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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 1:22 pm 
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Has Walter's collection been well documented? Seems like it might make a good book. Maybe Walter would be open minded to collaberating with a historian/writer. Could get storys behind each aircraft and his endevor to save and preserve them over the past 50 years and in the process photograph all the aircraft in depth. Perhaps the proceeds from such an undertaking could provide for proper preservation such as shelters and so on. Just a thought. I plan on giving him a visit when I move back to Dayton in July. I was just curious whether or not this possibility has discussed before? Thanks.

Shay


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 1:56 pm 
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A good collection of photos of Walter's collection taken back in 1987.

http://s96920072.onlinehome.us/Fea1/101-200/Fea182_Walters-Farm_Williams/part1/Fea182.htm

Shay


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 2:45 pm 
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One of my favorite topics!

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 Post subject: walt soplata
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:42 pm 
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no dice but wishful thinking!! i live an hour & a half from him, & was out to his place for the day in november. he is on very close terms with my best friend, so i kind of have an inside loop. he is very protective of his privacy, & his collection. i shot a hundred pics at his place & he asked me to promise that i wouldn't forward them to people & i'm gonna keep that promise. he is rightly very proud of his collection, & he is passionate about aviation history. while both him & his wife are eccentric, they are very nice people, & they were gracious hosts that day i was out their. the reason he is so private about his collection is because sombody had multiple pictures of his stuff published in a leading aviation history magazine years ago, there was an out cry on the condition of his stuff, & then the government namely the epa was on him like white on rice, with all the radium instruments, leaking hydraulic fluid & engine oil, not to mention he would dump oil on the planes to preserve them from the elements. when he passes on i fear the government will 1 day declare his place a hazmat area & scrap alot of stuff, while all the millionaire collectors will take the best stuff. sad to say there has been a dead pool on him for some time now, & i think that is damned ugly. he is an aviation collecting icon of cult status among us buffs, i think walt enjoys that the way it is, & he will be the 1st to tell you he's not looking for glory or publicity, he just enjoys his stuff & he should in his own way. all the best tom

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 Post subject: walt soplata
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 8:35 pm 
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i'll yammer a little more on walt.... thank god for his historical foresight!!! he has a lot of holy grail type stuff out their. yes, the condition of somethings could be better, but it wasn't for his lack of effort in trying to preserve the stuff. he's done his best, & on the broad scope of his collection nobody could have done much better unless you have a million square foot hangar. granted he's got tons of sheer crapola & clutter out their which doesn't do much for the asethetic look of his planes, but honestly they are in better condition than you think. if they were in salt air they would be toast. he also has some nice old cars their too. regards, tom

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tom d. friedman - hey!!! those fokkers were messerschmitts!! * without ammunition, the usaf would be just another flying club!!! * better to have piece of mind than piece of tail!!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2005 10:12 pm 
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Hi,

There is a very nice interview in the book. "A Season of Eagles" by Robert Hull (not the story mentioned before that appeared in a to remain nameless model magazine) that goes into how Walter aquired many of his aircraft. If you want to go back even further, in the 1960's, I remember there was a article in one of the local newspapers's Sunday's magazine that mentioned that he even gave "taxi" rides in one of the wingless trainers to the local kids. Unfortunately, mu father said that it was too fae to drive to. I would get to talk to Walter at our annual model airplane swap shop every year and I agree that he is a very nice guy. Unfortunately, I never made it out to his place before the human vultures caused him to chase away visitors.

TTFN....Kenn

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:50 am 
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I have read Hunting Warbird's by Carl Hoffman, at least 5 time's :roll: .

Walt's a strange one alright, but it sound's like his love for his plane's and bit's goe's very deep :heart: :rolleyes: , different from say my love to see as many old bird's fly in my life time :prayer: .

It will be a sad day when Walt move's on :cry: , But with his passing there should hopefully be some major rebirth's of another kind in the Warbird's movement world wide :) .

Luv ya Walt mate :wink: .

Cheer's all :partyman: , :twisted: Tally :spit Ho! :supz: Phil in Oz :butthead: .

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:07 pm 
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Like I mentioned earlier I think there's good book here. If look at Walter's Life from day one up to today. What sparked his love of warbirds and the process and challenges he faced while aquiring the planes. I'm sure there plenty of interesting stories behind each aircraft. Not to mention the personal military histories of each aircraft. Alot of research but would be worth it. Ole Walter might go for it. It all depends on how you pitch the idea to him aswell addressing his concerns. Make concessions and give him assurances so that he doesn't face the same difficulties likehe has in the past with other media outlets. Plus if the money went towards preserving the aircraft and restoring them, like he's always wanted to, then he might just bite. He obviously has the space for a proper size structure to be erected. And these days there are plenty of companies that manufacture prefab metal buildings to custom diminsion at fair economical prices. What's one with him starting a museum? The aircraft would still be his and he see them be rebuilt to good as new condition. Once in place he could start charging a nominal fee that would go towards the restoration of his aircraft. I can't imagine any shortage of patrons travelling to his farm if he did so. Well that's enough daydreaming. Hopefully things will workout.

