October 1-2, 2016, marked the 10th gathering of the Dawn Patrol Rendezvous, which
celebrates the early years of aviation. As
in the past, the Dawn Patrol Rendezvous
was held on the grounds of the National
Museum of the United States Air Force
at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in
Dayton, Ohio. Following months of
meetings, telephone calls, preparations,
registrations, and planning, David C.
Thomas, Special Events Coordinator for
the National Museum of the U.S. Air
Force, brilliantly orchestrated the event.
Thursday, September 29, was the
arrival day for aircraft and show
participants. Full-scale aircraft that were
able to fly began landing between 1 and
2 p.m. Aircraft unable to fly arrived via
truck. RC pilots, reenactors, vendors, and
those driving vintage automobiles for
the show, came throughout the day.
Participants entered through the
Spinning Road gate, where they received
their parking permits and were directed
to their assigned locations on the field.
Pilots, crews, and reenactors participating
in the mock battles were scheduled for
dress rehearsals at 11 a.m. on September
29, and 1 p.m. on September 30.
Unfortunately, the dress rehearsals were
canceled because of inclement weather.
Bad weather was the only flaw in this
year’s Dawn Patrol Rendezvous. A storm
system centered over Ohio and went
into lazy counterclockwise circles over
Dayton for several days.
Rain was falling when my wife,
Linda, and I arrived on the evening
of September 29. Because of this, we
were only able to partially set up our
tent before weather won the day. On
Friday, September 30, we managed to
finish setup before the weather again
forced us to retreat.
At 6: 30 p.m. on Friday, a reception
and museum tour for all participants
was held in the World War I Gallery at
the museum. Following a tasty meal, the
guests toured the museum until 10 p.m.
Linda was amazed at the immensity of
the museum’s fully loaded B- 52, done
up in Vietnam-era war paint, along with
the massive amount of deadly ordnance
I was happy to see the collection of
military jets from the 1940s and ’50s.
Among them were a P- 80, a T- 33, an
F- 89, an F- 94, and a B- 47, to name a
Of particular interest was the
museum’s new 224,000-square-foot
fourth building. It was privately financed
by the Air Force Museum Foundation
and displays more than 70 aircraft in
four new galleries: Space, Research
37 Model Aviation JANUARY 2017 www.ModelAviation.com
A biennial World War I gathering
by Dennis Norman
Photos by Jay Smith, Page Park, Charlie Sauter, and Eric Specht