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Flight Plans Newsletter

The Vietnam Air War Experience--A Panel Discussion

Date: 
03/31/2010
Vietnam War veterans share stories in April 10 program
 
SEATTLE, March 31, 2010--The Museum of Flight has partnered with the Seattle Opera to offer audiences an historical perspective on the Vietnam War story in the opera, "Amelia," with panel discussions featuring American veterans of the Vietnam War. On April 10, veteran pilots Jim Platt, Doug Clarke and Don Scott will share their experiences in a presentation at the Museum. The program moderator is Steve Slayton, a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War.The program is at 2 p.m. in the William M. Allen Theater, and is free with admission to the Museum.
 
Opening May 8, the Seattle Opera's original production of a new opera, "Amelia," weaves a woman's emotional journey, the American experience in Vietnam, and elements of myth and history to explore our fascination with flight.
 
Graham, Wash. resident James Platt is a native of Stevens Point, Wisconsin and a 1965 ROTC graduate of the University of Portland. He completed undergraduate pilot training in the T-28 at Randolph AFB, Texas in September 1965 and helicopter pilot training at Stead Air Force Base, Nevada in February 1966. Upon completion of pilot training, Platt was assigned to Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. flying Sikorsky CH3C helicopters in support of the Manned Space Program and the Eastern Test Range.
 
Lt. Col. James H. Platt - U.S. Air Force
In September 1967, Platt was reassigned as a rescue crew commander on a Sikorsky HH3E helicopters in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. The big, combat-issue olive drab Sikorsky helicopters were nicknamed the Jolly Green Giants. During his tour in Thailand Platt flew 98 combat missions and rescued nine downed airmen. In September 1968 Platt was reassigned to Patrick Air Force Base where he again flew CH3C helicopters in support of the Eastern Test Range. During the 1970s he flew several military aircraft, including C-141 transports and B-52 bombers. He retired from the Air Force in 1993, and later worked for The Boeing Company. Platt's awards include: the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.
 
Capt. Doug Clarke - U.S. Navy
Clarke flew 303 combat missions in Vietnam between 1965 and 1972, flying the A1 Skyraider, A4 Skyhawk, and A7 Corsair II. He retired from the Navy in 1987 with the rank of Captain after 30 years of service. After retiring from the Navy, Clarke worked in Munich, Germany for five years as a senior analyst for military affairs and arms control with Radio Free Europe.
 
Clarke was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and moved to Seattle at age 3. He is a graduate of Seattle's Roosevelt High School and the University of Washington. Clarke is a Docent at The Museum of Flight.
 
Col. Don Scott - U.S. Air Force

A native of Butte, Mont., Scott obtained his commission as an Air Force ROTC graduate at the University of California, where he majored in nuclear physics. He flew 146 combat missions during the Vietnam War flying the F-105 in 1965, 1969 and 1970.  All of his operational assignments were in fighters, flying the F-84, F-100 and F-105.  Scott's favorite assignment was at the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School as an operational test and evaluation pilot. 
 
Following his combat tours, Scott attended graduate school in aeronautical engineering and spent 13 years in research and development, including assignments as the U.S. Air Force's chief engineer and program manager for the development of the E-4B, the Advanced Airborne Command Post.  Scott retired from the Air Force in 1983, and then worked for the Boeing Company for 11 years in engineering management of defense programs. Scott is a docent at the Museum of Flight.
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The non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest independent air and space museums in the world. The Museum's collection includes more than 150 historically significant air- and spacecraft, as well as the William E. Boeing Red BarnĀ® -- the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Co. The J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing displays 28 World War I and World War II aircraft from the United States and other countries including Germany, Russia, and Japan. Over 30 aircraft representing the first century of aviation are displayed in the all-glass T.A. Wilson Great Gallery. The evolution of space flight and a look into the future are presented in the exhibit, Space: Exploring the New Frontier. The Airpark includes outdoor displays including the first jet Air Force One, a supersonic Concorde airliner and the prototype Boeing 747 jumbo jet. Interactive displays in The Flight Zone provide educational and entertaining activities for young children. The Museum's aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 140,000 students are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs--the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum is the only air and space museum in Washington State that is both nationally accredited with the American Association of Museums and a Smithsonian affiliate.
 
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for active military, $8 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org
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