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Warbird Fan for Decades

Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:27 pm

I've been a warbird fan for years, I guess for decades. My early memories include air shows at England AFB in Louisiana, and seeing the Air Force Thunderbirds perform in their swept-wing F-84F fleet. There we also saw our first F-100 Super Sabre make a low approach over the runway, and zoom vertical above the dazzled crowds below.

At the same air base our Cub Scout troop was able to tour a B-29 Superfortress, and crawl through the tunnel over the bomb bay ... what a thrill!

I've had a fascination about the Consolidated-Vultee B-36 since my childhood in the mid-1950s when I used to hear the roar of Peacemakers flying high over central Louisiana. Unfortunately, the B-36 wasn't part of the many air shows I attended at England Air Force Base in Alexandria, primarily a TAC base at that time.

My interest in military aviation was furthered when I viewed the B-36 "City of Fort Worth" on display at Amon Carter Field in the early 1960s. My interest in the airplane continues to this day.

The excitement of our first commercial flight from Dallas Love Field on a Delta Airlines Convair 440 is still in our head. And while a young Naval officer, I had the honor of serving with the U.S. Strike Command headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. During my tour with Strike, I flew on the command's Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft and the commander in chief's Boeing VC-135A airborne command center.

Today, I travel extensively, and have been fortunate in the last few years to visit several of the most renown air museums in the country, including the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles, the Castle Air Museum in California, Pima in Tucson, and others.

I am always trying to see more warbirds, and learn more about the planes and the people they were associated with.

Some of my photos and experiences are documented on my website http://www.PlanesOfThePast.com
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