CAF’s SBD-5 Dauntless to Celebrate Aviation Day in Fort Myers, Fla.

John Currenti flying the CAF Dixie Wing's SBD-5 in Reading. ( Photo by David F. Brown)
John Currenti flying the CAF Dixie Wing's SBD-5 in Reading. ( Photo by David F. Brown)
John Currenti flying the CAF Dixie Wing’s SBD-5 in Reading. ( Photo by David F. Brown)

PRESS RELEASE – The Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing will fly its rare SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber at Aviation Day Nov. 7, 2015, at Page Field in Fort Myers, Fla. The meticulously restored WWII aircraft will arrive at Page Field and offer rides for sale throughout the event, which is hosted by the Lee County Transportation Authority. Rides are popular with veterans who remember these vintage aircraft, and are equally appreciated by younger aviation fans who have never had an opportunity to experience flight in an historic 70-year-old warplane.See WWII days from the air in a gunner’s seat that also gives you a view of what it was like for our daring fighter pilots of WWII. The Dauntless Dive bomber is the only U.S. combat aircraft to fight from the beginning of the World War II until the end. This aircraft type sunk four Japanese carriers at the Battle of Midway, which helped turn the tide of the Pacific war after the disaster at Pearl Harbor. The SBD, considered the most destructive air weapon of the U.S. Navy, sank more than 300,000 tons of enemy ships in WWII. This SBD Dauntless is one of only two left flying in the world today. Click here to book a ride in advance.

The SBD Dive Bomber is one of five featured aircraft at this year’s event, in addition to a North American B-25J Mitchell, a Grumman TBM-3E Avenger, a Douglas C-47 Skytrain and a Douglas DC-3.Aviation Day is an annual community event hosted by the Lee County Port Authority with the purpose of increasing awareness of its airports – Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Page Field (FMY). The event is on the ramp on the north side of Page Field off North Airport Road, east of U.S. 41 and south of Colonial Blvd. Parking is available off North Airport Road and U.S. 41 with shuttle bus transportation to the event entrance.

Click here to book a ride in advance.

A stunning panning shot of the CAF Dixie Wing's SBD-5 Daunless at the 2012 WWII Weekend in Reading , PA ( Image by Tony Granata )
A stunning panning shot of the CAF Dixie Wing’s SBD-5 Daunless at the 2012 WWII Weekend in Reading , PA ( Image by Tony Granata )

About Aviation Day
Aviation Day 2015 will feature a special appearance by Capt. Barrington Irving, the first African-American to fly solo around the world and one of the youngest people in the world to accomplish the achievement. Other attractions will include experimental, antique and general aviation aircraft exhibits, airplane and helicopter rides, children’s activities including bounce houses, movie showings, character appearances, clowns and face painting, demonstrations by airport police and fire departments, aviation-themed shopping and exhibitors, refreshments and more.
Parking and admission are free, but those coming to the event are asked to help the local community by bringing a non-perishable food item. All donations will benefit The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, which has a mission to overcome hunger in local communities through education and by working in a cooperative effort with affiliated agencies in the procurement and distribution of food, equitably and without discrimination.

About the Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing
The Commemorative Air Force is a non-profit organization dedicated to flying and restoring World War II aircraft. Based in Midland, Texas, the organization has more than 13,000 members and operates a fleet of more than 160 World War II aircraft.The Commemorative Air Force was founded to acquire, restore and preserve in flying condition a complete collection of combat aircraft that were flown by all military services of the United States, and selected aircraft of other nations, for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations of Americans.More than just a collection of airworthy warplanes from the past, the CAF’s fleet of historic aircraft, known as the CAF Ghost Squadron, recreate, remind and reinforce the lessons learned from the defining moments in American military aviation history.The Dixie Wing was approved as the 83rd CAF unit on Feb.28, 1987, and has since displayed its collection of vintage World War II aircraft in numerous air shows throughout the Southeast. The wing is a non-profit, tax-exempt “flying museum” that depends on contributions of time and funds to carry out its mission.

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