By Frances Wright
The Early Birds were entertained by an air show in Dayton over Labor Day weekend by the combined
efforts of the Air Force, Navy and Marines.
The demonstrations of U. S. air power included a mock attack supported almost entirely by jets, one of which dropped a napalm bomb, and climaxed by an atomic bomb explosion accompanied by the characteristic flash of heat; and another ground force attack backed by helicopters bringing in men, guns to a designated point and finally evacuating wounded flown by the grandstand for eye-witness approval, comprised the major events.
The EB's were shown the vast capacity of a troop carrier plane by discharging some 230 airman; series of four jets in close maneuvering; single jets that streamed red, white and blue vapors from wing tanks; the "victory roll" reserved for planes accredited with downing enemy planes; the "jets" take-off; breaking the sound barrier with a radio report of speed and altitude from the pilot; jet bombers enroute from over the world and finally the maneuverability of helicopters by way of a square dance starring two dressed as girls; two, as boys, a clown to further comedy, and called over the PA system. Blanche Scott is given her first copter ride.
The customary air races, featuring primarily jets, were a part of the show and have been duly noted in most local papers.
A minor accident involving two helicopters was the only one reported. The crash came as their blades touched and the only casualty was the broken toe of a man when he jumped from the wreckage, which observers were led to believe was far from serious.
The EBs had seats of honor, carefully guarded, directly in front of the speaker's stand. A number of them were introduced by Gov. Lausche of Ohio the first day. Although the guests included "brass" from nearly all nations and many prominent American flyers theri vantage point was considerable secondary to that of the EBs.
The public address system was very clear and well-handled, giving names, addresses and records of most pilots and a very complete picture of statistics and abilities of the planes generally.
Comments of the EBs were particularly interesting to an eavesdropper. When a jet took off and was soon nearly out of sight, one EB commented that had that been done in a Model B, it would have been necessary to leave "yesterday morning." It seemed to be the consensus of EB opinion that the fellows flying closed formation in jets know a lot more about flying than the EBs. The complete understanding and acceptance of these "children" of the EB's efforts held their attention and interest throughout the three days of the show.
On Saturday evening the 50th anniversary of flight was commemorated by 56 EBs plus their gurests in the Piccadilly Room, Hotel Miami. Speaker for the evening was Wayne W. Parrish, editor and publisher of American Aviation
The new officers and trustees elected were:
Clarence deGiers, President; David H. Young, third vice-president;
Vincent Astor, Warren S. Eaton and Hugh Watson as trustees; other officers being re-elected or serving previously elected terms.
Treasurer Scragg reported a balance of $4590.19 in bank, not including $1,036 in Class F federal bonds.
General Lahm reported on the progress of the Governor's Island plaque program. A bronze casting of the EB insignia was exhibited as a suitable grave marker or for other use.
Treasurer Scragg reported on the status of the Ford Museum at Dearborn.
Resolutions were passed to appropriately express the appreciation of the EBs to the Phillips Petroleum Co. and the National Aircraft Show officials for their aid, comfort and courtesies to the EBs at the Dayton celebration.
Assured Success of the Meeting.
They missed the bat man, certain performances of the acrobatic fliers of yesteryear, the automobile takeoffs and landings, the Ford trimotor stunts, and the wing-walking, civilian performances being practically zero.
But they did see almost the latest of modern design, the launching of an F84 jet from the belly of a giant B36, the Bendix trophy race, mass parachute jumps, simulated ground attacks, the Allison jet race, the contest for the Thompson trohy, the acrobatics of the AF "Thundrbolts," carrier landings, aerial refueling and other astounding demonstrations of Air Force, Navy and Marines. The EBs were being brought up to date.
For the romatic angle, the EBs got together at the reception hour, and dinner at the Hotel Miami, Sept. 5, as guests of the Phillips Petroleum Co.
The annual business meeting was held the morning of Sept. 6 at EB headquarters at the Hotel Gibbons.
The EB buses left the Gibbons daily for the air show where they had front row reservation and Bill Denehie's trailer aft for refreshment and relaxation.
Between times the EBs visited the studio of Lewis Eugene Thompson and saw themselves in oil or were photographed in color for future use. EB John J. Curran, among others, exposed a great number of films, some in color, and prints are probably available upon writing kindly.
Lawrence M. Allison
Charles A. Arens
Vincent J. Burnelli
Frank T. Coffyn
John J. Curran
Clarence A. deGiers
Wm. A. Denehie
Harry H. Ford
Joe R. Forkner
Robert G. Fowler
E. A. Goff, Jr.
Clifton O. Hadley
A. J. Hartman
Howard J. Heindell
A. O. Heinrich
Clair G. Horton
James M. Johnson
Harry M Jones
John G. Kaminsky
Leo B. Kimball
B. W. King
Frank P. Lahm
Glenn E. Messer
Geo. Francis Myers
Evan J. Parker
Will D. Parker
Chas. H. Patterson
John W. Pattison
Robt. I. Rockwell
Geo. H. Scragg
Robt. F. Shank
M. H. Simmons
C. R. Sinclair
Andrew M. Surini
R. H. Upson
Stanley I. Vaughn
Howard F. Wehrle
Ivan P. Wheaton
Kirby I. Whitsett
Roderick M. Wright
Dave H. Young