Donald Lopez: Introduction (01:16)
Lopez grew up in Brooklyn, New York and went on his first flight at the age of seven. He was the youngest American fighter pilot in WWII, helped designed the rocket, and became a staff member of the National Air and Space Museum.
Lopez's Early Years (04:20)
Lopez was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1923. He saw Charles Lindbergh during a parade, took his first flight at the age of seven, and was a regular visitor to Floyd Bennett Field. He attended college, enrolled in the Civilian Pilot Training Program, and became an aviation cadet.
Early Military Career (02:31)
Lopez recalls his training as an aviation cadet. He attended flight training, learned to fly P-40s, and was assigned to a P-40 squadron.
AVG Force (02:51)
Lopez arrived in India, was ordered to the 14th Air Force, and assigned to the 23rd Fighter Group. He recalls Tex Hill. Lopez was one of the youngest American fighter pilots.
Combat Missions (03:23)
Lopez strafed Japanese patrol boats on the Yangtze River, participated in air battles with Japanese fighters, and flew over 100 missions in China. He returned to New York and was with his family on V-E Day.
Air Force Career (02:21)
Lopez became a jet test pilot, flying Air Force and Navy aircraft; he recalls flying in air shows. Lopez earned aeronautical engineering degrees, taught at the Air Force Academy, became a missiles expert at the Pentagon, and retired in 1964.
Aerospace Project (02:46)
Lopez joined Bell Com and worked in NASA offices. He worked on rocket engine and was part of the Apollo 11 and Skylab programs.
Aviation History (03:17)
Lopez joined the National Air and Space Museum staff in 1972 and was involved in airplane exhibit planning. The museum became the most popular museum in the world. Experts reflect on Lopez's accomplishments and personality.
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Donald Lopez (00:29)
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Donald Lopez
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