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Swinging The Night Away 1940s Style in EAA’s Eagle Hangar

September 29, 2016 - EAA held its annual September Swing dance Saturday in its World War II-themed Eagle Hangar. The dance featured music by the Ladies Must Swing big band, dancing, and folks dressed in their favorite 1940s attire. 

This year, two members of the Greatest Generation were seated at a head table. Attendees stopped by the table throughout the evening to meet the veterans. EAA museum docent Lon Nanke served in the Navy during the war. He was on a ship that was poised to beach on the main island of Japan had the invasion happened. Instead of invading, they received word that the Japanese had surrendered. Seated next to him was Doug Ward. Doug flew 37 missions in the ball turret under a B-17 Flying Fortress in the 305th Bomb Group based in Chelveston, England. 

Another WWII Veteran, Gordon Hagerty, was spotted in the crowd sitting at a table by himself and was soon taken to the head table where others could come and thank him for his service. During the war he was a mechanic in the Navy working on patrol torpedo boats or PT boats. This is the same type of vessel which John F. Kennedy would skipper during the war. It wasn’t long before young women in their 1940s dresses were asking the WWII vets out to the floor to dance.

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