The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!
Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Wildcat and Harpoon Warbirds Represent Those Who Fought In Aleutian Island Campaign
By Carmelo Turdo
By Mark Nankivil
A fortunate reunion of sorts occurred Tuesday following the Midwest Airport Fun Days held at St. Louis Downtown Airport over the weekend. The Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon "Attu Warrior" from Warbird Warrior Foundation out of Heber City, Utah was positioned at the end the ramp awaiting the arrival of owner Dave Hansen and crew to continue on the next leg of their journey west. The unique rumble of a 1940s-era radial engine was heard mid-morning near the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum. It was Greg Shelton taxiing out in his FM-2 Wildcat (the General Motors/Eastern Aircraft production model of the Grumman F-4F Wildcat fighter). He explained that he landed in St. Louis after encountering severe weather on his way back from the Mid Atlantic Air Museum's World War II Weekend, and he was getting ready to take off. After a brief tour of our museum, Shelton agreed to taxi out near the Harpoon bomber for a photo opportunity with the two warbirds. Both the Harpoon and the Wildcat (though not necessarily these actual aircraft) participated in battles in the Aleutian Island Campaign between U.S. Naval forces and those of the Japanese in 1943. He was very gracious in accommodating our request, and we present some of the photos we took during this appearance: