Just as the Navy selected Pensacola, Florida, for the site of naval air training due to good weather conditions, Troop 9 out of Worcester, Massachusetts elected to come south to the USS Yorktown for flight training on a beautiful spring day in April. Led by Scoutmaster John Atlas (a scoutmaster for 23 years!) Troop 9 arrived Monday for a two day visit with 22 scouts and 5 adult leaders.
The troop conducted flight training (Aviation Merit badge class) with clear skies and temperatures in the 70’s, winds were West at 23 mph, gusts to 30 (a little bustery). Of course, we had nicer weather with our flight simulator software in the theater and the scouts’ attention was quickly attained when our first scout pilot, Ben (no last names to protect the innocent), encountered aufschlagbrand (crash and burn) on takeoff. Scoutmaster Atlas now has to write a letter home to his parents. The scouts quickly picked up the three axis flight control system and several were very close to attaining Topgun status…but time was running out…finally one scout, First Class scout Nick Day, stood forward as the last chance of Troop 9 to get a kill and he stepped up to the occasion with a nice reattack, rear quarter lead shot on the Japanese Betty. Another Topgun Scout pilot at Patriots Point, Nick is our sixth this year.
The TALOS missile seen above was developed just up the coast on Topsail Island, just northeast of Wilmington, NC. The missile assembly building is still standing and is a museum now at Topsail Beach, NC. Click here to visit their web site, it is a well done, small museum.