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.