A Tribute to Women Airforce Service Pilots


A Tribute to
Women Airforce Service Pilots


WHEN:   Saturday, February 8, 2014  10 AM to 1 PM

19300 Ike Jones Road
Santa Ana, CA 92707
P: 714-210-4585
F: 714-210-4588
E: info@lyonairmuseum.org
DIRECTIONS: www.lyonairmuseum.org/visitus

WHAT:  Lyon Air Museum, a premier Southern California showcase for vintage historic military aircraft and vehicles, will conduct a symposium and book signing paying tribute to the more than 1,000 women who served as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during World War II.  LAM Docent and acclaimed author, Nancy Robison, will be on hand to sign copies of her latest book, “We Love to Fly,” about the brave and amazing WASPs who flew in support of the war effort.

“The WASPs courageous service to our country was essential to the war effort, enabling their male counterparts to be deployed en masse to combat zones around the world,” said Robison.  ”They completed the same rigorous flight training syllabus, and by war’s end had flown 78 different kinds of aircraft, logging more than 60 million miles of flying while test piloting and delivering planes throughout the United States.” In spite of this, they were not considered as military personnel at the time, and their service did not receive adequate recognition, nor military benefits, in the years following the war. It wasn’t until 1977 they were granted veterans’ status and the official acknowledgment they so deserved.

As part of the program, World War II veteran WASPs will be on hand to tell their incredible stories, including 95 year old Beverly Beesemyer, who served while flying B-26 bombers stateside, towing targets for live ammunition practice.


At the conclusion of the talk, an AT-6 Texan advanced trainer of World War II, the same type of aircraft often piloted by WASPs, is scheduled to take to the skies for a quick demonstration flight.  “What a ship,” remarked Beesemyer after her first AT-6 training flight in 1944. “What procedure, what confusion!” she continued.

And what a ship it was. The North American AT-6 Texan was a sophisticated single-engine aircraft used to train pilots of the US Air Forces, US Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during WWII and into the 1950s.  Powered by a 600 horsepower engine, and quite challenging to maneuver during takeoffs and landings, the complex “Texan” was designed to teach the Allied flyers all they would need to know before flying high performance aircraft in combat.   LAM’s AT-6 serves as a tribute to millions of men and women who served during World War II, and pays homage to the dedication, sacrifice and contributions of those like the WASPs who helped pioneer the skies.

Lyon Air Museum is located at 19300 Ike Jones Road, Santa Ana, CA  92707.
P: 714/210-4585.  F: 714/210-4588. Email: info@lyonairmuseum.org. Web: www.lyonairmuseum.org.

Hours of operation are daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission rates: General admission–$12; Seniors and Veterans–$9; Ages 5-17–$6; Under age 5—Free. Groups of 10 or more–$1 off each visitor.  Pre-arranged school groups—Free.

Media Contact:
Corrin Quezada
Lyon Air Museum



Lyon Air Museum’s “D-Day+68″ European Tour: A Resounding Success!

TourOur first European group tour, in the words of one delighted participant, “Exceeded my expectations.” His praise was echoed by all of the fortunate travelers who shared this remarkable experience.

Timed to coincide with the 68th anniversary of D-Day, the tour began in London on June 1, in the midst of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebration. After visiting the RAF museum in North London and the Imperial War Museum complex at Duxford, where the spectacular American Air Museum is located, the tour moved to Portsmouth. There they visited Eisenhower’s headquarters at Southwick House, the Tangmere Military Aircraft Museum, the Portsmouth D-Day Museum and Historic Dockyards. They then went to Normandy on a Channel ferry, toured all of the important D-Day landing beaches, memorials and museums there, then concluded the program with two days in Paris.

The success of this historic tour has paved the way for future overseas adventures focusing on the men and machines that helped win World War II. We will soon be announcing an even more exciting tour in 2013. Watch for the announcement here!


d day 68th anniversary

The exclusive Packard Exhibit at Lyon Air Museum extended to August 27th!


Santa Ana, Calif., Aug.6, 2012 – Lyon Air Museum, a showcase for vintage aircraft and vehicles, for the past month, has hosted an exhibit of seven rare Packards from the General Lyon collection. Due by popular demand Lyon Air Museum has extended the Packard exhibit to Aug.27. Do not miss this extra opportunity to see the exclusive Packard exhibit. Lyon Air Museum is located on the west side of the runway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

The Packard Motor Car Company produced and sold automobiles from 1899 – 1958. The slogan, “Ask the man who owns one” was coined in 1903 when a potential customer asked for nonexistent sales literature. Packard, the “American Classic Car,” sold automobiles to celebrities such as; Clark Gable, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, Al Jolson, Ruby Keeler, Rosalind Russell, Ann Sheridan, Dick Powell, Jean Harlow, Tony Curtis, Gary Cooper and Bob Hope. Previous owners among the Lyon collection include Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas; Los Angeles Times publisher, Otis Chandler and well to do entrepreneurs such as the Kraft Family; George Hormel, founder of Hormel Foods; and William F. Harrah, founder of Harrah’s Hotel and Casinos, to name a few.

After the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent entry into World War II by the United States, Packard’s slogan “ask the man who owns one” was temporarily marketed as “ask the man who flies one.” The Packard Motor Car Company joined the auto industry trend, converting to full-time war machine production. Packard built engines for both military PT boats and P-51 Mustang fighter planes. Although a P-51 Mustang is not scheduled to be on display during the Packard exhibit, it is not uncommon to occasionally catch a glimpse of one of the impressive Packard powered fighters at the Museum.

The Lyon Packards are among the best and most historic examples left in existence. The preeminent coach builders of the time are all represented – Darrin, Dietrich, Derham, LeBaron and Rollston/Rollson.

Today, Packard’s legacy lives on. Groups such as Packards International Motor Car Club in Santa Ana, California preserve the brand and existing automobiles. Packards International has members in all 50 states and 13 foreign countries. The Packard exhibit at Lyon Air Museum aims to share a piece of Packard’s legacy with the community.

The 30,000-sq. ft. Lyon Air Museum opened in Dec. 2009. The facility represents the fulfillment of a dream of Major General William Lyon, USAF (Ret), who held the position of Chief of the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1975 to 1979. Currently, General Lyon is Chairman of the Board and CEO of William Lyon Homes, Inc., Newport Beach, Calif. His passion for aviation history and youth education is the driving force behind Lyon Air Museum. In establishing the Museum, General Lyon sought to create a world-class facility that would be available to the local community and would offer educational exhibits designed to inspire young people. The Museum has on exhibit some of the world’s rarest operational aircraft and vehicles.

Lyon Air Museum is located at 19300 Ike Jones Road, Santa Ana, CA 92707. P: 714/210-4585 F: 714/210-4588. E-mail: info@lyonairmuseum.org Web: www.lyonairmuseum.org

Hours of operation are daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission rates: General admission – $12; Seniors and Veterans- $9; Ages 5-17 – $6; Under age 5 – free. Groups of 10 or more – $1 off each visitor. Pre-arranged school groups – free.

Media Contact:
Corrin Quezada