2020 Summer Friends Journal Sampler

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Model(ing) Behavior

Legacy of Service



History Found: Delta Rebel No. 2, “One of the First”


U.S. Air Force

The magazine of the Air Force Museum Foundation




Summer 2020, Vol. 43 No. 3

mike’s musings



Dr. Pamela A. Drew

”Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” I’ve been thinking about her words as our country and world are in the midst of multiple crises, the likes of which many of us have never seen. But to really stop and look at our own fears as we are comforting those around us who may have lost their livelihood or, worse yet, loved ones…that is asking a lot. Yet, we must all grab a hand mirror and take a good look…for the image staring back is the one that matters most. And while we may not have created these circumstances, how we each deal with them is most certainly ours to control. One of those “hand mirror” moments for me was taking care of our employees when the Museum shut down; making the decision to retain all employees through this crisis. Whether we’re cognizant of it or not, our collective voices provide hope and inspiration we all need right now. And whether we agree on the issues or not, the respect we show each other as Americans shall enable us to stand in unison and take on that “next thing.” All you have to do is walk through the Museum, and you’ll see historic examples of those who faced their fears, stood up, and met the challenges in front of them with poise, passion, respect, and conviction. And I have no doubt, we will again do the same. For fear confronted, is rendered powerless…

God Bless,

Mike Imhoff Air Force Museum Foundation Chief Executive Officer



Lt Gen C.D. Moore II, USAF (Ret) SECRETARY

CMSAF Gerald R. Murray, USAF (Ret) TREASURER

Brig Gen Paul R. Cooper, USAF (Ret) Col James F. Blackman, USAF (Ret) Mr. John G. Brauneis Mr. Roger D. Duke Ms. Anita Emoff Col Frederick D. Gregory Sr., USAF (Ret) Mr. Benjamin T. Guthrie Mr. James L. Jennings Mr. Scott L. Jones Mr. Ki Ho Kang Dr. Thomas J. Lasley II Mr. Scott E. Lundy Gen Lester L. Lyles, USAF (Ret) Maj Gen Edward (Ted) P. Maxwell, USAF (Ret) Maj Gen Brian C. Newby, USAF (Ret) Gen Gary L. North, USAF (Ret) Mr. Edgar M. Purvis Jr. Maj Gen Frederick F. Roggero, USAF (Ret) Mr. Philip L. Soucy CMSgt Darla J. Torres, USAF (Ret) Dr. Andrea Townsend Mr. Randy Tymofichuk


Col Mark N. Brown, USAF (Ret) Mr. James F. Dicke II Mr. Charles J. Faruki Maj Gen E. Ann Harrell, USAF (Ret) Col William S. Harrell, USAF (Ret) Mr. Jon G. Hazelton Mr. Charles F. Kettering III Mr. Patrick L. McGohan Lt Gen Richard V. Reynolds, USAF (Ret) Gen Charles T. (Tony) Robertson, USAF (Ret) Mr. R. Daniel Sadlier Col James B. Schepley, USAF (Ret) Mr. Scott J. Seymour Mr. Harry W. (Wes) Stowers Jr.

what’s inside 18 IN EVERY ISSUE



To veterans, their families and friends




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ABOVE & BEYOND Medal of Honor recipient: Capt Harl Pease, Jr

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“By the mid-1960’s, model building was the most popular pastime among boys under the age of 18.”

Cessna O-2A Skymaster


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“It is such an unbelievable coincidence!”


Gallery Updates

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UPCOMING EVENTS AND EXHIBITS AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE USAF Global Positioning, Defense Support Program, Plane Talks, and more

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Reunions Around the Country

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THE MEMPHIS BELLE™, DELTA REBEL NO. 2, AND HEAVY BOMBER FIRSTS “What was the first USAAF heavy bomber to finish 25 missions over Europe?”

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OFFICER IN CANADA “Who ever thought a long overseas tour could be fulfilled by going across the Great Lakes to Canada!”

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“This is the story about a tropical island, a drunken officer, a terrified enlisted airman and a turtle.”


