WarbirdsNews is bringing aviation history to more audiences by joining up with UflyTV to broadcast – live – the popular Warbirds In Review sessions at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh 2017.
We have the following description of Warbirds in Review events planned for this year’s AirVenture Oshkosh from the EAA…
History through the legendary wartime aircraft and pride for the heroic veterans who flew them comes alive every year at the popular Warbirds in Review, held Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Warbird Alley. Connie and the late Ed Bowlin’s program is hosted by EAA Warbirds of America. These informal sessions not only delve into an aircraft’s restoration, operation, and other aspects of owning a valued piece of history, but also spotlight veterans sharing stories about what it was like to fly the aircraft in combat or support the operation as a ground crew member.
“July 2017 marks the 15th Anniversary of Warbirds in Review” said Connie Bowlin, EAA Warbirds of America president and Warbirds in Review program founder. “As I look back on the modest beginning thinking of Tex Hill, Bud Anderson, Robin Olds, Gunther Rall, Shorty Rankin, and so many other World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Afghanistan and current military veterans who have been a part of Warbirds in Review, it is humbling. What began with a simple idea, with a boom box and roll around stairs, to offer a time when people could come to hear an owner talk about their aircraft has become a truly world class program. With David Hartman as the writer and moderator, the award winning production crew of Sleeping Dog Productions, the support of Jim Hagedorn, Scotts Miracle Gro Company, Warbird members Ron and Diane Fagen, numerous other donors and the total support of aircraft owners, pilot and ground crew members, we have grown to a level beyond all expectations. The live streaming of Warbirds in Review in 2016 was viewed in 64 countries. For me personally it is a little overwhelming to know that we have entertained and shared our history with the world. With Jumbotron, bleachers, sound systems, worldwide live streaming and the participation of so many terrific Warbird members the evolution has exceeded all expectations.”
The Warbirds in Review Schedule (as of June 1st, 2017):
Monday, July 24:
Monday 10:00 – MK IX Spitfire – Collings Foundation – There is no other Spitfire in the world that has such an incredible history as this aircraft recently acquired by the Collings Foundation. Legendary pilots and aces flew this Spitfire MK IX BR601 confronting scores of Luftwaffe fighters while flying escort for B-17 and B-24 bombers. The fact that Rob Collings knows descendants of the pilots who flew this aircraft and the uniqueness of this Spitfire will make this really special.
Monday 1:00 – A-20 – Lewis Air Legends, Rod Lewis – On 15 July, 2015, test pilot Stewart “Stew” Dawson gently pulled back on the control yoke and made aviation history as a Douglas A-20 Havoc took to the air for the first time in nearly a quarter-century. Impeccably restored by Aero Trader at Chino Airport, California, the aircraft is A-20G 43-21709. When the A-20 arrived in Oshkosh mid May 2017 we had a good laugh with Stew – it was either the last Warbird to arrive for Airventure 2016 or the first to arrive for 2017. It is a pleasure to, once again, welcome Rod Lewis and thank him for his commitment to the preservation of so many wonderful warbirds.
Tuesday, July 25:
Tuesday 10:00 – BT-13 – WASP – In 1942, as the country reeled from the attack on Pearl Harbor, trained male pilots were in short supply. Qualified pilots were needed to fight the war. Twenty-eight experienced civilian women pilots volunteered to take the job of ferrying aircraft. They formed the country’s first female squadron in late summer 1942. In 2017 the American Aviation Heritage Foundation donated a beautiful, newly restored BT-13 to the WASP museum. This BT-13, from start to finish, was intended for donation to the WASP to be flown in tribute to their service. That is impressive.
Tuesday 1:00 P-51 “Old Crow” – It would be difficult to find a veteran who is more respected and admired than Col C.E. “Bud” Anderson or two aircraft owners who have been more involved in warbird history and preservation than Jack Roush and Jim Hagedorn. Col Anderson is the one veteran who has been a part of Warbirds in Review in all of the 15 years. Welcome back Bud, Jack and Jim – we all love hearing your stories and appreciate you.
