I (Sal) have a friend of mine that was in the U.S. Air Force, who shared me some pictures and stories of his 5+ years of experience. This got me interested in doing this site (Wednesday, June 29th of 2005)...
I'm planning on attending the Annual Fargo Air Show for the first time next weekend. It'll be by the Fargo Air Museum, which is north of the Fargodome. This year features the Navy Blue Angels I decided to do some "searches" on this prior to checking this out!
Cory and Brett "quenching their thirst" after previewing a military truck (background)
An Apache Helicopter carrying a Chevy Blazer
One of the planes form a "peace ribbon" in the blue skies!
Views of the (Lockheed C-5) Galaxy
Back interior view
Happy Hooligan Planes-Brett and Cory had the opportunity to talk to some pilots of these planes. They were selling some merchandise as they stood by their planes. One of the pilots told us that they are based in Oregon and has been flying for 6 years. They just returned from an air show in Virginia.
Helicopter hovering by the crowds
Humvee equipped with "fire power"
Fargo Air Museum
-"Tiger" (from Winnie the Pooh)
Navy Blue Angels on display
Air Force Plane from Grand Forks A.F. Base
Pictures from Camera Phone
Posing in front of a "smiley" yellow plane
"Flying high into a new era
Morris Sun Tribune
Published Wednesday, June 13, 2007
By Philip Drown
"Top photo, preparations for Saturday’s Morris Airport renaming celebration continues. The airport will be renamed “Charlie Schmidt Field” to honor the late Morris flyer many consider the backbone of local aviation.
Top photo, preparations for Saturday’s Morris Airport renaming celebration continues. The airport will be renamed “Charlie Schmidt Field” to honor the late Morris flyer many consider the backbone of local aviation.
There will be plenty to see and do this Saturday for kids and adults at the Morris Municipal Airport.
The airport, which will be renamed “Charlie Schmidt Field” during a ceremony honoring the late aviator, will have an abundance of events and activities surrounding the rededication.
“It should be just a fun-filled day,” said Keith Davison, Chair of the Airport Advisory Committee.
The activities will begin at 8 a.m. with a pancake and sausage breakfast hosted by the Morris Firefighters, which will last until noon.
There will also be a skydiver dropping by, live music in the airplane hangar, lots of aircraft on display, and plenty of chances for people to get a taste of the wild blue yonder.
“If the weather is decent there will be balloon rides,” said Davison.
“The flying club will be giving airplane rides,” said Dick Vanmoorlehem, a member of the Airport Advisory Committee and one of the organizers of the events, “and, of course, we will have the B-25 Miss Mitchell bomber there for those that have reserved a space on the flight.”
According to Vanmoorlehem, response from the community to reserve a space to ride on the B-25 was immediate. The committee needed at least 10 people to sign up and pay the $350 ticket price in order to make bringing the aircraft to Morris worthwhile. As people heard about the possibility of rides on the craft, they started calling right away, he said.
“There has been lots of interest,” said Vanmoorlehem. “We have well over the needed number of people and the B-25 will be here. Everywhere I go I hear people talking about it.”
In addition to the B-25, there will be several other WWII warbirds present to view. On display will be a P-40 Warhawk, a T6 Advanced Trainer, and a P-51 Mustang, widely considered to be the “ultimate warbird”.
According to Vanmoorlehem, having the B-25 and these other WWII aircraft at the Morris dedication is a genuine privilege. “Eventually, in 10 years, there will be no such thing as a ride in this bomber. It will be in a museum somewhere.”
Also present will be crop dusters, a UPS cargo plane, a brand new model from the Cessna Company’s line of aircraft, and pilots from a 100 mile radius flying in for the festivities.
All of these events and activities will bookend an 11 a.m. ceremony rededicating the airport and renaming it after Charlie Schmidt.
Charlie Schmidt, who died in 2006 at the age of 90, was a staple of Morris aviation history. A native of Morris and a pilot since 1942, Schmidt is remembered by many as “Mr. Aviation”.
“He was the founder of modern aviation in Morris as we know it,” said Vanmoorlehem. “He taught a lot of people in this area how to fly.”
Schmidt taught flying in the Morris area from the grass landing strip on his farm for 20 years, did crop spraying for 10 years, was a founding member of the Minnesota Flying Farmers. He was named Flying Farmer Man of the Year in 1974. Renaming the airport in honor of his legacy to Morris aviation seemed fitting to the Airport Advisory Committee.
“We’d like to see a lot of people there,” said Davison, “to show them the importance of the airport to this community.”
According to Davison, many those who fly in and out of the airport understand its importance to the community. But, those who do not fly themselves often have no idea just how much it is used.
“A number of doctors who do not live in Morris fly in,” he said. “Several businesses have airplanes of their own or use charter flights, UPS comes in with packages regularly. It’s important for business.”
The airport has come a long way since its early days and has undergone a series of upgrades and improvements over the years.
“Around 1981 or 1982 we did the first major work,” said City Manager Ed Larson. “We extended the runway to 3,400 feet. A couple of years later we built a new hanger.”
In 2006, the City of Morris received $363,356 from the Federal Aviation Administration to make improvements.
