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Frances Allen’s Desert Roundup —Air Museum Celebrates ‘Rendezvous With History’

The Palm Springs Air Museum with a C-47 in front.

Posted Monday, March 4, 2019 - 5:20 pm

“Play it again, Sam.” One of the most misquoted lines not appearing in a motion picture provided the theme, “Rendezvous With History,” for the 2019 gala presented by the Palm Springs Air Museum (PSAM.)

Named as one of the top 14 aviation museums in the world by CNN Travel, the museum consists of 86,000 square feet inside four climate-controlled hangers, with more aircraft on the tarmac outside.

The gala’s honorees and a partial list of their achievements are:

• Clarence “Bud” Anderson (COL, USAF, RET.) served two combat tours in Europe during World War II and was the highest scoring Triple Ace P-51 pilot.

• Richard Arthur Thomas (SSG, USA, RET.) received the Distinguished Service Cross, “For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 422nd Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces from 16 to 21 December 1966.”

• Marvin Cohn, (RM2, USN, RET.) who while serving aboard a destroyer in the Pacific, stayed at his post in order to keep sending radio messages, in the face of continuing enemy fire, about the position of the Japanese fleet to approaching American forces.

• Brigadier General Robin Olds (BRIG. GEN., USAF. RET., MEDAL OF HONOR.) was the youngest Major during WWII. He was honored posthumously for his long career serving in World II and Vietnam.

• Admiral Mark Irby “MRT” Fox (VADM, USN, RET) has a record that speaks for itself. Fox has flown over 1,000 combat sorties, logged over 4,900 flight hours, 1,348 arrested landings on 15 different aircraft couriers and five fleet Tours. He has also served as Director of the White House Military Office.

• Clinton Romesha (SSG. USA, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient). In October 2009, 300 Taliban insurgents attacked Romesha’s combat base with over whelming force. Romesha was credited with rallying his comrades and leading the counterattack, although he was severely wounded.

• If the name Robert “Hoot” Gibson (CAPT USN, Astronaut ret.) sounds familiar, it should. Gibson is a topgun aviator, test pilot, aeronautical engineer and a retired NASA astronaut as well as a professional air-race pilot. His flight experiences include 140 types of aircraft in over 14,000 hours of flight-time.

• Lt. Cmdr. Kirsten “Dragon” Hansen (LCDR.USN) is an example of the integration of highly qualified women into modern combat. An Annapolis graduate, Hansen has been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now about to take her first Command as the Executive Officer of VFA-25.

Celebrity Host Joe Mantegna emceed the gala and Tony Orlando provided the musical entertainment. However, the most entertaining part of the evening was listing to the stories of the veterans and their selfish bravery.

The Gala also included a special tribute to the late Jim Houston, the king of Desert philanthropy, for his generous and unwavering support for the Palm Springs Air Museum.

If you would like to help keep the past alive, more information is available at 760-482-778-6262.

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