I wanted to experience what it was like to ride in the same type of war plane that my Uncle Ed Poltrack flew in the South Pacific in WWII. I’ve seen photos, taken the virtual tour posted on the Collings Foundation website and read some of Ed’s letters and flight diary accounts.
When the Wings of Freedom Tour visited Manchester Airport I had my opportunity. Before the flight we had to rotate the blades 9 times to clear out the pooling oil, something common to all radial engines.It was a thrill to hear (and feel) those twin 1700 HP Cyclone engines roar into action. After take off, I was able to crawl into the nose behind the machine gun with another “crewman”. This is a war machine and nothing about it is comfortable. We were flying low and slow, I can only imagine my uncle flying over the ocean with a jacket, gloves, oxygen mask, fully loaded with bombs and being under constant threat of being shot at.
This video has three parts, take off, flight and landing. We had to sit in jump seats behind the pilot during takeoff and landing. After we were airborne we crawled on our hands and knees through a tunnel into the nose of the aircraft behind the front machine gun. That was quite a view. The video is long but imagine doing this for hours, in frigid cold with an oxygen mask on with the chance of being shot out of the sky.
There are more than one hundred surviving North American B-25 Mitchells scattered over the world, mainly in the United States. Most of them are on static display in museums, but about 45 are still airworthy.
A significant number of these were brought together for Catch-22, a 1970 war film adapted from the book of the same name by Joseph Heller. When Catch-22 began preliminary production, Paramount hired the Tallmantz Aviation organization to obtain available B-25s. Tallmantz president, Frank G. Tallman ended up finding war-surplus aircraft, and eventually gathered not only pilots to fly the aircraft but also a ground support crew to maintain the fleet. – Wikipedia
The Collings Foundation, located in Stow, Massachusetts sponsors a Wings of Freedom tour across the United States. When I learned they were flying a B-25 into Manchester airport, the same aircraft my uncle piloted in the South Pacific, I knew I had to see this.
New Hampshire Chronicle was at this event and I was interviewed when I told them about my uncle. The segment can be seen by clicking on this link.
Tondaleyo was a exotic dancer. She danced at places such as the Cotton Club. She was considered one of the most flashiest women of her day, with diamonds, furs, and minks galore. She’s also credited for being the first black woman to own a nightclub in New York.
I love old photos. When I visited my grandmother I remember going to the attic and looking at old family photo albums. It has been my mission for the latter part of my life to scan these photos and make them as available to the largest audience I can find. This blog was created with that purpose.
One of the Google daily themes for Tuesday is #EquineTuesday. When you live in New Ipswich, you see horses everywhere, especially in Smithville. I have many recent photos but I decided to share a couple of the old scanned ones.
Town historian Hazel Balch Moore preserved the memory of these heroic men and women in a photo album, which she created for the New Ipswich Historical Society. In this album, 121 photographs capture their faces, forever youthful, never to be forgotten.
I’m a relative newcomer to town, I’ve only been a resident for about 40+ years but I am very familiar with WWII veterans since my dad, two uncles and one aunt served. I was named after an uncle that was killed in the Battle of Peleliu.
For me this is not a time for store sales and other nonsense. Click on photo for entire album.
My Grand Uncle John Stanley Poltrack was born in Poland on this date in 1887. He died in 1954 and I don’t remember him, but I was well aware of the Cycle Shop that bore his name.
As a kid, after church we’d drive past the shop and I would get see “my name” in lights on the storefront. Everyone in school assumed that my dad owned the store and I had unlimited access to bikes,
I have started a tradition of sharing family photos on family members birthdays. I usually share these privately among the family but I decided to make an exception today. I think some of these photos may be of interest to residents of Stamford Connecticut and anyone else who is interested in this historical time frame.
This is the storefront I remember as a kid, in the 1950s.
John Stanley Poltrack – Born 126 years ago
My Grand Uncle
The Stamford Police force got their Harley’s from John Poltrack
Great float. I’m guessing this was taken in front of Holy Name Church in Stamford.
My first cousin 1x removed Bernie Dombroski and John Poltrack
My wife remarked that this looks like our cellar. I blame genes.
Ready to Ride
Hare and Hound Rally. This must have been fun to do. I’m curious where it was held.
If someone knows, please leave a comment on this blog.
John Poltrack and ?
Albert Poltrack, another first cousin 1x removed. A star of the rally.
Note motorcycle chains for dirt traction
That is a serious hill, guessing this may be the 1930s
John on left
A closer look at the tire chains
Harley rules the day, go Albert
I would love to the see the “moving pictures” of this event. Anyone know Albert DeCarlo?
The shop in the 1930s
This had to be a great party. I assume it was held after the “Hare and Hound”
A family affair. John Stanley is holding John Adam. There are a lot of John Poltracks.
Love these outfits
Another early photo. Note all the sidecars.
The 1940s, John’s sons were in the service.
Tom Poltrack in the Army, with motorcycle
I need to find which font is used on the storefront. It looks great with our name.
Stamford Connecticut Tercentennial Parade
John making a delivery
The Laundry is a nice touch
I got my first bike at this shop!
If you have a story about this shop and my family, please share it in the comment section. I want to learn more.