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Early morning crowd in Blair County PA. ...

Advance tickets for the WWII re-enactment at the Foundation's headquarters in Stow, MA are now available - Oct. 7th & 8th www.collingsfoundation.org/event/battle-for-the-airfield/ ...

Of the historic dates during WWII, one might think of December 7, 1941 or June 6, 1944. - But today's date, August 17, 1942, 75 years ago - might have had a bigger impact on US military policy and the war effort as a whole. On this day twelve B-17s from the 8th bomber command led by Major Paul Tibbets (later pilot of the Enola Gay) flew on the first strategic bombing mission in US history. These aircraft were not escorted by us fighter planes, but by Spitfires from the Royal Air Force. The pilots protecting our airmen hailed from Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Belgium and England. May of these pilots had already lost their home country to the Nazi war machine. Then, a potential salvation in the form of US industrial military and might joined the allied team to help liberate the world.

The US changed its foreign policy from being an isolationist nation to one that used air power to help defeat a truly awful enemy. This offensive posturing with strategic air power was a departure from even our assistance in WWI. Strategic air power had become a back bone of the US super power and our ability to thwart heinous regimes around the world.

Today, only one aircraft flown on that monumental first 8th AF mission survives. Ironically enough, it is not an American aircraft, but a British Spitfire. This Spitfire, BR601, is an unlikely survivor from that fateful day. BR601's pilot John Doherty has long since passed along with perhaps all of the aircrews of the USAAF and RAF who flew this first mission. This plane has taken to the skies 75 years later as a tribute to these brave American and Allied air crews that fought to liberate the world.

Help us locate any of the original crew members that flew on the August 17th, 1942 mission with the 8th or RAF 64 Squadron. Email: hchaney@collingsfoundation.org
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Hello Ohio 🖐🌤🛫 ...

New entry road and bridge coming along nicely. ...

Imagine the power of eight radial engines and the history of two of Americas most well known heavy bombers proudly roaring by to the delight of your crowd…

Experience the “thunder” of two General Electric J79 engines as they power America’s only F-4 Phantom as it screams past show center and into an ace’s victory roll at show center to the amazement of your crowd…

See the results when the Collings Foundation is part of your next airshow or event.

Here are some of the Aircraft we can provide for your event.

  • Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator – WWII Heavy Bombers
  • McDonnell Douglas F-4D Phantom II – Vietnam Fighter Jet
  • Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk – Vietnam Fighter Jet
  • Grumman TBM Avenger – WWII Torpedo Bomber
  • North American B-25 Mitchell – WWII Medium Bomber
  • Fiesler FI-156 Storch – WWII German STOL Aircraft
  • Cessna UC-78 Bobcat – WWII Multi-engine Trainer
  • North American AT-6 Texan – Korean War Attack
  • Boeing PT-17 Kaydet – WWII Primary Trainer

The Collings Foundation has over twenty aircraft that may suit your needs. From early-age aircraft, through WWII, and into Vietnam; we have a selection that will complement any themed event or show.

Why should you choose Collings Foundation aircraft when planning your next aviation event?

  • Unique – Such aircraft as the only flying B-24 Liberator, America’s only F-4D Phantom on the airshow circuit or the world for that matter, or one of the only flying Bleriot XI’s will set your event apart from the rest.
  • Quality – With a stable of Oshkosh winning restorations that focus on authenticity and rebuild to stock condition, our aircraft will bring “living history” to your event.
  • Location – With several bases of operation around the United States, as well as nationwide locations with our B-17, B-24 & P-51, we may be closer than you think.
  • Acclaim – Our aircraft have received International and National media attention via televised and print sources, therefore boosting your events media recognition and making it stand out from the rest!

Airshow packages are available with multiple aircraft, please inquire for more information. Please call Ken Miles at 978-562-9182 or 978-568-8924 or email info@collingsfoundation.org for more information.

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