Ready 7 opens to the public 16 May 2009!!
For FIVE years your Midway Crusader Ready Room Team has waited for the Midway Museum in San Diego to open the ship's mezzanine deck to the public. That planned opening day has finally arrived. On 18 May the ship will open to the public the forward mezzanine deck Ready Rooms; this includes our READY ROOM SEVEN, "The Crusader Ready Room". In celebration of that "happening" your Crusader Ready Room Team is planning a Ready Room showing and cocktail party for all our pilots, family and friends. . The party will be held in Midway, on the aft port sponson, from 1700 - 2000 on Saturday 16 May, 2009. It will include entrance to Midway, Hors d' Oeuvres and a wine, beer and soda drinks bar. Additionally there will be guided tours of our Ready Room for groups of 10 - 15 rotating in and out of the ready room until 1945. Included is the opportunity to visit the Hangar Deck and Flight Deck. Our Crusader is on the Starboard Cat .ready for launch!!
The cost for the evening's event is $25 PER PERSON. We will need a firm count by FIVE (5) May .so get your reservations in early!! Send your RESERVATIONS and CHECKS to: "The Crusader Association" Karen Black 3341 Avenida Hacienda Escondido, CA 92029
Midway is located in San Diego at her pier at the foot of Broadway. You CAN'T miss her!! Parking is on the pier adjacent to the ship. There is a CHARGE for parking that concession is not controlled by Midway OR us!! Midway has elevator access from the pier to the quarterdeck. Our special thanks to everyone who supported this Ready Room effort financially and otherwise. We are looking forward to sharing a fun and memory filled night with all!
Best wishes from your Crusader Ready Room team; Bob Pearl Bruce Boland Dick Cavicke Jack Batzler Cal Swanson Morrie Lewis Karen Black Dale Deweese
Questions to: Bruce Boland at EandBSD@cox.net or to Karen Black at: email@example.com
Update - 07 March 09
Here are some photos; looks marvelous!
Dick Cavicke Donor Plaque - $250 or more
Update - 26 August 07
Our F8 Ready Room in Midway is maturing nicely. (Just like all of us I suppose!!) We have expanded the collection being displayed, even since LACB 22 in May in San Diego. We should all be quite proud of what our Association Crusader Ready Room is - and - what it will become.
Our need now is for more pictures from our much earlier and younger days, as we fill out our picture gallery. HOWEVER, we have enough generic pictures of F8's in all attitudes and states of flight...what we need now are the PERSONAL pictures you have squirreled away in dusty boxes and the backs of desk drawers. Those pictures of you and squadron mates, and/or other nefarious folk. Also any historical F-8 data, pamphlets, books, and shipboard ops, etc will be welcome. As an example, Fritz Meyer dropped off his Centurion Certificate from Indy the other day, signed by Jig Dog Ramage, so now we have representation of that kind of event.
Please send those on to us and on the back, or attached, describe:
1. WHO sent it.
2. Your address to which to return the photo/item.We promise to return the originals if you wish it....
3 The occasion (if you can remember) of the photo.
4. The names of the others in the photo
5. IDENTIFY the Squadron and the era!!
Send to: Bruce Boland 5205 Le Barron Rd. San Diego, CA 92115
Package the photos/items securely and if you need assistance for postage send us an Email for our UPS account.
Finally the permanent plaque of donors ($250 or more) is installed in the Ready Room. Many of you saw it at LACB 22. It boasts 173 names and has room for more. If you're not on it, call Bob Pearl at 858-587-8144 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and become a slice of Crusader immortality!!
Thanks...your RR Committee is looking forward to seeing all in San Francisco in '08 for LACB 23.
All the best...cheers...Bruce
Update - 1 Jan. 06
Among the many great things that happened in San Diego over the 2005 Christmas Season was the loading aboard Midway on December 27th of a beautifully restored Crusader.
