2014 Corsair Restoration Benefit and Car Show Recap

"It was the epitome of a team effort in every regard. " Ed McGuinness, Corsair Restoration Project Manager

“It was the epitome of a team effort in every regard. ” Ed McGuinness, Corsair Restoration Project Manager

September 7th, 2014 was a beautiful day. Over 140 cars and trucks showed up to support the 2014 Corsair Restoration Benefit and Car Show. By all accounts it was a rousing success.

Visitors were able to see many beautiful vintage cars, street rods, custom cars, muscle cars, military vehicles , as well as a pair of amazing fire trucks.

Perched like a huge Seagull among the vintage automobiles and asphalt was the Whitehead #21 replica on display by Andy Kosch and his remarkable  support team. People we able to learn some astounding  history about early aviation in Connecticut.

I feel like we may have missed something… Oh yes! For the first time in public in over 6 years, the Sikorsky Memorial Corsair, in all her yellow primed glory,  was displayed with her restored wings and restored Pratt & Whitney R-2800 reattached! It was quite the sight, taking some visitors back a full 74 years back in time, when seeing a Corsair being rolled on Main Street was an hourly event for the duration of WW2.

The Corsair restoration team has had their proverbial nose to the grindstone for the past 6 months getting the Corsair into this beautiful shape. There are many names and faces that have made this project possible and with out their long hours of dedication this accomplishment would never have happened. The Connecticut Air & Space Center has some amazing volunteers!

We have lots of photos to share at the end but first we have to try and acknowledge everyone who came together this year to help make this event such a perfect day.

So a HUGE Thank You to:

Sue French and her gift shop table with many interesting souvenirs to purchase. Sue also managed to wrangle Channel 8 (WTNH) news. They did quite a long piece that ran Sunday night into Monday morning and we are really appreciative of the coverage.

The Soltis Family and especially Eileen Soltis who is already talking about improvements and ideas for next year. Just stay out of her way when she is motivated!! Just gotta love it!!! Chris Soltis – great art work and Dennis Soltis for getting everything for the booths in order and in place.

The Corsair Girls and the Chance Vought Grandmas who baked and manned the bake sale. All the ladies were there with smiles the whole day. The bake sale ended up being an amazing success.

To one of the Corsair Girls who will go unnamed, dealing with a health challenge, was there from start to finish.  With that huge smile! Damn – was I impressed. Thank you! (From Ed McGuinness)

John Lott / Hankin Print. You are looking at many of his amazing photos both B&W and Color.  He also took point on production for the sponsor boards… Need we say more?  Oh yes, he went up in the aerial pumper truck and took the most amazing overhead shot of the entire show!  Credit also goes to John for the picture of the Corsair at the beginning of this story.

Stanziale’s – Don, Kim and their crew and the Cruisin East Club. How do you thank them for going to such lengths? The food was awesome, their people were there working in that hot sun swatting bees with one hand and serving food with the other. We had over 140 cars and and innumerable amount of participants and spectators. It was a wonderful turnout.

The Town of Stratford. Thank you for arranging the truck load of barricades to help keep the parking lot safe and the for the mobile stage.  We are very proud to be part of such a great community.

Museum President Gene Madara worked the day at the Corsair Bond table raising almost $500 towards the cause.

The Corsair Team. Nothing but very highest praise was heard for the work they are doing and the level of detail to which they are going to bring The Corsair back to life. The team all strive to leave their mark on aviation history in some way. Everyone working at any and every level on the Sikorsky Memorial Corsair has accomplished that very thing. As Mark Corvino and Ed McGuinness have been saying a lot recently – “It’s an honor to be a part of it”

Our Supporting Sponsors

Ale House
Windmill Tavern
Windsock Bar
Schocks Auto Body
Stoked smoke shop
National Glass
Town Fair Tire
Re-Max Carlos Perez
Fair Auto
Burns Tire Exchange
T-REX Audio
Center Auto Machine Shop
Towne Body Shop
M & M Transmission
Breezy Point Auto
Best Brake and Safety
K 2 Automotive
Hankin Print
A & F Mohegan Garage
Midland Development Co.
Auto Parts Unlimited
Hards Corner Tavern
B R Y A C Restaurant
Blue Sky Flight
Gene Madara ( In Memory)
Tautog Tavern
Sitting Duck Tavern
Harding Apts
Chubbys Restaurant
T.C. & Francine Coughlin
Tony Rod Costume Fenching
Century 21
John J Brennan Construction Co.

