Fly Boys

Rebecca Sonniksen 

The High Prairie Chapter of the MAMA Club (Men’s Action Movie Association) took its first off-site meeting August 23 to Paine Field Airport in Everett, Washington. Members of the newly formed chapter, which originated in Portland, include Scott Sonniksen, club founder, Tom McMackin, trip planner, Ted McKercher, Ben Parrish, Tom Rodrigues, and Rob Taylor. The itinerary for this two-day trip included a visit to the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum (FHCAM) and attendance at the museum’s Luftwaffe Fly Day. 

FHCAM is a fascinating place – a rare private collection of WWII era aircraft, tanks, combat armor and other technologies, along with interactive multimedia exhibits to provide context. In 1998, Paul G. Allen began acquiring and preserving the armor and planes displayed at the museum, many of which are the last of their kind. Included are military artifacts from the United States, Britain, Germany, Soviet Union, and Japan. They have been painstakingly restored to working condition and returned to as close to their original state as possible. 

FHCAM hosts events such as the annual Luftwaffe Fly Day throughout the year so the public can “hear, smell, feel and watch history come to life.” The focus of the Luftwaffe Fly Day is to spotlight their collection of World War II German aircraft. One of the highlights of this year’s show was a fly-by that included a Storch, FW 190, BF 109, Hurricane and a Spitfire. 

For two of MAMA’s members there was a personal connection to the historic planes at FHCAM. During WWII, Sonniksen’s father flew as a crew member in a B-29 and McMackin’s father flew as a crew member in a B-24. 

The trip also included a drive up the beautiful Yakima Canyon and a sampling of local cuisine with dinner at The Palace Cafe in Ellensburg, Washington. Members hope to make this an annual event. 

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