The sights and sounds of The Greatest Generation will come alive when the Commemorative Air Force’s Dixie Wing hosts its eleventh annual “WWII Heritage Days” event over the weekend of April 26th/27th. The history festival will take place at The Historical Airpower Facility, Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field, Peachtree City, GA from 9am-4pm both days. Go beyond the jump to find out more…
The weekend will again feature historic aircraft, antique cars, vintage military vehicles, guest speakers, educational displays, demonstrations by reenactors portraying Allied and Axis troops, and activities for school age kids. Highlights will include an opening ceremony recognizing local WWII veterans and a 1940’s hangar dance. The theme of the 2014 opening ceremony, Honoring The Women of The Greatest Generation, will pay tribute to women who served in the military as well as the Home Front. Activities will begin at 9:30am with a patriotic music program performed by Bombshells United.
Maj Gen George Harrison, USAF, Ret. will serve as master of ceremonies.
When the United States entered WWII in 1941, only 12 million women were working outside the home. When the war ended four years later, the number was up to 18 million (one third of the workforce), including 3 million women who worked in war plants. Nearly 400,000 women served in or with the armed forces during World War II, including 74,000 who served in the American Army and Navy Nurse Corps. More than 1,000 women became pilots associated with the US Army Air Force as WASPs (Women Air Force Service Pilots), but were only considered civil service workers. Shockingly, they weren’t recognized for their military service until the 1970s.
Saturday evening will bring back the Big Band sound at “Keep ‘em Flying”, a 1940s theme hangar dance fund-raiser featuring The Peachtree Jazz Edition. Proceeds from the dance offset the cost of WWII Heritage Days, aircraft preservation and “Education Through Living History”, the group’s WWII history program made available to schools and youth groups free of charge. “WWII Heritage Days is a living history classroom,” said Jim Buckley, CAF Dixie Wing leader. “Over 200 volunteers from twenty-five organizations join us in creating the weekend.” The event draws World War II history enthusiasts to Peachtree City from throughout the southeast.
Participating organizations include the American Rosie the Riveters Association, Atlanta History Center, Five-oh-First, Kellys’s Zeroes, Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History & Holocaust Education, Marine Corps League, Museum of Aviation, Naval Sea Cadets, 1st Infantry Division (reenacted), 134th IR134 “Hoch und Deutschmeister” and the U.S. Army Signal Corps Museum. Local civic organizations and schools are also invited to create and display 1940’s exhibits. Why turn a flying museum into a classroom? “Our goal is to preserve and teach the story of The Greatest Generation, the men and women who won the Second World War,” explained Buckley.
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 over 9,500 members and operates a fleet of over 150 World War II aircraft. www.commemorativeairforce.org
Visit WWIIDAYS.ORG for more info.