Monthly Archives: December 2013

Book Review: Unknown Rider by Major Scott D. Anderson, USAF

Book Review: Unknown Rider by Major Scott D. Anderson, USAF

Unknown Rider, by Major Scott Anderson, USAF (1965-1999) 1996, Dennoch Press, Duluth, MN

The Late Scott D. Anderson was inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 2009. The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum is honored to offer the book, Unknown Rider, while supplies last.

Unknown Rider is the fictional manifestation of Major Scott D. Anderson’s experience of achieving the title, “Fighter Pilot.”  Anderson sums up his writing process in the Acknowledgements page: “When I was training to fly the F-16 at Kingsley Field in Oregon, each evening, after a day of flying fighters, I sat down and typed a little bit of this book…All I had to do was invent a few characters, put them in an airplane, and make them the heroes of the stories that filled the air.”  He wasted no time introducing USAF Lt. Rick Wedan, a Minnesota Air National Guard F-16 pilot on detachment to Tyndall AFB, Florida, as he scrambles into his F-16 to intercept an “Unknown Rider.”  However, just as his F-16 lifts off the runway, a flashback to pilot training takes the reader on an exhilarating experience through the ups and downs of flying around the country in a jury-rigged Aeronca Champ and then through primary and secondary training the USAF way.  After receiving his silver wings, Lt. Rick Wedan relives his adventures by finding the old Champ and flying to out of the way places.  The final chapter rejoins the intercept of the “Unknown Rider” off Florida and fulfillment of the young Lt. Wedan’s dream of defending the nation at the pointy end of an Air Force fighter.
The Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum is pleased to offer a limited number of books available through the museum website as well as several copies in the museum library.
Major Scott D. Anderson 1965-1999 Anderson and his family moved to Duluth, MN when he was six years old. He went through school there and attended the University of Minnesota. Continuing later at Stanford University, he earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering and History. Anderson lived the life of an adventurer, building a two-man submarine; making a marathon canoe trip from Duluth to Hudson’s Bay and writing a book about it; writing and co-authoring several other books; playing saxophone in jazz bands and playing professional football in Salzburg, Austria. He returned to Duluth and joined the Air National Guard. He flew F-16s, becoming an instructor pilot with Duluth’s 179th Fighter Squadron. His career path led him to the role of test pilot with the Cirrus Design Corporation where he gave his life testing the first production model Cirrus SR20. The Scott D. Anderson Leadership Foundation was created in his honor. Inducted 2009
(Biography of Major Scott D. Anderson provided by the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame)

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum Is Active Community Resource



Prepared by Jack Abercrombie, Curator Emeritus 



  • Birthday Celebration—102 Years—for “Chub” Wheeler—Museum Founder, Pilot, Flight Instructor.
  • Restoration and Public Unveiling of 67 Year-Old McDonnell XP-85 “Goblin” Wind Tunnel Test Model.
  • Restoration and Public Unveiling of Mr. McDonnell’s Factory Golf Cart (used to transport President Kennedy during his 1962 visit to the McDonnell factory)—Restored with the help of a Boeing Employee Community Fund (ECF) Grant.
  • Independence Day week with the EAA AirVenture B-17 “Aluminum Overcast”—The Museum Assisted the Local EAA Chapter 64 in the Celebration.
  • Fly-In and Open House.
  • Participation in the Retirement Party for Airport Director, Bob McDaniel, After 13 Years on the Job.   (Welcome to the new Director, Erick Dahl, was part of the program).


  • Participated in “Careers on the Move” at Mudd Elementary   School in O’Fallon, MO.
  • Participated in Cessna Aircraft Demo Day at Air Associates of Missouri, Spirit Airport.
  • Hosted StL Biplane Rides in a 1941 Open Cockpit Waco Biplane.
  • Co-Hosted the Youth Gateway to Aviation Day Sponsored by EAA Chapter 64, Parks College,  Wicks Aircraft and Motor Sports, etc.
  • Co-Hosted Several Hundred Local Boy Scouts During the Scout Aviation Day in Cooperation with Parks College and Ideal Aviation.
  • Participated in Aviation Day at the St. Louis Science Center.
  • Participated in Midwest Aviation and Conference and Trade Show (MACTS) in Maryland Heights, MO.
  • Co-Hosted “Young Eagles” Flights in Cooperation with EAA Chapter 64.
  • Hosted Several Local Elementary and Middle School Student Group Visits.
  • Hosted Two McDonnell Douglas/Boeing Retiree Group Visits.
  • Co-Hosted a Benefit Event in support of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Fisher House in Cooperation with Brian Kissinger Ministries and EAA Chapter 64.
  • Supported the Visit of the EAA Ford Trimotor Visit to Downtown Airport.
  • Provided Traveling Exhibit for the Missouri Pilots Association 60th Anniversary Convention in Booneville, MO.
  • Provided Traveling Exhibit for the IPMS Model Show.
  • Provided Traveling Exhibit for the Airport Open House at Vance Airport in Fredericktown, MO.
  • Participated in the Missouri Aviation Historical Society (MoAHS)—Programs, Research, Images from Museum Archives.
  • Performed Research for the MoAHS Lambert Field History Project (for a book to be published celebrating the 100th anniversary of Lambert Field).
  • New/Continuing Loans of Artifacts to Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Science Center,  Southwestern Illinois Community College,  Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis Aerospace Institute.
  • Speakers Provided for Boeing Employee Flying Club, a McDonnell Douglas/Boeing Retiree Group, and other organizations.
  • Participated in Aviation Roundtable in Columbia, MO.


  • Received Grant from Ameren Illinois–$15,000 for Computing Software/Hardware to be used for Archive Cataloging.
  • Received Civic Service Award from the AIAA St. Louis Section.


  • Full Restoration completed on both Link Trainers—one from the World War 2 era and one from the Cold War era.  Work Performed by Volunteer Effort led by Doug Bent and Mike Scruggs.
  • Mr. McDonnell’s Golf Cart (used to transport President Kennedy around the factory in 1962) Fully Restored with the Help of a $4700 Grant from the Boeing ECF Fund with Work Performed by North Town Auto Body with the Assistance of Master Auto Care, O’Reilly Auto Parts, and Village Locksmith, all in Collinsville, IL.
  • The 1946 McDonnell “Goblin” XP-85 Wind Tunnel Model was Restored by Volunteer Greg Downen.
  • Plans Being Formulated for the Cosmetic Restoration of the Lockheed “JetStar” and the Stinson “Reliant.”
  • Plans in Work for Restoration of the Meyers “OTW” 1941 Biplane.
  • Bi-State Performed a Structural Assessment of the Historic Hangar 2.


  • Colonel Schrecengest Collection of Art Work Depicting the  RF-101 “Voodoo” Record Setting “Operation Sun Run” of 1957.   Donors—Ed and Cynthia nee Schrecengest Miller.
  • Art Davies, Jr. Collection of Photos, Models, and Other Museum and McDonnell Aircraft Memorabilia.  Donor—Mary Davies.
  • Scrapbook with Astronaut Autographs plus those of other NASA and McDonnell      Officials.  Donor—Rose Church, “Nurse of the Astronauts.” (Actually occurred  late October 2012—just five days before her death).
  • Stinson Reliant, 1943 V-77 (non-flyable).  Donor—Family of John Johnson, well known aviator of southern Illinois and the St. Louis region.
  • A. Paul  Vance Collection of Photographs, Models, etc.  Donor—Family of A. Paul Vance,  Navy Aviator, Monsanto Corporate Pilot, as well as many other achievements.  (Actually occurred December 2012).
  • Photograph      Collection (More than 160) of Dave Ostrowski.  (Actually occurred December 2012).
  • F-4 Phantom History Manuscript. Donor/Author—Bill Elmore.
  • Miscellaneous Items from many individual donors including the Museum of Transportation, Jefferson Barracks, Lambert Airport, etc.


  • Historic Aviation Fields (Shiloh, Kinloch, Washington Park, Broadway, Kratz).
  • Parks College World  War 2 History.
  • Lambert Field.
  • Local Historic Aviators.

LIBRARY COLLECTION:  The Museum’s collections are comprised of approximately 200,000 objects, artifacts, art, photographs, research materials and memorabilia. The collections now include 150,000 slides, negatives and photos with the recent acquisition of the Robert Burgess collection (85,000 slides, negatives and prints and another 1,000 books and periodicals) and previous acquisitions such as the F-4 Phantom II Society archives and the William Peake and A. Paul Vance collections. In addition, the Museum has more than 4,000 books as well about 8,000 periodicals.  Our McAir aircraft documents collections numbers approximately 7,000 pieces. In addition, we have two letters signed by Charles Lindbergh and four individual pilot’s license signed by Orville Wright.