Mark Jones photo
Thanks to the efforts of Mo Peele and his Midway aircraft restoration crew, and the generosity of our Crusader Association Members, we now have this F8 sitting on the Starboard catapult for all to enjoy. The Aircraft is finished in VF-111 "Sundowners" livery of the mid to late 1960's. This F8 is one that was in the squadron aboard Midway during that era.
Clint Griffin photo
The Aircraft is dedicated to three "Sundowners" that lost their lives during that period of the Vietnam War. Cdrs' Doyle Lynn and James La Haye were successive Commanding Officers, flying from Midway, that were lost within 19 days of each other in the vicinity of Vinh, and Lt.jg. Gene Gollahan who was lost during the same cruise.
There will be a permanent sign adjacent to this Crusader describing the aircraft. The names of ALL that have donated to our Association efforts will be included.
The photos were taken on December 29th 2005, on the occasion of the presentation to the Midway Museum of a $10,000 check from our Association Members that have supported this restoration, and our Crusader Ready Room Seven Museum.
Clint Griffin photo
(From left to right in the group picture....Cal Swanson, Bruce Boland, Jack Batzler, Dick Cavicke, Mac McLaughlin (Pres. of the Midway Foundation), Bob Pearl, Aubrey Brittian (Restoration Team member), Mo Peele (Midway Director of Restoration), Ray Lopez (Restoration Team member) [Photos by Clint Griffin, Midway Photographer]
The efforts to open our Crusader Ready Room Seven continue......we are climbing the hill of "access for all" to the gallery deck and the Ready Rooms.
Those association members that wish to contribute may do so by sending their checks to "The Crusader Association" (for the Midway Ready Room) to:
Bob Pearl 5155 "B" Renaissance Ave. San Diego, CA 92122
[Click on the "Support" link for a downloadable donation form]
Donations at the $250 and above level will be remembered on a permanent plague in the Ready Room and a donor at that level will also receive a Crusader Association Golf shirt. PLEASE let Bob know your shirt size (S,M,L,XL) when you send your $250 plus check.
Thanks to all of our Association Members for your support as we continue to build this memorial to the "Last of the Gunfighters".
Happy New Year, and best wishes to all for 2006.
Update - 3 Mar. 05
It has been awhile since we have sent you an update on our efforts for the F8 Museum (Ready Room Seven) in USS Midway, but while it seems slow going, your committee is hard at work. We are receiving 6 ready room chairs that will be sufficient for the display we have planned. We are also in the process of installing new display lighting and display cases for all the memorabilia that we have received from our Gunfighters. The Midway museum is still working out the general public access to the gallery deck so that all of the Ready Rooms will be available for touring. Until that general access is solved there will be docent lead tours to the Ready Rooms when they are opened.
To-date Midway has had 650,000 plus
paying guests tour the ship and it is already 85 Percent “booked” for
convention etc. events in 2005. New areas of the ship are being opened daily as the Midway
Museum works to have the best Carrier Museum in the World!! There are over 15 beautifully
restored Aircraft on display and we are working with Midway about getting an F-8 on-board.
We hope to have more news about the aircraft by the end of March. We’ll keep you
As to our fund raising efforts, 121
gunfighters have responded in magnificent fashion and are all listed on the
"Sponsors" link. These generous donations have enabled us to move smartly
forward, and in fact, we recently paid our second and final payment ($5,000) on our
10-year lease for the Ready Room on behalf of the Crusader Association. Thank You So Much– and we are looking forward to all Crusader drivers
getting on board with our fund raising efforts. We still have not
reached our ultimate goal and have a ways to go to ensure a first class museum.
Remember any amount helps, however, those that are able to contribute $250 or
more will have their names included, in perpetuity, on a plaque in the Ready Room. You
will also receive a nifty F8 Museum golf/polo shirt. Please don’t forget to send
your shirt size. See www.f8crusader.org for
additional information. Apart from the donor program, the polo shirt may be purchased
separately for $50. Contact Bob Pearl at 1-858-587-8144.
Also keep in mind we are still looking for unique Crusader Memorabilia. If you have anything of interest, or related items, please give us a call. Bruce Boland is the POC and can be reached at 1-619-286-7480 or email@example.com Thanks for all the “stuff” that many of you have already sent. It is most appreciated.
