Honoring WWII and Korean War Vets

I live about 15 minutes from the Pacific Coast Air Museum at Charles Schultz (Sonoma So.) airport but had never been there before Saturday. The event honoring WWII and Korean War Vets was a great opportunity to enjoy a sunny day sketching vintage planes and servicemen from an earlier era, while also remembering my parents (both now deceased) who served in WWII.

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Volunteers were giving tours of the aircraft, but we were there to tell the visual story of planes and people. When I was almost finished with this one, the blond lady came over to look and told us that her father had flown over 30 missions in a plane like this in the Korean War. He died in March of this year at 93 and she was there to honor him.

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I think I’d have to spend longer than a couple hours sketching planes to understand the dimensions of them. This one with the shark face painted on presented a challenge, possibly because it wanted to be more of a marine species than an avian one.

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Do you think that face would scare away the enemy, or would then fly closer to get a peak at the pin up girl by the cockpit?

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In the open hanger beyond were veterans seated at tables where you could sit down and hear their stories. Lovely calendar girls walked around, posing with happy airmen, while a WWII vet sang songs from the 40’s and yodelled for an enthusiastic crowd.

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Families could put their children in the cockpit to give them that pilot experience. I started this sketch of a one-legged veteran, then turned around to sketch the plane, not realizing the irony of his placement, mirroring the single wheel in the front of the plane and two on the sides. Or does he look like he’s holding up the front of the plane? I’m learning it’s all OK in the pursuit of the story and an afternoon of fun!

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