Behind the Scenes: George White
National Museum of World War II Aviation
The Journey highlights an Odyssey employee each issue, celebrating their free-time pursuit of an uplifting endeavor unrelated to Odyssey’s core business.
As a child growing up in southeast Massachusetts, I remember looking forward every year to going to the Quonset Point Naval Air Station Airshow in Rhode Island with my father. In addition to all of the World War II and Korean War aircraft flying and on display, there was always the stars of the show; the US Navy Blue Angels flying their F-4 Phantoms and then, in later years, transitioning to the smaller (and much less fun) A-4 Skyhawks. To this day, I can remember staring up into the sky as the F-4’s went straight up over the crowd (it was allowed back then) in a tight diamond formation, looking up into their afterburners as the loudest sound I’d ever heard in my life shook every molecule of my body.
It was awesome, and I was hooked on airplanes.
Fast forward fifty years or so and, in the middle of the COVID pandemic, I found myself, like many others, looking for things to do with my stay-at-home time. Being an avid photographer and aircraft enthusiast, I came across the Colorado Aviation Photography (CAP) group on Facebook. The quality of some of their digital work, especially on World War II aircraft (my favorite), really impressed and inspired me. It drove me to dive into my years of photos and begin dabbling with post-processing. In what seems like no time at all I was a fully vetted member of the CAP community, contributing work and getting more deeply into local aircraft and photography.
It truly sometimes is who you know, and I was fortunate during a visit to the National Museum of World War II Aviation in Colorado Springs to be introduced by a fellow CAP member to their Director of Communications. We got to talking; he was in need of not only aircraft photographers, but also an experienced writer and editor. Well, it just so happens I’ve got a bit of experience in those areas as well. By the end of that day, I had an offer; would I be interested in taking over as the museum’s monthly newsletter editor?
The museum is an amazing place, not solely for the phenomenal aircraft in their collection but also for the fact that every single one of them is airworthy! This is no dry, stale place where you look at things hanging from a ceiling. When you walk in, your nose is bombarded with the greases, oils, hydraulics, and fuels of a working aircraft hangar. Step into the WestPac Restorations facility and you can watch them bringing old aircraft back to life. What’s your favorite old plane? P-47 Thunderbolt? We’ve got one. B-25 Mitchell? Got one. Catalina PBY? Got one. F7F Tigercat? Got two. How about a Corsair? We have a Brewster F3A-1, the only survivor of its type in the entire world … and it flies!
For more information on the museum, check out our website at www.worldwariiaviation.org.
George (4th from the left) with museum staff / crew in front of “In The Mood,” the museum’s airworthy North American Aviation B-25J aircraft.
Nose gun array of “In The Mood,” the museum’s airworthy North American Aviation B-25J aircraft.
The museum’s Republic Aviation P-47D Thunderbolt.
Since taking over as newsletter editor, I’ve also been asked to be a social media writer (check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TripAdvisor!), event photographer, got to take a ride in the B-25, and was also asked to work on planning for the 2022 Pikes Peak Regional Airshow.
Coming up on September 24 & 25, we have 50+ aircraft scheduled for display including the NASA Super Guppy, B-17G Texas Raiders dropping members of the United States Air Force Academy’s Wings of Blue Parachute Team, USAF F-35A Demonstration Team, US Navy EA-18G Demonstration Team, parades of WWII fighter and bombers, and a huge static display area. We’ll even have aerobatics demonstrations by the Corsair and a Tigercat if you’d like to see WWII aircraft doing loops! For more information on the airshow, go to www.pprairshow.org. If you come, get an event program; I’m writer/editor and one of the photographers!
Coming in October: The Odyssey Core Values Award!
Odyssey is excited to introduce our very first corporate Core Values Award. We’ve developed this opportunity as a way to celebrate the people who live our values every day by exemplifying Odyssey’s three core values: Respect, Commitment, and Ambition. Keep a look out for more info to come!