August 1950

Betty Skelton Also Stars In Air Show

Published in the August 1950 issue of Naval Aviation News
Author Unknown

The Navy's famous team of aerial acrobats, the Blue Angels, were headliners in the unofficial opening of Memphis' yearly Cotton Carnival extravaganza. In the annual Air Show at NAS Memphis, the Blue Angels enhanced their reputation as they put their F9F jet Panthers through their paces at better than 600 miles per hour. They made several low level passes before the crowd, zooming almost straight up in climbing demonstrations.

Their most thrilling acts were formation barrel rolls during which each pilot stayed "right in there." A single Panther flown by a Blue Angel swooped low over the field several times, zooming straight up in a series of slow rolls.

Tiny Berry Skelton, women's international aerobatic titleholder, was also featured in the show. She flew her "little Stinker," a specially built 568 pound biplane, through an intricate and beautifully executed pattern of aerial stunts that had the most seasoned pilots in the viewing ranks staring in open-mouthed admiration.

Also included in the show were parachute jumps by riggers from NAS Lakehurst, a JATO takeoff by a P2V Neptune, and helicopter and fire fighting demonstrations.