Our member and volunteer David Epstein a Parachute Rigger in WWII visited the Naval Air Station Pensacola with his wife Gloria where he was met by CDR David G. Jasso, Executive Officer of the naval base. David was interviewed for the press as he related the job of a Parachute Rigger. David donated his parachute-rigger tools to the Pensacola Museum. For a period of time David was assigned to President George H.W Bush's Squadron, who was training as a Pilot on the TBM/TBF Avenger torpedo bomber in NAS Fort Lauderdale. David has donated WWII memorabilia and his Aviator's Log Book with Ensign Bush's signature to our Museum.
The city of Lighthouse Point celebrated its Keeper's Day on February 10, with a weekend of events that included a Saturday morning parade followed by a family program at Frank McDonough Park. The event featured a business exposition, classic car show, live entertainment and kids' activities. That evening people gathered at Dan Witt Park for a concert and fireworks. On Sunday, there was a family sports day at McDonough Park that allowed children to enjoy a series of fun athletic competitions.
The Disabled American Veteran's Chapter 133 from Deerfield Beach, participated in the parade with a float, to honor our WWII veterans. Visit the DAV Face Book page to view all 89 photos of the parade:
Lori Nance Parrish, Broward County Property Appraiser and former County Commissioner became interested in the NASFL Historical Association's plight led by Allan McElhiney because her father W.A. Nance, Jr., served in the Navy during World War II and survived when the ship he served on was sunk. Lori felt she could do something to honor his memory by preserving a part of Broward County's history.
On May 20, 1998, the NASFL Historical Association was able to add the Link Trainer Building (our current Museum), to the US National Register of Historic Places. All the buildings from the former WWII base Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale were demolished (except for this one), to make way for the construction of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. In 1999 in support of the Association (which oversees this Museum), Lori was able to obtain a $200,000 grant from the U.S Transportation Department. With this grant the building was relocated to where it is today on Perimeter Road, next to the airport. Lori was an important participant in the long struggle to preserve the Link Trainer Building. Ms. Parrish visited on January 17, 2013-- 14 years after her first visit to the site. She was impressed with our progress and along with founder Allan McElhiney, recalled the early struggles of this Museum.
We invited five WWII Veterans living in the area of Fort Lauderdale for a Round Table discussion at the Link Trainer Building #8 (our current Museum). These Veterans served at the NAS Fort Lauderdale base during the period of 1942–1946. George Lord was a Gunnery Instructor; Henry Torres Sr., had been in charge of the Machine Shop at the Beach Target Range, Allan McElhiney was stationed aboard the USS Asheville at Port Everglades. The Asheville tested experimental weapons for NASFL. David Epstein who got to train with George H.W. Bush, would drive a Jeep Willys loaded with parachutes from NAS Key West to NAS Fort Lauderdale. And David White a Senior Flight Instructor, was part of the search for Flight 19.
The Veterans were asked questions such as:
NASFL Museum Luncheon at Lauderdale Yacht Club
Guest Speaker: Karl Kahn
Director of the Military History Research Foundation
a Florida non-profit corporation
Visit their Official Website: http://www.mhrf.us/
Broward Teens and Tweens Homeschoolers, visited the NASFL Museum to learn about the Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale during World War II. Veteran David Epstein, a volunteer at the Museum, related his experiences in the war and talked about his job as a Parachute Rigger for the Navy.
"The students enjoyed it immensely, and we all learned so much. Having a veteran to talk to, was a wonderful addition to the experience."
Teens and Tweens homeschoolers
New Spotlights of WWII veterans were created. Check them out to read on their story:
Allan McElhiney - USNR WWII & Korea
David Epstein - USNR WWII Parachute Rigger
William J. Hopwood - Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale WWII - Communications Officer
Sgt. Paul Bradley - US Army WWII
For March and April we will feature WWII NASFL Instructor David White who participated in the search for Flight 19, and Jack Cawley, USNR WWII who was also stationed at this base working at the Wing Shop.