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News > AFFTC museum receives Capt. Edwards' diaries
AFFTC museum receives Capt. Edwards' diaries

Posted 11/26/2008   Updated 12/3/2008 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class William O'Brien
95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

11/26/2008 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Capt. Glen Edwards', diaries were donated to the Air Force Flight Test Center museum during a ceremony Nov. 25.

Captain Edwards' family donated the diaries that document the test pilots experiences during World War II, from when he joined the Army Air Corps up to a few days before he died.

"I am deeply touched by the generosity of the family of Captain Edwards," said Maj. Gen David Eichhorn, Air Force Flight Test Center commander. "The diaries show in great detail the thought processes of a truly great test pilot, our base's namesake."

The diaries were in the possession of Captain Edwards' brother. When he died the family decided it was best to donate them to the AFFTC museum, where they would be preserved and showcased to the community named in his honor.

"The family is glad they'll be in the (AFFTC) museum," said Rae Edwards, Captain Edwards' nephew. "Here they will be preserved forever, and since the base is named after him, it's the perfect showcase for them."

The diaries' entries span from July 13, 1941 to June 3, 1948. They tell how flight testing was during the 1940's, as well as, give insight into how everyday life was during that time.

"His diaries portrait the life of a test pilot and the things they would do back in the 1940's," said Mr. Edwards. "The daily updates he made described his flights, visits to his family, the places he went and his personal relationships."

Prior to this donation, Captain Edwards' family has donated several other items to the AFFTC museum, including patches from his uniforms and a hat and jacket he wore during one of his flights.

December 8, 1949, the base was officially named Edwards Air Force Base in his honor. Captain Edwards gave his life to experimental flight testing while co-piloting the Northrop YB-49, the All-jet version of the Flying Wing Bomber prototype.

"He was the quintessential test pilot," said General Eichhorn. "He was nominated to fly the X-1 to break the sound barrier. He understood the risks in flight test back in the era when so much was unknown about how the aircraft would behave. He boldly made the test flights and succinctly reported what he observed so the art and science of aviation would advance. He lived our motto of Ad Inexplorata: toward the unknown! We owe him and others of that era a great debt of gratitude."

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