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Author Topic: Every Show Has A Star
Prop Wash
Member # 381

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This past Monday, the annual Collings Foundation “Air Show” of WWII aircraft took place here at the VNY airport. Included were the beautiful, sexy P-51 fighter, the B-17 which the younger generation remembers so well from the TV show “Twelve o’clock High”, the B-25 from “Thirty Seconds over Tokyo” and not to be forgotten, probably the most ugly thing ever to be called an airplane (and what became the “teen age love of my life”, the B-24) To be honest, the only parts of that airplane that even look like they should leave the ground and take flight are the propellers, the engines and cowling and maybe the tires.

However, that fat, ugly thing did an unbelievable job as our “flying Sherman tank” against attacking enemy fighters and provided our “fox hole in the sky” against enemy ground fire. So, yes, there is a love and respect for that airplane which shall never be lost or forgotten. (In fact, it should be mentioned that not too many of us who crewed that plane were
often mistaken for Gable or Robert Redford, so maybe whoever made out our “Dance cards” paired us up well. Maybe we should have worn a “sack over our heads”.)

But none of the above is the reason for this post. Everyone on this board has been to air shows and taken your share of pictures , maybe even spent a few hundred dollars for a short ride, but it is doubtful that many, if any, have experienced the wonderful, personal treatment provided this guest by the volunteers involved in Monday’s show.

Greeting the guests at the entrance to the ramp area was a smiling, handsome gentleman. After determining that I was a veteran, he offered to personally “escort” me around the aircraft display area. For some 30 or 40 minutes he took me under his wing. Upon learning that the 24 was a rather important part of my younger life, insisted that we, together, climb thru that thing like a couple of kids, which with his encouragement, were able to accomplish.

Only during our conversation, and responses to my questions was it learned that this gentleman was not “just the ticket taker and gate security guard”, but also one of the B-24 volunteer pilots. Of even greater interest to me, was learning that this “volunteer who turned a stranger into a friend” by his unexpected (and above the call of duty) act of kindness is an LA based American Airlines Captain, (by way of another airline), member of management, and one of our proud, patriotic, ex-Air Force pilots.

For those flying thru LA, may you also have the pleasure of meeting Captain Will D.

an old guy with a cane [Smile]

[ 05-13-2016, 07:56: Message edited by: extwacaptain ]

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Bob Willcutts
Post Captain
Member # 434

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Wonderful, Randy!

This is the kind of "news" or story I like to hear just before retiring for the night.

Thank you, Capt. Will D. and

Thank you, Capt. Randy for sharing your experience.

God Bless those that care.

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Post Captain
Member # 244

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A great story Randy. I'm glad that opportunity came your way.
Posts: 199 | From: Salt Lake City, Utah USA  |  IP: Logged

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