B-29, Three Feathers

Three Feathers, Part 1

When you first read the title to this post, you’re probably wondering  “what the heck is Three Feathers”?  Well, Three Feathers is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, currently on display at the March Field Air Museum (click on the link to go to more detailed information on B-29s).  My connection to this wonderful plane began with this picture:

B-29, Three Feathers

Three Feathers III, March Field Air Museum 1/30/2011 – Sony NEX3 f/7.1 1/320 sec. ISO 200

It’s funny looking back at this photo from just a couple of years ago.  The first thing I think is that this isn’t my best work (it’s a little over-cooked).  My Sony NEX3 was new to me, and I wanted a chance to really use it, so I went to the March Field Air Museum.  I had never been there before and this seemed like a great chance to see it and use the new camera!

I remember wandering around, looking at all of the fantastic planes they have on display. Some of my favorites include the F-4 Phantoms, an F-15 Eagle, F-86 Sabre, and even a B-17!  But when I saw Three Feathers, I couldn’t help but be excited!  I love WWII planes and have never seen a B-29 in person.  To say it’s impressive is an understatement!  I was actually in awe of this beautiful beast!

So, I started doing what I love to do, looking for unique angles and started shooting!  And once I got my images home and downloaded, I shared them – on Flickr in this case. That’s when the connection became more than just admiring the plane and sharing some photos.

Many, many months after I initially posted the photo above, I received a Flickr message from a young lady saying that this was her grandfather’s plane,  Captain Edward B. Feathers.  He named the plane after his wife and 2 daughters – hence the name Three Feathers!  She also had some photos and newspaper clippings on Flickr that proved this information was true.  I sent her a return message saying what she had was great and I was sure the Museum would be interested.  And sure enough, when I contacted the Museum, they said they would be interested in any information they could get.

After the initial contact, I didn’t get a response to my message.  So I moved on, and actually went back to the Museum to try out my new Olympus E-P3 quite awhile later.  And I must say, I learned a few things since my initial outing, mostly about being a little more subtle with my post processing techniques.  Here’s an example:

B-29, Three Feathers

Olympus E-P3, 14-42mm Olympus Lens f/6.3, 1/800 sec. ISO 200.

Continuing to move forward, I again received a message from the granddaughter of Edward B. Feathers, saying that sadly he had passed away in December of 2012 (Pearl Harbor Day).  She also passed my message about the Museum’s interest along to her mother and her sisters.

It wasn’t too long after that when I received an email from one of the daughters of Mr. Feathers, and it was entitled “Three Feathers and Lt. Col. E.B. Feathers”.  She graciously provided me with some historical information on the plane, her crew, and some of their WWII missions.

So now you know how I became connected to this fantastic plane.  In a way, I don’t feel deserving of the information that I was given, since I’m just an amateur photographer that happens to enjoy WWII aircraft and history.  I’ve been given a glimpse into the history of one of those planes displayed at the Museum.   I feel very privileged and also humbled at the courage of the Three Feathers crew in the face of some very dangerous missions!

Stay tuned for part 2, and I’ll share more details on Three Feathers (and more pictures).  Until next time – Happy Shooting!