War vets, from land and air, featured
The P-47 Thunderbolt, Spitfire, B-25 Bomber, F4U Corsair, P-51 Mustang, P-40 Warhawk, and others helped win World War II - and became the focus of Hollywood movies.
But as jet aircraft took their place and the nation moved on, most of these legendary aircraft were scrapped. Some were even used as crop dusters.
Except for a lucky handful that have been lovingly restored as flying museums - and displayed at air museums across the country such as the one at Millville Airport in Millville, Cumberland County, which will hold an "Aviation Celebration" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
At least 10 World War II veterans also will be available at a meet-and-greet tent. Among them will be two B-17 crew members and a B-24 tailgunner who was shot down and survived a year in a German prisoner-of-war camp.
The mission of the museum "is to preserve and promote the World War II aviation and military history of 'America's First Defense Airport,' " said Jester, referring to the designation given by the federal government during the war when it was chosen for flight and gunnery training.
Many of the rare World War II planes - including a Thunderbolt dubbed "No Guts, No Glory" - will be shown by warbird collector Tom Duffy, who keeps them at the airport.
"There are 10 original Thunderbolts still flying today and we are proud to have this one at Millville Airport to commemorate its history," said Chuck Wyble, president of the Millville Army Air Field Museum.
Saturday's event will have aviation and military displays along with a modern-day CH-47 Chinook helicopter, which is being retrofitted at the Boeing Millville Airport site. The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 29. A $5 donation is collected at the gate. Children up to 6 years old are admitted free.
- Edward Colimore