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DH.4 Liberty Expected Among WWI Aircraft at AirVenture
June 28, 2018- A Dayton-Wright DH.4 Liberty biplane being restored in Tennessee is expected to join EAA’s World War I commemoration at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018. Considered by many to be the first American warbird, the DH.4 first flew in August 1916.
Like all of the WWI airplanes and replicas that will be at AirVenture, the DH.4 will be carrying out a mission of honoring and remembering those who flew and fought in the Great War. The example coming to Oshkosh is being restored by a team led by Dorian Walker, who said the team is thrilled to bring it to AirVenture.
“Our entire DH.4 Liberty team is looking forward to honoring the memory of all those brave young lads that climbed into the cockpits of those early aeroplanes to defend liberty in the skies above Europe a century ago,” Walker said. “What better place to celebrate those early aeronautical feats than America’s premiere aviation event, AirVenture 2018. We are pleased to bring the only flying, as delivered to the military, Dayton-Wright DH.4 Liberty Aeroplane.”
While other airplanes like the Curtiss Jenny were used in some capacity by the military before the DH.4, Walker said that the DH.4 was the first purpose-built combat aircraft manufactured in the U.S.
“This has the distinction of being built specifically as a manned, aggressive, fighter, bomber role manufactured in America,” Walker said. “It went in to eliminate aggression and it had the tools to do so.”
The DH.4 coming to Oshkosh is authenticated as a 1918 aircraft and was part of the Tallmantz collection of military aircraft that Frank Tallman and Paul Mantz bought from the U.S. government in various auctions before eventually ending up with Walker and his Friends of Jenny organization.