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HISTORY FOUND: DELTA REBEL NO. 2 OF THE 91ST BOMB GROUP, “ONE OF THE FIRST” “With the more-important task of fighting the war, he’d never made a big issue about ‘who was first.‘”

On the Cover: 2nd Lt Jacob Gill celebrates his Air Force Academy graduation with his grandfather, Al Gill. Read their story on page 14.

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“Two lives, an incredible series of random interactions, and a life lesson.”

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the Friends Journal articles and Feedback letters are solely those of the authors in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., the United States Air Force or any other entity or agency of the U.S. Government.


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editor’s notes


Michael Imhoff


Christopher Adkins-Lamb



Gary Beisner


For me, one of the great tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic is the loss of veterans’ stories. Recent reports of 76 veterans who died of COVID-19 at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts have broken my heart. I sympathize with those suffering the economic impact of quarantines and social distancing rules. But the loss of a livelihood cannot compare with the loss of a life. And the unfortunate part, for me, is that in some cases the veteran’s death takes them from more than just our presence — it removes them from our collective memory as well, because we’ve lost their story. Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m not writing this to prospect for stories for the Friends Journal. I’m writing this to prospect for stories for posterity. People willing to put service before self; to do something for people they would never meet; they are worth our time and effort to remember. But we need their help. I’m writing this because I personally have heard from veterans who finally, after years of silence, wrote their story as a way to tell their children what they experienced, and were glad they did. Veterans whose family finally convinced them to share their story and who found it cathartic to reflect on and record their memories of service. Veterans who will be remembered because they shared their stories. In many cases, these veterans otherwise would not have shared their experiences with anyone. No, I am not writing this asking for stories for the Friends Journal. I’m writing to ask you, a veteran, to share your story. Share it with someone, anyone, so that story is remembered and honored as it deserves to be. I’m writing to ask you, a family member or friend, to convince the reluctant veteran you know to share their story — with someone else if they won’t share with you. Because stories lost when a veteran dies are a loss for all of us.

Alan Armitage aarmitage@afmuseum.com


Mary Bruggeman


Chuck Edmonson


Melinda Lawrence


Sarah Shatzkin


Crystal Van Hoose



Krista Strider



Cheryl Prichard


John King, Art Powell, Robert Pinizzotto

If your Friends Journal is damaged during delivery, you have a question about delivery, or you have a change of address or other information, please contact the FRIENDS OFFICE:

937.656.9607 friends@afmuseum.com The Friends Journal is published quarterly by the Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc., a Section 501(c)(3) private, non-profit organization dedicated to the expansion and improvement of the National Museum of the U.S. Air ForceTM and to the preservation of the history of the United States Air Force. The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. is not part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no government status. Printed in the USA. USPS Standard A rate postage paid at Dayton, OH. Subscription to the Friends Journal is included in the annual membership of the Friends of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

JUST LIKE THE MUSEUM, OUR EVENT BUSINESS IS BACK! (Of course, with proper social distancing, and PPE to better protect everyone!) SEARCHING FOR A UNIQUE VENUE FOR YOUR NEXT REUNION, DINNER, OR TEAM MEETING? LOOK NO FURTHER! With some of the most well-known aircraft, our rooms and spaces put you into the world of aviation and allow you to challenge your guests to reach new limits! Our main goal is to provide excellent service and support so you can host the best event possible. From small meeting rooms to large dinners in the galleries, we can support almost any event you can imagine!

New, enhanced cleaning procedures. With extra cleaning measures, social distancing, and the requirement of masks, we’re working to better protect everyone involved in making your event amazing.

Reach out to us today at 937.656.9393 and let us help you plan your next event. Or visit us online at afmuseum.com/events for more information and to view our Private Events Guide.


summer 2020

Give us a call today to plan your next event! 937.656.9393 | events@afmuseum.com


friends feedback

Comments about some of the stories from the Winter and Spring 2020 issues. Final Deployment of the 4025th SRS READER ROBERT GOUGH WROTE: “The Winter 2020 edition of Friends Journal brought back many memories of my days at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) as a young AF Brat. My dad was an engineering test pilot (USAF Test Pilot School Class 56-D) stationed at Wright Field in the Wright Air Development Center (later renamed Aeronautical Systems Division) from the late 1950’s to the late 1960’s, minus a 3-year stint in France. Among the stories that sparked memories was the story on the operational missions of the RB-57. On January 3, 1964, a prototype RB-57 piloted by Capt Gerald Lyvere shed its wings at high altitude somewhere over Montgomery County, Ohio. At 12,000 feet Capt Lyvere ejected the uncontrollable fuselage, sustaining a minor neck injury. The wings and engines were found 15

