Next Aces Event: Jolly Rogers in South San Francisco Aug. 28

The next Northern California Friends of the Aces event is coming up at the end of this month – August 28, to be precise – and it features seven members of the World War II-era “Jolly Rogers” (VF-17 and VF-18, thanks to number reassignments). I’m going to predict that the panel may feature some interesting debate over the merits of the F4U Corsair and the F6F Hellcat – the squadron took the Corsair to war, but then converted to the Hellcat when it finally went aboard ship. It’s a long story – many of you have probably read the Corsair part of the story as penned by Tom Blackburn in The Jolly Rogers, and I suggest F6F Hellcat Aces of World War II for the Hellcat side.

The panelists are scheduled to be:
CDR Bill Ambrosio (4 victories)
CDR Ted Crosby (5.25 victories)
CAPT Bob Coats (9.33 victories)
CDR Bill Hardy (6.5 victories)
LT Jim Pierce (5.25 victories)
LT Tilly Pool (6 victories)
LCDR Billy Watts (8.75 victories)

The event will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel, San Francisco Airport, and it costs $35 for the general public. This is another great chance to connect with history; the Friends of the Aces always run a smooth and friendly show. I hope to see you there!

Raising the Jolly Roger over San Carlos

Another aces symposium has been announced by the Northern California Friends of the Aces, this one on November 9 at the Hiller Museum in San Carlos. As was the cast last fall, this one will focus on Navy aces, and the focus is very sharp: the theme is Aces of VF-17 and VF-18, the “Jolly Rogers.” The men on the panel are scheduled to be Charles Mallory (10 kills), Billy Watts (8.75) , Bill Hardy (6.5), Ted Crosby (5.25) and Jim Pearce (5.25), all of whom were Hellcat aces. As always, the local club is planning a display; Cliff Kranz is building four Hellcats, he says, and he’s the kind of modeler who’s likely to finish them. I think we’ll do another Navy Aces display; that’ll give me a chance to break out my Alex Vraciu F6F-3 and the FM-2 of Joe McGraw (which I was supposed to be building for the navy aces event last October…!). If any other Bay Area modelers would like to participate, let me know.

The event’s at 12:15 at the Hiller Aviation Museum; for more information you can e-mail the Northern California Friends of the Aces.

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