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Starr Center for the

Study of the American Experience

Box Kite to Bali: The Last Great Adventure of a U.S. Navy Pilot

Date: 5:00pm EST November 11, 2013

Gwenann Manseau’s special Veteran’s Day talk with a book signing to follow.

In 1950, a U.S. Navy test pilot with three other men flew a balky, radioless small plane from England to Australia. Box Kite to Bali: The Last Great Adventure of a U.S. Navy Pilot, by George Thackray Weems, is edited by Gwenanne Manseau. George Thackray (“Bee”) Weems flew a De Havilland Dragon Rapide from England to Australia with three other men, including his father, the renowned navigator P.V.H. Weems.

This lighthearted true story is set within the dramatic context of the post-war world. Bee’s amazing account was written just before he died in a plane crash at the age of thirty. The story takes us around the world on the eve of the Cold War in a plywood plane, landing into political turmoil and hazardous conditions at nearly every stop. Sixty years later, all the photos and materials he carefully saved from this escapade have been brought together and supplemented with fascinating notes and biographical details that provide historical context and bring this story to life. This is a book for young and old to share - for adventurers and armchair travelers everywhere.

Gwenann Manseau is an international trade attorney at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Before becoming an attorney, Manseau worked in academic publishing as a philosophy editor, and in several start-up internet companies. Gwen received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. Writing and editing books is one of her most enjoyable hobbies.

Gwenann Manseau’s talk is part of a great celebration of Veteran’s Day at Washington College which will also include a performance by the U.S. Army Field Band - Jazz Ambassadors to follow at 7:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts.