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November 7, 1991 | DENNIS McLELLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Teacher's Novel Hobby Yields Unique Record of Wrecks In the summer of 1989, a helicopter carrying G. Pat Macha of Huntington Beach and eight other men set down in a high-altitude basin in the High Sierra. They had landed within 100 yards from the wreckage of a P-40 fighter plane, one of five that had crashed when a squadron of 19 newly built P-40s encountered a severe thunder storm over the Sierra on Oct. 24, 1941. Although the remains of the pilot, 2nd Lt. Richard N.
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NEWS
November 7, 1991 | DENNIS McLELLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Teacher's Novel Hobby Yields Unique Record of Wrecks In the summer of 1989, a helicopter carrying G. Pat Macha of Huntington Beach and eight other men set down in a high-altitude basin in the High Sierra. They had landed within 100 yards from the wreckage of a P-40 fighter plane, one of five that had crashed when a squadron of 19 newly built P-40s encountered a severe thunder storm over the Sierra on Oct. 24, 1941. Although the remains of the pilot, 2nd Lt. Richard N.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 1989
Meadowlark is closed. An era has ended, and our connection with the sky is less. Gone now are the sounds of in-line radial engines, no longer will we watch planes taxiing, taking off. Landing Xs mark the runway--closed. In the last days of Meadowlark Airport, pilots flew by in small formations of older Pipers, Cessnas, Luscombes, and Taylorcrafts to salute this one-time refuge of fabric covered birds. An antique Douglas DC-2 made a low pass and wagged its wings to say farewell, and later came the Goodyear blimp, whose pilot has a fondness for this runway on which to drag his lines.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2010 | By Bob Pool
For more than half a century, the disappearance of two Air Force pilots headed from Los Angeles to Yuma, Ariz., remained a mystery. Then last May, a volunteer search team hunting for a long-lost World War II-era female pilot found the shattered remains of the Lockheed T-33 jet missing since Oct. 15, 1955, in about 100 feet of water 1 1/2 miles off Playa del Rey's Dockweiler State Beach. On Friday, descendants of Lts. Richard M. Theiler and Paul D. Smith gathered at the shoreline beneath the LAX flight path to memorialize the two men who vanished 55 years ago. About 40 members of the two families -- some from as far as Spain and Great Britain -- were among 90 or so who heard the pilots eulogized by relatives and by an Air Force chaplain who was accompanied by a pair of uniformed honor guards.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 2007 | Cecilia Rasmussen, Times Staff Writer
It was 3 o'clock on a June morning in 1964, when 8-year-old Jeff Corder awoke in his family's Covina home to the sobs of his mother and grandmother. "They were sitting at our dining room table, listening to the radio," Corder said. "I remember standing there frozen, hearing the radio announcer saying, 'It is now confirmed that the pilot was indeed Rex C. Corder.' " "It was like a dagger in my heart," said Corder, now 52 and living in Las Vegas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 11, 2009 | Bob Pool
An ambitious, five-day undersea search of Santa Monica Bay for the last missing Womens Airforce Service Pilot from World War II ended Saturday with the whereabouts of Gertrude Tompkins' P-51D Mustang fighter plane still a mystery. But divers found the wreckage of two civilian planes -- a light aircraft and a helicopter, they announced Saturday evening. In April, while doing a preliminary search for Tompkins, they discovered an Air Force T-33 jet trainer that had been missing since Oct. 15, 1955.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 1997 | JEAN MERL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
She was 32 and a bride of just one month when her warplane disappeared during World War II after takeoff from what is now Los Angeles International Airport. Because of a misplaced flight plan, Gertrude Tompkins Silver of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) and the new P-51D Mustang she was ferrying in 1944 weren't even missed for three days.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 2008 | Janet Wilson, Times Staff Writer
It was early January. The team charged with stabilizing the scorched, slide-prone mountains above suburban Orange County had hiked for miles up twisting ravines when they spotted odd aluminum globules and jagged hunks of steel rooted in the earth. A U.S. Forest Service "smoke jumper" -- trained to vault out of airplanes into wildfires -- recognized the tangled debris. "Looks like an airplane wreck to me," he said. They pinpointed the coordinates and phoned Forest Service officials.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2005 | H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
Written for the female pilots of World War II, the poem "Celestial Flight" still brings chills at their funerals and warm recollections on Memorial Day. "She is not dead -- But only flying higher, Higher than she's flown before," begins the soulful elegy read at the funerals of America's last-remaining members of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots program, known fondly as the WASP. The poem is also recited at the funerals of many other female pilots.
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