Lieutenant Colonel Bill McKee, USAF
(ret.) “is the historian for the Santa Maria Museum of Flight in Santa Maria, California. His interest in aviation and
aviation history goes back to the late stages of World War II when he was a boy in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was greatly influenced
by the flying activity from the nearby Lincoln Army Air Field. He was a cadet in the Lincoln, Nebraska Squadron of the Civil
Air Patrol. Bill spent nearly 21 years in the USAF, retiring in 1985 as a Lt. Colonel. He then worked for several years in
the areas of logistics and systems engineering/integration on various space-related contracts at Vandenberg AFB, California.
He also spent over 18 years teaching as an adjunct professor at various colleges and universities in graduate and undergraduate
business and management programs. Bill McKee is the author of Aviation in the Santa Maria Valley:
World War II.
According to the book description of Aviation
in the Santa Maria Valley: World War II, “The book is a summary of events surrounding the two Army Air
Forces training bases at Santa Maria, California during the World War II era. Information was gleaned from Air Force histories,
personal interviews, and newspaper accounts. It includes statistics and records of personnel trained in Santa Maria, including
many photographs. Activities of advanced P-38 Lightening training at the Santa Maria Army Air Field and primary training utilizing
PT-13 Stearman aircraft at Army Air Force Training Detatchment One, Hancock College of Aeronautics airfields are detailed.
In addition, impacts of the training and influx of large numbers of personnel on the community are covered. Some coverage
of the "ground" side of these efforts is also included.”