On the First Saturday of July, the table on the veranda of the Beacon House at McCampbell-Porter Airport was filled with visitors and members of the Third Coast Squadron of the CAF. The conversation centered on aviation as veteran pilots and young enthusiasts shared their experiences while enjoying their pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee.
One pilot who flew from Port Aransas for breakfast was preparing his private plane for his return to his home airport when I arrived. One of the other pilots said the plane was a modified RV-4 Van’s Aircraft. He said it is a Harmon Rocket with a I-05-40 engine which has considerably more power than the original airplane.
It is a very fast, high performance airplane that climbs about 3500 feet per minute and cruises about 200 miles per hour. The take-off was much faster than this photographer expected. As the plane began to taxi down the runway, the camera was focused for the expected appearance just past the other planes sitting on the tarmac. The photo, however, showed no red Harmon Rocket…it was already on its way to Mustang Beach Airport.
The first Saturday of each month, visitors can fly-in or drive-in for the Pancake Breakfast between 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. then visit the Third Coast Squadron Museum of Military History and Hanger. The hanger is home to a N2S Stearman Biplane which flies in air shows and often provided rides.
The museum is dedicated to collecting and preserving artifacts and oral histories from our veterans. By doing this, their memories and sacrifice can and will be shared with others, “Lest we Forget”.
One wall is dedicated to a Hall of Fame which serves to honor the service and sacrifices of our veterans from the Coast Bend Area of South Texas. The Squadron accepts nominees to the Hall of Fame from family, friends and other interested people.
The museum exhibits represent all branches of the military service and is open Thursday-Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Visit https://thirdcoastcaf.org/wordpress/squadron/ for more detailed information and to view audiovisual oral histories shared by area veterans,