Honoring a Hero in an RV-14A
My namesake, John "Scarsdale Jack" Newkirk, was Squadron Leader for the famous Flying Tigers during World War II. His wingman was a former cartoonist named Bert Christman, who painted the iconic shark's teeth and panda bears on their P-40 airplanes. Newkirk & Christman both graduated from NAS Pensacola in 1939 and became fast friends. Unfortunately, they were both KIA within a couple months of each other while serving in the China-Burma-India theater.
Last weekend was the 80th Anniversary of Bert Christman's passing. His hometown staged a memorial event at Christman Field in Ft. Collins, Colorado and they invited me to do a flyover in my RV-14A with the thought that perhaps 50 - 60 people would show up.
As long as I live, I'll never forget that low approach toward Christman Field at 170 KTAS, clearing the trees, and seeing nearly 200 people waving flags. In addition to my flyby, there was a Navion, a Piper Cub, a WW II trainer airplane, and others. And it was all topped off by three passes from a P-51 Mustang! It made the front page of the local paper, as well as primetime television news on the Denver NBC affiliate. My wife even said it was on Yahoo News.
A near-perfect day for the commemoration of this American hero - and Van's was a big part of it!
Wyoming Big Horn Basin/Colorado Front Range
RV-14A No. 140308 (N34PB) w/ 385+ Hours
RV-8 No. 83081 (N84TH) w/ 85+ Hours
Carbon Cub FX-3 CCX-2000 (N134PB) - SOLD