Warbirds and Airshows
By David D Jackson

    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
 

 

 

The Beginning
How my Interest in Warbirds and Airshows all started

The Photo below is what got me started or restarted into warbirds and then eventually airshows.


The photo above is the "centerfold" of the Selfridge Air National Guard Base 60th Anniversary Open House and Air Show that was held on July 2-3 1977.  I was not there and at the time was not interested in airshows or warbirds.  However, I was at Selfridge for two weeks in September of 1977 as part of my last summer camp with the Michigan Army National Guard.  Normally, and for the five previous summers I would go up and "frolic" among the sand and pine trees at Camp Grayling, MI for my annual training or "summer camp".  However, on September 7-9, 1977 the National Governors'' Conference was held at the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, and then Michigan Governor William Milliken wanted "his" MPs to help out. So my unit, the 46th MP Company out of Lansing, and our sister unit out of Owasso, MI went to Selfridge instead of Camp Grayling for summer camp.  This change of venue would change my life.

The first of the two weeks was assisting with the Conference and the second was the officers and senior non-coms trying to find something for all of us to do.  Otherwise known as "make work".  If we had been at Grayling, we would have been the base police force, or as our secondary MOS was infantry, we would have gone out into the woods and played army for a week.  We could do neither at Selfridge.  So one fateful day I was given the assignment of guarding an empty building for the entire day.  I went down to the building, sat down in the chair at one of the old gray desks the military used to have (and may still have), and pulled out a Louis L'Amour western novel from my fatigue shirt and settled in for a leisurely read.  Towards the end of the day I had finished my book and was looking for something else to keep me occupied until the end of the shift.  I distinctly remember pulling open the center drawer of the desk and finding a copy of the 1977 Selfridge Air Show Program.  Thumbing through it I came to the centerfold shown above with some of the Confederate Air Force (now Commemorative Air Force) (CAF) aircraft pictured, and told myself, this was for me.  Actually it just brought to the surface interests I had in growing up as a child in WWII aircraft and history, but which had been repressed as I grew older and had other issues to contend with. Like trying to get through engineering school while being mathematically challenged.  Getting through engineering school during the late tumultuous sixties was my first and only priority or interest.  Leafing further through the program I found more exciting warbird photos and information on the Confederate Air Force, including a mailing address for the group. 

When I returned home, I sent a letter to Rebel Field in Harlingen, TX and awaited a reply.  When it came I filled out the paper work, sent it in and became a "Colonel" in the CAF.  So I went from E- 4 in the the MING to Colonel in the CAF all in the same month.  This set off a long chain of events which brought me to my present state of interest and this website.  Just joining the CAF would not have got me here by itself as I would have soon lost interest if there was nothing to do locally.  Luckily for me, CAF Colonel Lew Shake in Indianapolis thought the same thing, and sent me a letter the next spring indicating he was interested in forming a local chapter (Squadron or Wing) of the CAF.  This resulted in the Indiana Wing of the CAF that still exists today.  In 1981 the IN Wing started doing air shows for fund raising.  In the first one I had a minor role but in the second I took over the procurement of the warbirds, which I continued to do for the latter Indianapolis Airshow until it ceased operation in 2013.  And I didn't go out and start attending 20 or so aviation events a year like I do today.  I had a family to raise and support and a job to go to.  There were a lot of steps in-between but the program below and the two sets of CAF Photos and information set me on a new lifetime direction.

Below is the entire Program from the 1977 Selfridge Air National Guard Base Open House and Air Show.
 


I could find no price for this, so I am not sure if it was complimentary.  Also this is not the original program I found and brought home.  Somewhere along the line it was lost or misplaced in all of important "stuff" I have saved.  I found this at the Old Guard hobby store on Van Dyke in Warren, MI north of the GM Tech Center.  I used to stop by the store on my business trips to Detroit and Troy, MI.  At the back of the store they had used books which is where I found this second copy.  Old Guard closed in the past couple of years.


The CAF had an hour and a half for what was then called and still is "The Air Power Demonstration".  I wonder what the F-4 Navy TAC Demo was like?


 

 


 
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


E-mail us at: 
Webmaster