Major Richard D. Weast

Dick lived in my hometown in Kansas, so this is not Nebraska aviation related, but a nice story.  Dick was one of those World War Two veterans who rarely talked about their experience in the war.  As a high school student, I worked in a gas station back when they were full service, and Dick would stop by once a week for me to fill up his little green MG.  I talked with Dick many times and he never mentioned that he was a P-51 pilot in the war.  My dad told me later that Dick was a pilot.  I questioned him next time I saw him and he gave me a couple photos of him during the war.  Luckily I kept them and after going through a box of photos, I found the one here.  It shows Dick and his F-6 (a photo recon verions of the P-51) named “Mazie, Me and Monk.”  I regret I never asked him what that meant.

Dick would have been in his mid to late 50’s when I knew him and he worked at the local rock quarry.

“Mazie, Me and Monk” was also the mount of Capt. E. B. “Blacky” Travis (9th Air Force, probably the 9th Recon Group), who earned a Silver Star (General Order No. 44, 1945) when he flew this mustang over the Battle of the Bulge to take photos for General Patton.

  • Major Richard Dean Weast, USAAF
  • Born November 20, 1920
  • Died February 25, 1998
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Guessing was around ’44-’45 so Dick would have been 23-24 years old in the photo.

Dick’s gravestone and marker:

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British Spitfire, AA963

Spitfire AA963, a MK V model, was in Lincoln for a war bond tour on July 2, 1943.  I do not know who is in the photograph.  The spitfire disappeared from records around 1944. Probably scrapped at the end of the war with several P-38 Lightnings.

You can read more about this Spitfire at the AA963 link above.

 

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Union Airport, Lincoln, NE 1930

Union Airport in 1930.  The airport must have been brand new at this time as it does not show up on the 1929 Airway Bulletin for Lincoln.  The hangar, fuel truck, and airplane looks new in this photo.  This building is still standing as of 2016 and is now part of an industrial park. Union Airport May 1930.jpg

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Nebraska Air National Guard P-80’s

Nebraska ANG P-80’s in the hangar for maintenance.  In the foreground is P-80B-1-LO, 45-8707.  In the background is P-80A-1-LO, 44-85333, later upgraded to a P-80C-11-LO.  This photo shows the updated C version with the new tip tanks.  Date of photo unknown to me.

On an interesting note, the rear P-80 was 285 aircraft after Richard Bong’s P-80 that crashed near Burbank Airport, killing the top scoring U.S. fighter pilot.  His death came on the same day the A bomb was dropped on Japan.  Cause of the crash?  A faulty fuel pump.

On another interesting note, the foreground P-80 has a sister that survives in California.  45-8704, just three B.U. numbers earlier, is on display in Sacramento, California.  45-8704 has the old style wing tip tanks while this one has the newer ‘T-33″ style tanks.

P-80 NE ANG

Inside the Nose Docks

The first three images are of the drawings in the upper Southwest ‘office’ area in the Northwestern most nose docks at the air base.

The fourth photo is of the actual ‘office’ in the nose docks.

The fifth photo is the door at the top of the stairs to the ‘office’.

The sixth photo is looking down the stairway.

The seventh photo is of the nose dock door.

The last photo is of the Onera Porto drawing.

 

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