Much like the flyboy’s of days past we embarked on an adventure, a mission that many wondered whether we would make it back in one piece or not. A reconnaissance mission, if you will, of the Hill Aerospace Museum. We would have to exert a lot of faith in our machines and confidence in ourselves that we would survive. A mission of this grandeur to the ‘Northern Territory’ having never been attempted by UVMAC before, only the few and the brave dared to volunteer for this mission.
At 0900 hours we converged at Hart’s. After a short briefing from our CO Clyde, we took flight. Our squadron of four (Eckstein’s, Furr’s, Clyde & the Mack’s) escorting our support vessel made its way up Redwood Rd and into uncharted territory. Along the way we rendezvoused with rogue members of the Salty A’s who are debating on defecting to the South, and our squadron eventually grew to seven.
We were making good headway when Howard suddenly went down. At first we were unaware as to the cause, was it mechanical failure or was he shot down? After safely touching down on the side of Legacy Hwy we found that his engine was sputtering and popping. After a short investigation, the evidence lead to a sabotaged carburetor from those cursed online ‘rebuilders’. (A new coat of paint does not classify as being rebuilt!) A backup carb from our CO was installed and we were back on our way.
Two zero mikes later our squadron was split during an intense battle with the Red Light Baron, an enemy we had been fighting from the beginning. The remaining squad tried our best to navigate but due to a navigational systems malfunction, aka unable to decipher the map and drive at the same time, we became semi lost. Blindly following the signs we managed to land at the main gate, the gate that is NOT designated for civilians. A call of desperation went out to our CO just to find that he too was lost and no reinforcements would be available at that time. After having our ID’s confiscated and being briefly interrogated. We managed to escape around the back side of the guard house and bee-lined our way out of there. With intel from our Northern spy’s, Rich Townsend took the lead and we wandered through unfamiliar territory. After about one six klicks we rolled up on the correct point of infiltration. Shortly after buttoning things down, the rest of the squadron arrived.
The next hour was spent studying and learning about all the exhibits throughout the facility. The history held there is amazing, and the equipment is equally impressive! It was a great experience to be able to get up close to the aircraft as well as to meet some of the veterans who operated it and helped make this country what it is today. Their stories are amazing and one could only imagine what it would have been like to be in their shoes!
After we had gathered as much information as possible, Howard and Rich made a hasty exfil and headed straight back to base to relay the information we had just acquired. The rest of the squadron decided to lay low for a bit down in the Village Inn. After we had taken care of the payload, we headed out again. Aside from some phantom sounds from Nicholas’ craft, the return trip was uneventful. Our squadron slowly dwindled the further south we went as each member peeled off at their appropriate location. With everyone’s equipment secured in their individual hangars, we classify this mission a success!