Memoirs of a 1918 Spanish Flu Survivor

Memoirs of a Spanish Flu Survivor

Memoirs of a Spanish Flu Survivor

CNN posted a story today titled “1918 Flu Survivors Share Memories as Research Continues”, and in it, several survivors of the 1918 pandemic were interviewed.  These folks are medical curiosities not only for their age, but also for the fact that even after all this time, they still have some immunity to the Spanish flu in the form of B cells, which CNN states are immune cells that produce antibodies.

Paulano’s great uncle Oscar “O. D.” Hansen (born Aug 2, 1893, died June 19, 1987) was also a survivor of the 1918 flu pandemic.   During that time, he was in the Army, stationed at Fort Dodge, Iowa.  In his 1980 memoirs, he described his experiences:

Pill Box for H1N1 researchers, physicians, immunologists

Pill Box for H1N1 researchers, physicians, immunologists

There was a tragic thing that happened at Camp Dodge in the fall of 1918. Well, throughout the country for that matter, in the terrible death rate from the flu.  There was very little evidence of the sickness in the camp prior to one certain day.  However, one day when the flu hit the camp it did so just like a wave or a storm.  The day that they announced the flu had hit the camp there was 35 or 40 people who were already sick when I [took the] sick call [data].  I became ill myself and had quite a siege while I was in the barracks, however, I did not go to the hospital because my fever never got over 101 degrees, and they only took those with high fever to the hospital because they were so crowded.  I had a friend from Lennox, (South Dakota) who happened to be in my company at the time, his name was Elmer Gedstad, and he spent several nights helping me with cold cloths on my head and neck.  Finally, I had some bleeding in my nose and mouth, and that seemed to relieve the situation and I started recovering again.  The main part of the siege was over.  I did get to town and had an examination by a civilian doctor who assured me that I had double pneumonia.  The death rate for several weeks, or at least two or three weeks, in Camp Dodge was said to be about  85 people per day, and curiously it seemed to be the big, strong, heavy people in camp where were most likely to succumb to this malady.”

World Wide concern over the H1N1, the Swine Flu

World Wide concern over the H1N1, the Swine Flu

Somehow, O.D’s retelling of his experience makes the current situation seem little more real to me than all the media hype.  Let’s all hope that this history is not repeated.

 

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Boeing 40c Itinerary for Pemberton’s Transcontinental Flight

Way back when, postage for transcontinental airmail was 24 cents

Way back when, postage for transcontinental airmail was 24 cents

Months ago, I wrote a blog post on Addison Pemberton and his restored Boeing 40c.   Be sure to check it out for background.  Today Pemberton began a transcontinental flight in his plane that began at Republic Field in New York, and will end on Monday in San Francisco.  The flight plan retraces an old transcontinental mail route.  Here is the latest info I can find on the 40c Itinerary.

Biplane image on this Kyle Design Vitamin Case

Biplane image on this Kyle Design Vitamin Case

Transcontinental Air Mail Route Schedule, Sept. 10-15, 2008

Subject to Change Due to possible weather-related or other delays.

— Wed., Sept. 10 — Depart New York Republic Field 9:30 a.m. Arrive Bellefonte, PA late morning. Depart and arrive Cleveland, OH Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL) late afternoon/early evening. Overnight stop.

— Thurs., Sept. 11 — Depart Cleveland (BKL) 9:30 a.m. Arrive Bryan, OH (OG6) late morning. Depart and arrive Chicago, IL Lansing Airport (IGQ) late afternoon. Arrive Iowa City, IA (IOW) early evening. Overnight stop.

Aviators Christmas Ornament at Kyle Design

Aviators Christmas Ornament at Kyle Design

— Fri., Sept. 12 — Depart Iowa City 9:30 a.m. Arrive Omaha, NE (OMA) late morning. Depart and arrive North Platte, NE, (LBF) late afternoon. Overnight stop.

