|P- 51 Mustang|
|Uncle Jack - 19+ Great Hunting|
Since there were no available photos of Uncle Jack and the plane he flew during WWII, I did some research and soon learned more about my uncle than I had previously known. That's what we do - research and this time it really panned out. Most folks don't talk about their war experiences for solid reasons and Uncle Jack was one of those who remained relatively quiet but what was known or thought to be known was that he had shot done 5 enemy aircraft during the war which made him a flying ace. Those are called 'kills' - now, anyone losing their life during battle is a tragedy even if it is the enemy but unfortunately that is the cursed nature of war.
What the research turned up, beside the photograph in this blog of Uncle Jack standing next to his P-51 named Patti Anne, after his younger sister, was the fact that he actually was credited with 21.25 kills and not 5 as what had been believed - where that number came from I can't recall but it was in his memory since childhood. Nineteen of the kills were strictly in the air by Uncle Jack, 2 were planes on the ground trying to take off and join the air battle while the .25 is probably a bomber that Uncle Jack and other allies were teamed up on over Europe. In that case each fighter pilot was given partial credit since no one could definitely say which fighter was the one that in fact took the enemy plane down. Whatever the case with exploration and researching new facts or that should be written old facts came to light about my famous relative Lt. Col. John (Jack) Thornell.
|Is that Colonel Shakirov flying? Nope, he's just a fictional character - we think|
Don't mess with Jack!
|The official start of the air show|
The day started at ten with the arrival of skydivers at the opening ceremony circling to earth with colored smoke packs and waving American flags. It was a very patriotic entrance which brought the crowds to their feet cheering and yelling.
|Hang in there, kid!|
|And it flies?|
Dozens of planes, vintage and not so very gorgeous vehicles were on display for the guests to view that almost every square foot of the Apple Valley Airport was taken up by this and that. Crowds walked and ran to see planes doing what seemed like impossible tricks in the air while children screamed with joy with the rides available to them as parents took photos of their little ones on those very same rides.
There was so much to do and only one day to do it but as I milled about, I saw families taking advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoying being with each other - and isn't that what counts - good family and friends?
|This guy was so tired by the end of the day - you can see it|