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News & Announcements

Copies of the Historical Society's Newsletter are available here.

James Soucy will be our speaker and guide us to learn and document the world around us. This program helps identify plants around us, while generating data for science and conservation. Briefly, James will share the process on how to access and use the program for personal success.

You may wish to bring your phone to download the app and follow James as he manipulates the pages. His personal interest focuses on the Ash species. This is one of the species that has seen many Ash trees die in our area.

Come and listen to this active presentation and learn more about the flora that surrounds us. Refreshments will be provided.

You can always enjoy the museum - so come early or stay late and view our new exhibits!

The Frontenac Museum will be raffling off three original paintings and two framed old maps from May 19 through November 10, 2024. The ticket price is $2.00 and you may purchase as many tickets as you wish!

This original pen and ink drawing is believed to be of Glory of the Seas or, as she was know, Glory. The artist's name is difficult to read and requires more research. In 1869, Glory was launched in the Boston shipyard of Donald McKay the last of the clipper ships to be built during his career.

Glory was "unlucky" and the history of her story will be available to read at the Art Show. (This photo shows some light reflection, but when you see it, you will be thrilled!)

This painting is by Ivy Dunning (1903-1990). Ivy came to America from England in 1924 and settled in Auburn. She learned to paint in adult education programs and then studied under Prof. Walter Long, Director of the Cayuga Museum. On a Fall1974 trip to Union Springs, she saw a lovely waterfall surrounded by foliage in bright colors and felt compelled to paint it. Beautiful Great Gully.

"Frontenac Island" on Cayuga Lake in Union Springs is a watercolor painted by local artist, B.C. Chappell on May 10, 1970. (This painting shows some reflection, but the shades of color are beautiful!)

Do you remember last year's Bob Doremus painting? Note cards have been printed with this painting on them and will be available for sale. Cost $5/card.

Looking forward to a wonderful display of art by local artists this Sunday, May 19th. All are welcome!

There were many astounding feats accomplished by flying aces throughout the course of the Second World War. Earning the title of "flying ace" is itself an impressive accolade, let alone the other feats these pilots achieved. One man, however, stands out for his odd, yet impressive distinction.

Bruce W. Carr, born in New York (Union Springs), was only 15 when the Second World War broke out in 1939. It was that year that he decided to learn how to fly, and three years later, on September 3, 1942, he enlisted in the US Army Air Forces. Given his prior training, he joined the service's accelerated training program, where he flew the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk.

By August 30, 1943, Carr was promoted to flight officer after accumulating an impressive 240 flight hours. He also completed special training, which qualified him to fly the North American P-51 Mustang and A-36 Apache. It was the P-51 that became his favored aircraft, and he called his Angels' Playmate.

Carr was deployed to England in 1944, where he joined the 380th fighter Squadron, 363rd Fighter Group, Ninth Air Force at RAF Rivenhall. He downed his (and his squadron's) first enemy aircraft by relentlessly chasing and shooting at it, forcing the Messerschmitt Bf 109 to fly into the ground. He wasn't credited for the kill, however, as he hadn't technically shot it down.

This action was considered "overaggressive" by Carr's commanders and earned him a reputation for being that kind of pilot. Ultimately, it led to his transfer to the 353rd Squadron, 354th fighter Group at RAF Lashenden.

It was on November 2, 1944 that Bruce Carr lost his favored P-510. He was leading a strafing mission against a German airfield in Czechoslovakia at the time. Knowing he wouldn't be able to keep his aircraft in the air, he bailed out behind enemy lines.

Impressively, he managed to stay undetected for multiple days.

Carr did his best to figure out how the Fw190 worked, despite the labels being written in German. He managed well enough and as soon as he was able to, took off without anyone making an effort to stop him or even appearing to notice.

Leaving German territory was the easy part, as his aircraft had German markings. It was returning to Allied airspace in France that proved to be difficult. Inevitably, he was shot at the moment he came back into his own airspace. In the hopes of making it back to base, Carr decided to fly as low as he could, as quickly as possible. This worked well enough, except by the time he arrived, he had no working radio.

Making a grand entrance, Carr landed on the field at the base, without lowering his landing gears, and slid to a stop. Some sources say he chose not to deploy them, while others claim he simply didn't know how.

It didn't take long for people to try dragging Carr, who was presumed to be a hostile German pilot, out of the cockpit. However, he was still strapped into his seat.

According to him, "I started throwing some good Anglo-Saxon swear words at them, and they let loose while I tried to get the seat belt undone. But my hands wouldn't work and I couldn't do it. Then they started pulling on me again because they still weren't convinced I was an American. I was yelling and hollering. Then, suddenly, they let go, and a face drops down into the cockpit in front of mine. It was my Group Commander: George R. Bickel."

Bickel had a simple question for his pilot, asking only, "Carr, where in the hell have you been, and what have you been doing now?" This daring escape didn't stop Carr from continuing to fly, and he served the rest of the war. By the end, he'd earned the distinction of triple ace and was given credit for 15 aerial victories over 172 combat missions.

After World War II came to an end, Bruce Carr remained with the US Army Air Forces as it became the US Air Force. Initially, he was assigned to fly the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star as part of the Acrojets, America's first jet-powered aerobatic demonstration team. They were stationed out of Williams Air Force Base, Arizona.

During the Korean War, the now Maj. Carr flew with the 336th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on an impressive 57 missions, before taking over as the commanding officer of the squadron between January 1955 and August 1956.

Promoted yet again, Col. Carr later served in the Vietnam War, where he flew with the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing out of the Tuy Hoa Air Base. He primarily flew on close air support missions in the North American F-100 Super Sabre, racking up a whopping 286 combat missions during his deployment.

In 1973, Carr retired from the Air Force. For his service in three wars, he was awarded an impressive number of medals, including the distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, 31 Air Medals and four Distinguished Flying Crosses. In 1998, he passed away from prostate cancer and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Story written by Rosemary Giles, a history content writer with Hive Media.

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