Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kudos from the Smithsonian

I got a nice review of my documentary "Nagasaki: The Commander's Voice" from Charles Aston, a docent at the The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which is an annex of the National Air & Space Museum that's near Dulles:

Hi Michael,

Jane sent the DVD, which arrived yesterday. I watched it yesterday evening. I'd have written sooner but this is the first I've been on line today.

It was excellent! Paul Tibbetts and Enola Gay have pretty well overshadowed Sweeney and Bockscar, which is a pity. Everything went right on Tibbett's mission. Nearly everything that could go wrong on Sweeney's did. Not to denigrate Tibbets, but the Nagasaki mission demanded much more talent to pull off.

Your choice of background music is wonderful.

We are all fortunate that you conducted the interview when you did. It's said that when an old person dies, it's like a library burning down. I believe that. Once a voice has been stilled, we can never know what amazing things it might have told us had we only asked while there was time.

I will show Nagasaki to my CAP squadron and my fellow docents. I'm sure they will find it as entertaining, educational and thought provoking, as I did.

Thanks again for your thoughtfulness in making the DVD for me.

Don't forget your standing invitation for a private tour of UHC.

Regards,

Chuck


A co-worker at my present job noticed me walking around with a Finnish Air Force coffee mug and asked me about it. I told her it was a relic from my previous career as editor of a defense magazine. She told me about a friend of hers who worked as a volunteer guide at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Well, I had shot some footage of the B-29 "Enola Gay" there for my Nagasaki documentary, so I wondered if she would send him a DVD copy.

And there you go.

What's interesting about Chuck's take on the Nagasaki mission is that he gives credit to Sweeney for his performance under difficult circumstances. Others are less complimentary.

By the way, CAP stands for Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer civilian auxilliary arm of the US Air Force. Hessian Bob was a CAP pilot when he was in high school.

I had to look up 'docent.'