January 5th

Today the spiritual and meteorologic forces have agreed we deserve some clear-weather flying. Snow-capped Olympic Mountains stand tall, visible from at least 100 miles. “Glassy-calm,” the waters of Puget Sound reflect well on anything airborne. We will awaken some aircraft from winter hibernation and “warm up the oil.”

This also is the time of year for planning ahead. While air show and event promotors search for sponsors, HFF has established dates and parameters for some of its “home-base” offerings. Two early-season events have particular historic significance.

On April 18 and 19, we will mark the 72nd anniversary of the Doolittle Raid with a special presentation by Jimmy Doolittle’s granddaughter and aviation historian, Jonna Doolittle Hoppes, and an appearance by one of four surviving Raiders, Lt. Col. Edward Saylor (USAF, ret.). The official Doolittle Raider reunions concluded last year with “No. 71” and subsequent consumption of Jimmy Doolittle famous bottle of cognac originally designated for the “Last Raider.” Surviving Raiders have a hard time traveling to these events. But Ed Saylor lives nearby and is remarkably healthy. Plans are ongoing to create a scholarship fund in his honor. Of course, B-25D “Grumpy” will fly on April 19th, weather permitting.

On June 6 and 7, we will commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day with a “diamond-four” of P-51 Mustangs, a military vehicle encampment and a tribute to all surviving veterans of WW II. We have started a roster of WWII veterans for this event. If you know of a veteran who served in any capacity during WWII, please send the contact information to visitorservices@historicflight.org.

We hope to see you early and often in 2014.