Elusive documents. Missing or gone?

Pursuit of Veterans Air elusive records

Many missing pieces of our history remain missing. The elusive records are hopefully not nonexistent — just, well, elusive!  Thus my on-going pursuit of aviation experts with knowledge, resources and/or interest the 1940s non-sked era in general – and possible knowledge of Veterans Air as part of that era.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott “educates” me

Background: In December 2015, I did a web search for post-WWII non-skeds airlines which revealed a very interesting archival project. Initiated around 1996 by a group called Aviation Pioneers Association (APA), they had endowed their findings to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott campus, in 2011. Thus began The Non-sked History Project at ERAU conducted mostly by their Prescott students

On that December day, email exchanges and a lengthy phone conversation brought me the good fortune of meeting Steve Bobinsky, then Executive Director of Development and now Executive Director of Philanthropy Development at ERAU, Prescott. He broadened my non-sked knowledge back then, encouraged my research, and, during June-July this year, Steve greatly enriched my contacts. More about that later.

ERAU Nonsked History Project finds worthy home
at San Diego Air & Space Museum

Update: By 2016, the ERAU student history project gained worthy recognition and their research efforts found a home. San Diego Air & Space Museum installed their first-ever non-sked exhibition and inducted three specific members of APA who played major roles in the non-sked era. Stan Weiss, Hal Cope, and Dr. Ralph Cox.

If you are not familiar with the non-sked era, I encourage you to visit the Museum website — or better still, the Museum itself!  You’ll get an extremely fine introduction from the 5:34 minute video that accompanies the 2016 Induction. With the gracious consent of San Diego Air & Space Museum, I am pleased to provide a link to the story and the video. 

Back to the “present.” June 2018

Before June this year, telephonically, Steve Bobinsky’s energy was infectious, his knowledge obvious, and his interest a compliment. Sitting across the room from him was even better. He listens intently to my research recaps and probes for the missing pieces, while suggesting new contacts and resources for me. His interest is highly motivating for me.

And then there was a full day at The Hazy!

Research Librarian Suzie Roth smiles from behind a stash of clippings she unearthed in search of Veterans Air elusive records. Overhead aircraft models strafe the Hazy Library ceiling.
Suzie Roth, the very able and delightful Research Librarian at Embry-Riddle Hazy Library, Prescott AZ. Those are MY papers and her VAE findings spread out on her desk and surroundings. We really dug in! Thank you, very much, Suzie! PHOTO CREDIT: Gaye Lyn

I was given day-long access to Embry-Riddle Prescott’s Hazy Library. In advance, Steve had notified some of the library staff of my visit, introducing me as “part of our (Non-Sked History) project.” A work session with Research Librarian, Suzie Roth, turned out to be integral to the day – and beyond delightful.

Suzie, well versed in the non-skeds, eagerly and successfully scoured the library databases for material on the era and Veterans Air elusive records. Four hours later when we both came up for air, she resumed her other duties and left me set up on my own. What a gift.

Following my Prescott visit, true to his word, Steve reached out to other non-sked resources on my behalf. This led to exchanges with Katrina Pescador, Head Archivist, San Diego Air and Space Museum…and the above story and web link.

Dear Reader, one more time I must confess I’ve taken too few (almost no) photographs.  Suzie Roth’s is my sole image from a truly outstanding campus and library.  None of Steve Bobinsky either!  🙁 

Gaye Lyn

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