Wednesday, July 26:
Wednesday 10:00 – B-25 – 75th Anniversary Doolittle Raid – Col. Dick Cole at the young age of 101 will share his experiences as Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot on one of the most significant missions in our history. As Col Cole speaks in front of the B-25 owned by Larry Kelley there will be a display of B-25s on Warbird Alley that will replicate the deck of the Hornet on that day in April 1942 when they made history. Colonel Cole will be joined by Jimmy Doolittle, III and Jonna Doolittle.
Wednesday 1:00 – L-19, Mohawk – Vietnam Tribute – POW Col. William Reeder will be joined by his Army Pilot training classmate, Charlie Finch and Doc Clement who flew together in Vietnam. While Bill Reeder flew combat in the Mohawk and Cobra, Charlie and Doc were flying low level missions in the Bird Dog. The POW experience is described by Col. Reeder in the book “Through the Valley” and the missions of Charlie and Doc are related in the book “A Hundred Feet over Hell”. Both books are a must read and will be on sale during autograph session following this presentation.
Thursday, July 27:
Thursday 10:00 – B-17 Madras Maiden – It is a pleasure to welcome Jack Erickson to Oshkosh to talk about one of the many aircraft in the Erickson collection. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was used primarily in Europe in the Eighth Air Force. This presentation will focus on the 8th Air Force. At press time plans are pending to include another aircraft to tell this story.
Thursday 1:00 –F8F Bearcat and Blue Angel F-18 – John O’Conner is the owner of the beautiful F8F Bearcat painted in the Blue Angel scheme. We are confident that the Blue Angels will be a part of this presentation with one of the demo team pilots and the F-18 but that is subject to change. Regardless, this will be a tribute to the Navy featuring the F8F Bearcat.
Friday, July 28:
Friday 10:00 – P- 47 “Thunderbolt” – Deke Holman served during World War II as a C-47 copilot on D-Day, later transitioning to the P-47. He retired from United Airlines flying the B-747 so he says he has always flown 47s. The two P-47s that will be on display are owned by John Shoffner and Neal Melton. Deke Holman was part of the air show red shirt team for many years and is a very special friend to many Oshkosh volunteers. It will be fun to recognize Deke’s service while learning about the P-47.
Friday 1:00 – F-89 – Dick Rutan – The F-89 was deployed over much of the northern hemisphere, including USAF bases in Iceland, Greenland, and the continental US. This unsung hero of the Cold War served as the first line of defense against the Soviet bomber threat for many years, until replaced by aircraft such as the F-102 and F-106 in the 1960s. Given Dick’s enthusiasm and charismatic speaking style, this is sure to be one of the highlights of this year’s schedule.
Saturday, July 29:
Saturday 10:00 – T-34, SNJ4 – Frank Borman and Jim Lovell These two gentlemen are best known as Apollo Astronauts but they flew real airplanes before they entered Space travel. Following on the heels of a Friday night program at Theatre in the Woods, the Warbirds in Review audience will have the opportunity to be up close and personal. You may even see a couple more Apollo Astronauts in the audience. The SNJ4, representing the aircraft they flew in training is owned by Fagen Fighters World War II museum. The featured T-34 is owned and flown by Frank Borman.
Saturday 1:00 – P-63, T-38 – Joe Engle – this Bell P-63, owned by the Dixie Wing of the CAF, was operated by the NACA (predecessor of NASA). Having the NASA T-38 as part of this program completes the circle to tell the history of NASA. Retired General Joe Engle was associated with NASA from the X-15 to Apollo through the Shuttle and is the perfect person to share its history. He is the only person to have flown two different types of winged vehicles in space; the X-15 and the Space Shuttle. He is also the only astronaut to have manually flown the Shuttle through re-entry and landing. The Dixie Wing is working to have other P-39s and P-63s join the presentation.
Warbirds in Review sessions take place at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily, from July 24th – July 29th on the “Warbirds in Review” ramp in the Warbird area. The Warbirds in Review Jumbotron will feature programming throughout the day provided by Sleeping Dog Productions.
And don’t forget, for those of you who cannot attend EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017, WarbirdsNews will be streaming the Warbirds in Review sessions live with UflyTV.