"I am writing regarding the P-51A... (Serial #). She was sitting on jacks at Cal Aero Tech when I attended A/C maintenance training there in June of 1951. I often felt sadness for that aircraft, as I was sure it was destined for the bone yard. You cannot imagine the thrill it gave me to run across your museum and see her so beautiful and know she was safe. It made me misty-eyed. I honor you for maintaining a beautiful legacy."

James H., Clarkson, WA
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WHAT: Open to the public, Planes of Fame Air Museum (Chino, CA) presents its monthly Living History Event. The topic for the October 4 event is ‘Carrier Air War in the Pacific', featuring the Grumman TBM Avenger. We are privileged to have Thomas M. Cleaver, Lt. Cdr. James Duffy, and Michael Criminera as our speakers.  Their presentations will be follow by a question & answer period and flight demonstration when possible. The TBM will be on display and is scheduled to perform a flight demonstration. At 12:00 noon, the Membership Sponsored raffle flight will occur. Become a member to enter the raffle. All members are eligible to enter the raffle, but you must be present to win.


WHO: Thomas M. Cleaver spent three years in the Navy in naval aviation as an enlisted sailor in the years immediately prior to and during the outbreak of Vietnam. He became a pilot himself in the 1970s, and over the 40 years since has spent quite a bit of time in the air, particularly with airplanes of the Second World War. Thomas has also had the privilege of meeting many of the participants in that WWII, writing about them in Air Enthusiast Quarterly, Air International, Air Force, Aviation History and Flight Journal magazines. Over the past 30 years, I have been involved with the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California. He became a screenwriter and evolved into non-fiction writing. Thomas will give a presentation about his new book “Fabled Fifteed, the Pacific War Saga of Carrier Air Group 15” followed by signing (only 100 copies available) along with LtCdr Jim Duffy, the last surviving ace of VF-15, who will also sign the books.

Lieutenant Commander James Duffy USN (Ret.) joined the Navy in 1942. Designated a naval aviator he was commissioned in July 1943. Assigned to VF-15, commanded by the Navy’s leading ace David McCampbell, flying the F6F Hellcat, he served aboard the USS Essex from May 1944, scoring his first victory in June. He achieved his fifth and final victory to become an Ace on 5th November 1944 against an Oscar over Luzon. His scores were in the Marianas Turkey Shoot and over Leyte Gulf. James is the last surviving ace of VF-15. He will be co-signing the book “Air Group 15” with Thomas Cleaver after the presentation.


Mike Ciminera, Northrop Grumman VP ( ret.) will be speaking about his book “The Aircraft Designers: A Grumman Historical Perspective” highlighting the Grumman Avenger. Mike played an integral role at Grumman and Northrop Grumman for 51 years. Beginning as a college apprentice for Grumman at the age of 17, he became a Vice President managing such areas as Advanced Programs, Systems Group including Electronics, Space and Joint Surveillance Attack Radar Systems (Joint STARS) Divisions, Electronic Systems Division, JPATS (Joint Primary Aircraft Training System) program, F-18 Hornet program, and the Joint STARS program in Lake Charles La. In 2000, he became a Sector Consultant for Northrop Grumman providing technical and program management oversight of many programs including unmanned autonomous systems namely Fire Scout, UCAS, and the X-47B. He continues to consult in aerospace, lecture, write, and serves on other boards namely: Legacy Engineering Advisory Council; Chair of the Advisory Council of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Advisor - Western Museum of Flight in Torrance, CA; and the COA (Christian Outreach in Action), a non-denominational center in Long Beach, CA that cares for those in need.

Kevin Thompson (POF Moderator and Aviation Historian) and Edward Maloney (Museum Founder & Curator, and Aviation Historian) moderate and join in the presentation.

WHEN: Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10am–12 noon: Speaker program & flight demonstration. Museum doors open at 9:00am.

WHERE: Planes of Fame Air Museum, 7000 Merrill Avenue #17, Chino, CA 91710

WHY: It is the Mission of Planes of Fame Air Museum to preserve aviation history, inspire interest in aviation, educate the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans. The Museum sponsors regular events in the form of inspirational experiences, educational presentations, flight demonstrations, and airshows in fulfillment of this mission.

Planes of Fame Air Museum, ‘Where Warbirds Fly and Aviation History Lives’

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