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



Woodies are Coming to Lyon Air Museum: July 4 – August 4, 2013

Cowabunga Dudes, the Woodies are Coming to Lyon Air Museum, July 4 thru August 4, 2013

Santa Ana, CA, June 13, 2013 – Lyon Air Museum will host their summer vehicle exhibit showcasing seven iconic American Woodie automobiles. It’s only appropriate that these prime icons of American summer culture kick off their debut on the 4th of July at the museum, located on the west side of John Wayne Airport in Orange County.  The Woodies Exhibit, featuring Fords and Chryslers, will carry on Lyon Air Museum’s reputation for displaying fine, vintage vehicles alongside historic aircraft.  Last summer brought in seven exclusive Packards and the year before, ten impeccable classic Duesenbergs.  This year’s exhibit will run through August 4, 2013.

The first Woodies date back to the railroads of the early 20th century, when wagons were used to transport passengers and luggage between stations and other points.  These “station wagons” utilized the forward section and chassis of a production automobile, coupled with a custom, lower cost wooden body.   Although initially built for commercial use, they soon became available to the general public.  Woodies were often rather attractive, but were popular mainly due to their economically sound price point, especially during the Depression years of the 1930s.  Cost savings were a further factor as World War II brought on shortages of steel which was in great demand for the war effort.

Post World War II saw a soaring economy, with many Americans opting for a safer, all-metal automobile. The days of the Woodie appeared to be numbered.  But what propelled the Woodie to its initial popularity resurfaced in the 1960s in a whole new culture – surfing.  Woodies of the past were being sought after because they were inexpensive and had a high carrying capacity.  Soon spacious Woodies were toting surfers, surf boards, food and beach party gear to the best surf spots around.   The scene quickly caught on to the rest of the country through movies such as Gidget and Beach Blanket Bingo, and through music by The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean with songs like Surfin’ Safari, Surf City, and Boogie Woodie, all of which referenced the Woodie and further increased its popularity.

Today, the Woodie automobile is highly desired by car collectors, and by those who yearn to cruise the coastline in a symbol of sun, sand and surf.  So throw on your flip flops and cruise on over to Lyon Air Museum to catch a bit of 20th Century pop culture.

Lyon Air Museum represents the fulfillment of a dream of Maj. Gen. 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 Executive Chairman of William Lyon Homes, Inc., in Newport Beach, CA.  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 available to the local community and offering educational displays to inspire young people.  The museum has on exhibit some of the world’s rarest operational historic 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
Lyon Air Museum



1st Annual Bikes & Bombers event – Sunday June 10, 2012

Date: 06/10/2012
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
Steve McQueen's Panther and Harley

Steve McQueen’s 1933 Panther and 1921 Harley

Exclusive motorcycle parking, complimentary coffee & donuts, People’s Choice Bike Show (winner gets to have their photo taken at the controls of the Museum’s B-17 with a former WWII bomber pilot), “meet and greet” WWII pilots Lynn Shubert (P-38 Pilot) and Herb Guiness (B-24 Pilot). Two of Steve McQueen’s motorcycles from a private collection will be on display including a 1921 Harley-Davidson with a side car and his 4-stroke single cylinder 1933 Panther that in 1983 was restored for Steve by Von Dutch. Also scheduled to be on display is a 2012 Triumph Bonneville T100 Steve McQueen Edition by co-sponsor Triumph/Ducati of Newport Beach.

All motorcycle riders attending this event may enter Lyon Air Museum at the discounted rate of $8.

Event Sponsors