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Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

Building the Vision: California police buy N-B plane sight unseen

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

(Photo)
Happy New Year to everyone! We, of the Building the Vision Campaign, look forward to this being the year that the Shirley Nightwine Martin Civic Center/Nicholas-Beazley Aviation Museum becomes a reality. With over two-thirds of the money raised to date, we are optimistic that the citizens will rally to put us at or beyond our $3 million goal, and that the building will begin in April (as weather permits).

Bryan Berlin and I appeared on the Paul Pepper Show broadcast from Columbia. The Campaign's ties to Columbia are rather large, as you know, with the connection that chief test pilot for Nicholas/Beazley Airplane Company was Barney Zimmerley, the father of Virginia Zimmerley Stewart ... MU coach Norm Stewart's wife. We are looking to them and their acquaintances for support, as well as carrying the message to all who will listen. We are seeking anyone who had any connection to the Marshall Flying School and/or the Nicholas/Beazley Airplane Company. We are honored to have been recipients of a vast amount of documents and memorabilia, to date, and welcome anything or anyone else "out there" who can add to our knowledge of the past.

As I always say, please call campaign headquarters at (660) 886-2630 or visit us on the east side of the Marshall square. We can give you information about how to contribute, of course, but can also chat with you about some interesting information at our fingertips.

Now for some history ...

May 16, 1929, The Marshall Democrat-News

"Police Buy Barling NB-3

"California Officers' Club Purchases Local Plane "Sight Unseen"

"A Barling NB-3 monoplane, product of the Nicholas-Beazley Airplane Company here, will be used to chase criminals in California.

"The local company this week received an order from the Oakland Police Aeronautical Club, which is composed of five members of the Oakland police department, for one Barling NB-3. The plane was bought "sight unseen" upon the recommendation of California friends of the Nicholas-Beazley Company.

"The Police Club will use the plane to teach other members of the force to fly and also when necessary in apprehending criminals."

May 18, 1929, The Marshall Democrat-News

"Zimmerley Tells of His Flight to Canada

"Marshall Pilot Had Interesting Experiences

"On His Way Across Continent July 4

"Out of a temperature of about 80 degrees at 2 o'clock in the morning and into one about 50 degrees at 6:45 that evening, passing through temperatures ranging as high as 95 during the day, was the experience of D. S. "Barney" Zimmerley, Marshall pilot, who flew from Brownsville, Texas, to Winnipeg, Canada, Sunday, July 7, in sixteen hours flat. A cold, which made his muscles very sore and caused him some lameness, was the result.

" I got very cold before I landed, " Zimmerley said today in telling of his flight. "However, this may have been augmented some by my being somewhat wet from storms I had passed through a few hours previous. I was rather tired, too, from my 1,725-mile flight and my resistance wasn't as high as it normally is.

"I got but one hour's sleep Saturday night before my start," he said. "We were up until 11 o'clock receiving weather reports along my prospective course. Finding they were favorable, I went to bed and got up again at 1 o'clock, going to the airport to prepare for the trip. I was much surprised to find several hundred people there to see me off. The crowd continued to grow until it must have numbered close to a thousand by 2:45 o'clock.

"Harry Munn, a member of the Brownsville Chapter of the National Aeronautic Society, placed the barograph in my plane at 2:15 and we waited the necessary half hour for it to register. At exactly 2:45 a.m., I left the ground, heading my ship into a southeast wind and climbing to 200 feet before turning around and starting due north on my course. There were light clouds over the airport, but these did not bother me any.

"For the first few minutes I had difficulty in climbing to 400 feet, because my engine was not thoroughly warm and wanted to miss. But after ten minutes, this trouble adjusted itself and the ship acquired an air speed of 105 miles an hour, despite the fact that my load of 881 pounds exceeded the entire weight of the plane by nearly two hundred pounds. My speed never wavered from 105 miles an hour from then on.

"Twenty minutes out of Brownsville I ran into a fog and light mist. I could see lightning and started my ship upward to climb above the storm which I was running into. This I was able to do, gaining considerable altitude above the clouds, although I could not see my altimeter and know how high I was. In fact, it was so dark I could not see my wing tips or any of my instruments, with the exception of my illuminated compass. I flew entirely blind and by sense of feeling."

Check this out ...

Let's have a little "cliffhanger" like in the Days of Yore at the movies. I'll leave you there, with "Barney" flying "blind" and pick up next week with the rest of the story. I cannot even begin to relate to the courage such an endeavor would have taken. Thanks to men like "Barney," and the men who provided his ship ... we fly anywhere, anytime today.

Building the Vision appears Wednesday.

ANITA WRIGHT, Columnist
Building the Vision