Nearly 50 World War II veterans will be honored at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 21 during the 15th Annual World War II Heritage Days weekend hosted by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing at the CAF Dixie Wing Warbird Museum, Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field, in Peachtree City, Ga. Rare vintage aircraft, including the restored B-17 Flying Fortress, “Texas Raiders,” will complete the WWII atmosphere and offer rides to the public.
The Dixie Wing also is saluting all Medal of Honor recipients during the weekend, April 21-22, with one recipient, Bennie Adkins, present. Alabama native Adkins was honored for his heroism under fire in Viet Nam in 1966. The Hispanic Medal of Honor Society, based in Phoenix, Ariz., will bring an exhibit that includes five Medals of Honor, and several large panels with a history of the medal profiles of the 16 Hispanic Americans who received the honor during WWII. The five medals will be on display Friday through Sunday and will be available for media day on April 20. The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Savannah, Ga., also plans to provide a display of 17 Eighth Air Force airmen awarded the Medal of Honor during the Second World War.
WWII Heritage Days is the largest World War II-theme event in the state of Georgia, bringing together over 25 historic aircraft, dozens of vintage military vehicles, antique cars, educational displays and demonstrations. More than 500 volunteers will help create the 1940s atmosphere, with reenactors scheduled to stage mock battles at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The popular Hangar Dance on Saturday night is sold out.
“The mission of WWII Heritage Days is to celebrate the 1940s, salute the Greatest Generation and inspire all ages to preserve the legacy of America’s veterans,” said Jim Buckley, leader of the all-volunteer Dixie Wing. “This year will be an amazing experience as we celebrate Medal of Honor recipients and WWII veterans, and bring the famous B-17, “Texas Raiders,” to join with our WWII fleet.”
Rides can be purchased in the CAF Dixie Wing’s aircraft and B-17 Texas Raiders, with all proceeds going to benefit the respective aircraft and group’s education mission. Also joining WWII Heritage Days is the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation, displaying and flying helicopters of the Viet Nam War.
Suggested donations for WWII Heritage Days are $10 for adults 17 and older and $5 for children 11-17. Children 10 and under and World War II veterans are admitted free. WWII Heritage Days will take place rain or shine. Please no pets. For more information, please visit www.wwiidays.org or call 678-364-1110.
About the CAF Dixie Wing Warbird Museum
The CAF Dixie Wing, based in Peachtree City, Ga., was founded in 1987. The Wing, one of the largest units of the Commemorative Air Force, maintains and flies seven WWII aircraft including a P-51 Mustang, an FG-1D Corsair and rare types such as the SBD Dauntless dive bomber and P-63A Kingcobra. The unit, composed of 300 volunteers, is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that relies on contributions of time and funds to carry out the mission of the CAF. For more information, go to www.dixiewing.org.