Archive for November, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving: Support the Troops

I’d like to wish all those serving in the Armed Forces a Happy Thanksgiving.  We’d like to recognize your sacrifice on this day knowing some of you are away from your families and loved ones.

I found this story inspiring.  It’s is included in my link blog.  It is a pleasure to read about people making the effort – and making the difference for those who serve.


November 22, 2007 at 2:34 pm Leave a comment

The Maid of Harlech

screenshot171.jpgAs a boy, I visited the small town of Harlech and the Harlech Castle in Wales.  I never thought I’d tie that visit to a story about a P-38 restoration.  However, in today’s P-38 Lightning newsletter (top right corner of page to subscribe), there is a story about the p-38 found off the coast of Wales and the efforts that are underway to recover the aircraft and begin restoration.  TIGHAR (logo above) is accepting donations to aid in the restoration.  The website has the story of the pilot and cause of the accident.  Below is the first paragraph (I cut and paste to notepad so I could read it – the HTML didn’t render properly for me):

The 14th Fighter Group arrived at Atcham in Shropshire, England in late August 1942, having ferried from Windsor Locks, Connecticut via Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Scotland as part of Operation Bolero. Assigned to the Eighth Air Force, the group participated in fighter sweeps – code-named “Wildflower” – along the Dutch and Belgian coasts of occupied Europe in mid-September. Later in the month, the 49th Squadron was sent to an RAF airfield on the Welsh coast for gunnery practice.  [more]

I expect if they are successful, we will be reading about the ongoing restoration for some time.  Good luck TIGHAR!

November 20, 2007 at 8:54 am Leave a comment

Turbine Toucan sets a record

The Turbine Toucan has set a record.  This plane is an amazing piece of engineering.  I can’t wait to see it in an airshow in the future.  The most amazing thing is that testing on the plane only started this last summer.  I’m sure that are many adjustments that will make this record short lived because the plane will soon break the record again.  And let’s not forget they had an extra 300 lbs of fuel on board too!  I think we’ll be hearing a lot about the Turbine Toucan in the not too distant future. 

Did I mention it is a pretty plane to look at too?  Image gallery.

November 19, 2007 at 7:57 am Leave a comment

Aviation Nations – Nellis

Aviation Nation 2007:  There have been a lot of posts, but here is a good one with a first hand account from Wayne of AAFO.  Victor Archer has pictures posted also (I like the Phantom and Raptor pics best).

November 18, 2007 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

Thunder Over Reno: Update

I got an email today.  Read the new Thunder Over Reno press release here.  Looks like it will be a while before the movie hits the theaters or DVD racks.

November 18, 2007 at 12:05 pm Leave a comment

Two years goes quick!

Maj. Nichole Malachowski and Maj. Ed Casey finish up their two year assignment as USAF Thunderbirds pilots this weekend. 

November 17, 2007 at 8:56 am Leave a comment

This one is personal: A. Boyd Snyder

My wife’s grandfather passed away earlier this week.  One of the stories I remember most is this one:  as he was coming in for a landing in Europe (England?) the fog rolled in and he could not see very well.  Just before getting to the landing strip, he clipped a tree and “landed” his PBY upside down.  We’ve heard it a thousand times from other pilots, and sure enough he said “Any landing you can walk away from is a good one.”  My wife’s “Poppy” was a neat guy to hang around with.  I will miss him.

 A. Boyd Snyder

A. Boyd Snyder Jan. 1, 1919 – Oct. 30, 2007 Resident of Concord Allen Boyd Snyder, 88, died peacefully at his home in Concord on October 30, 2007. Born to Fannie and Walter Snyder in Cle Elum, Washington, Boyd graduated from Roosevelt High in Seattle. Always an A student, Boyd enrolled at the University of Washington where his father ran the Maintenance Department. During his school years he worked in his uncle’s cabinet shop and developed an affinity for woodworking. The war interrupted his studies and he entered the Navy as a pilot. Requesting duty as a sub chaser in Alaska he was instead assigned to the Caribbean where he flew a variety of aircraft, including the PBY Catalina, JM1 (a modified B-26), and Grumman Avenger. Boyd met his soul mate, Louise, at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City near war’s end and married in 1945 beginning a joyous and fulfilling 62-year journey with his beloved “bebe.” He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of Washington and remained a rabid Husky fan and supporting alumnus throughout his life. Using his carpentry skills he hand-built their first home in Seattle. Boyd was a chemical engineer at the Hanford Nuclear Production Facility in Benton County Washington. One of his many achievements was the design of the device that allowed “fully contained” underground atomic testing to be successfully conducted. In 1957 he moved the family to Concord where he worked at University of California, Berkeley, before transferring to Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore. Boyd was a founding member of St. Bonaventure in Concord and later, St. Agnes, where he gave tirelessly of his time in constructing a number of buildings, including the church on the site. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus achieving his 4th Degree. He served in a number of leadership positions. Boyd enjoyed bridge, working around the house, square dancing, crossword puzzles, and in later years, traveling around the world. He was a master mechanic and spent many hours working on the family’s automobiles. Boyd is survived by his wife of 62 years, Louise; son, Ronald Snyder; daughters, Therese Ford (Michael) & Rosemary Peters (Mark); grandchildren, Cynthia, Deborah, Thomas, Julia, Christine, Nathan, Martin, Alyson & Zachary; 11 great-grandchildren & 1 great-great-grandchild. He was predeceased by a son, Walter Paul Snyder in 1980. Visitation on Sunday, November 4, 2007 commencing at 1 p.m. with a Vigil Service at 4 p.m. at Ouimet Bros. Concord Funeral Chapel, 4125 Clayton Road, Concord. Funeral Liturgy will be Monday, November 5, 2007 at 10 a.m. at St. Agnes Church, 3966 Chestnut Ave., Concord. Interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Lafayette. Memorials may be made to Knights of Columbus Charities, c/o Pat Deplazes, 4319 Pembroke Dr., Concord, CA 94521, or Bay Area Crisis Nursery, 1506 Mendocino Drive, Concord, CA 94521. Ouimet Bros. Chapel (925) 682-424
Published in the Contra Costa Times on 11/2/2007.

November 2, 2007 at 6:38 am 2 comments

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From Marine Corps Chaplain Father Dennis O'Brien: "It is the soldier, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. And it is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives the protester the right to burn the flag." found on:

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