Join the Fredericksburg Chapter of the Virginia Aeronautical Historical Society on May 25th as we place a veteran’s marker at the grave of famed aviator Henry Tindall “Dick” Merrill. click here for more information
Northern Neck-Middle Peninsula (NN-MP)
VAHS Chapter —Quarterly Report—First Quarter, 2019
Nancy Miller, Chapter Program Coordinator & VAHS Board Member
The Chapter’s January/February/March 2019 presentations featured:
- “Show & Tell”–The Chapter’s Second Annual Session
- “An Insider’s Experience—Crewing at Historic Reno & Cleveland Air Races,” with Linda Grow; and,
- “’DR COPTR’—The Flying Physician Who Kept His Promise To Tangier Island,” with author, Bill Lohmann
January 2019—The NN-MP VAHS Chapter hosted its Second Annual Aeronautical “Show & Tell”
The Chapter members, guests and the general public were invited to bring their favorite aeronautical artifacts, memorabilia or aviation history books to show, share and explain the significant aspects in a few words. The large crowd was treated to over twenty attendees’ rare and unusual items, including museum-quality artifacts (among them, there were even some items that have orbited the moon!), first-hand stories of unique aeronautical events, and some “puzzler/mystery” relics that had the audience guessing to identify them (for instance, a rare and archaic engine component from an historic museum aircraft type). Other special items included certificates and awards for special aeronautical achievements, vintage airline artifacts, and nostalgic aviation items that stirred long-lost memories. All reflected the wealth of aeronautical knowledge and unique aviation experiences among the attendees–our members and guests are truly the VAHS’s “hidden treasure.” A popular and fun-filled session, the Chapter is likely to repeat this event annually, each January.
February 2019—“Historic Air Races—Reno & Cleveland, 1977-1989,” with Linda Grow
The Chapter hosted Linda Grow relating her experiences with Formula 1 Air Racing at Cleveland and Reno, including crewing for Rocky Jones from 1977-89. Linda shared her personal anecdotes about a variety of legendary pilots and their planes, including aircraft designer/racing pilot Steve Whittman, racer/test pilot/air show legend Bob Hoover, and a visit with WWII hero and B-25 pilot Jimmy Doolittle in 1979. Linda’s collection of air race memorabilia was on also on display, including personal photos of many of the most famous air race giants and an extensive group of now-rare air race event programs from the 1977-89 period. While winning pilots and aircraft are typically honed from hard work and precision, Linda’s experiences also illustrated the role that luck can play, good and bad, in a risky, competitive, exciting and sometimes rewarding sport.
March 2019–“’DR COPTR’—The Flying Physician Who Kept His Promise To Tangier Island,” Author, Bill Lohmann
(A note to newsletter readers: Due to the VAHS newsletter publication schedule/deadline, the following was written and submitted before the actual event, scheduled for March 21, 2019.)
The Chapter will host Richmond Times Dispatch writer and author, Bill Lohmann, relating the extraordinary true story of a modern medical doctor and pilot, based in the Town of White Stone, Virginia, on the Northern Neck. “When Dr. David Nichols began flying to Tangier Island on his day off each week, he vowed to island residents that he would never abandon them, and for more than three decades he never did.” The Chapter, including VAHS members, guests and the general public, will hear the inspiring story of a pilot/country doctor, an isolated island in the Chesapeake Bay and the remarkable relationship they forged. Though it’s hard for most of us to imagine in these modern times, there are still communities in our midst like tiny Tangier Island where a necessity like basic medical care is only available due to the extraordinary efforts of one dedicated physician.
Other General NN-MP Chapter & Society Notes:
–In the true spirit of the VAHS mission, the regional Chapters endeavor to secure and present interesting and important aviation history programs throughout the year. All of the VAHS Chapters’ contact information is listed in this newsletter; we encourage you to use it to secure details on upcoming programs and make plans to attend. Please join us at the next Chapter meeting near you, and bring a friend!
The Northern Neck-Middle Peninsula Chapter meets the third Thursday of each month, at 11:30 am, in the Pilot House Restaurant, adjacent to Hummel Airport, Topping, Virginia. All meetings are open to the public—so join us for lunch and a stimulating presentation!
—And a reminder about a few easy ways YOU can help promote the VAHS:
- Suggest to your local newspaper that the VAHS can be profiled in a short article, including information on how to join the Society. All of the VAHS office contact information is located inside the front cover of this newsletter; all you have to do is pass that information along!
- If you have a special aviation event coming up—let us know. The VAHS has attractive new materials and light-weight display banners that are easy-to-transport and set up, along with our free Hall of Fame DVD’s that are more popular than candy! Simply contact the VAHS Office Manager, Sue Baker, to give the date of your event and check on availability of the VAHS materials and display, (540) 376-3265 or email@example.com.
- Gift Memberships–The VAHS is eager to reach new members to enhance and sustain our aviation history audience—our life-blood. Give a friend or student a gift membership today!
Fredericksburg Chapter of the VAHS
On February 2, the Fredericksburg Chapter of the VAHS was treated to an update on aviation projects in Virginia. The guest speaker was Mark Flynn, Director of the Department of Aviation in Virginia.
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