December 7, 1941–Pearl Harbor Attacked! Santa Paula Remembers

By Sheryl Hamlin

December 8, 1941. FDR gives historic speech before congress and declares “… a day which will live in infamy…”.

Despite the chaos of December 7, 1941, some US airplanes managed to take flight and pursue Japanese fighters. The plane most commonly used to train the American pilots was the North American designed T-6, also known as the “Pilot Maker”.

Fast forward to 1965 when a group of World War II fighter pilots founded the aviation group known as “Condor Squadron” which is located in Van Nuys, California. Their mission is ““To Honor Military Aviation through Flight, Exhibition, and Remembrance.” The organization and its members own and fly these historic plans at civic events throughout the country and Santa Paula was fortunate to have nine aircraft at the Santa Paula Air Museum on December 7, 2014 honoring the past.

According to Mark R. King, a certified flight instructor at CP Aviation, the T-6 was the last plane a pilot used as a trainee before taking a solo flight. The planes arrived in two groups of five and four planes in echelon formation making repeated forays above the airport.

Touching down and walking from his plane is member Will Kalbermatter being congratulated by Mark King of Santa Paula. Some exciting photographs of Mr. Kalbermatter’s plane can be seen here.

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Will Kalbermatter and Mark King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are shots of one of the planes on the Santa Paula Airport tarmac. A full house at Café 126 enjoyed the remembrance.

 

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Sheryl Hamlin: With an MS in Industrial Engineering, Sheryl Hamlin spent years in technology with stints at Motorola, Tandem Computers and various startups. She has been on the boards of neighborhood organizations both in San Francisco and Palm Springs where planning issues were her specialty. She now resides in Santa Paula and loves the historic fabric of the city.  Ms. Hamlin’s blog Stealth Fashion  and  technology product ‘ Plug and Play Webmaster‘ .

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