Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Great LA Air Raid

This year Michael and I decided to attend the Great LA Air Raid of 1942, which is held in February of each year at  Fort MacArthur in Long Beach CA. And we are so very glad that we did!!! It was an absolute blast, there was so much to see and to do and the atmosphere was so well done. I loved all the great displays of military equipment and transports.
My favorite pieces was a 1940s military issue BSA that I sadly did not get a good picture of L but I just love vintage motorcycles! Michael was like a little kid again, he could name every vehicle and gun that was there and when and how it was used! I never knew that he had such a vast knowledge of WWII equipment, but apparently when he was a kid he loved anything army. It was neat to learn something new about a person that I already know so much about.

There was tank demonstration in which the Sherman tank drove around up on the lawn (and tore it up badly) and fired a few blanks out over the ocean.

From the top you could see all the way out to Catalina Island, until the fog started to roll in as the sun went down.

This is us climbing the stairs up to the top to watch the tank and look at the V-8 powered air raid siren that we took pictures with too.

The event was recommended to us by our friends Chris and Beth (of V for Vintage blog).

Beth and Lauren (of Wearing History blog) are friends that I had the pleasure of making last year at Costume College. Since vintage events are a new addition to my sewing addiction it has been fun to join them at these events and I have derived much inspiration from their glamorous looks and enthusiastic personalities.

Michael wore my favorite 40s 3 piece suit, it is a heavy wool navy chalk strip that came tailored from Savile Row in England. The hat was a fabulously cheap find at the Santa Monica Vintage Expo, Its from a great hat maker and is really clean inside but it has a great squished rumpled appearance that gives it character.
I wore my newest acquisition, the original 1940s red cross nurses uniform! I had the white nurses cap, blue wool cape with red lining and the vintage volunteers pin that you see worn with these uniforms. I was also able to find vintage US military issue red cross heels!!! I will set up a different post and go into great detail on the uniform, its pieces and all the research I put into it to. It was a fascinating project that I am looking forward to sharing.

Michael and I brought a picnic dinner rather than spend money on the food there, I made egg salad sandwiches wrapped in wax paper with apples and oatmeal cookies. Michael has a 1930s tin lunch box that is painted like a wicker basket and has double wooden handles that we carried it in. I also had two Mexican Cokes in glass bottles with the old style labels that were a great hit too. People thought it was such a neat little detail. And as the great architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is associated with having stated " God is in the details"

The really exciting part of the evening was the re-enactment of the air raid. All evening long Maxwell DiMille was making announcements of the impending "threat" till 8pm finally rolled around and the re-enactment began. They fired blanks out of the tank and two anti- aircraft guns and they had a big gun up on the hill that when they fired that one flames came shoot way out into the air, it was most impressive, then there was fireworks and two air raid sirens, one was the one we took pictures with. The engine on that thing was so big you could hear it start up over the fireworks before the siren even started  J Photos With Class was a friend of Chris and Beth and he took really great photographs of the fireworks display and the wonderful dancers.
Michael is already talking about plans for next year's event  . . .  

No comments:

Post a Comment