Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

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 2017 Airshows
 
Brunswick, GA   B-25s at Urbana, OH   B-25 Fly-Over the National Museum of the USAF   SC National Guard Air and Ground Expo   Dayton, OH   Goshen, IN   Tarkio, MO   Westfield, MA   Wings over Waukegan, IL


Wings over the Golden Isles Airshow Warbird Photo Review
Warbirds at the Brunswick, GA Golden Isles Airport - March 24-26, 2017 - Photos taken Friday and Saturday, March 24-25, 2017.

Wings over the Golden Isles was supposed to bring the first airshow to Brunswick, GA in twenty years on October 8-9, 2916.  Hurricane Matthew interfered, and the event was cancelled.  The show promoters were able to recover from this, and rescheduled for the show on March 25-26. 

The Show before the Show.
Friday evening from the hotel parking lot I was able to watch B-25 Pancito, doing approaches during pilot training, and the night show.  For most of the night show, the aircraft were too far away, and there was insufficient light for photos for those that came close to the hotel.  The exception was the F-22 Raptor which came over the hotel several times.  This is a short review of the show at Brunswick.

 
My first warbird sighting for 2017.  My hotel was about two miles west from the end of the runway of the Golden Isles Airport.  Panchito was doing pilot training, and I was able to watch and hear her come over the hotel about six or seven times before the night show started.


The late afternoon sunlight cast this golden tint on the F-22 Raptor.  It was the first act of the night show.

Saturday Morning Pre-Show


While I have  previously seen all of the acts and warbirds at this show, there is always something new to see.  This was a first for me.  The clerk at the hotel told me when I checked in Friday evening that she had seen the Trump jet come over the hotel just before I arrived.  The aircraft was fenced off and never mentioned by the airshow narrator as something for the crowd to go down and see. 


This is another first for me.  Omega Tanker is a company that owns two Boeing 707s and one McDonnell-Douglas DC-10.  They provide refueling not only for the US Navy, but the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, and the Canadian Forces.  I did not realize the US Navy utilized a non military entity to provide air to air refueling. 


On April 22, 2015, the other Omega Tanker 707 did the first air to air of the Northrop-Grumman X-47B.


Omega Tanker is based out of San Antonio, TX.  The airshow was able to take advantage of the fact this 707 was at the airport for an engine replacement, and put on static display.


This is only the second F-35C I have seen at an airshow.  VFA-101 was reactivated on May 1, 2012 at Eglin AFB as a F-35C Fleet Replacement Squadron.  (I know this was flown in, but whenever I see an F-35 on static display, I always wonder whether it was trucked in during the middle of the night, and mechanics put the wings on before it was put on display.)


The Sky Soldiers were on hand and giving rides in this AH-1 and a UH-1.

Show Time 2017!


The First Flag Jump of my 2017 Airshow Season!  The flag jump was performed by the USSCOM Para-Commandos.


Scott Yoak in his P-51 Quick Silver was the first act after the flag jump.  A very nice warbird start for the 2017 airshow season.


This was also something I had never seen at an airshow, a first responder on a quad.  All airshows have fire trucks and emergency vehicles at the ready in case of a situation.  Although they are at the ready at the airport, they do take some time to get to an emergency.  I unfortunately saw how painfully long it took fire trucks to get to the accident at the 2012 Dayton Airshow.  I like this concept!  In case of an accident, the quad can be on the scene before the fire trucks even start rolling.  This first responder spent the entire show on station, watching for any accident.  Here he is watching Scott Yoak's roll-out after landing in the P-51.


The Sky Soldiers did their AH-1 performance with two Cobras.  Originally, the Cobra act was a four ship routine.


Jim Tobul from South Carolina performed his routine in his 1945 F4U-4, the "Korean War Hero."  This Corsair flew combat missions in Korea from both the USS Boxer and the USS Valley Forge.


The nice part about having Scott Yoak and Jim Tobul at the same show is they fly together, and have a routine called "The Class of '45."


Another first for me.  A veterans' parade down the taxiway.


Time for the Raptor!  The Huey is coming in to land and shut down during the F-22 demonstration and Heritage Flight.  The Huey and Cobra rides ran continuously during the show with the exception of the Raptor/Heritage Flight routine, The Blue Angels, and when there were jumpers in the air.  No propellers or rotors are allowed to be turning during parachute drops.


Most of the time the crowd watched the show sitting down.  Not with the Raptor.  Everyone was standing to see the F-22 perform for the first time at Brunswick.


The crowd loved this pass, and cheered as they went by!


By the time the Aeroshell team flew, the clouds had cleared out and the blue sky was back, making for some colorful photos of the team.