TALK TO US Send your comments to P.O. Box 1903, WPAFB, OH 45433 or email aarmitage@afmuseum.com. For comments or questions directed at the Foundation that don’t pertain to the magazine, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page at afmuseum.com. facebook.com/ Air.Force.Museum.Foundation @AFMFoundation #airforcemuseumfoundation @airforcemuseumfoundation #airforcemuseumfoundation


miles from Beavercreek High School, where the fuselage impacted the faculty parking lot with a tremendous noise during school hours. No explosion occurred as the fuel remained in the wings, and all 2,040 students were unscathed, including my pal Larry Sorenson. His dad was also a graduate of TPS 56-D, and stationed at WPAFB.”

AND LARRY SORENSON FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA, EMAILED TO GIVE HIS EYEWITNESS REPORT: “I was a student at Beavercreek High School, sitting in my second floor biology classroom near the window when the airplane fuselage crashed nose first in the faculty parking lot. There was a very large BANG. Immediately I looked out the window and saw an airplane tire rise vertically as if in slow motion, pause and fall back to earth. The point of impact was about fifteen feet into the parking lot from where I was sitting. I never saw the fuselage in a vertical position leading me to believe that it may have landed more flat than vertical. There was a bit of smoke in the small crater near the building but no fire. There was no panic at all. The school was evacuated and buses took everyone home. At that time my father, Lt Col Richard H. Sorenson (Experimental Test Pilot Class 56-D) was Chief of Bomber Operations and Flight Test at Wright-Patterson AFB. He became the director of the investigation into the cause of the accident. After the formal clean up of the site, I became the courier for taking overlooked debris found by the students to my dad. I recall filling several grocery bags with bits and pieces some of which may have actually belonged to the jet bomber. Unbelievably, while the fuselage fell diagonally across the entire courtyard parking lot not a single car was damaged.”



0 12:0 M P


My Time Flying the C-5 Galaxy


“I love the Friends Journal. You and your crew produce a great magazine. One of the few magazines (or maybe the only) that I read cover to cover. In the article My Time Flying the C-5 Galaxy, on page 16, Andy Travnicek is actually standing next to a CFM56-2B engine for the KC-135R tanker. The CFM56-2B has a conical spinner and the TF-39 for the C-5 is a domed spinner. And the C-5 engine is WAY bigger. Just thought I would mention this. I worked for GE Aircraft Engines for thirty years and supported the Air Force and Air National Guard for 17 years as technical support for the CFM56-2B so it was very obvious to me. Working with the USAF was the most enjoyable job I ever had.”

showed a twin-engine jet, and then used my research on the actual four-engine jet stamp to describe it. I can only say that I wrote my Editor’s Notes in a hurry trying to get things wrapped up as COVID-19 was starting to shut things down, and as the saying goes “haste makes waste.”

Buttoning Up the C-5A

THIS ISSUE’S STAMP is a 2005 stamp

CMSGT DAVID A. MATTHEWS, USAF (RET) EMAILED: “This article brought back my memories of the accident. Our SAC operating location at Osan AB, Korea, closed down in June 1975 and I was the designated courier for the return of our reconnaissance drones and the control and intelligence vans. I, along with twenty others, was directed to fly back on the C-5 that would bring the equipment back to Davis-Monthan. When I brought up the subject of the C-5 being restricted from carrying passengers, I was told we were not passengers but a ‘troop movement.’ I remember the dirty looks we got when we walked past the space-A and emergency leave soldiers and airmen that were told they couldn’t get on the plane with us.”

A Career Breathing 100% Oxygen Regarding the story in the Winter 2020 issue, several Friends wrote in to note that Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB is located in Montgomery, Alabama, not Birmingham as was noted in the story. This was my error in editing.

Editor’s Notes: It’s the Little Things… READER PAUL TALBOTT OF FAYETEVILLE, GEORGIA WROTE: “My Spring 2020 Friends Journal arrived today, had to stop working on a Honey Do project to peruse it! You mention a seven-cent US Air Mail stamp with a twin-engine jet as probably being a Boeing 707. It must have been another type, as the Boeing 707 was four engine.” --This email caused me some confusion. I had done research on the stamp for my Editor’s Notes and could have sworn I was right that it was the 707. Turns out the “stamp” we were using on the Friends Feedback page was not the actual USPS stamp, but a version of the four-engine jetliner stamp altered to show a twin-engine jet. I based my research on the actual four-engine jet stamp without closely examining the “stamp” used in the Friends Journal to see if it was the actual stamp. However, when I wrote my notes for the FJ I looked at the Friends Feedback page, noting that the “stamp” FRIENDS JOURNAL ❙

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of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is home to the B-29 Bockscar, the aircraft that ended World War II. Bockscar dropped a “Fat Man” atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Japan surrendered unconditionally on August 14.

DON’T MISS OUT ON OUR EMAILS — SIGN UP TODAY AT: AFMUSEUM.COM/KEEPINTOUCH Email continues to be a fast and economical way for us to keep in touch with you. And we don’t want you to miss any of the good stuff — like our Throwback Thursday’s! Every other week we dig into the Friends Journal archives and pull out an exciting story like this one from the Spring 2012 issue: John Cloe, The York Crew Saga, the story of Doolittle Raider Crew #8 that ended up landing in Russia!


Jean Aker/The Box Art Den

Model(ing) Behavior BY ROBERT A. JOHNSON III Has anyone ever asked you what motivated you to join the Air Force? It’s been a long time since the early 1970s when I wore Air Force blue, but I have asked that question countless times of others, and often the reply involves a connection to scale models. 8

During the 1920s and 1930s, the rapidly changing world of aviation c aptured the imagination of Americans of all ages, particularly young boys! Often, they shaped rudimentary wood components into miniature replicas of sleek aircraft from that golden era. Within a few short years, those boys were young men flying Allied aircraft of every description. During World War II, 1/72nd scale aircraft identification models figured prominently in training aerial gunners and antiaircraf t crews to dif ferentiate friend from foe. For decades, the motivation to serve has been intertwined with miniature aircraft and those connections proved to be much stronger than I ever expected.

The years after the end of World War II brought significant advances in every aspect of life in the United States. By the early 1950s, sweptwing aircraft such as the North American F-86 Sabre and Boeing B-47 Stratojet medium bomber set the pace in the world of military aviation. Famed aircraft such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and Martin B-26 Marauder were instantly obsolete in front-line service and youngsters dreamed of flying the latest North American F-100 Super Sabre or the deltawing Convair B-58 Hustler! Like many youngsters who grew up amidst such amazing changes, I was fascinated by these futuristic jet aircraft. I wondered how I could FRIENDS JOURNAL ❙

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be part of this amazing world at a young age. From the 1920s through the end of World War II, boys had to meet their dreams of flight through cutting and shaping wood parts to assemble into flying and static display model aircraft, a demanding task at best. But technological advances during and after the war would change the aviation modeling world, just as they had changed the real world of aviation. Post-World War II dreams of flight were fueled by new model kits created from a new material that would affect every aspec t of daily life; polystyrene plastic. ☛

By the mid-1960’s, model building was the most popular pastime among boys under the age of 18. Dramatic boxtop art, like this Jack Leynwood painting for a North American B-70 model, helped generate excitement for model building and also service in the USAF.

Models from the 1950’s were usually rudimentary like this North American F-100 Super Sabre model below, and the Lockheed F-94 Starfire and Douglas F4D Skyray on page 13.

