Sunday, August 25, 2013

National Warplane Museum's, “Return to Normandy Campaign,” Reaches Significant Milestone

Next year, 6 June, 2014, will be the 70th Anniversary of D-Day when allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy. Just prior to that main assault, at 2:00 AM, C-47's, led by The National Warplane Museum's “Whiskey 7,” dropped members of the 82nd Airborne behind German lines over St. Mere Eglise, the location made famous by the scene in the movie, The Longest Day, of the paratrooper who got hung up on the town's clock from where he witnessed and partook in the fight to capture the town. 

The first $100,000.00 has now been raised to fund the ambitious plan to return “Whiskey 7” to her most significant moment in history, reenacting the jump as originally accomplished on 6 June, at the same 2:00 AM time. Members of the Liberty Jump Team, made up mostly of former paratroopers including members of the 82nd, will make static line jumps, with round chutes, while dressed as their forebears were on that historic day. 

Even with all ground and flight crew donating their time, it is estimated it will cost about $250,000.00 to fly over and back, the single largest expense being fuel which will average about $13.00 per gallon. Whiskey 7's two, 14 cylinder radials, burn a total of 100 gallons an hour. Her chief pilot, USAirways International 767 Pilot in Command, Chris Polhemus, estimates 25 hours flying over and 35 back against the prevailing head winds and another 20 flying as part of the D-Day celebrations which will feature Geneseo's historic aircraft. Now that we've raised $100,000 from museum members and friends from near and afar, NWM's treasurer, Don Wilson, reports,”... that in our next fund raising stage we hope to enlist support from area companies and interested individuals who will appreciate the importance and significance of what we're trying to accomplish.” 

Stirlin Harris (585 329-4338) 
National Warplane Museum / 585 243-2100 
3489 Big Tree Lane Geneseo, NY 14454

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Whiskey Seven Goes To Oshkosh

For the first time in her 70 year history, Whiskey Seven made it to the worlds largest airshow, EAA Airventure, in Oshkosh, WI. Airventure is a massive gathering of aircraft and aviation enthusiasts from around the world. The crew made the trip to promote the Return to Normandy Project and to meet with potential corporate sponsors who want to help return our D-Day Veteran to the skies of France in June of next year. 

Loading up in Geneseo
Pilots Naomi Wadsworth and John Lindsay approaching Oshkosh
On the ground under cloudy skies in Oshkosh
The D-Day Veteran aircraft arrived under cold and wet conditions (long-timers dubbed the first weekend of Airventure "Frostkosh"). The weather soon gave way to beautiful blue skies and mild temperatures for the rest of the week. The crew, including Naomi Wadsworth, John Lindsay, David Andruczyk, Lee Barber, Gary and Linda Mitchell, and Brian Roodra were on hand to give tours and educate show goers about the history of our flagship and our efforts to take her back to the most important place in her history.

John Lindsay talking about the history of our aircraft
W7 with her sisters on the C-47 line

Lots of folks stopped by to take pictures
Looks like 1944!
The reception to our efforts at Airventure was nothing short of phenomenal. Thanks for the EAA and Warbirds of America for having us. We look forward to sharing big news about our corporate sponsors in the very near future. Stay tuned!

Whiskey Seven under an amazing July sunset