How do I get out of here?!?!  It was time to leave before the Blues flew to beat the traffic as I needed to be in Nashville the next morning.  I still remember watching the Blue Angel show at Cherry Point in 2016, and then taking three hours to get out of the parking lot. 

Side trips on the way to the show.
My shortest route to the show was 860 miles.  To drive all that distance and back for a one day airshow did not make a lot of sense.  I added a couple of extra days, and visited some places that I have normally driven by on my way to Florida vacations when I come through South Carolina and eastern Georgia.

Ninety Six National Historical Site, Ninety Six, SC


Ninety Six is definitely off the beaten path, and not the easiest to get to, as it is the back country of western South Carolina.  It is well worth the time spent.  Ninety Six is the location of two battles during the American Revolution.  There is still a town of Ninety Six two miles to the north of this location, back up the road, and in the opposite direction of this photo.  The original town of Ninety Six is about a quarter of a mile to the left of this location of the sign in the photo.  The origin of the name Ninety Six remains unknown.  Most historians believe it came about as the original inhabitants thought it was 96 miles to the nearest Cherokee village of Keowee, which it is not.

There is a lot to see here.  For brevity, I will only concentrate on the star fort and the surrounding battle area, when from May-June 1781, Patriots and Loyalists fought for control of the South Carolina back country.

As can be seen below, this is a truly important, albeit little known, historic location.  The historian of any type will find it well worth getting off the beaten path of the Interstate to spend time at this most impressive American Revolutionary War battle ground.


This photo was taken from a ten-foot tower located at the bottom of the next photo.  In the immediate foreground is the start of the trench dug by the Patriots to approach the Loyalist fort in the background.  The trench has a zig-zag pattern as it approaches the fort.  In 1781 the trenches were considerably deeper than today.  They would probably have been six feet deep, to protect the Patriots from Loyalist musket fire.  The average soldier in 1781 was five foot, five inches tall.

Note that I am using the terms Patriot and Loyalist, because the Revolutionary War in South Carolina was a civil war, with neighbor fighting neighbor, depending on which cause they supported.  In many cases persons did not want to take sides.  They just wanted to be left alone, but still got sucked up into taking one side or another.  While there were American and British generals leading both sides, the main forces were militias that had been formed.  The British and Continental armies were not involved in this particular case.


At the top of the photo is the original town of Ninety Six, surrounded by a stockade. A communications trench runs between the star fort and the town, and then out to the stockade fort in the upper right of the photo.  According to one source, this trench was eight feet deep and covered with timbers.


The original tower was thirty feet tall, and was built in one night under the cover of darkness.  From the tower, the Patriots could fire down into the fort.  The Loyalists then built up the height of their walls facing the tower with sandbags.  The remains of the Patriot trenches are most evident 230 years later, although time and erosion have taken their toll.  The star fort has the higher walls in the background. 


This is the opening of the Loyalist star fort.  It was out of this opening that Loyalist militia sallied during the last battle for the fort that defeated the Patriots. 


On the left is one wall on the east side of the star fort.  In 1781 the wall was fourteen feet from the bottom of the trench to the top of the wall. 


This photo was taken from just behind the closest Patriot trench to the star fort in the background.  With a Loyalist relief party that was twice the size of the Patriot force at Ninety Six on the way from Charleston, General Greene ordered 50 soldiers to undertake a frontal assault at noon on June 18, 1781.  From the trench in the foreground, they went over the top and made a frontal assault on the fort.  It should be noted that the fourteen-foot walls were not grass covered but loose dirt with pointed logs dug into them.  As the Patriots were attacking and pulling down sandbags, Loyalist troops sallied out of the opening on the other side of the fort, and came around the ditch from both sides to attack the Patriots with a bayonet charge.  After hand to hand combat, 40 of the Patriots lay dead or wounded in the trench directly in the center of the photo.  General Greene then called off any further attacks, and retreated.  Afterwards the Loyalists burned the town and retreated to Charleston, which was more defensible. 

South Carolina Military Museum, Columbia, SC
The South Carolina Military Museum is the fourth largest National Guard Museum in the country, and is currently located in two former motor pool buildings.  The museum plans to add two more buildings by the end of 2017.  The museum tells the story of both the Army and Air National Guard in South Carolina, starting from when the state was a colony.  Below is a short overview of what can be seen in the museum.


Outside the museum are several armored fighting vehicles.  A M42 Duster is on the left and a M48 Patton tank on the right.


This is the Artillery Hall in the museum.


Every museum has something unique.  For the South Carolina Military Museum, it is this H-13B, the first production helicopter purchased by the US Army.  This is serial number 1.

North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum, North Charleston, SC
My visit to this museum may have been very fortuitous.  The museum has the largest collection of American LaFrance fire apparatus in the country.  All of them are still owned by American LaFrance, LLC, and are on the second five year loan with the museum that expires in April 2017.   The building was built especially for the American LaFrance collection when the company moved to the area, and built a plant 20 miles from the museum.  It turns out, after being owned by several different companies, and then a private Charleston area financier the past ten years, American LaFrance closed its doors for good in 2016.  Therefore, the collection at the museum is subject to part of the liquidation and sale of the company's assets.  While the city of North Charleston has first refusal on the purchase of the $3 million American LaFrance collection, it remains to be seen whether the American LaFrance fire apparatus stays at the museum after April 2017.

Below is a short review of the Museum.




The North Charleston Fire Museum has an excellent collection, but has decided to have limited light only over the displays.  For good photos, one needs a tripod for proper exposure in the limited light.  I didn't have a tripod with me, so I had to use limited flash.  This is a 1911 American LaFrance, the oldest by the company in the museum.


This is a 1956 American LaFrance.


Even though I came to see the American LaFrance collection at the museum, this was the most interesting display for me.  This is the original 1958 Chicago Fire Department Snorkel No 1.  All snorkels since then derive from this one.  The mystery is why the first snorkel is on No. 3 truck.

St. Marys Submarine Museum, St. Marys, Georgia
This museum was started 20 years ago by a former Trident submariner.  Not far away is the Kings Bay Submarine Base, which is the home for eight Trident nuclear submarines.  The museum is small, but is directly across the street from the Cumberland Island National Seashore Visitor Center.  St. Mary's is a tourist town, and the location of the museum places it in a good location to bring in tourists.




The museum is not all that large, and most of the display items are plaques and photos.  This is the first floor portion of the museum.


The periscope works and the area around the neighborhood can be seen from the eyepiece.


This is the second floor.

Fort Frederica National Monument, St. Simons Island, GA

This visit to Fort Frederica was a major reason to do the Golden Isles Airshow.  Fort Frederica has been on my list for quite some time, but there was never a good time to stop while on the way in route to or back from Florida with family onboard. 


Fort Frederica and the associated town of Frederica date back to 1736.


This model of the town and fort is in the visitor center.  The orientation is looking from the north to the south with the Frederica River on the right or the west.  The entire town was surrounded by a stockade with the earthen star fort along the river.  The square building at the bottom of the town or north side is the soldiers' barracks.  Part of the guard tower on the building still stands today.


In this orientation one is looking east to west.  The main street down the center of town is Broad Street.


This is Broad Street today.  On each side of the street there are markers describing the remains of the houses that used to be there.  Broad Street was truly broad in width.  In the background is the remnant of the King's Magazine.


Today only the foundations of some of the houses have been excavated.  The houses were of tabby construction, which used oyster shells and mortar made from the shells.  Then the inhabitants covered the tabby construction with wood to remind them of houses in England.  Oyster shells were in abundance as a construction material, as the waste product from the native Americans that lived in the area, who had sea food as a major part of their diet.  For a closer view of tabby construction see the Tabby Sugar Mill section below.


The King's Magazine behind the remains of the earthen walls of the star fort.


The magazine was of tabby construction with a brick inner lining.


The soldiers' barracks with a portion of the guard tower still standing.

Tabby Sugar Mill, St. Marys, GA
This tabby sugar mill was built in 1825 to produce sugar from sugar cane grown in the area.  Interestingly enough, it is located across the road from the main gate to the Kings Bay Naval Base, home to eight Trident submarines.


This gives a close-up of the tabby construction.  The oyster shells were burned to make a lime, and then mixed with water, sand, and ash to make the mortar.  The mortar was mixed with oyster shells to make a building material.

 

 


 
Home  Indiana Museums    Indiana Tanks on Outside Display   The Beginning    Revisions   First Flight of P-38F Glacier Girl  
USS Theodore Roosevelt    WWII Aircraft Manufacturing Sites    Gateguards
 2007 Airshows   2008 Airshows  22009 Airshows   2010 Airshows    2011 Airshows    2012 Airshows   2013 Airshows   2014 Airshows    2015 Airshows  2016 Airshows    2017 Airshows 
Aviation Museums of the Pacific Northwest
   Display Helicopter Locations   CAL FIRE   PV-2 Harpoon Photos     F6F Hellcat Photos
   Warbird Sightings   WWII US Air-Air Victories   Guest Photos    Indiana Warbirds   Featured Photos  Other Items   Links

Historic Sites   Historic Forts   Historic Texas Independence Sites   Pre-Historic Sites   Historic Manhattan Project Sites   GM Heritage Center


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