Shay


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 2:16 pm 
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Walt told me when I visited his place that people have offered to buy his airplanes for a very handsome price, then *build* him a new house so he can be with them still in their "new" museum location, and he balked at it.


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 Post subject: soplata
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:21 pm 
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well you can try.... but i don't think he'd go for it. he is an old man in his 80's & old men get set in their ways, my dad is 88 & is worse than walt!! he's more stubborn than 100 mules!! walt is set in his ways, comfortable in his life style & surroundings, & is very leery toward any publicity on him or his collection. if he agreed & you did do a book on him he would probably stipulate no pictures & what fun or good would that do?? that book would certainly have no appeal to buy!! personally, & nothing against walt, any pictures that were put in a book would not be to flattering to his collection or your book because there is a massive conflagration of junk & scrap metal & debris, etc surrounding the planes. you'd need a tetnus shot just to walk through their!! some planes are partially buried in junk!! if you succeed & he agrees to a book i'll send you a bottle of your favorite booze!! regards, tom

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tom d. friedman - hey!!! those fokkers were messerschmitts!! * without ammunition, the usaf would be just another flying club!!! * better to have piece of mind than piece of tail!!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 2:48 pm 
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Just thinking about his topic, does he have anyone that he will 'leave' the aircraft to? i guess more specifically, not trying to be grim or anything, but what would happen to them when he's not around any more? does he have any saftey precautions set up to save them, even if it's just how they are at his place.......just curious.

brian


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 4:11 pm 
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Hi,

My understanding is that he has made arrangements for them to be sold after his death.

Kenn

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 Post subject: walt soplata
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:30 pm 
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hello, you are possibly correct, he has plans upon his demise according to gossip . supposedly his executor will put the stuff up for sale in trade a plane. a couple of hard facts..... 1- his kids have no interest in the stuff in any way shape or form 2 - the city of newbury has wanted his head on a platter for years 3- same goes with the environmental protection agency 4- same goes possibly with a myriad of other government agencies. another grim possibility is the fact that the defense dept. may demilitarize his stuff even more, when they are decades beyond functional now!! your tax dollars are at work!!! regards, tom

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tom d. friedman - hey!!! those fokkers were messerschmitts!! * without ammunition, the usaf would be just another flying club!!! * better to have piece of mind than piece of tail!!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:54 pm 
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Tom
With regards to your demilitarization comment. I would be very surprised if any action was taken by the military. Why would they wait until Walt passed away to do it? Why not just do it now or since before now. I'm they look at the conditions that they have been stored in as good demilitarization in of itself. Like I said I would highly doubt they would take an interest. Beside the USAF didn't say anything about the Glacier Girl when the Greenland Expedition guys brought her back. And her 4 .50 cals and 20mm cannon were in good working order and fired quite well. Made mince meat out of poor old 55 gallon drum. But I'm sure any responsible warbird owner would do what is right. Roy Schoffner had Glacier Girl's weapons sent to Tennessee to be striped down, cleaned, demilled and rebuilt. But you never know I could be wrong about the military. The NHC could use the Demill issue, as a bogus reason to take back the FG-1. :lol: (just kidding, hopefully). Well alright boys that's it for me.

Shay


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 Post subject: soplata
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:49 pm 
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shay, don't laugh!!! your uncle sam has walt in his sights!!!! demil laws have ridiculously changed in past years, especially after 9/11 attacks!! i just wrote an article slated for publishing in the next issue of warbirds magazine about collecting aviation instruments, it will tell the tale. for an fyi type in government auctions.com go to military & they will tell you how to render a usaf filing cabinet harmless (only kidding but their terms & rules are that retarded!!!) there was a threat in recent years to demil privately owned warbirds & restored vehicles dating back to pre ww 2, all in the name of saving face for the defense dept, because they let some stuff slip through that nobody had any business having!! forgot what the items were, but i think it was f-18 or f-14 components that were harmful. 9/11 really pushed all this demil stuff to absurdity. don't get me wrong!!! as far as ordinance components, classified equipment components, etc i'm all for demilitarizing!!! but to cut up an old worn out flight helmet as an axample accomplishes nothing but wasting our tax payer money. hey, do we have a bet on the bottle of your favorite hooch if you get walt to cooperate on your potential book?? take care, tom

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tom d. friedman - hey!!! those fokkers were messerschmitts!! * without ammunition, the usaf would be just another flying club!!! * better to have piece of mind than piece of tail!!


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