A formation of F-14A Tomcats of Fighter Squadrons VF-51 Screaming Eagles and VF-111 Sundowners, and F-5E/F Tiger II's of the Navy Fighter Weapons School. These units represented a vital part of the U.S. Navy's participation in the 1986 feature-film "TOPGUN", providing the aerial dogfighting sequences that were a defining trademark of this movie. Note the fictitious markings on the tail of at least one of the F-14's.

A Look Back at Top Gun

By Hill Goodspeed Historian Historian, National Naval Aviation Museum Article originally written for the Sextant More than thirty years ago, stunning footage of F-14 Tomcats flashed across the silver screen and moviegoers were introduced to the high-speed operations and culture of naval aviation through the characters “Maverick,” “Goose,” “Iceman,” and “Charlie.” The release of the movie Top Gun on May[Read More…]

by May 17, 2017 1 comment Articles, Interviews
Thom Richard in the American Airpower Museum's P-40 Warhawk, flying in formation with the museum's T-6 Texans ( Photo by Mike Killian)

Warbird Bucket List

By Julie M Vessigault What is on your Aviation “Bucket List”?  If you are reading this I bet I can guess without even knowing your background: 1. Fly the T-6 2. Fly the Mustang 3. Become a Warbird Pilot 4. Get checked out in the T-6 5. Get checked out in the Mustang Let me take you back to the[Read More…]

by April 29, 2017 1 comment Articles, Interviews, Warbird Adventures
Keith Cole, a WWII veteran, and members of Team MacDill pause for a group photo at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 18, 2017. Cole spoke about his experiences at U.S. Special Operations Command and was given a tour of the flight line during his visit. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Adam R. Shanks)

Pioneer of Tactical Airlift visits MacDill AFB

It’s World War II and Nazi Germany occupies France, an Allied nation. Somewhere in the moonlit French countryside, a modified B-24 Liberator flies overhead. Painted matte black, and stripped of unnecessary equipment, this B-24 is flying a secret mission.  Flashlights shine from the ground as a dispatcher in the bomb bay of the aircraft opens a hole in the floor[Read More…]

A VETERAN’S STORY: From Boy to Radio Man

A VETERAN’S STORY: From Boy to Radio Man

When asked why folks call him C.R., the interviewee responded, “Well, try to write down Clifford Robert McCullough on most documents and there just ain’t enough space.” Born and raised into a Rockdale County share-cropping family in 1933, C.R. McCullough experienced the Great Depression and tough times. “Dad finally found steady employment at the old Roger’s Grocery Store until they[Read More…]

A 332nd FTR P-51 Mustang flown by the Tuskegee Airmen for bomber support over western Europe in World War II.

MacDill AFB Hosts a Tuskegee Airman

By SrA Vernon Fowler, Between 1941 and 1946, there were roughly 1,000 African-American pilots trained at the segregated Tuskegee Army Airfield in Tuskegee, Alabama. Of that number remains just a fraction of Tuskegee Airmen still living today. MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, had the privilege of hosting one of these pilots, retired Lt. Col. George E. Hardy, Feb. 11, 2016,[Read More…]

by February 19, 2016 1 comment Articles, Interviews, WWII Events