From the Carolinas Aviation Museum
|The CAM News. A changing newsletter for a museum on the move!
The Carolinas Aviation Museum is undergoing the most dramatic transformation in its long history. We've added a few aircraft like the Wright Flyer, Savoia Marchetti, and the visiting DC-7 - and there are more on the way. More importantly, the museum has changed from a hangar concept to that of a serious, professional museum. If you haven't been here in the past few weeks, stop by and check out the new look.
In keeping with the many changes taking place at CAM, the CONTACT newsletter is also entering a new era...under a new banner! In the past we printed and mailed issues to members using U.S. Postal Service but soon e-mail entered the picture and we began to e-mail issues to members who requested it. With the introduction of the museum's website, the CONTACT could be accessed by anyone. As editor, Claude Sanford has received messages from people in countries around the world. Through Claude's efforts, we have truly become a global museum. In an effort to reflect the look, tone, and feel of the new museum, our newsletter is taking on new look and will now be published in a "web" format instead of the traditional pdf files. This will allow us to have links to various information previously not available. Plus you'll find a table of contents on the right side panel where you can simply click on the story you want to read. The CAM News is being e-mailed to our members and volunteers, and will it be archived so that the issues can be accessed from our website.
There are still lots of changes to come so stay in touch by checking our website often - and of course we'll continue to keep you informed through the CAM News.
|Museum Founders Letter
High lights of the years gone by.
August and September 1992
Jerry Orr, Charlotte/Douglas International Airport Director finalized details for temporary hangar space for our T-28 Trojan aircraft that we will get from the U.S. Army. Mr. Orr also agreed to a permanent CHAC display in the Charlotte Airport terminal.
We received our 501©3 non-profit certificate from the State of North Carolina.
CHAC lost one of its strongest supporters and contributors with the death of CHAC Board member Fred Donaldson, who passed away after a brief illness.
On August 4, nine CHAC members journeyed to Pope Air Force Base, near Fayetteville, NC, and disassembled and transported the T-28 Trojan aircraft to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport. The T-28 Trojan was used as a gate guard at the base since its arrival there.
CHAC president Floyd Wilson and Acquisition Director Brad Gibbs sign for the transfer of ownership of the T-28 Trojan. Mike Davis and Steve Sheppard from the Army Test Board witnessed the signing.
The T-28 in the Holman Moody Hangar at the Charlotte/Douglas Airport.
Membership in CHAC was 275 members.
Floyd S. Wilson
Learn more about CAM history.
|Special Thanks to those who donated items to the museum.
LeRoy Gover, USAF, Retired
|North Carolina Aviators
Col. LeRoy Gover, USAF, Retired, a World War II war hero and longtime Menlo Park, California resident, died in Menlo Park on November 5, 1997, he was 83.
He was born on May 6, 1914 in Loveland, Colorado, and moved to San Carlos, California in the early 1920s with his family. From a very young age, he was obsessed with flying. He spent hours watching the planes leave from San Francisco Airport. At the age of 16 he earned his pilot's license and then cleaned and fueled planes in trade for additional flying instruction. After graduating from Sequoia High School, he eventually began giving sightseeing flights around the Bay Area and did crop dusting around Bakersfield, California.
When World War II started in Europe, he was determined to become a fighter pilot. Since he lacked the necessary two years of college to enter the U.S. Army Air Corps, he instead joined the Royal Air Force, through the Clayton Knight Committee in May 1941. He was initially assigned to No. 66 Squadron of RAF Fighter Command and subsequently to one of the famed American Eagle Squadrons No. 133 Squadron flying Spitfires.
In 1942 he transferred to the U.S. Army Air Force as a member of the 336th Fighter Squadron of the Fourth Fighter Group, which became the highest scoring unit on the Western Front during World War II. He flew combat until February 1944, when he was sent home on mandatory leave. He destroyed at least three German fighters and damaged nine others in air-to-air combat. He was awarded the silver star for heroism, three Flying Crosses and eight Air Medals. He received a hero's welcome when he returned to San Carlos, California. When the war was over, he retired for a short period of time, but he couldn't leave the military for too long and reentered in 1947.
In January 1948 he became the regular USAF instructor for the North Carolina Air National Guard, Morris Field, Charlotte, North Carolina, flying P-47D Thunderbolts. Some of his assignments with the NCANG included simulating combat flying sequences for the Warner Brothers movie "Fighter Squadron" and he was responsible for flying all the solo flights seen in the film. He also led the flight formation that flew over President Truman's inaugural parade in 1949
Photo taken near the old NCANG water tower at Morris Field in Charlotte, NC
Second from left is Leroy Gover. The picture was taken during filming of the movie "FIGHTER SQUADRON"
He retired from the U. S. Air Force in 1962 as a Colonel. Following his retirement he did charter work flying fishermen to Mexico in the winter and to Canada in the summer. He retired in 1980 but kept flying, amassing over 28,000 hours of flying time. In 1995, the story of his adventures was published. He is survived by two sisters, Juanita McNulty of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Betty Adams of McKinleyville, California.
The above article was submitted by Cliff Pressley in recognizing persons associated with North Carolina Aviation.
