I have just became aware of the passing of Darryl George Greenamyer, aeronautical hero, with a local connection and known by a few of my age group.
Darryl was the son of George and Bette Greenamyer, and was the legendary holder of many speed records, especially at the Reno Air Races, which he won 11 times.
At the age of 82, he was still active in aviation, having been an officer in the Air Force Reserve as well as a test pilot for Lockheed Aviation.
His father, George, was one of the many Greenamyer brothers instrumental in the development of Idle Wheels Mobile Home Park in Mariposa as well as Mariposa Sand and Gravel. Before that, his grandfather, Charles, built the Mariposa County Airport as well as establishing, with Don Turner, the Gold Coin bar in Mariposa.
Father George and Darryl maintained a home in Idle Wheels, but were really established in Southern California .
He passed away in Indio on Oct. 4 of this year.
One of his greatest projects was the restoration of an Air Force B29 on the ice cap of Greenland. He and his crew were able to restore the plane to a flying condition and while taxiing under power, an electrical system in the tail of the World War II era bomber failed, causing a fire which destroyed the aircraft.
A PBS film, which I have seen several times, follows the path of the project. The name of the plane was the Kee Bird, and the loss of the project so close to success was hard for Darryl to appreciate. I saw him soon after the flight failure and understand how disappointed he was. But accidents are all part of experimental flight, as he said.