Milton Copeland sent the above photo of a North American AT-6 "Texan" he found in his dad's photo album. We are reasonably sure it was made at the old Baldwyn grass airstrip, looking east at the south end of the runway near the hangars. The tree at the right would be at the little pond. The AT-6's (Advanced Trainer-6) basic design was as a trainer, with the characteristics of a high speed fighter, and was well suited to the intermediary task of training pilots before letting them loose in an actual fighter aircraft. Although not as fast as a fighter, it was easy to maintain and repair, had more maneuverability and was easier to handle. It was also very agile and aerobatic.
We will have to assume a related story here. I venture that it was possibly at the Baldwyn airport (which is puzzling due to the length of the runways) when Barry Henderson and Fred Parmenter were still in the reserve after their active duty. They were required to occasionally have a few days active duty and they would have to fly to maintain their pilot status. They would report for that duty, pick up a couple of planes, and fly for the required time.
Picture a hot, humid, lazy day downtown and being stretched out in a poolroom window wishing for a little breeze. Nothing is stirring, the town is quiet. From out of nowhere, just as thunder loudly follows lightning, a thunderous noise is suddenly causing buildings and all the windows in town to shake and vibrate and you are suddenly jolted back into conscienceness by the most deafening roar you could ever imagine.
Fred and Barry have just "buzzed" downtown. The AT-6s with the powerful 550 hp Pratt & Whitney "Wasp" radial engines with no mufflers have already cleared the downtown area, but the reverberation and window rattle is still there. The town is suddenly shaken "back to life".
They will continue to do this and put on an aerial show of dives, loops, rolls, side-by-side maneuvers and stalls in the sky above town for quite a while. Mr. Brooks Prather would get really upset and comment very vocally about it. He was also one that had been dozing on the poolroom bench when they came.
Eventually the show would be over, and everybody watching would see them "wave goodbye" by dipping their wings from side to side as they flew to the west. Then things would return to normal - or so you thought. They would go out of sight and then turn and make another surprise pass over town, rattling the windows again.
At that time you would hear a quiet little guy named Rob Mullins (thanks, JC) who hung around the poolroom seldom speaking about anything, jump up and declare "@#$*%! - here they come again!"
Turn your volume up really loud and play the short video: