Friday, February 4, 2005
Five sibs meet at the Camarillo
new members Dave Fish and Manuel Vanegas.
Lunch at the Way Point Café
included Tommy Morris, Dave Fish,
Mackay Crampton, Manuel Vanegas, and Rik Peirson.
There were several connections
here, we discovered. Tommy and Manny
had worked together several years ago, and as is so characteristic of our group,
neither had ever discussed their "Father status" with the other. Now here they are.
Neither Dave nor Manny had
ever met another WWII orphan face to face
(that they knew of) until this day. Now they have a whole AWON family.
Manny's Dad and Rik's Dad were
both KIA in the Battle of the Bulge. Dave's
Dad and Rik's Father-in-law were both pilots of the same aircraft, a B-25 PBJ
made by North American, designated by that letter "J." The Navy called it
the PBJ, and the Army called it the B-25.
Dave Fish hosted us because
he's a member of the Commemorative Air Force's
Camarillo Wing, and his involvement is as historian with a CAF crew restoring
a PBJ at the Camarillo Airport. It's the reason we met here.
The CAF World War II Museum
is quite a place. Full of beautifully restored WWII aircraft.
The hangar next door -- where we spent most of our time -- is where the specific
restorations are under way -- on the PBJ and others.
The first aircraft that greeted us was a nearly-restored P-38 Lightning . . .
one of the fastest fighters in the WWII arsenal . . . on either side.
The P-38 is a twin-engine,
twin-tail aircraft. Meaning that even with one engine down,
and one vertical stabilizer damaged, it could generally still make it home.
The twin vertical stabilizers of the P-38.
For more pictures from Camarillo,