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Stratford Sister Cities Tour August 1st 2014 Photo Recap

Stratford Sister Cities Tour Aug 1st 2014. Over 80 people came by bus to visit the Connecticut Air & Space Center from every Stratford from around the planet! Awesome!!

Stratford Sister Cities Tour Aug 1st 2014. Over 80 people came by bus to visit the Connecticut Air & Space Center from every Stratford from around the planet! Awesome!!

Stratford Sister Cities Tour Aug 1st 2014. Over 80 people came by bus to visit the Connecticut Air & Space Center from every Stratford from around the planet! Awesome!!

Stratford Sister Cities Tour Aug 1st 2014. Over 80 people came by bus to visit the Connecticut Air & Space Center from every Stratford from around the planet! Awesome!!

Rich Jersey, a very active member of the Corsair Restoration Team talks to the people of many different Stratfords about the many challenges and rewards of restoring a WW2 Corsair.

Rich Jersey, a very active member of the Corsair Restoration Team talks to the people of many different Stratfords about the many challenges and rewards of restoring a WW2 Corsair.

A change is in the air. Seeing school buses parked at the Connecticut Air & Space Center will soon become a regular occurrence as the Curtiss Hangar takes shape at the airport and redevelopment starts at the former Army Engine Plant.

A change is in the air. Seeing school buses parked at the Connecticut Air & Space Center will soon become a regular occurrence as the Curtiss Hangar takes shape at the airport and redevelopment starts at the former Army Engine Plant.

Andy Kosch explains about Gustave Whitehead and his #21 Flyer Replica.

Andy Kosch explains about Gustave Whitehead and his #21 Flyer Replica. Photo from Gary Peebles

Dennis Soltis explains about some of the Corsair's history and its connection to Stratford.

Dennis Soltis explains about some of the Corsair’s history and its connection to Stratford. Photo by Gary Peebles

Museu President Gene Madara explains about the history and points to our future Annex, the Curtiss Hangar at the Sikorsky Memorial Airport,

Museu President Gene Madara explains about the history and points to our future Annex, the Curtiss Hangar at the Sikorsky Memorial Airport. Photo by Gary Peebles

Visitors are treated to cold refreshments courtesy of Eileen Soltis, one of our famous Corsair Girls. We like to make ever guest feel as welcome as possible. Photo by Gary Peebles

Visitors are treated to cold refreshments courtesy of Eileen Soltis, one of our famous Corsair Girls. We like to make ever guest feel as welcome as possible. Photo by Gary Peebles

Posted in Chance Vought, F4U Corsiar, Sikorsky, Stratford, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

From the Collection 7/26/2014

Aviation & Cameras This showcase has four cameras and is located in our reception room. Our Director located some rare pictures of two of the camera's being used and he has added descriptive placards for each of the 4 camera's. There are two World War two aerial cameras, a K-20 and F-56 that were secured for the museum a MIT sale with the help of Andy Pawl.  The third is WWII gun camera on loan from Drew King that would have been in the wing of WWII fighters to record aerial combat. The fourth is amazing in itself. During the war Chance Vought had 2 photographers. The camera to the lower left is an identical version of the one that belonged to George Kerson, one of the two photographers. Although the camera is a copy all the accessories are original from Chance Vought including an original photo of the assembly line on the upper shelf. The camera and accessories from George Kerson are on loan from his sons Fred and Robert.

Aviation & Cameras
This showcase has four cameras and is located in our reception room. Our Director located some rare pictures of two of the camera’s being used and he has added descriptive placards for each of the 4 camera’s.
There are two World War two aerial cameras, a K-20 and F-56 that were secured for the museum a MIT sale with the help of Andy Pawl.
The third is WWII gun camera on loan from Drew King that would have been in the wing of WWII fighters to record aerial combat.
The fourth is amazing in itself. During the war Chance Vought had 2 photographers. The camera to the lower left is an identical version of the one that belonged to George Kerson, one of the two photographers. Although the camera is a copy all the accessories are original from Chance Vought including an original photo of the assembly line on the upper shelf. The camera and accessories from George Kerson are on loan from his sons Fred and Robert.

World War One Aviator's foot locker found in a house in Hamden Ct. The aviator that owned this trunk was from Connecticut and belonged the AEF ( American Expeditionary Forces ). It was donated by Tom Fitzsimons who was the last one to own it. It is currently not on display in our Archives.

A World War One Aviator’s foot locker found in a house in Hamden Ct. The aviator that owned this trunk was from Connecticut and belonged the AEF ( American Expeditionary Forces ). It was donated by Tom Fitzsimmons  It is currently not on display in our Archives.

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New Feature – From the Collection

Brewster Aircraft  Guards Badge (On Loan from the Soltis Collection) This badge rounds out artifacts from the 3 companies that produced the Corsair. We already have Chance Vought, Vought Sikorsky, and Goodyear guard or worker badges in the collection on display.

Brewster Aircraft Guards Badge (On Loan from the Soltis Collection) This badge rounds out artifacts from the 3 companies that produced the Corsair. We already have Chance Vought, Vought Sikorsky, and Goodyear guard or worker badges in the collection on display.

United Aircraft workers badge from WWII: This 1940's badge came with the 2 military insignia's, we do not have a name. If you recognize the face please let us know.

United Aircraft workers badge from WWII: This 1940’s badge came with the 2 military insignia’s, we do not have a name. If you recognize the face please let us know.

Corsair Bond Certificate: Issued on Labor Day, September, 7th 1942 We have a few of these placed throughout the museum. This one is the first one we have encountered that is typewritten and for 2 shares, all the others are handwritten and for 1 share.

Corsair Bond Certificate:
Issued on Labor Day, September, 7th 1942 We have a few of these placed throughout the museum. This one is the first one we have encountered that is typewritten and for 2 shares, all the others are handwritten and for 1 share.

1940's Non Combatant Gas Mask - Donated by Susan French, this was found locally and would be of the type employees at the plant might have had access to in the event of an Air Raid.

1940’s Non Combatant Gas Mask – Donated by Susan French, this was found locally and would be of the type employees at the plant might have had access to in the event of an Air Raid.

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Sikorsky Black Hawk Walk Around

Resupply and Troop transport are routine missions conducted everyday in Afghanistan. Marine Cpl. Clayton Rogers tags along with a Black Hawk crew from Forward Operating Base Fenty to see what goes into getting missions like these off the ground. Produced by Cpl. Clayton Rogers. Courtesy Video | American Forces Network Afghanistan

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We Can’t Forget the US Coast Guard’s Sikorsky MH-60 Jayhawks in Action!

Our next feature is the Sikorsky MH-60T Jayhawk. The Jayhawk is a multi-mission, twin-engine, medium-range helicopter operated by the United States Coast Guard for search and rescue, law enforcement, military readiness and marine environmental protection missions. Originally designated HH-60J before being upgraded and redesignated beginning in 2007, the MH-60T.  Check out some great photos by the US Coast Guard o the Jayhawk in Action!

Hurricane Ida Preps MOBILE, Ala. – A MH-60T Jayhawk rescue helicopter and crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile prepares to shutdown the helicopter after performing a post-Tropical Storm Ida port and waterway assessment flight, Nov. 10, 2009, from Pascagoula, Miss., to Fort Walton Beach, Fla. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas M. Blue.

Hurricane Ida Preps
MOBILE, Ala. – A MH-60T Jayhawk rescue helicopter and crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile prepares to shutdown the helicopter after performing a post-Tropical Storm Ida port and waterway assessment flight, Nov. 10, 2009, from Pascagoula, Miss., to Fort Walton Beach, Fla. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas M. Blue.

NEW YORK- A Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat Medium crew from Station New York looks on as HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod demonstrates the technique used in a water rescue as part of Coast Guard Appreciation Weekend at the Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum, August 1, 2009.   (U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary photo/Auxiliarist Hope Wright)

NEW YORK- A Coast Guard 45-foot Response Boat Medium crew from Station New York looks on as HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod demonstrates the technique used in a water rescue as part of Coast Guard Appreciation Weekend at the Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum, August 1, 2009.
(U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary photo/Auxiliarist Hope Wright)

HH-60 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba An injured American arrives at U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter at approximately 10:37 a.m., Jan.13. He is one of four Americans from the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti brought to the Naval Station to receive medical care for traumatic injuries sustained in the earthquake that struck the region Jan. 12. The victims were evaluated and stabilized by hospital personnel before they were medically evacuated to the U.S. for further treatment. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Chief Bill Mesta, U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Public Affairs.

HH-60 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
An injured American arrives at U.S. Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter at approximately 10:37 a.m., Jan.13. He is one of four Americans from the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti brought to the Naval Station to receive medical care for traumatic injuries sustained in the earthquake that struck the region Jan. 12. The victims were evaluated and stabilized by hospital personnel before they were medically evacuated to the U.S. for further treatment. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Chief Bill Mesta, U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Public Affairs.

Rescue Swim Mobile, Ala. ? Jaeda Sichel, 18, of Aspen Colo., and Petty Officer 1st Class Dustin Skarra an aviation survival technician stationed at Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., pose for a photograph while Sichel trained to be an honorary Coast Guard rescue swimmer, June 7, 2009.   The Make A Wish Foundation coordinated the day-long visit for Sichel, who is diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Sichel completed training in a helicopter flight simulator, pool training with Coast Guard aviation survival technicians and participated in a real rescue swimmer training mission with an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew.   U.S. Coast Guard photo / Petty Officer 1st Class Scott Rady

Rescue Swim
Mobile, Ala. ? Jaeda Sichel, 18, of Aspen Colo., and Petty Officer 1st Class Dustin Skarra an aviation survival technician stationed at Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., pose for a photograph while Sichel trained to be an honorary Coast Guard rescue swimmer, June 7, 2009.
The Make A Wish Foundation coordinated the day-long visit for Sichel, who is diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Sichel completed training in a helicopter flight simulator, pool training with Coast Guard aviation survival technicians and participated in a real rescue swimmer training mission with an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew.
U.S. Coast Guard photo / Petty Officer 1st Class Scott Rady

Coast Guard H-60 at Santa Maria Air Show SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A Coast Guard Air Station San Diego HH-60J Jay-hawk helicopter taxies in to Santa Maria to be on display before the air show here, Friday, August 27, 2010. The air show was called "Thunder Over the Valley." Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Schofield.

Coast Guard H-60 at Santa Maria Air Show
SANTA MARIA, Calif. – A Coast Guard Air Station San Diego HH-60J Jay-hawk helicopter taxies in to Santa Maria to be on display before the air show here, Friday, August 27, 2010. The air show was called “Thunder Over the Valley.” Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Schofield.

Joint Agency Excercise PORTSMOUTH, Va. - An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Elizabeth City, N.C., conduct a search and rescue demonstration in front of the Virginia Port Authority, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, state and local law enforcement agencies in Chesapeake Bay, Thursday, March 8, 2012. The demonstration was conducted in conjunction with a five-day long forum to improve interagency cooperation, increase search effectiveness, enhance crew safety and coordination and foster a better understanding among marine first responders. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.

