Tuesday, June 25

On to Dayton

An All Boy Crew at DAY
On Tuesday, June 18th, Captains Tom Taff, Steve Jacobson and Dave Buffington, along with Dave's grandson, Shannon flew into Fort Smith, Arkansas. From there they found their way by hook or by crook to Mena to retrieve the newly beautified Flagship Detroit. Getting in and out of Mena can be a challenge when one leg is by air and the other by ground. Roger Crider and his crew had her all spiffed up and ready.
Our crew hopped on board and flew off to Dayton, OH where the next air show was scheduled. Since they got there early, they were able to spend two days exploring the National Museum of the USAF (generally referred to as the "Wright Pat" since it is at Wright Patterson AFB). This museum is huge and would take at least two days to cover in depth.
The parachutist with the flag opens the show.

On Friday, the remainder of the crew began to gather. David Gorrell and Rick Smail flew in from Salt Lake City, UT. Jeff Selby came from Austin, TX. Bob Gross drove in from his vacation home in TN and Gary Novitz arrived as well. A good sized crew to handle a large air show. We are glad to see Jeff, who had a serious illness last year and Bob, who had major surgery a month ago, both looking so hale and hearty.

Unfortunately tragedy struck half way through the first day when a Stearman carrying a wing walker crashed killing her and the pilot.  The show was shut down for the remainder of the day. Our hearts go out to the families of these two aviators.

Caleb Checks out the view
Sunday was a busy day at the airshow and luckily we were joined on both days by new volunteer Caleb Bradley. Caleb had seen the Flagship's website and contacted Zane Lemon asking if he could volunteer to help. We all really appreciated his efforts on Saturday and Sunday.

Stewardess Peggy Fairchild and John Thatcher joined the group on Sunday. At the end of the air show we were joined by Marti Taff, arriving from DFW and we quickly launched  for Lafayette, IN in order to avoid an incoming thunderstorm.  We were off to Purdue University for a special event. Tom Taff and John Thatcher are alumni of Purdue. John learned to fly DC-3s there and served as a pilot for the University airline, where he met his lovely wife Audrey, a stewardess for the outfit (and ours!)

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