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Society for Aviation History

PO. Box 7081 San Carlos, CA 94070

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SAH General Meetings and Educational Programs

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Our Next Meeting is Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

Ron Paliughi: Finding, Restoring and Flying Vintage Warbirds

SAH Member Ron Paliughi had a passion for military aircraft as a young boy growing up in Fresno, California. His earliest memories include riding out to Hammer Field (now the Fresno Air Terminal) in the 1950s on his bicycle. Hammer Field was a fascinating place in those days. It had been a B-24 base but was best known as the West Coast night fighter training base for the Army Air Corps. Douglas P-70s and Northrop P-61 Black Widows were the mainstay at Fresno. Hammer field closed in 1946, but military aviation continued with the relocation of the 144th Fighter Wing (P-51s and later F-86s) from Hayward to Fresno after the war. North American Aviation also built a plant at the now Fresno Air Terminal in the 1950's, refurbing F-86's back from the Korean War as well as building over 100 T-6G trainers.

Paliughi learned to fly at Chandler Field in Fresno in an Aeronca Champ in 1960, soloing at 16 years old, receiving his private license at 18, and Commercial at 20. He graduated from Fresno State in 1965 and joined the U.S. Army months after that. He served in Viet Nam in 1967-68 as an Army commissioned officer and went through the Tet Offensive and heavy combat as a platoon leader. He became a corporate pilot for a large multi-state company flying Beechcraft twin engine aircraft. He attended Army flight school at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, in 1982. He flew as an Army Chief Warrant Officer/Master Army Aviator in the California Army National Guard logging 3,600 hours in the Bell UH-1 Huey and Shorts C-23B Sherpa. In 1979, he and a childhood friend decided to pool their very limited funds and purchased a basket case North American SNJ-5 trainer that was brought back from Japan after disposal by the Japanese Self Defense Force. This began a long-term hobby and love affair with finding, restoring and flying warbirds.

Paliughi went on to restore another North American T-6D, a Stinson L-5, a Hughes OH-6A helicopter that was shot down four times in Viet Nam and then a Ryan L-17B Navion that served in combat during the Korean War and was the subject of an article in Warbirds International magazine which was co-authored with William Larkins, renowned photographer who did the air-to-air shots. Paliughi continues to search for unique historical aircraft that should be preserved for their historical value.

Join us as Ron Paliughi details his involvement in the warbird community. The museum opens at 10 a.m. so come early to explore. This is a great venue to introduce a friend to local aviation while having a fantastic lunch.

Dress comfortably. Maybe bring a jacket?

I.D. Required: Each person attending must present a Drivers License or othe U.S. Government issued I.D., to get through the gate.

Date/Time: June 2, 2018

11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Mountain View

Cost: Member - $30 per person.

Non-Member - $35 per person.

Menu

Buffett Lunch

Tri-Tip, Ribs, and Chicken

Caesar Salad, Potato Salad, Beer-B-Q Beans, 4 Cheese Mac & Cheese

Soft drinks, bottled water, and Dessert

Select from the arrow on the right near the price and click on the "Add to Cart" button below to make reservations via PayPal or see below for check instructions.

Lunch

               BBQ Buffet

At the request of our bank, please make checks payable to Society for Aviation History (not SAH). Please send check to: SAH, P.O. Box 7081, San Carlos, CA 94070

RSVP: Reservations must be received by May 29th.

Note: If you can't make it and have already placed your reservation, we must receive notice by May 29 or we will be unable to give you a refund. Reservations made after May 29, or arriving without a reservation will cost $50. You must pay to attend meetings.

Click on this link to see our Policies and Procedures Page

Our April 7th, 2018 Meeting

David Finnern - Exploring Aviation's Lost History

Expert diver and author David Finnern was the featured speaker for the society's April meeting. Finnern related stories behind aircraft losses ranging from a de Havilland DH-4 biplane to the X-15 rocket plane, as well as iconic aircraft such as a sunken World War II-era Corsair, TBM Avengers that crashed and sank, a P-40 Warhawk, a B-24 Liberator bomber, and a P-39 Airacobra.

The meeting was held at Back Forty Texas BBQ in Pleasant Hill, an excellent venue for our meetings with plenty of space and an outstanding BBQ lunch (all one can eat!) for our attending members.

David Finnern has spent more than 35 years searching for shipwrecks and submerged ruins. He has published hundreds of stories on underwater exploration, and has written on-assignment for such magazines as Skin Diver, Western and Eastern Treasures, Wreck Diver, Underwater USA, Western Diver and Immersed. He has also investigated land sites, such as lost aircraft and ghost ports, and written stories on other topics which have appeared in such publications as Nevada Magazine, The Orange County Register, and Adventure West.

Finnern is the author of several books, including the critically-acclaimed Passage Through Deep Waters, The Sport Diver's Guide to Sunken Treasure, and Lost Below, which chronicles some of the most intriguing shipwrecks, sunken aircraft, submerged ruins and undersea treasures in the Southwest. He has been a featured speaker at various functions throughout the United States and has appeared as a guest and on-air technical consultant on national and international television. He is a member and former president of both The Adventurers' Club and California Wreck Divers, Inc., and was elected a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society in 2002.

Our February 3, 2018 Meeting

State of the B-17 World - Update

Speaker Scott Thompson (left) with Bill Larkins, author of San Francisco Bay Area Aviation, with President Rick Turner. Larkins' book is used as a thank you to our presenters.

The Society for Aviation History's first general meeting of 2018 was held Feb. 3, at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Redwood City, California. Incoming President Rick Turner opened the meeting by introducing our 2018 Board of Directors: Vice President Ron Close, Secretary Betty Veronico, Treasurer Dan Morgan, along with Directors Roger Cain, Byron May, Dave Osgood, Ron Strong and Nick Veronico. Outgoing president Veronico received a warm round of applause acknowledging his years of dedicated SAH leadership. In his new position as director-at-large, Veronico faces new challenges with "increasing responsibilities," as well as his continued duty as Program Director.

The B-17 Flying Fortress remains a popular warbird for both the general public and aircraft enthusiasts. And, it also is well represented these days with about 48 existent airframes, 10 of which remain in airworthy condition, and another two dozen on accessible static display.

There are another nine B-17s under some form of active restoration as well, and some of these airplanes will join their airworthy sisters in the next decade. But what is of particular interest these days is the effort underway to construct what are essentially new B-17s. As the supply of available B-17s and even larger subassemblies and parts has dried up, enterprising and talented individuals are creating major B-17 structure that will someday turn into new airplanes. Many recent restorations of smaller warbirds, such as Mustangs and P-40s, have incorporated increasing amounts of new construction in recent years as restorers contend with the lack of airworthy parts, and that trend is now moving to the larger and more complex construction of B-17s. It is an exciting thing to see and, given enough time and money, could produce some interesting flying B-17s.

Scott Thompson has been documenting the world of B-17s for the past 50 years and he just updated his long-running book Final Cut to the Fifth Edition. He presented a program about what is going on in the B-17 world today. What has changed in the last few years and what can be expected in the next decade. He also spent some time on these new-build projects and the challenges presented and overcome in the process.

Thompson has done several programs before for SAH in past years including a similar program back in 2011 and another that presented a forum on the filming of the movie Catch-22. Hot-off-the-press copies of Final Cut were available for purchase after the presentation for $25.

To see some more of our past meetings, click below

2017 meetings

2016 meetings

2015 meetings

2014 meetings

2013 meetings

2012 meetings

2011 meetings

2010 meetings

2009 meetings

2008 meetings

2007 meetings

2006 meetings

2005 meetings

2004 meetings

2003 and earlier

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