The Texas Flying Legends Museum is back at EAA Airventure Oshkosh!
by Jake Peterson
Reprising their role at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh last year, the Texas Flying Legends Museum (TFLM) will again be sending several of their magnificently restored WWII-era warbirds to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to participate in this year’s event!
Having a jammed packed appearance schedule throughout the year is never easy, but the group’s dedication makes them one of the best travelling museums in the country. They operate on the ideal ‘Sacrifice Above Self‘, and the results speak for themselves. Between March and May the pilots and planes flew from their bases in Houston, Texas and Minot, North Dakota to participate in the St.Barths’ Bucket Regatta on the tiny French Caribbean island colony of St.Barths, EAA Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland, Florida and the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover in honor of VE Day in Washington DC. By the end of May, both the crews and warbirds were in need of a rest, so they returned home and the aircraft underwent their annual inspections. The museum’s first stop after annuals was at the Wing Nuts Flying Circus this past weekend in Tarkio, Missouri. Next week it will be Oshkosh, where every year they bring something special to the field to help inspire the young and honor the heroes.
Having been to Oshkosh many times over the years, I can say that every event is different and fun! With a compliment of aircraft ranging from a B-25J Mitchell bomber to one of the most authentic Mitsubishi A6M Zeros ever restored, alongside other famous types such as the P-51D Mustang, P-40K Warhawk, TBM Avenger, FG-1D Corsair, there is something in the TFLM for every military aircraft enthusiast to enjoy.
The TFLM fleet will be flying during the afternoon shows on Wednesday, July 22nd and on Saturday the 25th in their classic Vic formation before splitting off for a dogfight re-enactment of the Pacific Island Campaign between the B-25J on a bombing run, the incoming Zero attacker and the P-40 top cover. This beautifully rehearsed aerial ballet is a highlight of the show, with individual performances by the Mustangs and Corsair to follow.
The warbirds will also spend time on static display on Warbird Alley as well as the plaza on and off during AirVenture. In 2013, soon after the museum’s C-53 Skytrain came out of the paint shop, a team of dedicated re-enactors and WWII veterans participated in the symbolic repainting of D-Day invasion stripes on the former WWII paratroop transport. It was one of the truly remarkable moments of AirVenture Oshkosh 2013.This year the Commemorative Air Force will perform a similar D-Day re-enactment; painting invasion stripes on one of their C-47’s in Warbird Alley. If you are at AirVenture that day, I highly recommend going over to watch.
Throughout the week, TFLM featured several of their aircraft at the Warbirds in Review sessions in honor of the veterans that flew or worked on them. While some of these heroes are still with us, many no longer are sadly, which is why the Texas Flying Legends Museum strives to honor those who yet live.
The one unmistakable truth about Oshkosh is you never know what will show up! While the Texas Legends Flying Museum is scheduled to fly on July 22nd and 25th, you never know what else might happen on the ground or in the air. For those of you that are going, keep an eye on your schedules to see the daily activities updates. You don’t want to miss out on anything!
WarbirdsNews wishes to thank Jake Peterson very much for this article and his wonderful photographs! For more of his work and to check out his blog, please do visit his website HERE.