Mike Hankins interviews Walter Watson (Col., USAF, Retired) in front of an SR-71 Blackbird in which Watson flew as a Reconnaissance Systems Officer.

Selected Video Lectures:

Myth and Memory of The Lafayette Escadrille,” National WWI Museum and Memorial, October 27, 2023

Weaponization of Nostalgia: The F-15 & F-16,” Military Aviation History, May 5, 2022​

Top Gun: Then and Now,” Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, November 30, 2021

​”The Fighter Pilot with a Thousand Faces:The Birth of the Knights of the Air,” Lecture at the National World War I Museum & Memorial, C-Span, Nov. 2, 2018​

Selling the Fighter Pilots’ Dream Machines: The F-15 and F-16 in the Public Eye,” University of Texas at Arlington, 44th Annual Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lecture Series, “Flight Culture and the Human Experience,” April 2021.

Interview with SR-71 RSO Walter Watson (Col. USAF, retired),” Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, “What’s New in Aerospace,” July 2020.

Selected samples of research and publications:

Revealing the first women to fly official U.S. military combat missions, a group of F/A-18 and E-2C pilots who share their stories with in-depth interviews:
Just Doing Their Jobs, Air and Space Quarterly, December 21, 2023

Project Suntan: The Huge Hydrogen Aircraft That Might Have Blown Up Southern California, From Balloons to Drones, August 23, 2023

VF-31’s MiG shoot-down, the exciting story behind the 1972 aerial victory achieved in the F-4 Phantom on display at the National Air and Space Museum:
Phantom Flyers: Aerial Victory over North Vietnam, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, June 21, 2022

A 2-part blog series about civil disobedience among the Tuskegee Airmen, for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, June 2020:
A Pattern of Resistance: The Tuskegee Airmen on Trial, Part 1
Mutiny at Freeman Field: The Tuskegee Airmen on Trial, Part 2

The Ghosts of Vietnam: Building Air Superiority for Operation DESERT STORMFrom Balloons to Drones, March 2021

Building the U.S. Air Force: The Legacy of World War II Aces, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, August 2020.

Blackbirds and Lightnings, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, May 2020.

The Teaball Solution: The Evolution of Air Combat Technology in Vietnam, 1968-1972,” Air Power History 63, Fall 2016

Contested Skies: A Brief Guide to the Historiography of the Air War in Vietnam,” From Balloons to Drones, May 1, 2019

Inventing the Enemy: Colonel Toon and the Memory of Fighter Combat in Vietnam,” From Balloons to Drones, May 30, 2018