, Melissa Fisher, Cols. Alan Fisher and Mario Campos, Judy Campos and Ulla Rice . . .
The following story is a courtesy tip from Mike Mangino (at left), an Architect from Phoenix, AZ, and an aviation news scout for the FASF.
Mikeserved in the USAF’s Arizona Air National Guard, so knows his way around the aviation world.
This post is what’s behind a great book for any aviation buff and enthusiast’s Christmas list, albeit a tad late for on-time delivery for your stocking-stuffing ceremony. Here’s the scoop: The book is written by a highly successful former US Marine Corps fighter pilot named Bob Moriarty, who later became an investment guru as well as an author.
Here’s a short introduction to Bob’sbackground:
Bob Moriartywas a Marine F-4B pilot at the age of only twenty and a veteran of over 820 missions in Viet Nam. Becoming a Captain in the Marines at just 22, he was one of the most highly decorated pilots in the war.
He went on to ferry General Aviation aircraft all over the world for 15 years with over 240 over-the-water deliveries. He holds 14 International Aviation records including Lindbergh’s record for time between New York to Paris in two different categories.
In 1996 he began an online computer business on the internet with his wife Barbara becoming one of the early adopters of the Internet. Convinced gold and silver were at a bottom in 2001,Boband Barbara started one of the first websites devoted to teaching readers what they need to know about investing in resource stocks. They now operate two resource sites, 321Gold.com and 321Energy.com where up to 100,000 people a day visit. Bob travels to dozens of mining projects a year and then writes about them.
Now, here’s more background from a post on his own investment site, “321gold” along with a photo and promo for his book:
REMEMBER TO CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO SEE IT FULL-SIZE IN HI-RESOLUTION
No Guts No Glory Cover
I’ve done a lot of things in my life. My readers on 321Gold do not know all of them. From 1974 until 1986 I delivered new small planes to destinations all over the world. I mean little tiny, sometimes Cessna 172 size planes, to places from South Africa or Australia or Europe. We would pick them up from the factory, load them with internal fuel tanks, and off we went.
Delivering small planes over big oceans was easily the most dangerous job in the world. Every year about ten percent of ferry pilots were killed one way or another. When I was doing it, the aviation industry was booming with almost 20,000 aircraft manufactured a year. There were never more than fifty pilots in the world at one time who made a living delivering small general aviation aircraft.
Alas, a lawsuit after a preventable accident in 1979 literally killed the industry that used to provide ten percent of US exports by dollar value. I point out in the book that the dollar was dropping so fast for a decade that an owner could buy an aircraft, fly it for five years and sell it for more than he paid for it. For a short period in aviation history owning a small plane was an investment rather than an expense.
I got to fly with some of the best pilots in aviation history as well as a bunch of skirt-chasing quasi-drunks barely capable of taking off much less landing safely. I will say that without exception the 5-10% of ferry pilots who were women were across the board more professional and better pilots than the males.
I actually wrote this book about thirty-five years ago and frankly because I am lazy at heart, I never got around to proofreading and editing the book. But both Lulu and Amazon now have the ability to produce a professional-looking hardback book for anyone who can create a document file, I finally got off my ass and finished it.
I’ve done about ten books in the last decade ranging from short very funny fiction set in Cornwall for Barbara to serious tomes on combat and investing. This book, No Guts, No Glory,is one that most people interested in aviation and aviation history will find engaging. It’s a great gift for anyone interested in one of the most unusual areas of aviation history.
It’s only $19.99 and frankly in today’s world that is cheap for a good hardback. If you wouldn’t enjoy reading an aviation adventure story told by someone who lived it, you probably know someone who would appreciate it.
Once again, the El Paso Daedalian Flight attended the graduation of ten new VIPER fighter pilots at Holloman AFB (HAFB), Alamogordo, NM on Saturday, the 3rd of December. Colonel Mario Campos did the honors. Here are your members at the event. Remember:
[Just click on any photo to see it in full size and resolution]
Daedalian Flight Captain Lt. Colonel Alan Fisherchats with Mrs. Sarah Rich.
Colonels Miles “Cowboy” Crowellpours some iced tea, Col. Mario Campos is facing the camera, and Col. Bob Pittis standing and holding the blue folder.
L to R Clockwise: Mrs. Starlyn and husband, Lt. Col. Dale “RAM” Weller, Mrs. Lindsiand L/Col John “Atari” Harris,Captain Nicholas and Mrs. Sarah Rich, and our own Lt. Col. Alan Fisher. Your editor took the photo.,
Squadron Commander, Lt. Colonel George Normandin welcomes the graduates and guests
Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Scott A. Fredrick, the ceremony’s Guest Speaker, starts his talk.
OurColonel Mario Campos congratulates Squadron Commander, Lt. Colonel George Normandin who stood in for the Leadership Award’s winner, Captain Dennis “FARM” Cook, who was absent to attend his sister’s wedding.
Left, Colonel Miles “COWBOY’ Crowellcongratulates the Winner of the Red River Rat awardee, Lt. Nathan “BOOM” Nuveman.
“COWBOY” AND “BOOM” pose with the award
8th Fighter Squadron’s new Graduates, Class 22-BBH -L to R: Lt. John ‘STATUS’ Bove; Lt. Trey ‘TABLE’ Alexander; Capt. Kyle ‘TATER’ Cline; Lt. Thomas ‘MORTY’ Toscano; Lt. Spencer ‘NAATY’ Prather; Lt. Nathan ‘BOOM’ Nuveman; Lt. Samuel ‘LENNY’ Valleroy; Lt. Logan ‘FULL’ Frost; and Lt. Ryan ‘FANI’ Walsh
FASF/Daedalians pose with the Squadron CO LC. George Normandin ( at L) and Guest Speaker, at the rear, Ret. LC Scott Fredrick. Daedalian/FASF members L to R are Col. Mario Campos, Col. Miles Crowell, Col. Bob Pitt, and Daedalian Flight 24’s Captin, Col. Alan Fisher. Photos byRic Lambart
Colonel Bob Pitt, USAF Retired, at left, a long-time FASF member, and Daedalian Flight 24 Officer, a former jet fighter pilot from the Viet Nam conflict, wrote up this post. Colonel Pitt has written up each El Paso Daedalian Society meeting in El Paso for more than 27 years, so he thinks that it’s time for him to retire from the responsibility. We will miss his colorful yet accurate reporting more than we can describe.
LC Steve Watson – 12/01/22
Lt Col Steve Watson, USAF (Ret) (R) returned on 1 December 2022 two years after he briefed the 24th Flight on his father’s service as a B-24 pilot in WWII. On this occasion, Steve gave a PowerPoint presentation on an upcoming B-24 Memorial. Steve was commissioned in October 1974 and graduated from Undergraduate Navigator Training in October 1975. He was qualified in five different C-130 models and logged over 3100 flight hours over 12 years as a flight crew member.
Stevebegan his presentation by briefly reviewing his father’s career during WWII. His father flew 30 missions in the B-24 as a lead pilot – flying his first mission in October 1944 and his last in April 1945, earning both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal during his tour.
Steve then showed a photograph of the B-24 Memorial at the US Air Force Academy (L below) and then went on to speak of the history of Wendover Army Airfield in Utahwhich was the home to B-17, B-24, and later, B-29 training. Wendover also supported the Manhattan Project which developed the first atomic weapons to be used in combat via B-29s.
B-24 Liberator Monument at USAF Academy
Steve then detailed an upcoming B-24 Memorial to be presented to the renovated Service Club/Museum at Wendover. The Memorial will include a highly detailed aluminum 1/20 scale model of the B-24 Liberator and some plaques with the history of the 467th Bomb Group and organizations that donated to the project. Among the donors listed on one of the plaques is the Daedalians 24th Flight which donated $265 to the Memorial fund.
In addition to Colonel Watson’s presentation, the members of the 24th Flight and guests were treated to a Holiday event that included two special Spanish Flamenco Dances (see 4th photo below) given by Professional Dancer (and Friend of the Flight) Connie Sullivan.
Also, special thanks to Judy Camposand Julie Pitt for providing fantastic Christmas table decorations and two very delicious dessert cakes.
L to R: Col. Mario Campos, Mrs. Darci Todd, and her father,Jerry Dixon.
Guest Speaker, Steve Watson (L) discusses the Civil Air Patrol with Flight Captain, Colonel Alan Fisher
L to R Clockwise around the table: Gerry Wingettand Josiane,Connie Sullivan, Julie, and Col. Bob Pitt, Col. MarioCampos, and to his left, his wife Judy, with backs to the camera.
A Professional dancer, Connie Sullivanperforms a short Flamenco Dance routine for the assembled Daedalians.
Flight Capt. Col Alan Fisher introduces the Guest Speaker for the luncheon, Steve Watson (below) while Gerry Wingett, seated to the right, listens.
Steve Watson, the guest presenter, opens his slide show . . .
At the close of the Liberator History presentation, Col. Fisher (r) gives a token of appreciation to Steve Watson.
Many thanks to aviation news scout and long-time FASF member (L), Doc Edwards, of Deming, NM, and his good friend and aviation enthusiast, Bill Graybill, we bring you this fascinating and great restoration post about a flying WWII Twin Mustang (P-51), which bore the model number of the XP-82. The video is only 3:33 minutes long. The appearance was at the EAA’s AirVenture 2019. We’re also throwing in a few more videos of the XP-82 event and of the ship itself for your enjoyment, as well.