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Living History Flying Day: P-51

Aug 4, 2018

WHAT: Open to the public, Planes of Fame Air Museum (Chino, CA) presents its monthly Living History Flying Day on August 4, 2018, featuring the North American P-51 Mustang. A speaker panel comprised of distinguished aviation experts, historians, authors and veterans may be featured, followed by a question & answer period. The North American P-51 Mustang is scheduled to be on display and perform a flight demonstration (schedule is subject to change).

At 12:00 noon, the 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.

Saturday, August 4, 2018, 10am–12 noon: Speaker program & flight demonstration. Museum doors open at 9:00am.

: Planes of Fame Air Museum, 14998 Cal Aero Drive, Chino, CA 91710-9085

The Museum is open to the Public, General Admission is $11; for children 11 yrs and under, admission is $4; ages 4 and under are FREE! (excludes special events) FREE Living History Flying Day Admission for Planes of Fame Members! Click here to become a Member!

Click here to get a coupon for $2.00 off one adult admission for this event!

Click on image at right to see the P-51 in action:


Robert J. Friend, Lt. Col. USAF Ret. was born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1920. In 1939, he became a student at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where he earned a private pilot certificate in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. In 1942, Mr. Friend joined the Air Force and was sent to Tuskegee Institute for military pilot training.

After receiving his wings as an Air Force Pilot, Mr. Friend was promoted to a Lieutenant and at that time was assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group as a pilot under Col. B.O. Davis, Jr. He was then sent to Schlfridge Air Force Base in Michigan for flight tactical aircraft transition before his combat tour. In 1943, Lieutenant Friend reported to the European Theatre of War as a member of Tuskegee Airmen’s Distinguished 322nd Group, which was a Fighter Pilot Organization. As a skillful pilot of the P47 and P51 single engine planes, Lieutenant Friend flew as the wing man for the Commander of the group, Col. B.O. Davis. Lt. Col. Friend also served as Combat Operations Officer at the Squadron and Group levels. In this capacity he was responsible for planning and organizing the implementation of strategic and tactical air missions for the organization.

Following the war, Lt. Col. Friend continued a technical career with the Air Force. He worked on major programs including service as Assistant Deputy of Launch Vehicles including Titan, Atlas, Delta, and Space Shuttle. As Foreign Technology Program Director, he monitored and reported upon foreign research and development programs to identify the possible need for systems to offset foreign capabilities posing potential threat to the national security of the U.S. He was also the Director of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Program, which investigated cases of the Unidentified Flying Objects brought to the attention of the Air Force.

After retiring from the Air Force, Lt. Col. Friend was selected as the Assistant to the President for Fairchild Stratos Companies in Manhattan Beach, California, overseeing the design and production of space products for the space shuttle. In his third career, he is currently the Vice President for the Stanford Mu Corporation in Los Angeles, California, which is a company that produces space components for the International Space Station and other Satellite Systems. Lt. Col. Friend has been a Research and Development Director for over fifty years responsible for formulating, monitoring, evaluating, and controlling programs and projects for scientific and technological application to meet USAF Special Weapons Fire Control Systems and Major Missile Systems strategic and tactical requirements.

Lt. Col. Friend is a master bridge player who is well known and respected nationally, and often competes in national tournaments in his spare time. Lt. Col. Friend resides in Irvine California. He has 8 children and numerous grand, great-grand, great-great grandchildren.

Kevin Thompson
(POF Moderator and Aviation Historian) moderates the event and adds to presentations.

: 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 Aviation History Takes Flight