Spring Membership Meeting: The W&OD Railroad’s Civil War History

Time: 7:00 PM
Date: Thursday, March 28
Location: Dyer-Gunnell American Legion Post 180

The Spring Membership Meeting of Historic Vienna, Inc. will be held on Thursday, March 28, at 7 PM at the Dyer-Gunnell American Legion Post 180 (330 Center Street North, Vienna).  Following a brief business meeting and announcements, the Speaker for the evening will be local historian and reenactor Jon Vrana.  The Social Hall entrance is on the second floor.  Please drive around the building and park at the upper level.

Mr. Vrana is currently President of the Burke Historical Society, Board Member of the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum, and has served on the Fairfax County Sesquicentennial Committee.  He has vast experience as a living history civilian and military reenactor and has appeared as Senator Justin Morrill, Capt. Samuel Means, Henry Thomas Harrison and Col. Silas Burke.

At the HVI Membership Meeting, Mr. Vrana will discuss the history of the Alexandria, Loudoun & Hampshire Railroad and others which ran through Vienna from 1855 to 1968.  The exhibit “Roads to Rails to Trails” is currently open in the Freeman Store exhibit room and includes photographs, drawings, maps, artifacts, replicas and displays, illustrating the evolution through the years to what we now know as the W & OD Trail, a Northern Virginia Park Authority property enjoyed by 2 million visitors each year.  If you have ever walked, jogged or biked on the W & OD or if you are a lover of trains, Mr. Vrana’s lecture and the exhibit will be of interest and we encourage you to attend.

HVI’s Membership Meetings are free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served.

Please call (703) 994-9054 for more information!

Free Lecture from WWII Pilot Bernard T. Nolan: “The Unfriendly Skies”

Historic Vienna, Inc. will present a lecture by World War II veteran, NASA program manager and author Lt. Col (Ret.) Bernard T. Nolan, on Tuesday, June 12 at 7:30 PM in the Council Chamber of Vienna’s Town Hall.  Mr. Nolan is the author of “Isaiah’s Eagles Rising,” relating the journey of one young airman from boyhood to completion of a combat tour with the US Army Air Force’s 8th Bomber Command.  Realism and little known details are provided in his discussion of evolving technology, ever changing tactics, what it is like to be shot down and the comparison of two pivotal aircraft, the B-24 and B-17, both of which Mr. Nolan flew in combat.  The lecture is free and open to the public, refreshments will be served.  This event is free to the public and is a unique chance to hear about the skills required to fly these dangerous missions.  Mr. Nolan will have autographed copies of his book for sale at this event.  A brief question and answer period will follow the talk.   For more information call 703 938 5187.

“My lecture reviews the history of the Eighth Air Force and its role in the air campaign in Western Europe during WW II.  It is the story of a battle lost by the Eighth to the Luftwaffe during 1943 as the result of unacceptable attrition, and how and why the Luftwaffe was in turn beaten by mid 1944.  I focus on the origins of strategic bombing and its objectives, the build-up of the Eighth, the combat environment, survival odds, tactics, formations and how they were assembled and a typical bomb group.  A few personal anecdotes are tossed in.  The lecture is supported by many visual aids including diagrams and photographs – many in color –most of which were obtained from the USAF archives.”   – Bernard Nolan

Book by Bernard T. Nolan

Bernard Nolan’s entire life has been spent in aerospace related activities including 22 years in the USAF as an active pilot. Nolan flew 33 missions in B-24s and B-17s with the 8th Bomber Command in Europe in 1944. Following his combat experiences, he was retrained as a transport pilot and flew North Atlantic and other routes for ten years. Thereafter he held various staff jobs until leaving the Air Force in December 1965 to accept a job with NASA.

Nolan held a Command Pilot rating and the regular rank of Lt. Col. on retirement. His combat decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross and four Air Medals.

Nolan’s NASA career spanned 15 years with NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC where he worked in various program management assignments. He was the program manager for NASA’s Airborne Geoscience Program and served as program manager for Landsat Operations. Following his “retirement” from NASA in 1981, he worked as an independent consultant to NASA and as a senior engineer for Science Applications International Corporation.

Nolan graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland in 1959. He is married to the former Sarah (Sunny) Davis of Charleston, South Carolina. The couple has two adult children.

Bernard Nolan is the author of a history book entitled Isaiah’s Eagles Rising and is the co author of the novel Wild Blue Murder.

Author Talk with Robert F. Dorr: “Mission to Berlin”

Time: 7:30 PM
Wednesday, December 7
Location: Council Chamber of Vienna’s Town Hall

Historic Vienna, Inc. is sponsoring a lecture by author, USAF veteran and retired senior diplomat Robert F. Dorr on Wednesday, December 7 at 7:30 pm in the Council Chamber of Vienna’s Town Hall.

On the anniversary of the United States’ entry into WWII, Bob will discuss his newest book “Mission To Berlin,” a history of the B-17 Flying Fortress crews who participated in the largest mission ever flown against a single target.  There will be a question period following the lecture.  Bob writes books, magazine articles and newspaper columns about Air Force history and operations.  He will have copies of this book for sale at the event.

The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.  For more information, give us a call at (703) 938-5187!