Monday, June 1, 2009

P-51 Mustang #2

My P-51 ride was really an adjunct to another activity, a two day camp, built around the B-24, aimed at giving participants a feel for what it was like to fly a mission in one of those WWII bombers, though of course without the risk of being shot at by fiendish, well-gunned Nazis. From what I heard, this involved gunnery training, some history and a fair bit of waiting around, which all sounds to me very authentic, especially the "waiting around" bit.

According to the advance paperwork, I was supposed to accompany the first flight of the day at 10 am. I actually took off just after 4:30 pm so I too got to appreciate the "hurry up and wait" aspect of the armed services. Still, that gave me plenty of time to roam around with the camera for a while. And yes, Stockton in the summer means very harsh light with temperatures to match, hence the extensive use of black and white in the pictures I'll be posting!

In good war time fashion, participants took the opportunity to scrawl on the ordnance encouraging slogans intended, presumably, to give the bomb disposal teams something to read whilst they were dismantling stuff that hadn't gone bang upon impact.

Also associated with the camp were a group from Arizona who were helping out and who dressed the part, setting up shop in the premises of Vintage Aviation, a company run out of Stockton airport who restore vintage equipment, including the Twin Beech seen acting as a camera platform in one of the shots I'm posting. They did a great job and truly added some atmosphere so thanks, guys, much appreciated.


I said...

I hope they wrote their messages in good olde "queens english" on the bombs.

J said...

Mostly! Will post one example later.