In honor of Veterans Day, The Costa Mesa Historical Society presents its annual salute to our veterans with U.S. Air Force Captain Gary Barnhill on Sunday, November 17, 2019.
Captain Gary Barnhill, illustrious Air Force pilot whose missions included hazardous and challenging F-105 missions over North Vietnam in the highest threat air environment of the entire Viet Nam War, will share his presentation “Downtown, everything is waiting for you” from Petula Clark’s 1964 hit song. “Downtown” referred metaphorically to Hanoi. “Everything is Waiting for You” was the pilot’s gallows humor for the SAM missiles and Anti-Aircraft Artillery that greeted each entry into North Vietnam airspace. He will briefly describe flying the high-accident-rate F-100C in Europe circa 1958 and sitting Nuclear Alert as a still maturing young lad of 22. The main topic is flying the F-105 Thunderchief in 1965 during Rolling Thunder; the air campaign to bomb targets in North Vietnam, which lasted until late 1969. He will “take you along” on an aerial refueling episode with an extremely unusual ending. He will also “take you along” on an interesting Hunter Killer “Experimental” mission to find and destroy a SAM missile, which up to that time, had never been accomplished. After 11 years in USAF, there was a brief flirtation with CIA, a career with Trans World Airlines, air show pilot, and founder of a B-747 pilot leasing firm.
Decorations & Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal.2nd AD, Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces expeditionary Medal w/star, Vietnam Svc Medal, Armed Forces Longevity Svc Award w/OLC, Armed Forces Reserve Medal
Mr. Barnhill belongs to the Freedom Committee of Orange County (http://fc-oc.org) whose members speak to high school students and civic groups to bring “living history” into the classroom and instill a sense of patriotism in future generations.
Bring a friend and join us to hear this “from the cockpit” narrative of the war in the sky!
Seating is limited, for RESERVATIONS call (949) 631-5918. Doors open at 2:00, program at 2:30. Free admission and refreshments. We are located at 1870 Anaheim Ave. northwest corner of the Lions Park complex.Visit www.costamesahistory.org or go to facebook/costa mesa historical society for more information.
Note: Due to construction, entry to parking lot must be made from Anaheim Ave.