By Lowell Thomas and Edward Jablonski
Book Report by Steve West
James (Jimmie) Harold Doolittle grew up in Alaska and then moved to Los Angles when he was 15. A constant theme in his younger days was risk taking and fisticuffs. He eventually became hooked on airplanes. In 1917, he enlisted in the Aviation Section of the U.S. Signal Corps (which eventually became the Army Air Corps during WWII, then the U. S. Air Force in 1947) where he learned to fly. His flying skills were so good he was held back as an instructor and never made it to Europe for WWI. The authors write that he was the master of the calculated risk - a mindset that was to serve him well in his flying career. It appears that although he was a skilled flyer, there was some luck in his life as he walked away from crashes that from the books I have read killed many other flyers. The early chapters of the book are a treat to read as they cover his early years, which are very full with many amazing events-his command of the Twelfth Air Force in Africa and Italy until the famed Doolittle Raid on Japan. The raid is covered in detail, but it is his years as General of the Eighth Air Force in Europe from D-Day on that I found very interesting. I was surprised to read that he was good friends with George Patton and that he was disliked by Eisenhower in the early years. One thing that got Doolittle in trouble with his commanders was his risking his life by flying all the airplanes of the Army Air Corps and to go on missions with his crews. I was surprised to read that he flew a P-38 (which was picked due to its distinct shape that was hoped so that hopefully it wouldn't be fired on by Allied Troops) for several hours over the D-Day landing in Normandy. The authors write that he was the only general who witnessed the whole landing operations first hand.
Along with Doolittle's life the authors wove into his narrative the story of his wife Josephine (Joe) Daniels Doolittle who appeared to be quite a person in her own right and the perfect match to Jimmie. The names of the people he came into contact with throughout his flying career is a who's who of aviation history. His accomplishments include: winner of the Schneider Trophy, the Bendix Trophy Race, and the Thompson Trophy Race, first to cross the continent in under 24 hours, first to complete a "blind flight" and first to execute an outside loop, and to break several landplane speed records of the time. During his career he was awarded the Medal of Honor, Sliver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, etc. But throughout it all he never seemed too affected by the all successes and appeared to be a man one would like to get to know.
The book Doolittle by Thomas & Jablonski can be found in the Members Loan Section at the Dolph Overton Aviation Library of the Carolinas Aviation Museum and is book number 27.838.
Moments in Aviation History
- Sept. 1, 1953 First aerial refueling of a jet aircraft by a jet tanker, a B-47 Stratojet from a KB-47B tanker.
- Sept. 1, 1975 The Concorde makes two return flights to Gander, Newfoundland, becoming the first aircraft to make four Atlantic crossings in a single day.
- Sept. 2, 1945 462 B-29 Super fortresses fly over the Battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay during the ceremonial surrender of Japan. WWII comes to an end!
- Sept. 6, 1988 PIEDMONT opens a new 80,000 sq-foot Flight Training Center, including the world's first B-737-300/400 training simulator, at Charlotte/Douglas Int'l Airport.Sept. 10, 1993
- Boeing finishes production of their 1,000th 747 jumbo jet, 26 years after the 747 program was launched.Sept. 13, 1935
- Millionaire film producer and amateur air racer Howard Hughes shatters the world land plane speed record in his home built Hughes Racer airplane.
|Douglas A-20G Havoc|
- Sept. 14, 1944 First successful flight into the eye of a hurricane is made by a three-man crew flying a Douglas A-20 Havoc.
- Sept. 15, 1988 PIEDMONT takes delivery of the first Boeing 737-400. Christened the Thomas H. Davis Pacemaker in honor of their founder. No other 737s were named.
- Sept. 17, 1908 The first fatality in a powered aircraft occurs when Lt. Thomas Selfridge is killed while flying with Orville Wright at Fort Meyer, Virginia.
- Sept. 18, 1936 American Airlines puts the new Douglas Sleeper Transport (DST) into service on its transcontinental, 16 hour flight between New York and Los Angeles.
- Sept. 18, 1947 The U. S. Air Force becomes an independent service!
- Sept. 18, 1948 First flight of a delta-wing jet aircraft, the Convair XF-92A.
- Sept. 23, 1913 French pilot, Roland Garros, first person to fly across the Mediterranean. 470 miles, he lands in Tunisia 7hr, 53min after taking off from France. "He only had 8hr of fuel!!" (The French National Tennis Stadium is named for him.)
- Sept. 25, 1903 The Wright brothers arrive at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to begin tests of their first powered aircraft.
- Sept. 30, 1968 Boeing rolls out the first Model 747 "jumbo" jet from its specially-built plant north of Seattle, WA.
| NEW MEMBERS AND RENEWALS
8/8 TO 8/29
Mr. and Mrs. Joel Alonso, Monroe, NC
Baohua Song and Joshua Griffin, Cary, NC
Phillip Bevins, Wilmington, NC
Viayasekar Sundararajan, Mooresville, NC
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Maynor, Concord, NC
Timothy Devaney, Ringoes, NJ
Christopher Nelson, Winston-Salem, NC
Mr. and Mrs. Scott Barnette, Charlotte, NC
Ceasar Cone, Charlotte, NC
Jim and Mary Taylor -Fund, Kernersville, NC
Jere Witherspoon, Charlotte, NC
Ollie Washington, Jr - Augusta, GA