— Sat., Sept. 13 — Depart North Platte 9:30 a.m. Arrive Cheyenne, WY (CYS), late morning. Depart and arrive mid-afternoon Rawlins, WY (RWL). Depart and arrive Rock Springs, WY (RKS) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Sun., Sept. 14 — Depart Rock Springs 9:30 a.m. Arrive Salt Lake City, UT (U42) late morning. Depart and arrive Elko, NV (EKO) late afternoon. Depart and arrive Reno, NV (RNO) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Mon., Sept. 15 — Depart Reno 9:30 a.m. Arrive Hayward, CA (HWD) late morning. Depart Hayward mid-day for San Francisco (SFO or Chrissy Field). Return to Hayward. Overnight stop.

Be sure to check local airports for details on public views and access.  Also, you can follow the flight on a daily basis via the following link:  Smithsonian Airmail Odyssey.

 

Vintage Boeing 40C Airplane in Spokane Restored and Ready to Fly

Earlier this month, my dad toured the Pacific Northwest on his motorcycle. Low points of the trip included a June snow storm in the Rockies, and a South Dakota pheasant that flew straight into the side of my dad’s head. At the time, dad was traveling down I-90 at about 80 miles an hour. I have no idea how fast the pheasant was going.Motorcycle Night Light

The result of the accident? Dad kept on truckin’ and the bird paid the ultimate price. My dad said he was awfully glad he had more than a bandana on his head. Now every helmet out there with a DOT sticker on it can boast that it is “Pheasant safe at 80”. Truth be told, dad wasn’t completely unscathed. Later in the day, he did experience a little stiffness in his neck, but that’s all. Tough old bird.

Fortunately not every aviator my dad encountered on his trip was as reckless and unfriendly as the pheasant. While dad was in Spokane, dad was able to check out the Boeing 40C Airplane that has been restored by Pemberton and Sons Aviation at Felts Field.Mountain Wilderness Theme Night Light

The story behind this plane is incredible. The 40 series was Boeing’s first airliner, transporting mail and passengers on a regular basis. This particular plane was flying a mail route with a single passenger in 1928 when it crashed in the Oregon wilderness, near Canyonville. The pilot survived, theWhiskey Flask with Diamond Design passenger did not. As it happens, the passenger was a jeweler, transporting diamonds in a satchel. Over the next decade or so, treasure hunters would scour the site for the treasure. Reportedly, some but not all of the diamonds were found. There are anecdotes of women all over Oregon who swear that the diamond on their finger was taken from the wreck site. Over the years, the location of the site became a bit of a mystery.

Fast forward to 1993. The wreck is found, and in 1996 extracted by a group of aviation enthusiasts, who each store pieces of the wreck in their barns and sheds.

Biplane Design on Business Card CaseFinally, Addison Pemberton comes into the story. He buys the wreck, and begins the 8 year process of painstakingly reconstructing the plane. Along the way, Pemberton had a little help. Boeing supplied Pemberton with the 40C’s original blueprints, which included nearly 900 drawings. InWorld Design Money Clip addition, a core team of 9 other people worked on the plane, including his two sons. Because of the condition of the wreck, there were only about 50 pieces from the original that were used in the reconstruction.

The result of the team’s efforts is the world’s only airworthy Boeing 40C. Pemberton took it on it’s first flight in February of 2008, and described the stability of the plane as “like a rock”.

Later this year, Pemberton plans to fly the 40C 1,400 miles to the 2008 AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 28th through August 3rd. After that, he plans to go to the Antique Airplane Association
Fly-In
in Blakesburg, Iowa and then to Brodhead, Wisconsin. Then it is on to New York, the starting point for his plans to retrace the Pacific Air MailOriginal 40C Mail Route Route all the way back to San Francisco. The itinerary for this is not yet public, but historically, stops may include New Brunswick, Cleveland, Chicago, Moline, Des Moines, Omaha, Cheyenne, Rock Springs, Salt Lake City, Elko, Reno, Sacramento, Concord, and San Francisco. If Mr. Pemberton stays true to the Route, the plane enthusiasts from the Livermore Airport will have to drive (or fly) the short hop to Concord or San Francisco.

UPDATE:  As of Sept 10, 2008 the itinerary is:
— Wed., Sept. 10 — Depart New York Republic Field 9:30 a.m. Arrive Bellefonte, PA late morning. Depart and arrive Cleveland, OH Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL) late afternoon/early evening. Overnight stop.

