Member Meeting April 2018

Operation Nickel Grass - Why I Never Have to Buy a Drink in Israel, presented by Alan Chesterman

Our monthly Member Meetings typically include updates on important Museum news, a raffle, video presentations, a chance to visit with other Museum members, snacks, and a presentation by a featured speaker. Speakers may include military Veterans, historians, civic leaders, and other people with interesting stories to tell of their historical research or their aviation or military experiences.

Operation Nickel Grass – Why I Never Have to Buy a Drink in Israel

In 1973, while an Instructor Pilot flying the A-4 Skyhawk replacement squadron (VA-127) at Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA, Lieutenant Alan Chesterman received orders he could have never anticipated. The Israeli Air Force was sustaining unprecedented losses of its A-4 inventory while fighting against Syrian and Egyptian air and ground forces during the Yom Kippur War. The US instituted Operation Nickel Grass to re-equip the Israelis. Alan became part of the then-secret mission to deliver Navy A-4s via a 7,500 mile flight from Lemoore, CA to Norfolk, VA, on to Lajes, Azores, to the deck of USS Roosevelt, and finally Tel Nof Airbase in Israel.

About Alan G. Chesterman – Commander USNR (Ret.)

Alan G. Chesterman was born and raised in San Francisco. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1967 and received his Navy Wings in 1968. He flew A-4 Skyhawks and A-7 Corsair IIs during Vietnam and served as a Catapult Officer on the USS Enterprise (CVN-65). He went on to fly with United Air Lines, piloting the Boeing 707, 727, 737, 747, 777 and the DC-10, retiring as a Captain. He also flew some corporate and aerial photo planes. He currently lives in Santa Rosa and enjoys riding the roads of Sonoma County on his ten-speed bicycle, some three wheelers, and sailing.

Air Show Meeting at 6:00 immediately before the Member Meeting

The 2018 Wings Over Wine Country Air Show is being planned!

Each month we have an open Air Show meeting, just before the monthly Member Meeting. We talk about performers, volunteers, staffing, vendors, attractions, and all the other important things that go into an event like this. 

These meetings are your chance to find out what’s happening, get a look at the plans, and contribute your own opinions and ideas. We encourage you to attend. 

The Air Show meetings take place at 6:00 p.m. and run through about 6:45 p.m., and are in the same room as the Member Meetings.

Find out more about our Member Meetings.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


3200 N. Laughlin Road

View Map


Free for Members and Guests


Member Meeting December 2018
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Holiday potluck party, and a chance to recognize those who have contributed in 2018!

Clos-up photo of CH-37B Mojave helicopter in flight, with lifting sling underneath
Member Meeting January 2019
Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Scott Drew on the CH-37B Mojave helicopter in Viet Nam

Open Cockpit: DC-6 Airliner Cockpit
Saturday, February 16, 2019 - Sunday, February 17, 2019

Look inside this classic airliner!