An Update on the Italian Airmada of 1933

Spectators viewing Italian seaplane from Balbo flight. Victoria 1933 In 2016 I posted an entry concerning the landing of an Italian seaplane piloted by Captain Umberto Rovis on the harbour at Victoria. The aeroplane was part of a group of Italian seaplanes that flew from Rome to Chicago and return. That posting, which contains background […]

An Update on the Italian Airmada of 1933

1926: The First Flight of an Italian Seaplane

July 6, 1926 The first test flight of the racing seaplane Macchi M.39 took place in Italy. This seaplane had been designed by engineer Mario Castoldi, and it was built by the aircraft company Aeronautica Macchi (based in the city and comune of Varese in northwestern Italy). The first M.39 to take to the skies […]

1926: The First Flight of an Italian Seaplane

An Aviation Legend Makes His Most Pivotal Contribution to Flight Technology — Transportation History

September 24, 1929 U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) Lieutenant James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, who would achieve lasting fame as commander of the Doolittle Raid during World War II, made his most significant contribution to aeronautical technology when he guided a Consolidated N-Y-2 Husky training biplane over Mitchel Field in New York in what was the […]

An Aviation Legend Makes His Most Pivotal Contribution to Flight Technology — Transportation History

Jimmy Doolittle figures in Chet’s aviation story too as a competitor in the first Washington Air Derby (later Langley Day) held in 1932. Chet was the first president of the Washington Air Derby Association.

The Ambassador Airplanes: How the Assemblies of God Became Involved in Missionary Aviation — Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center

This Week in AG History — May 13, 1950 By Glenn W. Gohr Originally published on AG News, 14 May 2020 Did you know that the Assemblies of God owned two passenger planes just after World War II that carried Assemblies of God missionaries overseas? Following World War II, commercial flights were not readily available, […]

via The Ambassador Airplanes: How the Assemblies of God Became Involved in Missionary Aviation — Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center

Another Historian for the Crashes at Mitchel Field

One of the hardest things I have had to do for this site is put together the story of my uncle, Don Gaston Shofner, and how he was killed flying his P-47 Thunderbolt over Long Island Sound.  It’s a tragedy that altered the course of my family history and my own life.

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If the plane had been recovered it might look something like this one, fished out of the Pacific. In Gaston’s case, however, the engine separated from the cockpit. This is also at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation.

Gaston’s death wasn’t unique: the USAAF was having all kinds of “growing pains” with its equipment and there were numerous accidents.  These and more are documented in this page from the excellent website of amateur historian Paul Martin on Mitchel Field, where this and much more information on this important place for American aviation are documented.

When I first posted this, I was pretty much on my own.  In the years since then I have been gratified by people such as Bob Contreras, Robin Adair and now Paul Martin on their efforts to keep the memory of this time in American History alive, in an era when the sacrifices of those who went before us are so easily disparaged or forgotten.