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).
Then we moved on to Pensacola, FL for a visit to the Naval Aviation Museum
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).
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!
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.
Then we headed east along the Florida panhandle to Panama City, FL to attend the Mark V Monument unveiling.
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.
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.