Thanks again to our reliable News Scout, Virg Hemphill (at left), we have this short (3:38) video of the new Singapore Airport. Its latest expansion seemed to spare nothing, and cost some 1.3 BILLION dollars to complete. It might have been worth it. What do you think? It’s now held that prestigious title for some seven (7) years running. Its new lifestyle hub is appropriately entitled the “JEWEL.” The airport itself is called “Changi.”
The 8th Fighter Squadron (Fighting Patch at left) has been with us since November of 1940, when it was first organized at Selfridge Army Air Field, in Michigan. Decommissioned for a while, it is now back in the front lines of our Air Defense against any would be adversaries. This weekend saw its first graduating class of new F-16 Viper pilots since its arrival last year at Holloman Air Force Base, near Alamagordo, NM. According to the Squadon’s commander, Lt. Colonel Mark Sletten, each of the evening’s graduates’ training has cost the Air Force about eight (8) million dollars.
The squadron is best known as the Black Sheep Squadron of World War II fame and for one of its commanding officers, Colonel Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, one of WWII’s top USMC fighter Aces, whose memoirs inspired the 1970s television show “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” later syndicated as Black Sheep Squadron, which dramatized the squadron’s exploits during the war.
Although the original “Black Sheep” group was composed of USMC pilots, their Squadron no longer exists, so it’s been reborne, but this time as a USAF Fighter Squadron, not a USMC outfit. (This clarification the suggestion of Capt. Robbie Ritchie).
“These guys get to be a part of a very special fraternity and we have absolutely trained them up well to go out and be a part of that fraternity, the combat arms we know and love,” said Lt. Col. Mark Sletten, 8th FS commander. “For them to be a part of the greatest nation, the greatest
military, greatest service and of course the greatest platform – the F-16, leaving here tonight as qualified F-16 pilots makes us all proud.”
Getting all of the people shown below properly identified could not have been done without the indispensible assistance of the Daedalian Leadership Awardee, Captain Robbie “Ramm” Ritchie,* who made sure we properly identified all those shown. Prior to this specialized fighter training with the 8th, Captain Ritchie had been an instructor pilot. The name used for such already experienced new Basic students is FAIP, which stands for: First Assignment Instructor Pilot. This prior duty assignment helps account for Robbie’s rank of Captain.
Remember: Click on any photo below to show it in hight resolution and full-size.
Below, is the the class video, 11 minutes long, which shows many clips taken from the months of fllight and fighter training the eight members of this first graduating class of the 8th Fighter Squadron experienced in their work with the Viper Fighter. Aside from a few inserts of actual wartime footage target anihilation (taken in the mideast), the video content was primarily taken by the students or HAFB Public Affairs videographers during their training activities. The video gives the viewer and unique insight into the experience these young men went through this past year at Holloman.
The film uses a number of special effects for the dramatization of some of the student experiences, such as refueling practice and of the TDY (Temporary Duty assignment) to Louisiana’s Bayou country. The video was produced by class member, Lt. Evan Wade, and also shows, quite graphically, to where each of the graduates will be going for their front line fighter assignment. This video can be seen best when your monitor is set to full-screen mode. Lt. Wade garners some top-gun kudos for his excellent production.
* Here is part of the official HAFB Public Affairs Office news release concerning Daedalian Award Recipient, Capt Robbie Ritchie:
This class’ recipient of the coveted Daedalian Flight 24 Leadership Award this
year, was Capt. Robert Ritchie. The Captain, one of the 8th Fighter Squadron F-16
Basic-Course graduates, always knew he wanted to be a fighter pilot.
Ritchie’s father is a retired Air Force pilot who flew C-130s and T-38s, before
flying for a commercial airline out of Minnesota.
“I was one of those kids that built model aircraft and hung them from the ceiling,”
said Ritchie. “My childhood bedroom was one big aerial battle.”
Ritchie graduated with an undergraduate degree followed by a Masters of Science in
aerospace engineering from the University of Minnesota, before leaving for Officer
Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
Of the eight Viper pilots to graduate from Class 18-CBF, Ritchie was one of five who
were First Assignment Instructor Pilots “FAIP” trained on another aircraft before coming
“On behalf of Class 18-CBF, I can honestly say our experience training here on Holloman
Air Force Base has been one of the most professional experiences that we have ever been
involved with,” said Ritchie. “From the jets, to the instructors, to the maintainers,
to the air traffic controllers, how the base is run and everything in-between.”
Here, below, is a short (7 min) and well produced video from LionHart FilmWorks:
23 distinct styles of dress which represents and honors the American Patriots and Pioneers who helped found the United States and the U.S. Army Soldiers who served while wearing these uniforms, weapons, and accouterments — during some of the most well-known and significant conflicts since the first militia musters of the 17th century. Shot in 4K and featuring Mark Aaron as “the soldier.”
As accurately as we possibly could… telling the story of the United States Army Soldier… one uniform at a time – and that of course shows what was worn by the First Aero Squadron’s men during the Punitive Expedition here in Columbus, NM – 103 years ago – which is identical to the uniform they also wore, when they left here, and deployed to Europe for WWI.
Twenty-two (22) conflicts since our beginnings. Too many battles and wars in these 400 years?
- 1620s – Jamestown / Plymouth Militia
- 1775 – Lexington Green Minuteman
- 1778 – Continental Soldier in French “Lottery Coat”
- 1781 – Light Infantryman in Hunting shirt
- 1792 – Legion of the United States
- 1812-1815 – War of 1812
- 1846 – Mexican War
- 1860 – West Point Cadet
- 1862 – Volunteer Officer
- 1864 – Western Theater Infantryman
- 1876 – Plains Indian Wars 7th Cavalryman
- 1898 – Spanish-American War Infantry
- 1918 – WW1 Doughboy
- 1942 – WW2 Pacific Theater Soldier
- 1944 – 101st Airborne in Normandy
- 1945 – 29th Infantry Division Captain
- 1952 – Korean War Infantryman
- 1965 – Early Vietnam Officer
- 1969 – Vietnam “Grunt”
- 1980s – Grenada / Panama
- 1991 – Gulf War
- 2004 – Iraq War Modern U.S. Army in Garrison
Directed/Produced: Kevin R. Hershberger Cinematography: Hugh Burruss Costumers: Nathan Hoffman & Brennan Wheatley Grip / Electric: Brian Lyles Costumes & Props: Historical Wardrobe – Richmond, VA
Some other videos you might like on the Lionheart Channel:
“Civil War Uniforms of Blue & Grey – The Evolution” Volume 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqeT6…
“Civil War Uniforms of Blue & Grey – The Evolution” Volume 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8MAl…
Cpl. Freddie Stowers – 1918 Medal Of Honor Moment: https://youtu.be/tRcy2plxPQs
U.S. Army Battles & History – World War Two – Heroism & Honor: https://youtu.be/ldnpvOFn7fE
Lt. Robert T. Waugh – 1944 Medal Of Honor Moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwpJn…
Medal of Honor Moment – Sergeant York: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad9FW…
The first EAA Chapter 1570 YOUNG EAGLES FLIGHT for 2019 was sucessfully completed this past weekend. As usual, it was conducted at the Doña Ana County International Jetport in Santa Teresa, NM. The participants enjoyed the fine facilities of the War Eagles Air Museum (WEAM) for the entire operation. After the event wound down, the volunteers had a lunch and defriefing in the Executive Meeting Room of the Museum.
Most of the young first-time flyers were able to enjoy the many WEAM exhibits after their flights. Chief Registrar, Melissa Keithly, reported that the morning session saw 55 new Young Eagles take to the skies for their first introductory airplane flight.
[To view any photo in high-resolution, simply click on it – Videos can also be seen full-screen]
At yesterday’s regular monthly meeting at the El Paso Club in downtown El Paso, Texas, Daedalian Flight 24 (more affectionately known as the General “Nick” Nichol’s Flight – named after Roger’s WWII Ace Dad), listened intently as their immediate past Flight Captain, Roger Nichols, shared a power point – video briefing about the historic American Linebacker II heavy-bombing campaign against the North Vietnamese.
