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AirVenture to Commemorate 70th Anniversary of World War II’s End
January 22, 2015 - Some of history’s most iconic airplanes will be highlighted at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 during EAA’s 70th anniversary commemoration of the Allied victories in World War II. The 63rd annual EAA convention and fly-in takes place July 20-26 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.
“This is an extremely important milestone anniversary of arguably the most significant event of the 20th century – the end of World War II both in Europe and in the Pacific,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs, who leads the AirVenture event organizing team. “Our goal is to highlight the significance of the anniversary and do our best to portray a historically accurate representation of the air war.”
Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) on May 8, 1945, marked Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allies, which ended the long and costly war that had ravaged Europe and cost millions of lives. On Friday, July 24, the afternoon air show will feature a tribute to air power in Europe, launched by a special Battle of Britain 75th anniversary performance. EAA is currently pursuing a number of representative aircraft examples from the European Theater of Operations including B-17 bombers, a variety of fighter and transport aircraft, and a Lancaster bomber.
Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) - on September 2, 1945 in the U.S. and August 14, 1945 in the U.K. - marked the surrender of Japan, which ended nearly five years of war in the Far East. This year’s Wednesday and Saturday air shows will commemorate the men, women, and aircraft in the conflict, beginning with the return of Commemorative Air Force’s “Tora! Tora! Tora!” air show recalling the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.
EAA is working on securing the appearance of the actual Interstate Cadet high-wing aircraft that is generally recognized as the first aircraft in Pearl Harbor to be attacked by Japanese planes. The airplane was flown that infamous morning by instructor pilot and future WASP Cornelia Fort, who escaped a strafing attack after landing.
Other aircraft used in key Pacific battles will also be represented during the Wednesday and Saturday performances, including those flown in Doolittle’s Raid, the Battle of Midway, and subsequent island hopping campaigns.
The V-J Day commemorative air shows will culminate with participation by the world’s only flying B-29, the CAF’s FIFI. In addition, the Wichita, Kansas-based restoration team for the B-29 Doc hopes to bring that airplane to Oshkosh this year.
Other activities commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be announced as they are confirmed.