AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 36

PILOT BRIEFING
MUSINGS |

'Hot Engines John'
Following in his father's footsteps
B Y C A LV I N P E AC O C K

36 | AOPA PILOT May 2021

From an early age, John was fascinated
with airplanes, stopping his work on the
farm to look up when an airplane would fly
nearby. When Pearl Harbor was attacked
on December 7, 1941, John left California
Polytechnic State University and signed up
with the U.S. Army Air Corps to join the
fight. This would be the start of his lifelong
love affair with aviation that would continue for the next two generations in the
Osterkamp family.
John returned from World War II after
flying 72 missions in a North American
B-25 Mitchell bomber while serving in
India. After arriving stateside, John's focus
became a flying career as an airline pilot.
Unfortunately, his grandfather had purchased land in Southern California to grow
alfalfa and John was needed on the farm,
not in the airlines.

When John's son, Mark, was two
years old, John bought their first airplane, a Beechcraft Bonanza B35. From
that moment forward, it was destined
that Mark would inherit his father's love
of aviation. John would share his wartime logbook entries with Mark; reliving
and retelling his experiences. John shared
his stories of soloing in a Ryan PT-22,
training in a Vultee BT-13A Valiant, and
progressing onto multiengine training in
the Cessna AT-17 Bobcat. Eventually, with
a total time of 220 hours, John began training in the historic North American B-25
Mitchell bomber.
Over the years, John owned several
Beechcraft aircraft, using them to check
production over the family farm from
the air and for family trips. John flew so
much, it was almost as if the engines on his

SARAH JONES

A CALL CAME IN to the Delaware Aviation
Museum Foundation (DAMF) in late fall of
2019 from Marcy Osterkamp. She wanted
to surprise her husband, Mark, with a gift
certificate for a B-25 second-in-command
(SIC) type rating as a Christmas present.
Her son, Peter, a pilot, had seen an article
in AOPA Pilot about the museum's B-25
Flight Training Program Fifth Anniversary
Celebration in which a free SIC type rating course was to be given away through
a drawing. Peter and Marcy entered Mark
in the contest but decided to hedge their
bets and purchased the B-25 SIC course,
just in case. This was to be a chance of a
lifetime for Mark Osterkamp and heartwarming story for all.
John Osterkamp was born in 1922,
the son of Dutch immigrants who settled
in Santa Ana, California, on a dairy farm.



AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - 5
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - May 2021 - Cover4
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