On December 5th, Paul Ehlen and AirCorps Aviation hosted a gathering of people connected with Sierra Sue II’s history at Vintage Aircraft. Relatives from Lt. Robert Bohna’s family attended as did a diverse group who had flown Sierra Sue II, worked on her during her past, or had written about her.

The guest and hosts converged on Vintage Aircraft’s hangar at picturesque Sonoma Valley airport from Minnesota, northern California, the Los Angeles area and elsewhere around the country.

Robert Bohna’s sister, Susie Hickman, her son Eric, grandnieces Christina Gonzalez and Justina Rose Bohna –Martin represented the Bohna family and related stories about Robert. They filled in many missing pieces of the history puzzle of Lt. Bohna and Sierra Sue II’s wartime period.

James Kunkel told about the choice of airframes for Swedish purchase and the ferry operation as well as an absolutely riveting story of his air combat days and subsequent shoot down and recovery.

Lou DePropis, Dale Hillin, and Dan Fitzgerald recalled an amazing number of facts and events from the time Sierra Sue II was being modified to attempt a world piston powered airspeed record.

Jim Dale filled us in on his work on Sierra Sue II when Roger “Doc” Christgau owned her and Roger’s brother John provided even more. John had copies of his fine book along for signing.

Everyone enjoyed the atmosphere, comradery and excellent food provided. Chris Prevost was a gracious host at his company and even rolled out his P-40N and a Mustang based at the airport.

Quite a few new friendships sprung from what was a day enjoyed by all who attended.

Austin Sendoff of Sierra Sue
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2 Responses
  1. Carole MccCarley

    So enjoyed seeing photo of my dear friend, Jim Kunkle – and to discover your Bemidji location. Will pay a visit soon since I too live in the area and restoration of Warbirds very personal to me. My son and I have a T-6 – which is in the process of being restored.

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