The time was December 1972, when the Nixon Administration’s Henry Kissinger, representing the U.S. interests at the Paris Peace Accords, had just failed to reach a peace agreement with the North Vietamese’s Le Duc Tho in Paris, France. Kissinger had just over-optimistically announced to the press that “Peace is at hand.”
With the Accords in shambles, the U.S. mounted a massive bombing campaign over the North Vietamese capital of Hanoi. It was code-named “Linebacker II.” Fellow Daedalian Fllight and long-standing FASF member, Charlie Overstreet, had been one of the pilots who took part in that huge aerial assault on North Vietnam, The majority of Flight 24’s aviators flew during that distant Southeast Asian war.
For those of you who might be interested, here is the short (12:13) segment I of the longer documentary of that “Linebacker II” campaign, which was produced by the son of General Glenn R. Sullivan, who commanded the 17th Air Division out of U-Tapao Air Base in Thailand at the time. Here is a link to a number of other films made of that same campaign.
The presentation by Roger was both educational, and also nostalgic for those in the Flight who had fought in the skies above Southeast Asia, and who had lost some of their closest friends and fellow aviators in that now historic conflict. The meeting had an element of sadness, also, because Roger will soon be moving to Oklahoma to be closer to his children and grand-children. Fortunately, Roger’s many interests in El Paso (where he was born), including the Daedalians, will bring him back on regular visits.
(Click on any photo below to see it in full high-resolution()
The Las Cruces, NM, Civil Air Patrol (CAP) has just welcomed another long-time active FASF member to its ranks. Colonel (USAF Retired), John Orton, who is the only former Trustee who flew his own airplane to FASF Board Meetings over the years, has just become a Senior member of the same CAP Squadron which already boasts several other FASF enthusiasts. Two years ago, both the FASF Treasurer, Alma Villezcas, and President, Ric Lambart, were recruited into the same CAP unit by another early FASF member, Colonel Alan Fisher.
REMEMBER: To see any photos in high resolution, simply click on them.
At this past weekend’s monthly CAP SAREX (Search And Rescue Exercise) operation, held at the Las Cruces Municipal Airport, John experienced his first opportunity to take part in one of these regular SAREX programs. During the afternoon, the Squadron also demostrated how it operates to several AFROTC Cadets from NMSU, one of whom is the youngest active member of the FASF, Cadet Captain, Ammber Valverde. Each cadet received an introductory flight in one of the CAP’s Cessna 182 Aircraft during their orientation. These cadets all hope to become pilots in the United States Air Force after they graduate from New Mexico State University. Ammber has already received a Pilot Training Scholarship from the Daedalian Society.
A Short 3 minute long video clip at the bottom of this page shows part of the briefing of several Cadets by one of the squadron’s pilots, Travis McKenzie.
Here are some more of the photos of John, and of the other FASF-CAP members at work:
Jim Davis (at Left), one of the original founders of the FASF, and still one of our principal Advisors, took the following 7 minute 14 second video of the exact replica of the Wright Flyer Military model, which was first tested in July of 1909 at Ft. Myers, Virginia, the site of the current Arlington National cemetery. This particular event filmed by Jim was held to celebrate the 1st start-up and ground test of the identical engine to that which successfully launched that flyer into the air that eventful day. The entire project to memorialize that first U.S. Military aircraft was manned and operated by old friends of Jim’s. This video of his friends’ project, called The Wright Experience, is also narrated by Jim.
Jim’s friends with the “The Wright Experience” team has now built four (4) of the Wright Flyer, B models, one of which crashed, killing the two aviators on board, in a rural Ohio field during the summer of 2011. The others are on display at museums across the country. See the 2nd video below to discover more about “The Wright Experience” enterprise.
Without further ado, let’s watch this historic replica as it gets rolled out of its temporary hangar at College Park, MD’s historic “World’s First Airport,” adjacent to Washington, DC and Ft. Myers, where that original Wright flying machine was first tested and accepted by the U.S. Army Signal Corp’s newly founded Aviation group. It was at College Park’s airfield where the Wright Brothers taught our earliest military pilots how to fly their unique aeroplane. This is in celebration of the tenth anniversary of this event video taped by Mr. Davis.
Wright Flyer – – – and “The Wright Experience” team
(Video length 3:02)