Based on the book “Central Coast Aviators in World War II,” this course describes local aviation history that began with the first flight over San Luis Obispo in 1910. That history includes aviators Harriet Quimby and Amelia Earhart, Cal Poly’s renowned aeronautics department and two local dairy families, the McChesneys and the Righettis. Wartime brought aviation training to Cal Poly, Hancock Field and to the P-38 airfield that is today’s Santa Maria Airport. The class will also offer profiles of several wartime aviators: a B-24 radioman who was shot down twice, two local Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs); an Atascadero resident who was a Luftwaffe test pilot, an Arroyo Grande B-17 flight engineer who saved his crippled aircraft, and young pilots—22 was a typical age for a bomber pilot—who endured some of the most terrifying combat of the war.
History and Literature