This Memorial Day Weekend started quite differently from past years where I would typically set up camp at the beach for 2-3 days to photograph the Airshows. From Friday night, all through Saturday, heavy thunderstorms brought over 1 inch of rain, canceling the Saturday show completely. On Sunday, I awoke to blue skies and the news that planes would take flight. Still, it was cold and extremely windy with gusts around 25mph, making things very uncomfortable at the beach. I was discouraged, but considering the massive collective effort that went into arranging this Airshow, there was no way I was going home with an empty memory card. Blowing sand and camera gear is never a good mix, so I needed a backup plan.
I opted to check out the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale. The facility is in an old airplane hangar, and was a crucial part of the "Arsenal of Democracy" which produced over 9,000 P-47 Thunderbolts during WWII. After paying the admission, I suddenly found myself in front of an amazing collection of historic planes, tanks, WWII era newspapers, and more. As I made these photographs, I was in awe of the men and women who built, assembled, and repaired these machines, as well as the soldiers and airmen who operated them.
I felt a great sense of pride in what they had accomplished, and gratitude for the freedom we enjoy today in the Unites States. I thought of my Dad, Grandfathers, Uncles, and friends, all of which have served from WWII to Vietnam, the Korean War, and more recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. I salute each one of them, and am so thankful for their sacrifices.
This is a short video I captured of the Consolidated PBY Catalina on the runway.