P.O. Box 5344, Petaluma, CA. 94955
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SAH General Meetings and Educational Programs
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Crashed: October 7th Meeting Cancelled
Metaphorically speaking, our October meeting preparations have crashed and burned. For a variety of reasons, we will not hold that month's educational program, however
we will be back in action on Saturday December 2. Mark your calendars!
Second Harvest Food Drive
As most organizations are now requesting cash donations due to Covid-19, instead of having our annual Canned Food Drive at our October meeting and Teen Toy Drive
at our December meeting, we will again be holding a fundraiser for Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. Second Harvest provides much needed food for local families
in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
The link to our donation page is Society For
Aviation History - Second Harvest Donations.
The donation page will remain open until December 31, 2023. A donation of any amount,
large or small, is greatly appreciated and much needed. If you wish to keep your donation amount anonymous, just click the box on the website. This year Second
Harvest has also added an option to have your donation made in Honor of, or in Memory of someone. Last year, the Society for Aviation History helped provide
enough nutritious food for 2,210 meals. Let's see if we can top that this year!
Our June 3, 2023 Meeting
Lt. Col. Frank Gee: Wild Weasels in Combat
In June, we welcomed back Frank Gee for another informative talk, this time discussing the F-4G Wild Weasel in the suppression of enemy air defenses
(SEAD) role. Col. Gee spoke about the F-4E, the most advanced Phantom variant with extensive ground-attack capabilities and an internal gun
that became the basis for the F-4G Wild Weasel V (also known as the Advanced Wild Weasel); the SEAD mission to destroy the radar and surface-to-air
missile (SAM) installations of enemy air defense systems; Wild Weasel History and Tactics: The Wild Weasel concept was developed by the USAF in 1965
during the Vietnam War after the introduction of Soviet SAMs and their downing of American strike aircraft participating in Operation Rolling Thunder
in the skies over North Vietnam. Deployments overseas and in Operation Desert Storm; he concluded with the aircraft operations until phased
out in 1996.
Gee's previous talk on the F-117A Stealth Fighter and the Wild Weasels were well-received, and if you missed it, you are welcome to borrow a DVD
of the presentation at no charge.
Our April 1, 2023 meeting
Flying to Paradise: The Evolution of Travel to Hawaii
Speaker Geoff Alexander and our SAH President Dave Osgood. Photographs by Ron Close
The Society for Aviation History held its general meeting on April 1, 2023, at Pastas Trattoria in Pleasanton. Hawaii is one of the most
beautiful places in the world, and its proximity to the U.S. West Coast has made it a favorite travel destination.
The guest speaker was Geoff Alexander, author of America Goes Hawaiian: The Influence of Pacific Island Culture on the Mainland.
Alexander spoke about how Hawaiian culture came to the United States in the mid-19th Century, and how it had a renaissance with
the flood of GIs during World War II. Travel to the Hawaiian Islands was dominated by steamships during the first half of the 20th
Century, however, it was the evolution of airliners that reduced the trip from five days by ship to just eight hours with
piston-powered commercial aircraft.
In the 1930s, steaming across the Pacific Ocean on the Matson liner SS Lurline was the way to go. During the second half of that decade,
Juan Trippe's Pan American World Airways was pioneering trans-Pacific travel with its Boeing 314s, Martin M-130s, and Sikorsky S-42 flying
boats. Air travel to Hawaii came into its own in the years following World War II with the introduction of the DC-4 and D-6, followed by
Boeing 377 Stratocruiser - the ultimate in piston-powered airliner luxury.
Geoff Alexander detailed how travel to the islands evolved and our fascination with all
things Hawaii. Alexander is the author of two books on cinema and has written on musical subjects ranging from jazz history to Flamenco.
He is the founder and director of the Academic Film Archive of North America, in San Jose, California, the first archive solely dedicated
to the history, preservation, and scholarship of the classroom educational film.
Alexander's presentation is available on DVD through the SAH Lending Library. Please contact Byron May for more information
(see our Directors link on our home page).
Our Feb. 4, 2023 Meeting
Chris Farinha: On the Winning Team
Held at the Back Forty Texas Barbeque in Pleasant Hill, our February speaker was Chris Farinha, 17,000-hour professional flight engineer and crew chief and air racing team co-owner. Chris was on
the Rare Bear crew from 2007 to 2012, when the highly modified Bearcat was winning the Unlimited Gold race at speeds near 480 mph. He was crew
chief of Yak-3U SteadFast in 2006, and crew chief of Critical Mass from 1996 to 2003.
During his T-6 racing days he served as crew chief of Kitchen Pass (2003) and Yankee Air Pirate (1996).
Farinha got his start in the biplane class crewing for Earl Allen and Don Beck from 1980 to 1985. In 1987 and 1988 he was crew chief, co-owner,
and alternate pilot of Race 21 Southern Air Transport flown by Earl Allen. This was the first Reno Air Racer sponsored by an airline,
and they flew to a second-place finish in 1987 (179 mph) and fourth 1988 (171 mph). He continued to crew for the Legal Eagle biplane team through 1994.
To see some more of
our past meetings, click below
2003 and earlier