The Shea Naval Aviation Museum in Weymouth, Massachusetts will present a FREE public lecture on Saturday April 26th by noted aviation author Tommy H. Thomason on the Bell HSL-1 helicopter. The lecture, which will include a slide presentation, will begin at noon and will last for about an hour. A question and answer session and book signing will be conducted immediately afterwards.
The HSL-1 was the first helicopter designed specifically to find and destroy submarines. Although the twin-rotor HSL-1 was an unsuccessful design that was never actually used operationally in its intended role, it pioneered key technologies such as “dipping sonar” that were later widely used on later Navy helicopters.
Though no HSL-1s were ever assigned to NAS South Weymouth, it was the grandfather of all the anti-submarine helicopters that were used by the Navy Reserve HS and HSL squadrons that were based there over the years.
Guest lecturer Tommy Thomason has written many books on naval aviation subjects including a comprehensive illustrated history of the Bell HSL-1 entitled, “The Forgotten Bell HSL: U.S. Navy’s First All-Weather Anti-Submarine Warfare Helicopter”. You can review his many books on-line at http://tommythomason.com./ The author will have a limited number of his books available for sale at the museum on the day of his lecture. He will personally autograph books that visitors purchase there or buy in advance and bring with them.
The Shea Naval Aviation Museum will also be open to visitors between 9 and 11 a.m. on the date of the lecture. The museum, which is operated by the ANA Patriot Squadron, serves as a repository of photographs and artifacts pertaining to the naval air stations that were at South Weymouth and at Squantum in the nearby city of Quincy.
The museum is located at 495 Shea Memorial Drive on the SouthField real estate development at the former Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Massachusetts. It is open to the public between 9 a.m. and noon on the second Saturday of the month, between 9 and 11 a.m. on the last Saturday of the month, and on other occasions by request. Veterans and civilian historians from the ANA Patriot Squadron who know the military history of both bases are present at the museum to answer questions. Admission is always FREE.
From 11 a.m. to noon on the day of the lecture ANA Patriot Squadron members will hold their monthly meeting in the museum. Non-members are welcome to attend the group’s meeting. The lecture will begin promptly at noon.
The ANA Patriot Squadron is a Boston area affiliate of the Association of Naval Aviation that is composed of veterans and civilians who are interested in preserving the heritage of NAS South Weymouth and NAS Squantum. The group operates and maintains the Shea Memorial Grove park, and the Shea Naval Aviation Museum on the site of former NAS South Weymouth in Weymouth, Massachusetts.
The ANA Patriot Squadron actively seeks new members and donations of photographs and other artifacts pertaining to the history of NAS South Weymouth or NAS Squantum for the museum. For more information about the lecture, the ANA Patriot Squadron, the Shea Memorial Grove, or the Shea Naval Aviation Museum visit the group’s web site at www.anapatriotsquadron.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SheaNavalAviationMuseum, or send an e-mail to [email protected]