Jean Aker/The Box Art Den


Traditional wood models that were challenging to build gave way to the new injection-molded miniatures that were much easier to build. In time, aircraft subjects molded in plastic spanned from World War I to the latest turbojet aircraft and futuristic spacecraft. By the mid1960’s, model building was the most popular pastime among boys under the age of 18. Perhaps there was no bet ter example of this trend than the formation of Precision Plastics, Inc., after the U.S. entered World War II. Late in 1942, entrepreneur Lewis Glaser saw potential in new thermoform materials such as Bakelite (the world’s first synthetic plastic), cellulose acetate (many eyeglass frames are still made of this), and polystyrene (think Styrofoam, Solo cups and plastic utensils). Located in Hollywood, his small factory created parts for military aircraft built by southern California aircraf t companies. Glaser diversifi ed by developing

molds for the produc tion of common housewares previously made from metals that were now reserved for the production of war materials. When World War II ended, orders for aircraft components were drastically reduced and Glaser’s fledgling company faced bankruptcy. He believed that plastic would be perfect for molding toys and created an initial product line of brightly-colored dollhouse furniture, a multi-piece washing machine, and HO scale buildings for use on model railroad layouts. Glaser used the name Revell based on the French word “Reveille” meaning “a new beginning.” In 1950, Glaser obtained a license through Gowland & Gowland in the UK to manufacture copies of their 1/16th scale models of early automobiles. This venture spawned a new series of unassembled, 1/32nd scale replicas of vintage automobiles. They were marketed as par t of the Revell br and as “Highway Pioneer s Quick

Construction Kits.” The year 1953 saw the debut of the fi rst model kit designed at Revell; H-301, the battleship USS Missouri, followed shortly by the very first aircraft kit; H-210, the Lockheed F-94C Starfire. It was created from patterns carved by Tony Bulone and was composed of 13 parts including a two-piece stand. During 1954, more detail was added that included a separate cockpit, two aircrew, and landing gear detail, plus a clear Revell stand, all for $0.79! Throughout the next thirty years, fir ms such as Aurora, Hawk, Monogram Models, Revell, and others developed hundreds of scale model kits all within the price range of any boy with a paper route, part-time job, or even a meager allowance. Produc tion literally exploded and the impact of building scale models on young minds was profound! Inexpensive and widely available in thousands of hobby shops, variety stores, and toy stores across the country,

This concept bomber never became a reality, but the wingtip-mounted engines and parasite fighters surely stirred the imagination of aviation enthusiasts and young modelers!

Jean Aker/The Box Art Den


Jean Aker/The Box Art Den

kits and had at least an idea of what the instructor was teaching beforehand?

kits of model aircraft, ships, armor, and automobiles were incredibly popular. Each kit contained an instruction sheet to guide the builder through the assembly process. Typically, these sheets included a short history or technical description of the actual model subjec t. It bec ame common practice to place descriptive names of each part paired with the model part number. We learned a process as youngsters that enabled us to follow step-by-step instructions to assemble and paint a box of plastic parts into a completed model, learn the descriptive names of aircraft components, and learn a bit of tech data as well. There is no question that learning these basics laid the groundwork for several generations of military aircraft maintainers. In 1960, Revell dazzled the hobbyist with a new kit that claimed to be “more accurate than any model kit you have ever seen!” It was a 1/10th scale replica of the Allison T56 (type 501-D13) turboprop that powered the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. Reve ll i n c l u d e d i nf o r m a t i o n describing the aircraft, and kit parts were numbered and described by their technical names. When assembled, it featured a removable panel over the “hot section” that revealed rotating compressor blades and fixed stator blades. It also included a detailed power transmission gearbox and a rotating four-blade stub propeller. All these FRIENDS JOURNAL ❙

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functional details transformed this model kit into a teaching tool that provided anyone who built it with an understanding of how a turboprop engine operates. This kit was released as kit number H-11510498 and “kit sleuths” knew that the “0498” was the retail purchase price. Not to be outdone, engineers at Monogram Models created a 1/32nd scale “Phantom” North American F-51D Mustang, number PA-67 in 1960, and it debuted in October of 1961 (just in time for ever y boy’s Christmas list). This amazing model featured crystal clear wings, fuselage halves, and horizontal stabilizers that depicted a USAF version of the P-51D. The interior contained such details as the main wing spar, wing and fuselage fuel tanks, miniature Merlin V-12 engine, and six wing­ m ounted machine guns. It was displayed on a molded red base that contained an electric motor that could be “triggered” to open and close the landing gear. A smaller motor was nestled inside the scale Merlin V-12 and operated the four­ blade propeller. These highly-advanced kits were just two of several cutaway or visible model subjects that provided a higher degree of learning for “future airmen.” I wonder how many young airmen attending technical training at Chanute Air Force Base (AFB) in Jet Engine or Aircraft Maintenance courses may have built these

As the volume of kit sales flourished in the late 1950’s, mundane twoand three-color boxes that were prevalent in the 1940’s lacked the “magic” to attract young customers. In the 1930’s, innovative salesman and marketer Elmer Wheeler coined the saying “Don’t sell the steak sell the sizzle!” The “sizzle” took the form of exciting illustrations depicting the modeled aircraft in action. They were painted by highlytalented commercial artists who possessed the ability to capture the fantasy of any subject to the degree that their box art illustration would attract the undivided attention of young customers. It was incredibly easy to imagine yourself in the cockpit of the Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress Memphis Belle™ fighting your way through flak, or piloting the needle-nose Lockheed F-104 Star fighter into the heavens. Instilling the fantasy of flight into impressionable customers was the whole purpose of the artwork created for the box ar t. There is little doubt that the exciting artwork sold more model kits than the plastic parts inside the box! And the action-filled illustrations created by talented artists such as John Amendola (a commercial artist for numerous automobile and aircraft manufacturers), Dick Locher (an AF veteran and award-winning political cartoonist who also drew Dick Tracy for more than 25 years), Ray Gaedke (a World War II Army veteran), and Tom Morgan (a Royal Canadian Air Force veteran) spawned an unexpected phenomenon. As one commenter posted on a modeling website in 2009: “I used to build tons of these models and I always cut out the illustration from the box covers and hung them on my wall!” And their art can still be found for sale today. Revell’s Lew Glaser understood the emotional attraction of artwork that depicted action better than most of his industry competitors. In 1952, Hungarian immigrant ☛ 11

Jean Aker/The Box Art Den

Richard Kishady moved to southern California from Detroit where he first arrived in 1950, and was hired as the first art director at Revell. Born in 1919, Kishady flew Focke-Wulf FW 190’s with the Royal Hungarian Army Air Force beginning in 1942 until he was shot down by Russian forces in 1943 and interned in Russia until 1946. Kishady not only painted exciting box art such as the Fokker DR-1 Triplane, he engaged the expert services of Scott Eidson, John Steele, and Jack Leynwood as consultant artists. John Steele was a highly-decorated Marine who endured combat in the South Pacific and Korea, where he fought at Chosin Reservoir. He worked as a technical illustrator for North American Aviation, but is best known for unforgettable paintings of naval ships and historic sailing vessels. Jack Leynwood, like Steele, worked as an illustrator in the California aircraft world. During World War II, he parlayed his civilian flight training into a position as an instructor pilot in North American T-6 Texans and Lockheed P-38 Lightnings. Af ter the war, he worked at Northrop and taught illustration and technical painting technique at the Art Center School in Pasadena, California. However, his lasting fame grew out of freelance illustrations for hobby kit manufacturers Monogram, Aurora, 12

and Revell. During his association with Revell, he completed more than 650 illustrations and became known as “the Rembrandt of Revell.” Two illustrations that have become legendary are the North American (X)B-70 Valkyrie for Aurora, and the bomb run painting of the B-17F Memphis Belle TM for Revell; artwork that kit collectors covet to this day! For decades, those who have served in military aviation have followed many dif ferent paths to get there. Often, the initial inspiration to learn about aviation began with model airplanes. As a young boy, I built models of every type and description; often with my dad who was a B-26 pilot with the 320th Bomb Group during World War II. Since beginning my journey toward an Air Force commission through AFROTC in September of 1966, I have met and spoken with hundreds of men and women who served in Air Force career fields directly associated with aircraft operations. Asking them what motivated them to ser ve often yielded a response traced to scale modeling. After leaving the Air Force, during my years in product development in the hobby industry, it was always a privilege to talk with former, retired, and active duty personnel about their experiences. During my days at Monogram, I first met Maj Phil Brandt during the latter part of his USAF career. We

spoke on the phone often and he described his teenage memories building models, par ticularly a Revell model of the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark, originally known as the Tactical Fighter X – (TFX). Phil was fascinated by the variable geometry “swing” wings. Ultimately he achieved his goal by piloting F-111A’s with the 391st Tactical Fighter Wing in combat over Vietnam and Laos. His last duty assignment was at Bergstrom AFB in Austin, Texas, and he furthered his enjoyment of aviation and modeling as a prolific member of the International Plastic Modelers’ Society. Phil left us in November of 2012, but examples of his modelmaking talents remain on display at Bergstrom. Michael Stanley began building models when he was very young. In 1958 when he was was 9 years old, he built Monogram “FortyNiners” (so named due to their retail price of 49 cents). They included a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk that he had read about in Robert L. Scott’s autobiographical God is My Co-Pilot. He built Monogram fighter kits and Aurora World War I classics like the Nieuport 11. In high school, he devoted himself to one goal: achieving an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy. While that didn’t work out, he persevered and joined the U.S. Army where he flew Hughes OH- 6 Cayuse helicopters in Vietnam. Today,

Michael still loves aviation and modeling and comments “I have also built model kits steadily (since leaving the military). I now have a grandson who I am trying to teach the patience and skills required to turn out an accurate replica. I know these skills will serve him well no matter what he does in life.” Last year, I happened upon a short documentary titled “Grunts in the Sky: The A-10 in Afghanistan.” The video has a vignette of an A-10 pilot identified only as “Karl” who talks about his experience in 1979 when he was in high school and walked into a hobby shop. He saw the image of a strange aircraft on a model kit box (the Republic A-10 Thunderbolt, nicknamed the Warthog) and commented “…what is that?” In 2014, he was flying Warthogs with the 442nd Fighter Wing deployed to Afghanistan in support of coalition ground forces. The kit that attracted his attention in 1979 was the original Monogram Models issue, kit number 5405, that was developed with the assistance of Roy Wendell from Fairchild Republic’s public affairs office and Lt Col Allan Schriehofer of USAF/ PAO. From the founding of the U.S. Air Force through the 1990’s, Air Force bases were more “small communities” than they are today. Many bases had a base Hobby Shop that provided a range of craf ts and hobbies along with instructors. Lewis Nace, currently president of Minicraft Models, grew up in the Los Angeles area where

his father worked for Lockheed in Burbank. He remembers base hobby shops from the past. “I also had the good fortune of calling on military bases back when they operated hobby shops. I called on Castle AFB, Beale AFB, McClellan AFB, and Mather AFB. Mather was special because it had a fantastic hobby shop and one of my top customers. Technology took over and FAX machines and computers replaced outside salesmen, but, that experience led me to Minicraft and motivates what I do to this day.” Outside the main gate, retail stores that catered primarily to USAF personnel and families were common. One that was surely frequented by many young airmen was Slot & Wing Hobbies; the first store outside the main gate at Chanute AFB in Rantoul, Illinois. The proprietor, Bryant Thompson, was a retired captain and welcomed customers into his store from the 1965 through 1976 when he sold the store to his daughter. She moved the store to Champaign, Illinois in 1978.

Jean Aker/The Box Art Den


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Jean Aker/The Box Art Den

Nace remembers, “I worked for Western Models and later United Models as an outside salesman. I really enjoyed that job and moved to north central California early in my hobby career. I called on many hobby shops that were owned by retired Air Force members. In Modesto, the hobby shop was owned by Lt Col Joe Keebil, who was a B-52 instructor pilot. In Merced, the local shop was Hobby Castle owned by retired Col Chuck Winter. Another customer owned a store in Merced, Young’s Toys. Ray Young was retired from the Air Force and had served as a KC135 pilot. I came to know them all quite well and I respect all that they accomplished in their lives. As I have worked developing new model aircraft projects, I have always had these men in mind.” Cur rently, video games and remote control (RC) aircr af t, including drones, capture the attention of many with aviation interests. While model building is less popular and has become the domain of older builders with no end of good memories, some youngsters still build with their dads and grandfathers. In spite of a changing world, scale models, aircraft simulations, and RC aircraft continue to open the doors to the world of aviation for many, laying the groundwork for future aircrew, engineers, and maintainers. 13