Tag Archives: sky trooper

U.S.A!

Two of the biggest, baddest birds to ever fly the skies

Halls of History

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have always loved history. A history teacher was my second desired profession when I was a youth — my first was an anesthesiologist, simply because I could spell it.

My interest in history demands that I attend air shows whenever and wherever I can. Started that as a freshman at Texas A&M University in 1973.

Our “Wings Over Gillespie” air show was this past weekend in El Cajon, and I was there to see one of the biggest, baddest birds to ever fly the skies:

Douglas C53-D Sky Trooper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Douglas C53-D Sky Trooper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Douglas C53-D Sky Trooper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Douglas C53-D Sky Trooper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Douglas C53-D Sky Trooper

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That’s a Douglas C53-D (DC-3) Sky Trooper — parked to takeoff to flight to landing. It is based in Riverside, California, as part of the Commemorative Air Force. This specific Sky Trooper, M2-R 268830, actually took part in delivering paratroopers to the beaches of France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. A big, bad bird.

And here’s the second of our biggest, baddest birds to ever fly the skies:

Bald eagle in residence at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That big, bad bird is a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), the national bird of the United States of America. Rescued as an injured juvenile and rehabilitated by the San Diego Zoo, its injuries prevent it from being released back into the wild. It has to live out its life at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park. Big, bad bird.

And one final picture from the “Wings Over Gillespie” Air Show in honor of our living soldiers and in memory of our fallen soldiers who gave their lives so we could live:

U.S.A!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos