Except as noted, all images copyrighted by and should be attributed to E. Bourland Hawley.
I had become many eons ago a traveling literary gnome, inquisitive about places I had and had not visited,
walking the same paths of peoples from the past, through places once grand and still grand,
photographing images that now show me the places about which I still dream . . .

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

B-25J Mitchell

     A most extraordinary visitor and its crew landed at the Wichita Falls Regional Airport. Piloted by Captains Matt Quy and Kirby Gonyer, the B-25J Mitchell WWII bomber stood on the ramp as I made my way to it one morning.

     Sturdy-looking, the bomber does not show its age after restoration in Mesa, Arizona, by the Commemorative Air Force. Its first flight after restoration came in May 2009. 

     In 1944, it flew fifteen missions over Italy, bombing a railroad bridge and supporting ground troops. These days, the bomber flies all over the country to raise funds for the CAF's chapter in Arizona. They sell rides for passengers to fly in the waist gunner seat or in the nose. See their Web site at AZCAF.

     The B-25 was named after Brigadier General William Mitchell. Wikipedia published extensive information on General Mitchell.

     After the war ended, this aircraft served as transport and utility and in 1958 placed in storage at Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona until 1960, when the National Metals Company registered it with n-number 9552Z. Fortunately, instead of going to scrap, in Alabama, it was fitted with an agricultural tank in its belly, and spray bars under its wings. It made its way from Alabama to Missouri, and then finally in 1999 it was acquired and moved to Mesa by the Commemorative Air Force where they restored it to air worthiness. Its registration now is N125AZ, and its name is Maid in the Shade. The clever name came to mind because the aircraft sat in the shade of a tree for many years during the early period of restoration. The art work on its nose was painted by Todd Lawrence. 
     See the Web site History Net for more detailed information. 


    Always delighted about the opportunity to practice photography, I set my tripod and camera a few yards away from the Maid in the Shade. In the resulting image, the airplane is shown standing on the ramp with the distinctive architectural feature of the Wichita Falls Regional Airport. The rising sun gently casts its rays on the plane. 

People stand upright inside the bomb bay of the Maid in the Shade. 

A glimpse of the inside of the bomb bay as I stood underneath it and looked up.

A woman who helped build B-25s in Kansas City signed the interior of the bomb bay of the Maid in the Shade. I saw inside, too, the signatures of members of the Doolittle Raid. Indeed, the B-25 was the kind of aircraft that Doolittle and his men flew for the raid. 

A gun on the side of the fuselage, and above it, fifteen bombs that represent each mission.

One of the guns poking out the waist gunner's window. 

The gun as viewed from inside. 

      The inside of the bomber may appear quite tight for today's visitors, but it may not have been for the nineteen and twenty-year olds who crewed the plane. 

The cockpit of the Maid in the Shade.

       For most of its time spent in Wichita Falls September 17 - 23, 2018, the crew and its passengers had to delay their flights due to the rain. The pilots waited at Signature FBO, frequently checking the weather. 

A member of the crew pushes the fire suppressant toward the aircraft. He positions it near the starboard engine first, and after it starts, moves it near the port side engine. 

     Visitors took many pictures of the Maid in the Shade. In this picture, it taxis toward the runway for takeoff. 
After engine run-up, they move from the taxi way to Runway 35 for takeoff.

Flying on the crosswind leg around Sheppard AFB tower.
(Composited image.)

The Maid in the Shade at 800 feet on the upwind leg, returning to the airport.

Returning to base and to more passengers eagerly waiting for their turn to fly.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Brother Burt's Iron Christ

Mary Hellen walks toward the Hall of Honors. 
Above her, we see a wrought iron sculpture by Burt Rivet, S.J., (1923-1985).
Jesuit Museum, Dallas, Texas.

The Willow at Sikes Lake

Let Lovely Turn of Phrase Begin

Give Me a Kiss to Build a Dream On

Listen, will you? I think that . . . literature, poetry, music and love make the world go round . . . while mathematics explains things; I fill my life with them, then go walking in snowy woods.
Let us go then, you and I
like two etherized patients floating
through life, together feeling prufrockian.
DDB Jr. makes my world go 'round; during his absence, Pachelbel fills it up.
One summer I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, then through the Gulf of Finland to reach Saint Petersburg; I pursued Joseph Brodsky in its alley ways. I dream of making that two summers.
I read “Biking to Electra;” found my way in a Jaguar car, and glanced at the flashing steel grasshoppers at sunset. I’ll follow K.O.P.’s footsteps after he followed N.Scott Momaday’s; find warmth and inspiration on a rainy mountain.
Throw chinese coins for the I Ching.
Save the whales, the spotted owl, the woman in toil.
Cast a fly for trout; my memories of fly fishing under the sunny blue Colorado sky remain; I yearn to build more . . . with more trophy Browns.
Listen for the swan’s calls on the Baltic Sea. Feel KKII's joy, his arms spread wide in Yazilikaya.
Good night, Jimmy Durante, where ever you are.