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Society for Aviation History

P.O. Box 5344, Petaluma, CA. 94955

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SAH General Meetings and Educational Programs

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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 December 2, 2023 Meeting

Aviation Photojournalist and Author Hayman Tam

SAH President Dave Osgood and our guest speaker Hayman Tam.

The SAH held its final meeting of the year on Dec. 2, at Michael's Restaurant located on the Shoreline Golf Links in Mountain View. President Dave Osgood opened the meeting with a warm welcome to guests and new society member Ryann Willis (SAH 353). Osgood announced his four-year term expires at the end of the year, and in recognition for his fine leadership, particularly through the challenging Covid period, he received a hearty round of applause. See the President's Message for the voting results at: Presidents Message for Jan./Feb. 2024

Aviation photojournalist and author Hayman Tam guided guests to the highlights of the many overseas aviation museums that he has visited in Canada, Europe, and Vietnam. Some of these museums were familiar to aviation enthusiasts, while others are off the beaten path and were be new to many.

Tam is an avid traveler and aviation museum addict. He has, to date, visited aircraft collections in ten countries and countless ones here in the states. Hayman's passion for all things airplane has been a lifelong condition, leading to a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a lengthy aerospace career at Lockheed Martin. His aerospace career has provided many opportunities to photograph subjects ranging from Space Shuttles to Super Guppies. Now retired from his day job, Hayman continues to follow aviation as the Hiller Aviation Museum photographer. He also covers many California airshows each season writing for General Aviation News.

Trivia Contest in progress

Crashed: October 7th Meeting Cancelled

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

2020-2022 meetings

2019 meetings

2018 meetings

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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