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Seventy-five years ago this month...

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  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Seventy-five years ago this month...
Posted by fotofrank on Friday, July 06, 2018 10:23 AM

...my dad earned his wings and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corp. Class 43J, Randolph Field. This photograph was taken when he was at Cimarron Field, Oklahoma, during primary flight training. At Cimarron, he trained in the Fairchild PT-19. From Randolph, he was assigned to Enid Army Air Field to instruct in BT-15 aircraft. He instructed at Enid AAF for a year and a half. In January 1945, he was assigned to the 328 Bomb Squadron, 93 Bomb Group, for B-29 transition training at Lowry Field, Colorado, according to the paperwork I have.

Thirty-one years ago this month, I earned my private pilot certificate. When I landed at Kissimmee Airport after my check ride, my wife pinned my dad's wings to my shirt. One of the proudest moments of my life.

In 1989, I was able to take my dad for a ride in a C-150. We flew out of Weiss Airport in west St. Louis county. Weiss was situated along the Merrimack River in Fenton. We flew for about 30 minutes over areas where we had lived in St. Louis county. This is the view we had on final for 18 at Weiss. I was very proud to have my dad flying right seat with me that day.

Who else has something to share?

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Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Malvern, PA
Posted by WillysMB on Friday, July 06, 2018 10:40 AM

My dad had a similar timeline, earned his wings in Alabama then went on to fly P-47s. Had a career in aviation and retired in the mid-80s. We lost him about 5 years ago. I was able to take him for a ride in a Warrior when we lived in Rochester, NY, down to tour the B-17 at Geneseo. As we were on approach to the grass strip at Geneseo and he could see the Fortress sitting there, he got very quiet. Wish I could still talk with him...

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Friday, July 06, 2018 10:53 AM

Yeah, WillysMB, every time I go to an aviation event, I wish my dad was still here to share with me. He would be 98 this November. Back in 1985, he and mom visited my wife and I here in Orlando. I took him down to Tom Reilly's "Bombertown" at Kissimmee Airport. The B-17 "909" was still being restored back then. We climbed aboard the B-17 through the crew door in the waist. He did it the right way. He grabbed the upper lip of the door, pulled himself up and went in feet first. We went up to the flight deck and he sat in the left seat. I watched as he took the yoke with his left hand and his right hand swept over the center console where the throttles and mixture would be installed later. It must have been very emotional for him, even though he was never in combat. Later that day, he flew a T-6 from the back seat. The pilot who took my dad up in the T-6 said my dad still had "it" even after 40 years.

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Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, July 06, 2018 12:32 PM

That is a very nice story and two excellent pictures.

In all my years of flying, I guess nobody ever thought of taking a pic on final. That is a fantastic picture and what a heckuva memory for you.

One last thing, that busy tarmac at St Louis County makes me nostalgic for the good 'ol days before the the downfall of general aviation.

-Greg

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Friday, July 06, 2018 12:43 PM

Greg

That is a very nice story and two excellent pictures.

In all my years of flying, I guess nobody ever thought of taking a pic on final. That is a fantastic picture and what a heckuva memory for you.

One last thing, that busy tarmac at St Louis County makes me nostalgic for the good 'ol days before the the downfall of general aviation.

 

 

Well, Greg, general aviation is alive and well here in central Florida, just very very expensive. I can afford an airplane with an instructor two maybe three times a year, and that's flying a Cub! Let's just hope that ATC doesn't get "privatized". If that happens and the airlines take it over, the U.S. will be like our neighbor to the south. Cuba, a land where nobody flies. When I first started out in 1976, I could get a brand new C-152 for $25/hr wet. When I got my private in '87, a 150 was only $50/hr wet. Today, with an instructor an hour is $150+.

BTW: The picture of Weiss I snagged for the internet. I was too busy with a crosswind that day to take any kind of picture.

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Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, July 06, 2018 8:00 PM

Glad to hear GA is doing ok in FL, Frank.

I have fond memories of flying my then young family into Kissimmee to see Mickey, thought of that when you mentioned solo-ing there.

I'll be wintering in the Tampa area this year, maybe I'll visit a local GA airport to witness what they used to look like, because they surely don't up here.

A buddy of mine flew little homemade amphibs out a little airport not far from Clermont, not too far from you. It was a bustling itty bitty grass field and it was heartening to see.

I miss the hobby shop in Winter Park. Bought my first DCC system for HO there before it was called DCC. I wonder if you remember the place. It was awesome.

-Greg

  • Member since
    March, 2015
  • From: Streetsboro, Ohio
Posted by Toshi on Friday, July 06, 2018 8:17 PM

What a great story as well as honoring and (remembering/noble) your fathers legacy.

Your friend, Toshi

On The Bench: Revell 1/48 B-25 Mitchell

 

Married to the most caring, loving, understanding, and beautiful wife in the world.  Mrs. Toshi

 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2008
  • From: Vancouver, the "wet coast"
Posted by castelnuovo on Friday, July 06, 2018 10:26 PM

Beautiful story Smile

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, July 07, 2018 9:36 AM

I lived in St. Louis area 17 years, and flew my Ercoupe into Wiess several times.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Saturday, July 07, 2018 1:23 PM

Don Stauffer

I lived in St. Louis area 17 years, and flew my Ercoupe into Wiess several times.

 

 

Neat little airplanes, Ercoupes. Where were you based?

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Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    December, 2013
  • From: Orlando Florida
Posted by route62 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 10:35 PM

Thanks for sharing.  Wonderful story.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Sunday, July 08, 2018 6:29 AM

Thank you all for joining in.

OK. On the bench:

Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, July 08, 2018 6:31 AM

fotofrank

 

 
Don Stauffer

I lived in St. Louis area 17 years, and flew my Ercoupe into Wiess several times.

 

 

 

 

Neat little airplanes, Ercoupes. Where were you based?

 

Smart Field in St. Charles.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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