WWII Ace Don Lopez

Discussion in 'WWII' started by KilroyCD, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD One Too Many

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    Via AvWeb:
    Donald S. Lopez, 84, author, aviator, and deputy director of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Washington, D.C., died of a heart attack on March 3. Lopez joined the Smithsonian in 1972 as part of the team that planned the NASM, which opened in July 1976. "The nation has lost a true hero and the Smithsonian has lost a great leader," Smithsonian Institution acting secretary Cristi?°n Samper said in a news release on Wednesday. "Don Lopez was an American Ace fighter pilot, author, educator, and museum professional beloved by all who came in contact with him." Lopez flew 101 missions in China, piloting Curtiss P-40s and North American P-51 Mustangs for the U.S. Air Force, and later flew North American F-86s in Korea. Among many other awards and honors, Lopez was heralded as one of the "living legends" at the Gathering of Mustangs and Legends at Rickenbacker Field in Columbus, Ohio, last year.

    "Don’s contribution to the museum cannot be overstated," museum director Gen. J.R. "Jack" Dailey said. "For 35 years, he was the guiding spirit, contributing his vast knowledge of aviation, exceptional leadership skills, unflagging enthusiasm, and a sense of humor that endeared him to all."
    http://www.nasm.si.edu/events/pressroom/releaseDetail.cfm?releaseID=185
     
  2. Twitch

    Twitch My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Don was the emmcee for many symposiums on fighter pilots that I attended long ago. :(
     
  3. Lincsong

    Lincsong I'll Lock Up

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    Rest in Peace there old soldier.:(
     
  4. The Reno Kid

    The Reno Kid A-List Customer

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    Back in the Biggest Little City
    Mrs. Reno Kid got to know Mr. Lopez a few years ago when she worked at the Air & Space Museum. She says he was a wonderful man. He wrote her a very nice letter of recommendation when we left Virginia.

    There's a P-40 (Lope's Hope) hanging in the Udvar-Hazy center (A&S annex at Dulles) painted to look like the one that Mr. Lopez flew when he was with the Flying tigers. Here's a link to a memorial page at the Air & Space Museum.
     
  5. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD One Too Many

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    Location:
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    Back in the mid '90s I volunteered at the NASM. I remember Don as a very nice, approachable guy. I wish I would have had more time to talk with him.
     

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