On Saturday, June 18th, 2022 the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum will hold their biannual Ray Fagen Memorial Airshow at their home field, Lenzen-Roe Memorial Airport in Granite Falls, Minnesota. While the event’s intended lineup is still in flux, present plans call for a focus on naval aviation. Indeed several of the star players will come from the Fagen Fighter’s own fleet of former U.S. Navy aircraft. These include their airworthy FM-2 Wildcat BuNo. 86774, Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat BuNo.78645 and North American SNJ-4 Texan BuNo.27234, while Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver BuNo.83393 (progressing well in the museum’s restoration shop) will also prove a significant draw for show-goers. Alongside visiting warbirds, other ‘crown jewels’ from the Fagen Fighters collection will also be on hand, such as North American B-25J Mitchell 44-86698 Paper Doll, P-51D Mustangs 44-63864 Twilight Tear and 44-72051 Sweet Revenge, Curtiss Kittyhawk Mk.I AK753 Desert Shark, P-40K Warhawk 42-10083 Aleutian Tiger, and of course, their magnificent Lockheed P-38L Lightning 44-27231 Ruff Stuff!
As the airshow’s official title implies, this event also celebrates the life of the museum’s late patriarch, Ray Fagen, himself a WWII veteran. Evan Fagen recently spoke with us about his grandfather’s military service, noting: “Ray Fagen was my grandpa and he was on the first wave at Normandy on Utah beach. He was involved with the liberation of Paris and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He was shot on Utah beach and in the Battle of the Bulge. He also got shrapnel wounds in the Battle of the Bulge which took him out of the battle. He never talked about the war, but inspired us to start the museum to honor the greatest generation and to remember their sacrifices. While he never flew during the war, he learned to fly when he got home as a civilian in a Stearman under the GI bill. He flew for almost 60 years.”
This is bound to be a spectacular, warbird-heavy air show! Please be sure to check Fagen Fighters WWII Museum Facebook page for updates as the show-date approaches, as there are bound to be further additions to the lineup!