That World War I Flying Ace Snoopy has swooped into the USS Kidd Veterans Memorial and Museum.
On view through Feb. 2, "Snoopy and the Red Baron" is a traveling exhibit by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California.
The exhibit includes high-quality reproductions of original "Peanuts" comic strips that explore the rich World War I history Schulz used in nearly every strip.
You, too, can pretend to be the Flying Ace by strapping on a cap and goggles for a photo-op next to Snoopy’s doghouse.
Schulz, who introduced Snoopy's Flying Ace persona in 1965, once recounted how he "suddenly got the idea" for it after seeing his son's World War I aircraft models. He also cited 1960s events that commemorated the start of World War I and movies such as "The Dawn Patrol."
“I knew I had one of the best things I had thought of in a long time,” said Schulz.
Throughout the decades, Snoopy embraced his fighter pilot role, envisioning himself soaring through the clouds in pursuit of his nemesis, the infamous Red Baron, while he sat atop his doghouse (claiming it was a Sopwith Camel biplane).
He wandered through parts of Europe that World War I aviators genuinely traversed, stopping in cafés to quaff root beers and flirt with French mademoiselles.
The imaginary battles often ended with Snoopy calling out, "Curse you, Red Baron!"
Beyond the comic strip, Snoopy as the Flying Ace prompted the manufacture of countless memorabilia items, including toys, games, music boxes and puppets. This most famous of all Snoopy’s personas continues to bring humor and nostalgic joy to "Peanuts" fans all over the world.
“I don’t think there has been an animal character in a long time that has done the different things that Snoopy has done,” Schulz once reflected. “He’s an attorney. He’s a surgeon. He’s the World War I Flying Ace.”
Museum hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call (225) 342-1942, or visit usskidd.com.