This photo depicts the “Flagship Orange County,” Lyon Air Museum’s own DC-3. It started life as a C-47A built during World War II. Prior to its conversion to airliner configuration, it flew with the USAAF’s famed 440th Troop Carrier Group. And just before midnight on June 5, 1944, this aircraft was positioned at Exeter Field in England, ready to fly across the Channel with hundreds of other Dakotas. Its assigned mission: Drop members of the 101st Airborne, the Screaming Eagles, over Drop Zone DELTA, to support the D-Day invasion in Normandy at 1:40 AM, on the morning of June 6, 1944.
I visited the Lyon Air Museum this month—my first visit there despite the fact that I’ve lived in Costa Mesa for over 30 years. Well worth the visit, this museum is a special place. It is incredibly clean, extremely well lit, and small enough to give you up-close, intimate views of its various planes, cars, jeeps, motorcycles, and other displays. Though World War II was before I was born, its larger-than-life impact on all of us is due to the overwhelming significance and success of its global campaign for freedom.
A quiet Sunday afternoon was the backdrop for my photography excursion there as I moved about the hangar. There were few other visitors there at the time but it seemed as if they were always at the opposite end of the building from where I was...the volume of the space absorbed all the sound to the point where I often felt like I was by myself. It was a special place and provided me with a special experience—right in my own backyard. Any special museums or galleries in YOUR backyard that you’ve not been too?
(Metadata: 1/250 sec @ f/2.8 and ISO 200, focal length 100mm)