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Dec 1999/Jan 2000

Dead Reckoning : Experiences of a World War II Fighter Pilot

The Wrong Stuff! : The Adventures and Misadventures of an 8th Air Force Aviator

Aircraft of WWII

(available at

Table of Contents
Flagstaff, Arizona
Fantasy Fighters
Still Flying
Back To Basics
Hangar Flying
Legal Perspective
Professor A.K. Cydent
ELT Options
The $100 Hamburger
Aviation, WW II Style
News From AZ
News From CO
News From NM logo
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SW Aviator Magazine
3909 Central NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Phone: 505.256.7031
Fax: 505.256.3172

Aviation… World War II Style
by Cheryl Henderson

World War II aviators are quickly leaving our midst. That is why those who are left are determined to leave behind a graphic description of the history they made. Over the past decade, “warbird sculptor” Robert Henderson has been an instrument toward meeting that goal.

Monumental bronze warbirds, sponsored totally by those who flew and maintained these airplanes, have been strategically placed throughout the United States. The Study Hall outdoor sculpture garden at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was the first to emerge. The garden now holds six scaled bronze warbird memorials.

The first, a P-51 Mustang, was dedicated in 1989. The P-51 Mustang Pilots Association sponsored this unique legacy. The Mustang Memorial credits those who gifted the Academy with their warbird on a plaque affixed to the granite base. Since then, three more fighters (the P-38, P-47, and P-40) and two bombers (the B-17 and B-24) have joined this formation. A 1/7th scale bronze B-29 Memorial will “fly in” on September 8, 2000. The special guest at the B-29 dedication will be Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay.

“The Study Hall,” dubbed by Henderson, is required learning for all cadets. Each warbird's history is memorized by students, assuring a mark in aviation memory. Academy personnel claim the sculpture garden to be the most visited site on the grounds.

“Every time I thought the last airplane was sculpted, I have been asked to create another. The men and women of that era know all too well that if they don't leave their mark, no one will,” says the sculptor. “So each warbird group has been insistent that their beloved plane is represented.”

A second bronze P-38 Lightning Memorial has been placed at the March Air Force Base Museum in Riverside, California. Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, Hawaii will house the second B-17 bronze warbird as well as the second P-40 Warhawk Memorial. Both these memorials will be dedicated on December 7, 2001, and will mark the 60th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“My grandson, a high schooler, recently showed me his history book. It had all of one and one-half pages about World War II,” remarked a P-40 pilot. “I decided, then and there, that if my generation of World War II veterans did not leave a mark, we would be forgotten. No one other than our families will ever visit our graves. These bronze replicas give the opportunity to teach future generations about our era, as well as leave our individual marks on the plaques below the machines we flew.”

Special non-profit corporations have been created to assure this legacy will never be forgotten. Dale Brown, President of Groups Memorial, Inc. of the Army Air Forces, is certain that his B-17 will remain a visible part of history.

“I have spoken with lots of crew members of various World War II airplanes who have donated to these memorials, not only for themselves, but for people who are no longer with us. We have spoken to widows, children, and friends who have now set their loved ones' names permanently in history by contributing to these memorials.”

Even though this great generation who preserved our freedom is leaving at the rate of more than 100 people every day, the memories of them need never fade. To become involved in these lasting tributes, or to find out more, call 800-305-1738 or e-mail: For those of you who travel via the Internet, log on to Aviators of all generations are invited to participate.

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The material in this publication is for advisory information only and should not be relied upon for navigation, maintenance or flight techniques. SW Regional Publishing, Inc. and the staff neither assume any responsibilty for the accuracy of this publication's content nor any liability arising out of it. Fly safe.