Update - 5 Nov. 04
Wow! In this sitrep we are pleased to acknowledge a donation of $5,000 from our Crusader Association to our Ready Room; many thanks to our Board of Directors and all of our Association Members for this most generous gift. Additionally, as of today, 105 of you have individually stepped up and supported our F-8 Crusader Ready Room/Museum project in USS Midway, San Diego. Thank You - and we are looking forward to all Crusader drivers coming aboard. Remember any amount helps. Those "drivers" who contribute at the $250 level and above, will be permanently remembered on a plaque in the Ready Room. In addition, since we ran out of Wing Tip Lights, we are sending donors at the $250 level an F-8 Museum Polo Shirt. These shirts are very high quality by "Port Authority", and embroidered in Gold with the Crusader "1000 MPH" pin on the left side of the chest. Apart from the donor program, the polo shirt may be purchased separately for $50. For details on the shirts contact Bob Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org or 858-587-8144.
The memorabilia is also beginning to come in and we are turning up the heat on space preparation. Space layout drawings are finished and we are obtaining the display cases and all the other necessary accoutrements (stuff!!) to outfit the Ready Room. None of this will happen overnight but with your generous contributions we are moving smartly forward. The Midway Foundation is working toward have the gallery decks open for visitors by the end of December and we plan to be ready!!
However we are still need Crusader Memorabilia!!! Look in your garage, check under the bed and empty the old cruise boxes. If you have anything you would donate to the Ready Room, please give Bruce Boland a call at 619-286-7480 or contact him at: email@example.comWe are looking particularly for flight gear items. Does anyone have a life preserver of the type we wore on our torso harness???? We also want your pictures and personal items.
When shipping your items please use our UPS account number [contact Bruce for the #] send them UPS GROUND to: Bruce Boland 5205 Le Barron Rd. San Diego, CA 92115
- 10 Oct. 04
Wow…Holy Supersonic Crusader support! As of the Columbus Day weekend ninety-nine (99) of you have stepped up to the plate to support our F-8 Crusader Ready Room/Museum project in USS Midway, San Diego. And along with memorabilia starting to roll in, we are turning up the heat on space preparation. Layouts are being planned and drawn, and display cases are being bought along with all the necessary accoutrements (is that an F8 pilot term or something you could get in Olongapo?) to outfit the space. None of this will happen overnight but with your generous contributions we are moving smartly forward. Thank You - and we are looking forward to all Crusader drivers getting on board. Remember any amount helps. And, those who can contribute at the $250 level and above will be permanently remembered on a plaque in the Ready Room.
We NEED MORE of your memorabilia! All that "stuff" you've kept in your garage for 30+ years is golden!! Contact Bruce Boland by E Mail or Telephone and tell him what you've got to donate. E Mail Bruce at: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 619-286-7480. We will arrange to have it sent at NO shipping cost to you!!
If you have anything of interest, a spare F-8 (?!), or other related items please give us a call. Remember all those Tonkin Gulf "daily kneeboard cards" with great cartoons and sayings?? Send them to us!!
- 24 Sep. 04
This is the second periodic update on the fund raising effort for our Crusader Ready Room on the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum in San Diego. You all have been great and your committee wants you to know we appreciate your rapid and generous response, and support. We have finished the cleaning and preparation of the Ready Room and the next step is to configure it (remove some temporary bulkheads!!) in preparation for the permanent layout of the Ready Room Museum. Janitor "Mad Dog" Batzler and his team of Volunteers from the Vietnam Vets Rehabilitation Center in San Diego have done a great job in getting our Ready Room "ship shape".
We would now like to begin the solicitation of memorabilia for the Ready Room. Those Crusader Pilots, and other supporters, that would like to donate "stuff" to the Ready Room can send Bruce Boland an E Mail message and describe the item. E Mail Bruce at: email@example.com We will give you shipping instructions and other details via return E Mail. You can either LEND the items to the Ready Room OR GIFT them to the Crusader Association. We have already received through the generosity of our Crusader Artist Bill Northup commitments for a number of his Crusader paintings. We also already have a Tail hook (shank and all!) so we don't need any more of them!! It will be YOUR memorabilia that will add so much to our Ready Room Museum, so let us know what you would like to send us.
As of today, 74 gunfighters have sent contributions totaling $19,026. This amount now allows us to begin our space renovation and procure the necessary items needed to display memorabilia. However, there is still much more to do and it is our hope that all Gunfighters, and other fans of our Aircraft, will get on board at some level of support. Our minimum goal needed to complete the project, including lease payments, is at least $25,000. We are beginning to mail the wingtip lights and Crusader coasters so those of you that are expecting those items should receive them soon!!
Update - 3 Sep. 04
This is a periodic report on the fund raising effort for the Crusader Ready Room on the Midway Museum in San Diego. As of today, 45 of our Crusader Pilots and supporters have promptly and generously responded to our request for funds. The total contributions are now at $11,425. These funds will cover our obligated lease payments and now we are working on space renovation, outfitting and a host of other issues related to any first class museum. There is much more to be done!! Check the Sponsors list -- link at left.
At our 20th LACB in San Diego in Oct
2004, the concept of establishing a Crusader Ready Room on the former USS Midway was
presented to the Association and overwhelmingly approved.
For the past 11 years, a large group of
devoted and supportive fans of Naval Aviation and its Carriers has worked to bring the
former USS Midway to San Diego as a Carrier Museum. This effort culminated late last fall
('03) when Midway was towed from Bremerton Washington and permanently moored downtown next
to Navy pier at the foot of Broadway. Concurrent with the effort to locate Midway in San
Diego, was the vision by a number of Southern California Crusader pilots to establish a
"Crusader Ready Room", with a fitting Museum setting to honor the aircraft, and
its pilots. This effort came to fruition on July 6th
when a ten-year lease for Ready Room SEVEN (RR 7) was signed by Bruce Boland, Dick
Cavicke, Bob Pearl and Cal Swanson with the Midway Carrier Museum Foundation. RR
7 is located on the O-2 level Port side forward and is of suitable size and in
"good" shape for our needs. Since opening in early June over 250,000 paying guests have visited the Midway Carrier Museum.
In addition to a sizeable number of
Crusader volunteers, the San Diego team is very fortunate to include the volunteer
services of two local professionals with extensive design and decorating experience. We
anticipate having Ready Room Seven open for guided tours within six months. To the
best of our knowledge, no Navy/Marine or aviation museum now exists, or is planned,
that will afford a more appropriate site for the display of F-8 Crusader and Crusader
pilot memorablilia. Memorabilia items for the Midway display be requested from
Association members and they may either be "loaned" or given as a permanent tax deductible "donation".
HOWEVER, none of this can be accomplished without the financial and volunteer support of our Association members and others. The Ready Room lease cost is $10,000 for 10 years and we anticipate needing at least another $15,000 to bring RR 7 and its display contents to a quality, secure condition for public viewing.
Attached is a Form that we hope all
will use to help preserve this part of Navy and Marine Aviation history! Donors of $250 or
more will be recognized on a permanent plaque to be displayed in the Ready Room. The FIRST
70 donors at that level (or higher) will also receive a NEW F-8 Wingtip light that will
look great on your bar or wherever! All donors of $75.00 will receive a set of 4 Crusader
cocktail coasters with a color printed replica of the Crusader "1000 MPH" Badge.
Raise that donation to a total of $100.00, and you can
receive 8 cocktail coasters. Any and all donations are gratefully accepted. YOUR
donation, made to the
F-8 Crusader Association for the Ready
Room project, is fully TAX deductible.
Please take a moment NOW to
review the donation form, write your check, and send it to
support this project, which will ensure that our great Crusader Aircraft and its Pilots
are forever remembered in this most appropriate setting.
Thanks in advance for your support!
And the "Crusader Association
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR UPDATES AND PHOTOS OF PROGRESS!