More specifically, the treasured flying items of my late husband, test pilot/former F-15 NATO 32 TFS “Wolfhound” Eric Fiore, are going home to the Netherlands, where he was stationed with NATO forces during the Cold War. In Dutch: De F-15 vliegende dingen van Eric Fiore gaan naar huis.
Eric died 36 days after a plane crash, and I donated his flight suit, G-suit, helmet, and logbook to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas where they have been on display these past 20 years. The items were taken off display about a month ago, and I was informed after it had happened, as an afterthought. Because I have been such a big supporter of the Cosmosphere for a good part of my life, I was profoundly hurt that I wasn’t told before it happened. While I understand that museum exhibits change, I would have liked to visit it one last time. I was not given that option. I still maintain a scholarship that is endowed, and I continue to think Space Camp is an incredible experience.
However . . .
Though I will not speak again publicly about the anguish I continue to feel about this indifference to my husband’s legacy by the Cosmosphere, I will also not be sending them additional money. And wow, have I given them a lot of money. If you buy my book Flight through Fire, I will be donating to other organizations. Please watch my Facebook page for updates.
Here is the exhibit, now closed.
But I have wonderful news! Because, as I said, Eric’s flying items are going home!
I am extremely grateful to the curators of the Nederlands Nationaal Militair Museum in Soest, the Netherlands. The museum is at the site of Soesterberg Air Base (closed by President Clinton at the end of the Cold War). I will keep you posted on the progress of the exhibit. The Cosmosphere is in the process of shipping the items, and I have already sent personal items to the museum to add to the exhibit. Eric was a part of the famous 32TFS Wolfhounds and the museum is the protector of “all things Wolfhound.”
The Flying Scarves
The most difficult items for me to part with were his flying scarves. Here I am, wearing them one last time, before shipping them to the Netherlands.
I sent prints and photos and mugs and patches and an assortment of Wolfhound items.
These are a few pages from the scrapbook I sent.
I’d planned to attend Dutch Summer School next year in Drenthe, so I’ll be visiting the museum and practicing my Dutch. I can’t promise that I won’t cry when I see Eric’s flying items, finally home, where they belong. I am incredibly grateful to Alfred Staarman, at the museum, for making this happen. Dank je vel!
Eric was fond of saying, “I’ve flown over 200 types of aircraft, but the F-15 is the lady that stole my heart.”