The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt will be on display and will also perform a flight demonstration. The membership-sponsored raffle flight will be announced at noon.
Additionally, five World War II fighter pilots will speak to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings ñ the Allied invasion of Normandy.
Guest speakers include:
- Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert J. Friend: In 1942, Friend joined the Air Force and was sent to the Tuskegee Institute for pilot training, and in 1943, he reported to the European Theatre of War as a member of the Tuskegee Airmenís Distinguished 322nd Group. As a skilled pilot of the P-40, P-47 and P-51, Friend flew as the wing man for the commander of the group, Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
- Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Sandy Ross: In June of 1944, Ross was assigned to the 390th Fighter Squadron (366th Fighter Group) stationed at airfield A-70 near Laon-Couvron, France, following the invasion of Normandy. As a P-47 fighter pilot, he is credited with downing two German Fw 190 fighters, and completing 51 combat missions. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for those victories and other mission accomplishments.
- Retired Army Air Force Capt. Tom Glenn: Glenn was a U.S. Army 9th Tactical Air Force Fighter Pilot in World War II. His book, “P-47 Pilots: The Fighter-Bomber Boys”, describes his combat experiences during low altitude and perilous ground attacks on German targets, ground troops and battle-wise panzer divisions. Glenn will vividly share what it was like to fly the magnificent P-47 “Jug” into combat, and how the P-47 pilots lived life in the fast lane, on and off duty.
- Retired Air Force Lt. Martin “Marty” Engler, Jr: Soon after Engler learned to fly P-47s and receive his wings, he was shipped overseas to ultimately join the 366th Fighter Group, 391st Fighter Squadron in Belgium. In 1945, he flew P-47s and C-47s while stationed in Munster, Germany. Marty completed 83 combat missions, and was awarded the Air Medal with 11 Clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Presidential Unit Citation, and Belgian Fourragere.
- Retired Air Force Lt. Joseph G. Preston:
Preston was part of the 356th fighter group, 9th Air Force, and completed 50 ground attack missions in the powerful P-47 Thunderbolt. Preston will share his unique European Theatre missions, including his harrowing P.O.W. experience.
Kevin Thompson, moderator and aviation historian, will also join the presentation.
The Membership sponsored raffle flight will be in the North American AT-6 after the presentation. All current Planes of Fame Members attending the event are able to enter the raffle.
Planes of Fame Air Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is an independent museum receiving no government funding or public agency funds.†For more information, visit www.planesoffame.org or call (909) 597-3722.