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Air Show Performances to Commemorate the End of World War II
July 18, 2015 - Some of history’s most iconic airplanes will be here this year as EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Allied victories in World War II.
“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 EAA 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 Thursday, July 23, the afternoon air show will feature a tribute to air power in Europe, launched by special Battle of Britain 75th anniversary performance featuring an Avro Lancaster bomber and a de Havilland Mosquito bomber. Honoring the 70th anniversary of V-E Day will include B-17 bombers and a variety of fighter and transport aircraft.
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.
The 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 B-25 bombers 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