It was a while ago, that day back in '08 when a young LT(JG) got her wings of gold. Your Humble Scribe and The Missus Herself were on hand for the occasion and, if you look real close out the window over our heads, we're being "photo bombed" by an F/A-18 Hornet wearing the colors of the Blue Angels. (Excuse the fuzzy scratchy-look of the photo, it's a photo of a photo. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it...)
I have often had the itch to head back down to sunny Pensacola and revisit that place. Because, and you may know this already, Naval Flight Officers receive their wings of gold in the atrium of the National Naval Aviation Museum. (Which you can take a virtual tour of here. I highly recommend you do so. We'll wait right here until you get back. Cool, neh?)
I should also note that the atrium has, hanging overhead, four full-size A-4s in Blue Angel livery in the beautiful diamond formation. It's pretty cool.
Anyhoo, a buddy of mine (let's call him "Frost," which, in truth, is his name, or part of it anyway) was down in Pensacola over the Easter weekend. As he likes to do from time to time, he sends me pictures of really cool stuff. This time was no exception. He also suggested that I might share those photos with you. So, here we go.
Did I forget to mention that the Blues were practicing when he was there?
Well, they were and lucky us, he took those two photos above for our viewing pleasure!
Hey! Who let the Air Force in? Oops, never mind, that's a Flying Tiger P-40, so technically not an Air Force bird...
Hey Murph! He even got a Corsair for you!
Somewhere, deep in the archives of The Chant, I have a picture of myself with that Phantom. I'll get the staff to dig it up. What? I gave the staff the weekend off? Okay, perhaps I need to go find it myself...
One thing that I did not know when I was down there, is that there is this, out back of the museum -
Loves me some PBY! And his little buddy, the PV-2 Harpoon -
Rockets and machine guns, oh my!
Other cool stuff which (I hope, I hope) will be restored someday.
Hey, Shaun might recognize that last one!
Whoa! Is that a pirate I see?
Why yes, yes it is. A Vought F6U Pirate that is.
And that googly-eyed guy, what is that?
Wow, 'tis a CH-37C Mojave in HMRM-461 (Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461) colors!
Last, and most certainly not least, an RF-4B of VMFP-3, Marine Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron 3. No such thing as too many Phantoms, even if she is a recce bird. (When I was on Okinawa we had an entire squadron of RF-4Cs. I liked them because I didn't have to work on them. No weapons system. Yeah, the guys who flew those has brass ones. Clangers.)
So, nice huh? Now what do we say class?
Thank you Mister Frost!!