Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


THIS PHOTO of U.S.A.F. Gen. Curtis LeMay originally appeared in the January 1960 issue of Road & Track. A comment was added, “We’d humbly suggest that the general should fasten his helmet and wear shatterproof goggles.”

U.S.A.F. General Curtis LeMay demonstrates his go kart prowess.

A couple issues later, R&T ran a letter from an airman at Barksdale AFB who asked that his name be withheld. It read “Apparently the author doesn’t know the general. That kart wouldn’t dare turn over with General LeMay aboard!”

Another LeMay bit: He was a car nut of the highest order, with special enthusiasm for powerful brutes along the lines of his Cad Allard J2X. From 1948 to 1957, he was also the head of the Strategic Air Command which had air bases throughout the country. LeMay combined these two by allowing SAC runways to be used as venues for sports car racing. As a kid, I attended one of my first events at Lockbourne AFB near Columbus, Ohio. Other 1952-1954 venues included Andrews, Bergstrom, MacDill, March and Offutt AFBs.

The Sports Car Club of America honored LeMay with its Woolf Barnato Award in 1954. Later, posthumously in 2007, he was inducted into the SCCA’s Hall of Fame. (This was a year after Denise McCluggage and two years before P.L. Newman were honored.)

Yet another LeMay bit—and I offer this one completely devoid of political message. My little friend below came from Cuba back when it was especially complex to visit there. A Canadian Montessori teacher I knew smuggled her onto St. Thomas. ds

Neither Ms. Mao nor the author makes any political statement here. We are simply supporting the idea of sports car racing on SAC bases.

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2012

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This entry was posted on August 24, 2012 by in And Furthermore... and tagged , , .
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