The celebration begins at 8 a.m. with a fly-in/drive-in breakfast lasting until 9:30 a.m. (or when food runs out.) Booths and displays will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and rides in an authentic, WWII-vintage T-6 Texan will be available from 8 a.m. until dusk. A silent auction benefiting the museum will be held from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The highlight of the day will be an 11 a.m. presentation by WWII veterans Capt. Richard Fleischer, a P-47 ace who flew against the Japanese in the Pacific Theatre, and Maj. Alden Rigby, a P-51 ace who flew in the most famous WWII aerial battle, the Battle of the Bulge.
With one previous air victory, Rigby became an ace on Jan. 1, 1945 in an air battle over the Y-29 airbase in Asch, Belgium. He shot down four German fighters in less than 30 minutes, three of which came after the gunsight on his aircraft failed. One of three surviving pilots who flew that battle, Rigby was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery. Original battle footage from his aircraft will be included in the presentation.
After the presentation, Fleischer and Rigby will have an autograph session to raise money for the museum. The crowd will then be treated to a P-51 Mustang fly-by in tribute to all veterans and military service members.
The celebration will conclude with a WWII-style hangar dance from 7 to 10:30 p.m.
All Armed Forces Celebration events are family-friendly and open to the public, but may cost. For more information on the Armed Forces Celebration or the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum, contact Rebecca Edwards at 435-229-4985.
Submitted by: Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum