About This Site …

My name is Jim, I currently live in San Antonio Texas but would rather be on a sailboat in the Caribbean. I blog about the history of enlisted flyers, specifically USAAF and USAF flight engineers. Also, being a veteran, with some issues as the result of deploying over a fifteen year period. I started out using photography to tell stories that were autobiographic, personal narratives. I received my Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia College Chicago, it was during this time I started to use video in addition to photography to tell stories.

From 2003 through 2016 I deployed “a few times”. In addition, I did several years of Stateside deployments, primarily doing Medivac and HR missions. I made a few trips to Ft. Benning to support the Jump School and the Free-Fall school at U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground. During my time in the Guard and Reserves, I was a part-timer, it was supposed to be one weekend a month and two weeks a year. That didn’t work out so well.

About a week prior to one of these deployments an actor/filmmaker friend, Richard Beymer, thought it would be “very cool” if I got an HD camera with a wide-angle lens. So I did. I made a mount for the camera and hung it behind my seat in the cockpit. I was able to capture both inside the aircraft and out front. The system worked out very well.

I’ve been interested in the B-17 and the Norden Bombsite for many years. I became even more interested after I found out my wife’s father was on the team developing the bomb-site prior to the war and her uncle, his brother, was a B-17 FE/top turret gunner. I’m also interested in pre World War Two enlisted flyers. My Mom’s father was an enlisted US Marine flyer just after World War One. I’m especially interested in early military flight engineer history, how the role of FE’s came into being and how it’s changed over the years especially after WWII. How and why did cargo aircraft retain FEs while bombers lost the FE position? I have my suspicions, but … I’ll need to do a bit more research. Stay tuned!

If you have any questions or there is a topic that you’re interested in reading about concerning military flight engineers past and present let me know.

You can contact me through the blog.