Breaking News: Where's Mike?
Mike is going to be in Frederick, Maryland on June 26, 2010, to attend the premier of "Breaking Through The Clouds:The First Woman's Air Derby". It is a documentary about the first woman's transcontinental air race held in 1929. The documentary is being premiered at the conclusion of the 2010 Woman's Air Race Classic which is terminating in Frederick, Maryland this year.
Mike was also invited to fly some air work for the documentary and took these pictures of the vintage aircraft featured in the film. Enjoy!
Mike O'Neal Attends WWI USAS/US Air Force Commemorationin France
Michael O'Neal attended the the American WWI USAS/US Air Force Commemoration in Saints, Touquin and Mauperthuis, France, which was held on July 14, 2008, the 90th anniversary of the day when Quentine Roosevelt, son of Theodore Roosevelt, fell in battle. Quentine was a pilot with the US Air Service and was shot down on Bastile Day in 1918.
There were more than 100 people in attendance at the commemoration, including five mayors, citizens of the villages that were represented, and a Deputy (equivalent to a congressman). They laid a large wreath at the War Monument in the village of Saints, followed by an unveiling of a plaque commemorating Quentine Roosevelt and the other aviators. It was placed on the wall where 32 French and North African WWI Soldiers are buried.
You can see some of the pictures and read an article written about the event on http://usaww1.com/.
Interview to Run In AutoPILOT Magazine
Mike O'Neal was recently interviewed by Natalie B. David, Arts and Entertainment reporter for AuotPILOT Magazine after one of his paintings, Valentines Day, was selected to be one of 57 paintings to hang in the Air and Space Museum in Seattle.
In this article, Mike tells of his life-long passion for identifying the many World War I aviators from his home State of New Jersey and how that brought him to develop his talent for painting. He paints scenes that tell the stories that are not told anywhere else, derived mostly from first hand accounts gained from log books and letters, and partly from his knowledge of flying these magnificant aircraft. Mike pilots a Fleet 7 himself and knows the thrill of having the wind in your face as you fly. We will post a notice on this site when the article comes out with a link to it. For now, here is an advance view of the article.
Valentine's Day Painting to Hang in Museum of Flight
Painting one of 57 out of a field of 215 to be selected
Michael O'Neal's 2008 painting titled "Valentine's Day", a deptiction of an event involving New Jersey resident, Lt. Valentine Burger, has been accepted to hang on display at the American Society of Aviation Artists annual International Aviation Art exhibition being held this year at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. It was one of only 57 entries accepted for this honor out of a field of over 215 entries. It will hang in the museum from June 16th until September, before coming home to Mike's studios in New Jersey.
In addition to this honor, Valentine's Day has been published as the cover art for the Spring 2008 edition of Over The Front magazine. Please visit the Valentine's Day page of this site for a better look at this fine painting.
Michael O'Neal Presentation at the WFA seminar in Baltimore, Maryland
The Princeton Flying Corps - 1917
April 5, 2008 - Michael O'Neal presented the following historical review of the Princeton Flying Corps to a packed house at the WFA's annual seminar, held this year in Baltimore, Maryland.
"When the European War erupted in 1914, the US Air Service was still three years from formation. Although most European countries had already formed and equipped a modest nation air arm, the US lagged far behind. The momentum of the Wright Brothers early successes was lost and in the next few years, little was done to advance the science of aviation in the US, and virtually nothing was done to establish an military air service.
By 1916, when it was evident to most Americans that the US would soon be drawn into the conflict overseas, modest efforts were made by the government to prepare our armed forces. Aviation was not high on the list of priorities . Private citizens, some affiliated with the Universities at Princeton and Yale, established their own flying programs in an effort to prepare for the coming war. In early 1916, more than a year before the US declaration of war, James Barnes, a graduate of Princeton in the class of 1891, proposed that Princeton establish its own flying program. Barnes military background and early exposure to aviation convinced him that modern warfare would in large part be influenced by this emerging technology.
With funds subscripted from faithful alumni and scant government backing, a loosely organized flight school was organized at the University. By March of 1917, some 40 undergraduates joined the Princeton Flying Corps, and along with instructors provided by the US Military and the Curtiss Aeroplane Company, they learned to fly in three short months in the late Spring and early summer of 1917, preparing for service overseas.
These young men formed a vanguard of volunteers who would later be the nucleus of the emerging US Air Service. Stories of gallantry, self-sacrifice and loyalty pervade the groups history. The fine record established by these men can find no parallel in the Air Service during the Great War. Three aces, 4 Distinguished Service Cross recipients, one British DSM and multiple citations in the orders of the Armies they served with attest to the success of these early patriots at Princeton and to the foresight of the men who organized and animated the Corps."
Michael J. O'Neal