View pictures from June dinner and speaker click here.
Dinner is catered and open to the public ($20/person), reservations are required prior to 6 p.m., Monday prior to dinner, either
On-line HERE or
call 805 296-1935
Estrella Warbird Museum member Dick Bloomquist was born on March 1, 1917 (now 100 years old) on a small farm in Gowrie, Iowa. He graduated from high school in 1934 and since corn was only selling for 10 cents a bushel, college was not in his future. By the late 1930s Hitler was taking over much of Europe and torpedoing American merchant ships. Dick could see that American involvement was eminent so he enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aircraft mechanic.
He completed basic military training at Chanute Field, Illinois and then aircraft mechanics instruction at Maxwell Field, Alabama and Moody Field, Georgia. After a few flights with some instructors, Dick decided to apply for flight training. He was accepted and flew the Boeing PT-13 Stearman, Vultee BT-13 Valiant, and North American AT-6 Texan. In advanced training he flew the twin-engine Curtiss-Wright AT-9 and Beechcraft AT-10.
Dick then was assigned Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress training at Hendricks Field, Florida, Pyote Army Air Base, Texas and Alexandria Army Air Base, Louisiana. Final preparation for combat was at Grand Island Army Air Field, Nebraska.
On December 7, 1943 (the second anniversary of the raid on Pearl Harbor) Dick and his nine crew-members headed off for Italy via Miami, Florida, Fortaleza, Brazil and Casablanca North Africa. He was assigned to the 96th Bombardment Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group of the 15th Air Force stationed at Amendola Air Field in Italy. During the next seven months he flew 50 combat mission over Germany and Nazi occupied countries to include the famous “Shuttle Flights to Russia.” In 1995 Russia awarded Dick a medal to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the “Great Patriotic War.”
After the war, Dick married Shirley Kehler in September 1944. They were married for over 70 years and raised two daughters. Dick and Shirley moved to Paso Robles in 1998 and he has been a docent in our museum for many, many years. The title of his talk on June 7, 2017 is “Flaming Arrow.”
Special thanks to Gary Foss of Pebble Beach for his donation of scale model German warships that include the Bismark, Scharnhorst, Prince Eugen, and Graf Spee. More to see at Estrella Warbirds Museum! Come on down!
World renown aircraft designer, world record-breaking aviator, Richard Glen "Dick" Rutan, visited Estrella Warbirds Museum to meet with the staff share some of his unique aviation insights. Dick Rutan was the Commander of the 1986 flight of the Rutan Voyger, as it made the first non-stop, unfueled flight around the world. His co-pilot was Jeana Yeager. Click here for more pictures thanks to Michael Levine.
Watch Dennis Gage show off Warbirds Wings & Wheels 8 on national TV. You can now watch the entire episode on our Warbirds Wings & Wheels 9 pages. Click here to view!
Dennis Gage came back to Estrella Warbirds Museum the first week of April, 2017 to film the Woodland Auto Display for yet another show later this season. We will post show times when we receive notice.
If you have visited the Woodland Auto Display this past year at Estella Warbirds Museum, you would have seen this Robert Yates car #28, diven by Davey Allison, on display. As of January 7th, it is on loan to an incredible organization. For just the third time since it opened in 2010, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will have a new feature displayed on its Glory Road exhibit -- one that highlights the most legendary drivers in the history of the sport. It takes some drivers years to make their mark on NASCAR’s premier series. In 1987, however, second-generation driver Davey Allison made headlines in his first full season. His five poles and two wins led to Rookie of the Year honors and a record that would stand for 12 seasons. Robert Yates, who served as engine builder on the car, took over as owner in 1989. He kept Allison on as driver and launched Robert Yates Racing
You can read more about the exhibit and view a video in the AutoWeek.com article which talks about this car, click here. How cool is that? Thanks Dick Woodland, for taking a critical part in this project!