"Save the Stories" Program and "Bomber Town" Coming to KAM
P- 51 pilot Charlie Wilson, B-24 pilot Alan Wise, and historian Tom Mazzol. Photo by D. Hinton
Kissimmee Air Museum, located at he Kissimmee Gateway Airport, is launching their new “Save the Stories” program on January 30, 2010, from 1-4 p.m. Oral history interviewer Tom Mazzoli will be collecting and recording the memories of those who made history in WWII. “Save the Stories” wants to preserve the stories of not only those on the front lines but also those on the home front during the war who, by their sacrifices and contributions, made a difference. Tom Mazzoli has dedicated the past 15 years of his life to seeking out and recording the recollections of both the famous and nameless heroes of WWII. He will be continuing his efforts at the Kissimmee Air Museum the last Saturday of every month from 1-4 p.m.
Pre-arranged interviews will take place in the hangar among the planes for visitors to enjoy as Tom records their stories. If you are a veteran from WWII (or know a veteran) and have a story to tell about your contributions to the war effort at home or on the front lines, please call Kissimmee Air Museum at 407-870-7366 or Tom Mazzoli directly at 407-656-7595 to set up an appointment to come into the museum and share your story.
In March, the beautifully polished B-25 Panchito, restored 15 years ago by Larry Kelley, will return to Kissimmee Gateway Airport and “Bombertown USA”. It will be stationed at the Kissimmee Air Museum for both static tours and flights. He and his crew now fly Panchito for the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation, preserving and sharing the history of the 396 Bomb Squadron, 41st Bomb Group and 7th Air Force stationed in the Central Pacific that it served with.
Opportunities to fly in this great bomber are few and far between, but on April 2-4, 2010, flights will be available in Panchito taking off from the Kissimmee Air Museum. Individuals can experience history up close and personal for a $400 donation per passenger. Seating is limited, first come-first serve for the Crew Chief "jump seat" behind the pilot/copilot, 2 seats under the top turret, and 2 waist gunner seats.
Another VIP (Very Important Plane) will be visiting the museum this spring - Collings Foundations’ B-25J “Tondelayo”. This Pacific War Princess will be offering to make the dream of flying a Mitchell from the right seat possible. Half-hour flight training is available for $2000 while the Mitchell is based at the Kissimmee Air Museum. Information about both B-25 flying opportunities at 407-870-7366 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.