• World War II's "23rd Fighter Group-Chennault's Sharks" April 3 Lecture and Book Signing with Carl Molesworth

World War II's "23rd Fighter Group-Chennault's Sharks" April 3 Lecture and Book Signing with Carl Molesworth

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Mt.Vernon resident details his recent book about the legendary World War II pilots
 
SEATTLE, March 17, 2010--Successor to the World War II's legendary "Flying Tigers" American Volunteer Group, the U.S. Army Air Force 23rd Fighter Group made arguably the largest contribution toward the Allied victory in the China-Burma-India Theater of combat of any air unit during World War II. Author Carl Molesworth will recall this record in a presentation based upon his 2009 book, "23rd Fighter Group -  Chennault's Sharks." The program is on April 3 at 2 p.m. Molesworth will field audience questions and sign his books after the presentation. The program is in the William M. Allen Theater, and is free with admission to the Museum.
 
A resident of Mt. Vernon, Wash., Carl Molesworth has been researching and writing about World War II for nearly 30 years. His previous titles include "P-40 Warhawk, Aces of the CBI," "Very Long Range P-51 Mustang Units of the Pacific War," and many others. 
 
During three years of combat during the Second World War, more that 47 of the 23rd Fighter Group gained the coveted "ace" designation of five aerial victories. Chennault's Sharks--named for the AVG commander, Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault--scored more victories than any other U.S. Air Force unit in Asia. Molesworth's history of the 23rd Fighter Group includes dozens of photographs depicting the people, machines and the territories involved in the war over China, Burma and India. His Museum presentation will include many of these rare photos.
 
Visitors to the Museum can see a real P-40 Warhawk--a type of fighter used by the Flying Tigers and Chennault's Sharks--in the World War II section of the J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing.
 
Photo: U.S. Air Force photo of pilot in P-40 cockpit, World War II.
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The non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest independent air and space museums in the world. The Museum's collection includes more than 150 historically significant air- and spacecraft, as well as the William E. Boeing Red Barn® -- the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Co. The J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing displays 28 World War I and World War II aircraft from the United States and other countries including Germany, Russia, and Japan. Over 30 aircraft representing the first century of aviation are displayed in the all-glass T.A. Wilson Great Gallery. The evolution of space flight and a look into the future are presented in the exhibit, Space: Exploring the New Frontier. The Airpark includes outdoor displays including the first jet Air Force One, a supersonic Concorde airliner and the prototype Boeing 747 jumbo jet. Interactive displays in The Flight Zone provide educational and entertaining activities for young children. The Museum's aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 140,000 students are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs--the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum is the only air and space museum in Washington State that is both nationally accredited with the American Association of Museums and a Smithsonian affiliate.
 
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for active military, $8 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org
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