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Gordon Bombay

Some history of the "International Air Show"

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Some folks on here may remember the old International Air Show. It ended before I was born, but I've heard a lot about it. The show would start with a hot air balloon being launched, two biplanes mock dogfighting, and had the finale of four skydivers. This show happened every night too!

 

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A friend of mine works on a property that used to be an airport in Lebanon, Ohio. Coincidentally, that airport used to be the place where the skydivers for Kings Island would take off from. Like the air show, it too is gone, but some parts of it remain. 

 

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You can check out that article here if you want: http://queencitydiscovery.blogspot.com/2016/04/the-lost-airport-of-lebanon_13.html

While doing some research for the above article, I came across something interesting. English born skydiver Jackie Smith was one of the sport's first prominent female jumpers and she was on that International Air Show team. Here's a photo of her landing at the park. If you look closely, the gate behind her should be familiar:

 

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She authored a retrospective piece on her days as a KI skydiver. It's a great read and even has a video of the full air show. You can check that out here: http://skydiving-encyclopedia.com/wiki/skydiving/23-records-events/23-4-significant-skydiving-events/1980-kings-island-nightly-jumps/

 

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A little history of the DC-3A that was used for the jumpers.  It was first built for the military as a C-53 # 42-68710 and took part in D-Day operations with the 62nd Troop Carrier Squadron.  It is currently at the Fremont Airport in Fremont Ohio, undergoing restoration.  The restoration has been long and tedious with many issues holding them back, including the death of one of the major members of the team.  Any ways here are a couple of articles and pics of the aircraft.

 

http://www.airbornetroopcarrier.com/c-53-42-68710-62ndtroopcarriersquadron.html

http://beta.toledoblade.com/local/2011/05/31/Volunteers-set-sights-on-neglected-troop-carrier-2.html

http://www.fremontairport.com/saving_dc-3_lulu_belle

http://www.airliners.net/photo/0728025/

 

It is very difficult to find info on one specific DC-3 because so many were built and most didn't come back to the states.  Most staid where they served or were shot down, and a lot of them that did come home ended up in Canada.  Also the fact that the DC-6 was in service by the end of the war did not help the fate of the DC-3.  Thanks Gordon for starting this topic, we live in an area of the US and the world that is so rich in history in so many ways, we must learn it and preserve it no matter how small it may seem.

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Wow, Monroe, thank you so much for sharing that. I had no idea of the aircraft's history. The gentleman who now owns the airport land was telling me about the DC-3 and he said that it required so much runway that it used back up all the way and be nearly on top of nearby Lebanon Rd. 

I'm sharing this information with him. Thanks for passing it along, what an incredible history!

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This is one of the best topics I've ever seen. I remember the balloon landing in the corn field that is now Christs Church at Mason.  Growing up, I'd spend afternoons on the jungle gym at Western Row Elementary, just looking off over the waving fields to the Eiffel Tower, and the bi-planes, then balloon. Couldn't really see the skydivers from that distance, though. Wow! Again, thanks for these amazing, hearty pieces of the quilt that is our childhood memories! You guys are the best!

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I was told earlier today that the restoration project for the DC 3 is on hold for the time being. If you go to Google Street view you can see the aircraft sitting out front in bad shape. Hopefully they can turn it around.

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This is one of the best topics I've ever seen. I remember the balloon landing in the corn field that is now Christs Church at Mason.  Growing up, I'd spend afternoons on the jungle gym at Western Row Elementary, just looking off over the waving fields to the Eiffel Tower, and the bi-planes, then balloon. Couldn't really see the skydivers from that distance, though. Wow! Again, thanks for these amazing, hearty pieces of the quilt that is our childhood memories! You guys are the best!

Love hearing memories like this.

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I was told earlier today that the restoration project for the DC 3 is on hold for the time being. If you go to Google Street view you can see the aircraft sitting out front in bad shape. Hopefully they can turn it around.

That's a shame.

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15 hours ago, Robiet said:

This was the day I bought it. I haven’t unfolded it since that day because it’s massive and hard to deal with. 

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@Robiet This is incredible! Any chance you’ll be breaking it out or unfurling it at some point in the future? I’d love to do a follow up to the original article! I can bring you some beer for your trouble/help fold it back up!

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