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

The Wings of Freedom Tour of the WWII Vintage Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and North American P-51 Mustang Announce Unique Display in Santa Ana at John Wayne – Orange County Airport from May 11 to May 13

The Plane In honor of our WWII Veterans ~ The Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour Brings Extremely Rare Bomber and Fighter Aircraft for Local Living History Display as Part of 110-city Nationwide Tour

WHAT: Participating in the Collings Foundation’s WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber and P-51 Mustang, will fly into John Wayne – Orange County Airport in Santa Ana, CA for a visit from May 11 to May 13. This is a rare opportunity to visit, explore, and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history. The B-17 is one of only 10 in flying condition in the United States, the B-24J and Full Dual Control P-51C Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the World. Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out – $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12 is requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft and through the Lyon Air Museum. Discounted rate of $9 for seniors and Veterans. Visitors may also experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft. Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $425 per person. Get some “stick time” in the world’s greatest fighter! P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800-568-8924.

WHERE: The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR will be on display at John Wayne – Orange County Airport in Santa Ana, located at Lyon Air Museum, 19300 Ike Jones Road.

WHEN: The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR will arrive at John Wayne – Orange County Airport at 2:00 PM on May 11 and will be on display at Lyon Air Museum at John Wayne – Orange County Airport until the aircraft departs May 13 at 5:00 PM. Hours of ground tours and display are: 2:00 PM through 5:00 PM on Friday, May 11; 9:00 AM through 5:00 PM on Saturday, May 12; 9:00 AM through 5:00 PM on Sunday, May 13. The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tour times above.

WHO: The Collings Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit educational foundation devoted to organizing “living history” events that allows people to learn more about their heritage and history through direct participation. The Nationwide WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR is in its 23rd year and visits an average of 110 cities in over 35 states annually. Since its start, tens of millions of people have seen the B-17, B-24 & P-51 display at locations everywhere. The WINGS OF FREEDOM tour is one of the most extraordinary and unique interactive traveling historical displays of its kind.

WHY: The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR travels the nation a flying tribute to the flight crews who flew them, the ground crews who maintained them, the workers who built them, the soldiers, sailors and airmen they helped protect; and the citizens and families that share the freedom that they helped preserve. The B-17 & B-24 were the backbone of the American effort during the war from 1942 to 1945 and were famous for their ability to sustain damage and still accomplish the mission. Despite the risks of anti-aircraft fire, attacking enemy fighters, and the harrowing environment of sub-zero temperatures, many B-17s and B-24s safely brought their crews home. The P-51 Mustang was affectionately known as the bombers “Little Friend” – saving countless crews from attacking axis fighters. After the war, many aircraft were scrapped for their raw aluminum to rebuild a nation in post-war prosperity and therefore very few were spared. The rarity of the B-17, B-24 & P-51 – and their importance to telling the story of WWII is why the Collings Foundation continues to fly and display the aircraft nationwide. At each location we encourage local veterans and their families to visit and share their experiences and stories with the public. For aviation enthusiasts, the tour provides opportunity for the museum to come to the visitor and not the other way around! Visitors can find out more by visiting our website at www.collingsfoundation.org.

For further information e-mail Hunter Chaney, Director of Marketing: hchaney@collingsfoundation.org or 800-568-8924.

Media Site: visit: http://www.collingsfoundation.org/media for further detailed information on the aircraft, Collings Foundation, and the tour as well as high-resolution photos for download.