Passion, it is said, is what makes up the spice of life. It is what gives us joy, what makes us feel alive, it is what we love. For some, their passion may be gardening. For others, their passion is art. For valued Tom Curren Companies customer Jim Slattery, that passion is flight.
At a young age, Mr. Slattery became interested in aviation. Watching World War II movies and listening to the stories of veterans helped what began as a simple matter of intrigue, grow into something much more. Working various jobs right out of high school, Mr. Slattery paid for his flight training and is now, although it is not his primary occupation, a licensed commercial pilot.
Intrigued by history, Mr. Slattery is also a collector of historical aircraft. His impressive collection includes a 1929 WACO UPF-7, one of the first US mail carriers flown by Charles A. Lindbergh on the Minneapolis-Chicago mail route and number 3 of only 4 produced. It is the only flyable one in the world today, but is only one among many rare and historic planes that make up the collection. In the ultimate compliment, Mr. Slattery was invited to attend the prestigious Centennial of Naval Aviation where he exhibited five rare military aircrafts, including a Grumman HU-16B Albatross triphibian aircraft capable of landing on water, snow and hard surface. Although this collection would be enough reason for anyone to be proud, perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Mr. Slattery’s flight hobbies includes not only his many achievements, but how he has sought out ways to share his pursuits with others in his current undertaking – “The Greatest Generation Naval Museum.”
Scheduled to be up and running within a year, The Greatest Generation Naval Museum will exhibit planes, along with other memorabilia, that demonstrate how World War II changed the way Americans live today. What separates this museum from others is that every plane on display will be, not only in pristine condition, but 100 percent flyable and will also be used for air shows and other venues all over the country. The mission behind the museum, Mr. Slattery says, is to provide people with an understanding of the historical significance of World War II, while honoring those that were lost. Building a tribute to the aviation community and the sacrifices of America’s Greatest Generation is, when it comes to aviation, Mr. Slattery’s truest and greatest passion.
If you’d like to make a financial contribution for The Greatest Generation Museum project, send your check or money order to:
Attn: Nicole Rivera
16981 Via Tazon
San Diego, CA 92127
The museum also gratefully accepts personal memorabilia.