Making History Project
"Preserving Veterans' Stories"
501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

Veterans Day Pensacola Air Show

2022 Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show

The Making History Project conducted Veteran pilot oral history interviews while at the Pensacola Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show during Veterans Day week. The two-day air show was the final tour stop for the Blue Angels which are based in Pensacola, Florida. This was a fantastic and well-attended event with constant air demonstrations of planes from all different makes, models, and genres.

Planes, Planes, and More Planes

The U.S. Military was well represented by the Air Force’s A-10 demonstration team, the F-35 Lightning II, and the Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet. There were also aerobatic demonstrations from various civilian and modified planes including a YAK-110 and the Stearman Flight Team consisting of WWII trainer bi-planes.

Veteran Pilot Oral History Interviews

In total, the Making History Project conducted eight Veteran pilot oral history interviews. The aircraft these Veteran pilots flew ranged from combat fighters, transports, and surveillance planes, to helicopters. In all, Veteran pilots interviewed saw service in World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, and during the Cold War.

I want to thank fellow Florida lawyer, Roy Kinsey, for his kind hospitality and for introducing me to these heroes. Roy is one of the Stearman pilots who is dedicated to preserving the memories of World War II pilots through Veterans Flight and taking them on a flight in a World War II trainer bi-plane. Also a very special thanks to the Innisfree Jet Center for graciously allowing me to interview the Veterans at their fine facility.

Veterans Day Gratitude

Finally, thank you to the Veterans, Cash Barber, Leonard Swartz, Stanley Golanka, PJ Imhof, Bob Rasmussen, Jack Grinstead, Bruce Phillips, and Seymour Marshall, for all they have done in the service of our country and to their families who took time out of their day to make the Veteran pilot oral history interviews happen.

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About Author

Patrick Russell

Director and oral historian for the Making History Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Veteran stories for future generations. Resides in Miami, Florida, where he is a full-time mediator and has been a practicing lawyer since 1994. Proudly serves as a staff member for the University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, in addition to being a member of the Oral History Association, American Historical Association; Friends and Family of the 508 P.I.R.; and the Battle of the Bulge Association. Graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in Political Science, and a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law. Additional courses and workshops for oral history and museum studies have been taken at Baylor University and Harvard University, Harvard Extension School. Contact info: (305) 608-2977 or patrick@making-history-project.com

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