— Thurs., Sept. 11 — Depart Cleveland (BKL) 9:30 a.m. Arrive Bryan, OH (OG6) late morning. Depart and arrive Chicago, IL Lansing Airport (IGQ) late afternoon. Arrive Iowa City, IA (IOW) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Fri., Sept. 12 — Depart Iowa City 9:30 a.m. Arrive Omaha, NE (OMA) late morning. Depart and arrive North Platte, NE, (LBF) late afternoon. Overnight stop.

— Sat., Sept. 13 — Depart North Platte 9:30 a.m. Arrive Cheyenne, WY (CYS), late morning. Depart and arrive mid-afternoon Rawlins, WY (RWL). Depart and arrive Rock Springs, WY (RKS) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Sun., Sept. 14 — Depart Rock Springs 9:30 a.m. Arrive Salt Lake City, UT (U42) late morning. Depart and arrive Elko, NV (EKO) late afternoon. Depart and arrive Reno, NV (RNO) early evening. Overnight stop.

— Mon., Sept. 15 — Depart Reno 9:30 a.m. Arrive Hayward, CA (HWD) late morning. Depart Hayward mid-day for San Francisco (SFO or Chrissy Field). Return to Hayward. Overnight stop.

Due to possible weather-related or other delays, Itinerary may change.

Be sure to check local airports for details on public views and access.  Also, you can follow the flight on a daily basis via the following link:  Smithsonian Airmail Odyssey.

End of update

There are several detailed accounts of this story. For more information on Pemberton and the 40C, check these links to the Air And Space Magazine, the Southern Aviator, the Spokane Journal of Business, the Spokesman Review, and the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission.

If you are looking for gift ideas for a pilot, aviator, airplane lover, jet lover, or vintage plane and biplane enthusiast, be sure to check out the selection at Kyle Design. Any of the items you see pictured here, including money clips, business card cases, night lights, christmas ornaments, hip flasks, and pill boxes, can be purchased online.

Liberty Ship S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien Turns 65

SS Jeremiah O'BrienOriginally launched on June 19th, 1943, the Liberty Ship S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien turns 65 this month. The ship is one of 2,751 Liberty ships that were mass-produced as part of the American war effort during WWII. The O’Brien is still completely operational, and only one other Liberty Ship,Birthday Cake Design Nightlight, Happy Birthday, Jeremiah!  You don't look any greyer the S.S. John W. Brown in Baltimore, can make that claim.

The Jeremiah O’Brien is docked at Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf, in San Francisco California, and has a fascinating history. It was one of 7,000 ships that took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, and it is now the only surviving ship from that armada. In 1994 the ship, crewed mostly by WWII Liberty Ship veterans, sailed from San Francisco, through the Panama Canal, and onto France to take part in a 50th anniversary commemoration of D-Day.

Cruise Ship Gift for fans of the O'Brien or TitanicThe ship is designated as a National Historic Landmark, and is open to the public for tours. One point of interest is the engine room. Footage of the engine in operation was used in the movie Titanic”. As a family outing, IBallroom Dancing Gift, Business Card Case would recommend it, (the O’Brien, not the Titanic) but don’t wear your nicest clothes. The ship is clean, but you always run the risk of an oil stain if you are not careful.

On occasion, the ship is taken out for a short, half- day cruise. The next one that is scheduled is Saturday, June 21st, 2008, from 10am to 2pm, as part of the O’Brien’s birthday celebration. You can get tickets at ssjeremiahobrien.org. My dad was a Merchant Marine in WWII and sailed on a Liberty Ship. During Fleet Week one year, he and I went on one of these Jet Lovers Gift, Air Show Christmas Ornamentcruises. In addition to touring the ship and seeing the San Francisco waterfront, we were hoping to see the Blue Angels. Sadly, this was the one time they were unable to perform for SF Fleet Week, but we had a great time anyway. Be warned that a whole day on the ship could get a little long for kids, so if you have kids, opt for the dock-side tour only.