Preserving WWI Aviation History

Jay M. Thompson (
Sat, 16 Sep 1995 00:31:14 -0400

Heya folks, spent some time on the phone this afternoon with Leo
Opdycke, editor of WWI Aero.

I imagine most of the people who read this list are aware of this journal,
but for those of you who aren't, a subscription is an absolute must
for anyone with an interest in WWI airplanes. Unlike Cross&Cockade and
Over the Front, WWI Aero is devoted exclusively to the planes, and every
issue is just jammed with absolutely fascinating stuff. They have a
modelling section, covering everything from 1/4 scale down to 1/72, and I've
yet to see an issue that
doesn't have pictures of some breathtakingly beautiful models. Further, they
reviews of just about every aviation related publication (not limited to
WWI subjects) that are IMO the best available.

Publication is quarterly, and subscription is $25/year, $30 overseas.

If you are interested, send your request and funds to:

WWI Aero
15 Crescent Rd.
Poughkeepsie, NY, 12601

You can call Leo at 914-473-3679. Very good man, loves to talk
WWI aviation with anyone, and if you have questions, he'll either know
the answer or will refer you to someone who does.

Back to the subject of my conversation with Leo.

One of the consistent threads in the letters section of WWI Aero is the very
real concern among the readership of the journal that the great majority of
dedicated and interested WWI aviation historians are getting older, and that
there is a lack of younger people available to carry on the study and preserve
the large collections of documents and photographs of the members who have
passed on or who are no longer able to use the material.

I said hey Leo, I know a couple folks who might fit the bill;-) I told
him about this list, and he was very interested. He asked me to ask the people
involved with this list to write or call him, and see if we can get a
discourse going
and possibly get some of the older guys up and running on the Net.

As I mentioned, there is also a real need to find solid and responsible
repositories for collections of WWI aviation material, preferably to people
with an interest strong enough to not only preserve, but use the material
to generate new articles and studies. I for one am quite interested. I imagine
some of you reading this will be also.

I think it would be great if we could compose some kind of joint letter
to WWI Aero, describing our list, our interest, how to subscribe to the list,
how to find the Web page, and that we are available to help anyone get up
and running.

Let me know if you folks are interested in doing something along these