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P-51 Reunion Highlights AirVenture 2019 Salute to WWII Ace Bud Anderson
May 1, 2019 - World War II ace Clarence "Bud" Anderson, a National Aviation Hall of Fame member who was a triple ace during World War II, will be saluted during warbirds activities at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019.
The program will be highlighted by a reunion of North American P-51 Mustangs, the aircraft flown by Anderson in his Old Crow markings during the war. EAA has invited all flying P-51 aircraft to Oshkosh for the event, particularly for a salute to Anderson during the Thursday, July 25, afternoon air show. Those flying demonstrations are part of AirVenture's "Push to Victory" theme for World War II anniversaries, which also encompasses the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy.
"Bud Anderson is well known and lauded for his courage and abilities as a flying ace from World War II, so EAA wants to bring together as many P-51 Mustangs as possible to salute him," said Rick Larsen, EAA's vice president of communities and member programs, who also coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. "His entire aviation career is also one for the record books, deserving of recognition at the World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and another only-in-Oshkosh moment."
P-51 Mustang owners interested in participating in this year's activities can preregister at the Mustangs For Bud website. EAA AirVenture is the world’s largest gathering of warbirds with more than 300 aircraft participating in displays and flying activities each year.
Anderson, who earned more than 25 awards during his military career, served with the renowned 357th Fighter Group based in England during World War II and totaled 16 1/4 aerial victories. His unit was credited with more than 600 aerial victories in 15 months — the highest pace of victories during the war. Following the war, Anderson flew and led flight test programs in Ohio and California, and also led fighter squadrons during post-war Korea and in Vietnam. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1972 and worked for more than a decade in flight test operations for McDonnell Aircraft.