Friday, June 13, 2014

Historic WWII Warbirds Visit Cincinnati, Offer Rides and Preserve History

PEACHTREE CITY, GA (June 11, 2014) -  Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport will turn back the calendar to 1944 when Cincinnati Warbirds Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Warbird Squadron 18 hosts a pair of vintage World War II aircraft operated by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing, Friday June 20-Sunday, June 22, 2014.  The aircraft will be on display 9am-6pm each day.

The CAF Dixie Wing flight will consist of an iconic North American P-51 Mustang, as well as a rare Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber.  Many historians and military aviators consider the P-51 Mustang to be the finest all around fighter of the Second World War, while the SBD Dauntless dive-bomber is revered by Navy and Marine aviators as the Hero of the Battle of Midway.  The Mustang is frequently remembered as a long range escort used in bombing missions over Nazi Germany, however the type was later used during the Korean War as a fighter-bomber and could be found in air forces around the world until the 1960s.

The CAF Dixie Wing “Lady in Blue” is one of only two SBDs in the world currently flying. 

The all volunteer CAF Dixie Wing is the Georgia chapter of the Commemorative Air Force, a national non-profit founded in 1957 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 during World War II.  With 150 operational aircraft, the CAF is the largest WWII flying museum in the United States.

Cincinnati area warbirds will also be on display, including a North American T-6 Texan, a trainer familiar to aspiring military pilots of the World War II and post-war eras.  Texans prepared students for front line duty in fighters, bombers and transports.

“We are excited to join forces with Cincinnati Warbirds so that we can share and promote America’s military aviation heritage with the community”, said Jim Buckley, the group’s leader “Lunken Airport is a perfect fit for us.”

Lunken Airport traces its roots to the 1920’s and The Golden Age of Aviation.  The airport was visited on several occasions by aviation legends Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Roscoe Turner, and Jimmy Doolittle, who later lead the Doolittle Raid of World War II fame. Lunken Airport was also used by the United States Army Air Forces and U.S. Navy as a site for air traffic control training during the Second World War.

“We are stewards of American history” continued Buckley, “but we believe the best way to preserve our aviation heritage is to share a flight experience in these historic aircraft.”

Rides will be available for purchase in all three aircraft, with proceeds going to cover the cost of maintaining and flying the group’s fleet of WWII aircraft.   Rides are extremely popular with veterans who remember when the vintage aircraft filled the skies, as well as enthusiasts of all ages who want to follow in the footsteps of America’s military aviators. 

Rides can be purchased in advance or during the weekend.  Ground tours of these rare aircraft will be available for a modest admission fee.  To purchase a ride online, visit

Cincinnati Warbirds EAA Squadron 18  - Cincinnati Warbirds EAA Squadron 18 is open to anyone with an interest in military aviation. The club organizes and sponsors numerous events including rides in historic warbirds, trips to airshows and museums, warbird restoration projects and other social functions of interest to warbird lovers. We meet on the first Thursday evening of the month for dinner and a meeting. Meetings often include interesting lectures by military pilots, veterans, flight instructors, or other notable authorities in the field of aviation. The Warbirds normally meet in the Cincinnati Airman's club, located on the second floor of the old terminal building at Lunken Airport, or at the Tri-State Warbird Museum in Batavia, OH.  Dues are currently $25/year. 

Commemorative Air Force - 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 9,500 members and operates a fleet of more than 150 World War II aircraft. 

CAF Dixie Wing - Based in Peachtree City, GA, the CAF Dixie Wing was founded in 1987 as the 83rd chapter of the CAF.  The group is comprised of 250 members and currently maintains a fleet of six operational World War II aircraft that participate in over twenty airshows throughout the United States, while also hosting patriotic and educational events at the CAF Dixie Wing Historical Airpower Facility, including Peachtree City’s annual Veterans Day observance and free tours for schools and youth groups. 

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