PRESS RELEASE – Seventy-five years after making her first flight the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil will lead the CAF AirPower History Tour and a squadron of historic aircraft to a landing at a patriotic celebration and veterans’ fundraiser at Branson Airport, Missouri, September 2-4, 2016. The CAF AirPower History Tour is a flying tribute to The Greatest Generation, the men and women who served in uniform during World War II. “The Branson Veterans Task Force is proud to partner with the Commemorative Air Force and Branson Airport to help preserve and teach American history” said Brenda Meadows, Branson Veterans Task Force Chairperson “These aircraft are incredible machines, but more importantly they embody the service and sacrifice of the men and women who built and flew them.”
Of the 16 million men and women who served in uniform during World War II, the Veterans Administration estimates less than 850,000 are alive today. The CAF AirPower History Tour brings the sights, sounds and stories of World War II aviation to communities across the country, providing powerful history lessons about America’s role in The Second World War. The weekend display will allow visitors to tour and inspect vintage aircraft, watch them fly and purchase rides. “The Branson Airport is honored to host the Commemorative Air Force for the second year,” offered Jeff Bourk, Executive Director of the Branson Airport. “The CAF AirPower History Tour is a partnership we hope to continue in the future.”
Built in San Diego, California in 1941, Diamond Lil is returning to the skies after an extensive year-long restoration by members of the Commemorative Air Force B-29/B-24 Squadron based at the group’s national headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Diamond Lil is the world’s oldest flying World War four-engine bomber. Over 18,400 Liberators were manufactured by four companies in California, Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas, making the B-24 Liberator the most produced military aircraft in American history and an icon of the Arsenal of Democracy, the collective effort of American industry to arm and supply the Allied nations during the Second World War. The national undertaking transformed American society, opening doors for women, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans in factories across the United States. Women Army Service Pilots (WASP) flew B-24 Liberators and other warplanes at airbases throughout the United States.
Proceeds from the tour stop will be used to maintain the historic aircraft and support Branson Veterans Task Force community programs. “World War II pilots, crews and mechanics didn’t have the technology we have today” concluded Meadows, “they relied on their training and teamwork to get the job done!” The CAF AirPower History Tour will be staged at Branson Jet Center, 4000 Branson Airport, Blvd, Hollister, MO, 65672. The event will be open to the public Friday, Sept 2nd 2:00 p.m .to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, Sept 3rd and Sunday Sept 4th from 9:00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Admission to the ramp is $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 11-17. Children age 10 and under are free. Admission fee includes free tour of Diamond Lil. For ride reservations and additional information about the AirPower History Tour visit www.AirpowerTour.org.