THE INLAND EMPIRE AVIATION ROUNDTABLE
March Field Air Museum April 24, 2012, 7pm
Speaker: Captain Tom Glenn, USAAF (Ret.)
Subject: P-47 Pilots - The Fighter-Bomber Boys
Tom Glenn was a U.S. Army 9th Tactical Air Force Fighter Pilot in World War II. His Book, "P-47 Pilots: The Fighter-Bomber Boys", describes his combat experiences during dangerous, low-altitude, ground attacks on German military targets. Tom will also relate the rambunctious day-to-day lifestyle of the young Fighter-Bomber pilots, who loved their powerful, rugged, P-47 "Jugs".
Republic Aviation's P-47 Thunderbolt was heavily armed with eight .50-caliber machine guns. In the fighter-bomber ground attack role, it could carry five inch rockets or a significant bomb load of 2,500 pounds. The P-47was very effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and, when unleashed as a fighter-bomber, proved especially adept at ground attack in both the WW-II European and Pacific Theaters. A modern-day U.S. ground attack aircraft, the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog", takes its name from the P-47.
The Inland Empire Aviation Roundtable is sponsored by the March Field Air Museum, and is dedicated to the local aviation and aerospace community. We hold monthly meetings, open to the public, where subjects of interest to the air-minded public are presented. We encourage lively informal discussion of these presentations, and of other timely subjects raised by the attendees. Subjects include aviation and aerospace history, civil and military, as well as new developments in these fields. Parking and admission for this event are free.
On April 26, 2011, Mr Ken Wright gave a presentation on Electronic Warfare in World War II. It was the fourth Meeting of the Inland Empire Aviation Roundtable. Ken Wright enlisted in the British Royal Air Force on his 18th birthday, December 8, 1941. He was trained as a Navigator and Bombardier in Canada, and then served in RAF Heavy Bombers during World War II. After the war, he took part in the Berlin Airlift, and then switched to Night Fighters. He took part in a Nuclear Bomb test when flying on exchange duty with the USMC at El Toro, and various missile-related assignments in the United States and the United Kingdom, before his retirement after 20 years of military service.
Returning to the United States as a civilian, Ken went into the automobile business. He worked in sports car sales, writing as a test editor for Road Test magazine, racing and race announcing. Ken eventually opened his own Land Rover dealership, before retiring at age 75. He has since taken part in many voluntary public service activities, including 8 years as a Docent in the March Field Air Museum.
Kens presentation will cover the history of the development and use of Radar and other electronic systems in World War II. Invented in Great Britain, Radar was the secret weapon that helped defeat the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain. Early warning Radar formed part of an integrated air defense system that enabled Britains relatively small RAF Fighter Command to intercept and destroy hundreds of German bombers and fighters, thus denying Germany the air superiority needed to invade the British Isles. Radar was eventually installed in RAF night fighters, leading to the reduction of German night bombing raids on British cities during the Blitz.
British scientists battled German scientists in devising electronic systems for guiding and identifying enemy aircraft and missiles. This was followed by the development of counter-measures against these systems. These electronic warfare systems were eventually installed in many Allied aircraft and ships, and led to the defeat of the German and Japanese surface Navies and Submarine fleets.
On February 22, 2011, Mr Stan Jones gave a presentation on the history of balloon/blimp aircraft. Stan was a rigger on U.S. Navy blimp aircraft during WWII.
As people arrived for the presentation, two toy blimps were demonstrated near the entrance.
The YouTube movie clip (about 15 seconds), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjMB3MuYr58
shows the RC Blimps flying in the museum.
March Field Air Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Admission is $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 5 to 11 and children 4 and under are free. March Field Air Museum is located at 22550 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside 92518-951/902-5949, www.marchfleld.org.