Please Note: During his retelling, American fighter ace Besby F. Holmes uses an ethnic slur to describe his attackers. This oral history is presented unedited as a historical artifact of one veteran's experience.
Welcome to the
Flight Deck Podcast
Listen to all of the Museum’s best aviation and aerospace stories on the Flight Deck Podcast, a podcast that makes history personal. Episodes released every other Tuesday. Enjoy!
As SpaceX and Blue Origin continue to make history by building rockets that will take future space vacationers to the Moon or Mars, the Museum is thinking about how to preserve the history of these private companies. Back in the 1960’s and up until now, it was easy for historians to access public records at NASA that documented the space race; and that’s not the case now. According to our Adjunct Curator for Space History, Geoff Nunn, “corporate archives are becoming ever more important, but private records don’t automatically make their way through the public record trail like NASA documents did.” Geoff and other space historians now have to ask themselves, “How do you archive a Slack thread?” and “What happens when YouTube goes under and we no longer have videos of launches?”
Hustling in and out of a Huey helicopter is one of the most vivid memories of Platoon leader David Waggoner and crew chief Jerry Sousa: it took 10-15 seconds to load and unload the helicopter, and their journeys took them to hot zones where they were vulnerable to enemy fire. The Huey and those who flew in it were fearless, reporting to every call no matter how dangerous, and ended up transporting over 90,000 soldiers during the war. Ultimately, Waggoner and Sousa want listeners to know that Huey pilots “fought against the odds to save soldiers’ lives,” and they look forward to sharing more stories about Vietnam by giving tours in our new exhibit.
In this second installment of our Personal Courage series, B-17 pilot Dick Nelms takes us on one of his missions and shares how he and his comrades dealt with fear and other realities of war.
What’s on the cassette tape that can be found at the end of our Apollo exhibit? We chat with exhibit developer Peder Nelson to learn more about this mysterious aerospace artifact.