“We extended the runway to 4,000 feet to accommodate larger craft, built a six stall T-hanger, and installed a new fuel distribution system,” said Larson. “We also put in more up to date aviation technology.”
“I remember when this airport had a grass runway,” said Davison, who has been a pilot himself for more than 50 years. Today, there is a comfortable lounge where people can meet with their pilots and high tech aviation tools are in place for navigation and guidance of incoming aircraft, said Davison.
For Davison, and many others, this Saturday’s events are much anticipated and Davison hopes the public turns out for a good time.
“We’ll have an aircraft parked by Dr. Hauger’s office on Friday, for advertising,” said Davison. “That’ll be a real novelty.”
A chance to relive Doolittle’s derring-do
Morris Sun Tribune
Published Saturday, June 02, 2007
By Philip Drown
" Organizers of the June 16 dedication ceremony at the Morris Airport are working to bring in a B-25 Bomber similar to the plane above. The bombers were instrumental in the U.S. victory over Japan in World War II. Photo courtesy Michael O’Leary.
To aficionados of aviation and World War II history, the North American B-25 “Miss Mitchell” Bomber will forever represent memories of courage, overcoming impossible odds, and a daring campaign that would restore American morale in the dark days following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
An original B-25 Mitchell is expected to be part of the events surrounding the upcoming rededication and renaming of the Morris Airport on June 16.
Anyone interested and able will have the opportunity to take a one-hour flight on the bomber and, for a short time, walk in the footsteps of Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle and the men under his command.
The story of the B-25 Mitchell and Doolittle is well-known and was first memorialized in the book and subsequent film “Thirty Seconds over Tokyo.”
The famous Doolittle Raid of April 18, 1942 involved a crew of 80 men and 16 highly modified B-25 Mitchell bombers armed for strikes against Tokyo and Nagoya. The bombers were launched from the USS Hornet aircraft carrier deep inside enemy controlled waters 600 miles east of Japan.
The campaign was important in that it was the first U.S. air strike of WWII against the Japanese home islands, and it caused Japanese forces to recall several fighter units back to the islands for defense. The raid embarrassed the Japanese high command and demonstrated that the home islands were vulnerable to Allied air attack.
When news of the raid reached the American home front, morale rose from the despair it experienced in the months that followed Pearl Harbor.
The inspiration of Doolittle’s mission and a love for classic aircraft are what motivates the Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, which will bring the “Miss Mitchell” to Morris, to fly craft like the B-25. While this B-25 is not one of those flown on Doolittle’s mission, it is one of the originals in use at that time.
According to the CAF Web site, “It is the mission of the Commemorative Air Force to restore and maintain historic warbirds in flyable condition so that they can tell the story of those who have served our nation in war and especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom. The "Miss Mitchell" is one of only about 34 B-25s still flying today.”
The Morris Airport Advisory Committee invited the CAF to be part of the June 16 rededication events.
Dick Vanmoorlehem, a Morris resident and member of the Advisory Committee, discovered the CAF while “calling around looking for people with World War II fighters” to participate. He was immediately impressed and excited.
According to Vanmoorlehem, passengers will enjoy take-off while safely belted in Aviation Administration approved seats, but will later be free to walk around the plane and explore the recesses of the craft.
According to the CAF, passengers can “try out the 50 caliber waist gunner positions as well as climb into the tail gunner's position for a 280 degree view of the countryside.
“Passengers in the front of the plane can watch the pilots from the navigator's seat and crawl up to the bombadier's position for a view and look through the crosshairs of the famous Norden bombsight that was top secret during the war.”
According to Vanmoorlehem, as exciting as this opportunity is for the airport dedication events, it is not yet guaranteed. In order for the airport committee to bring the CAF and their B-25 to the June 16 dedication, they need a minimum of 10 interested people to reserve a place on the plane.
The B-25 requires 400 gallons of fuel for the flights. At current prices, doing a tour like this is not cheap, Vanmoorlehem said.
While the committee would prefer to underwrite the expenses, it is not realistic and passengers must pay for their own ticket, he said. The full experience, which includes a preflight briefing, engine run-up and flight time, will cost $350 per passenger.
The airport dedication will have other events as well.
“There will be several other warbirds on display,” said Vanmoorlehem. “The flying club will be giving free rides, there will be a UPS cargo plane, and Superior Industries will have a large twin engine turbine plane there.”
There will also be a ceremony honoring Charlie Schmidt, after whom the airport is being renamed, and the Morris Firefighters will host a breakfast.
Anyone interested in taking a ride on the B-25 should reserve their space no later than June 10 by contacting Dick Vanmoorlehem at (320) 589-4148 or the Morris Municipal Airport at (320) 589-2083.
Above is an overhead photo of the B-25 Bomber made famous by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle’s raids over Japan during the Pacific campaign of World War II.
At right, a B-25 takes off from the deck of an aircraft carrier as some of the ship’s personnel look on. Organizers of a June 16 dedication ceremony at the Morris Airport are working to bring in a B-25 for the event. The plane will not be one that took part in Doolittle’s missions, but the “Miss Mitchell” is an original model that was in use during that time. "
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