Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Headed for Florida

We finally made it down into Florida and a little bit warmer weather.

The first stop after leaving Cincinnati was a quick overnight in Birmingham, Alabama to visit with Bill Long and family (cousins of Dave's on his Dad's side).

The Long Family in Birmingham

Then we moved on to Pensacola, FL for a visit to the Naval Aviation Museum

National Museum of Naval Avaition

We stayed in visitor quarters at the Pensacola Naval Air Station and we heard the Blue Angels practicing in the morning. The museum was great and we could have spent a LOT more time browsing the exhibits. We did find the replica of Dave's Dad's plane, the Minsi III, and paintings and more plaques honoring Dave's Dad (the Navy's highest scoring Ace ever).

The Medal of Honor Wall

Painting Depicting Dave McCampbell and Wingman Defending the Carrier Against 60 Japanese Zeros

We also looked for and found the Golden Eagles exhibit. My Dad, Gordon Gray, was inducted into the Golden Eagles a few years ago for his work testing the wildly successful F-8U Crusader jet in the mid-1950's. Sadly, the Golden Eagles exhibit didn't even have a roster listing the inductees. But, the guy in the yellow shirt in the placque on the right is Dave's dad!
The Golden Eagles Plaques

On our way out of Pensacola, we made a quick stop at the Wentworth Florida State Museum to see the exhibit on the 1559 Spanish shipwrecks recently discovered in Pensacola Bay. The Tristan de Luna fleet was a Spanish fleet sent to Pensacola to establish a colony BEFORE St. Augustine. But the ships were wrecked in a hurricane and the colony soon died out.

Dave Checks Out the Tristan de Luna Exhibit

Great Artists Sketch of the Shipwreck

Then we headed east along the Florida panhandle to Panama City, FL to attend the Mark V Monument unveiling.

Dedication of the Mark V Monument
at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center

The Mark V Monument is a privately-funded 12-ft statue commemorating the contribution of Deep Sea Divers from all walks of the military. It is erected right in front of the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, which was Dave's last command before he retired from the Navy.

The Mark V Monument

Dave had a great time seeing the NDSTC and hooking up with some of his old buddies from the Navy.

We also got a chance to go see the Man in the Sea Museum out on Panama City Beach.

No comments:

Post a Comment