Joint Agency Excercise
PORTSMOUTH, Va. – An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Elizabeth City, N.C., conduct a search and rescue demonstration in front of the Virginia Port Authority, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, state and local law enforcement agencies in Chesapeake Bay, Thursday, March 8, 2012. The demonstration was conducted in conjunction with a five-day long forum to improve interagency cooperation, increase search effectiveness, enhance crew safety and coordination and foster a better understanding among marine first responders. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Shinn.

Coast Guard, Make-A-Wish make dream come true for 11 year-old MOBILE, Ala. – A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile hovers above two rescue swimmers during a search and rescue demonstration held to incorporate Luke Wiedeman into the operation, Nov. 8, 2011. Crewmembers from ATC Mobile worked with the Mobile chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help Luke realize his dream of becoming a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Luke was able to take part in training with the swimmers, navigate high-tech flight simulators and participate in a search and rescue demonstration. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Lehmann.

Coast Guard, Make-A-Wish make dream come true for 11 year-old
MOBILE, Ala. – A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile hovers above two rescue swimmers during a search and rescue demonstration held to incorporate Luke Wiedeman into the operation, Nov. 8, 2011. Crewmembers from ATC Mobile worked with the Mobile chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help Luke realize his dream of becoming a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Luke was able to take part in training with the swimmers, navigate high-tech flight simulators and participate in a search and rescue demonstration. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Stephen Lehmann.

KODIAK, Alaska – Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Air Station Kodiak fly in formation over the City of Kodiak December 17, 2007.(Official U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA1 Kurt Fredrickson)

KODIAK, Alaska – Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Air Station Kodiak fly in formation over the City of Kodiak December 17, 2007.(Official U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA1 Kurt Fredrickson)

KODIAK, Alaska - The crew of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak sits in the aircraft on a pinnacle at Whale Island overlooking an aid to navigation being worked on by members of Aids to Navigation Team Kodiak who transitted to the island aboard the helicopter March 10, 2011. ANT Kodiak technicians addressed a disrepancy with the Tonki Cape light on Afognak Island and conducted routine maintenance on the aids at Dry Spruce Island and Whale Island all in the vicinity of Kodiak Island. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Kodiak.

KODIAK, Alaska – The crew of an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Kodiak sits in the aircraft on a pinnacle at Whale Island overlooking an aid to navigation being worked on by members of Aids to Navigation Team Kodiak who transitted to the island aboard the helicopter March 10, 2011. ANT Kodiak technicians addressed a disrepancy with the Tonki Cape light on Afognak Island and conducted routine maintenance on the aids at Dry Spruce Island and Whale Island all in the vicinity of Kodiak Island. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Kodiak.

Sector San Diego remembers 9/11 SAN DIEGO -- Two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters stand ready in a hangar at Coast Guard Sector San Diego Sept. 11, 2008. The flag hangs on this day as a memorial to the victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Henry G. Dunphy.

Sector San Diego remembers 9/11
SAN DIEGO — Two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters stand ready in a hangar at Coast Guard Sector San Diego Sept. 11, 2008. The flag hangs on this day as a memorial to the victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Henry G. Dunphy.

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Operation Overlord June, 6th 1944

70 years ago today we began the invasion that would eventually put an end to the European Theater of WW2.  Many men from the Nutmeg State participated, a quite a few never made it home.  Lets take a moment and remember the boys of `44. Our Heroes that hit the beaches of France so long ago.

U.S. Army Pathfinders and C-47 Skytrain flight crew just before D-Day in June 1944

U.S. Army Pathfinders and C-47 Skytrain flight crew just before D-Day in June 1944

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RAF Spitfires being hand painted before the attack with the famous "Invasion Stripes"

RAF Spitfires being hand painted before the attack with the famous “Invasion Stripes”

Martin B-26 Marauders over France on D-Day.

Martin B-26 Marauders over France on D-Day.

 

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