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Here is Birthday boy Andres (lead mechanic) winding up the rubber band. ...

Our lead mechanic Andres Morales has a birthday today! Happy B-Day Andres. Give him a pat on the back if you see him in Salem, OR today. ...

A big thank you for all the folks in the Eureka area for taking the time to come visit the tour! There until 12 noon, then off to Corvallis. ...

I exited the John Muir Medical Center in Concord, Ca.. as I approached the crew van, I discovered a note affixed to the van. My first thought was; there must be damage involved! 😱 The note reads as follows; “@ 19 years old, my dad flew 66 missions into France and Italy, out of Corsica- WWII. Earned Silver Star out of 2300 men! Thanks for honoring them! God Bless!” This is a modest tribute to the Collings Family, the Collings Foundation, its mission, and all those that carry it out! After all the highs and lows of volunteering and life on the road, one never knows when or where, a token of inspiration, an impact on someone’s life, a modicum kindness, or a thank you may occur. To whom ever penned this missive, Bless you and yours. Special Thanks to the courage of your dad, and all those who fought, served, and supported, the effort to mold this Country, May they never be forgotten! ...

On June 5, 2019, Gordon Boultbee and Bill Traverso brought WWII Veteran, Lt. Albert Maggini (pic below) to the Wings of Freedom Tour, at the Charles Schultz airport in Sonoma County, Ca., to see the “909,” B17, as well as the Navigators seat similar to the one he served in. Lt. Maggini served as a B17 Navigator in the Mighty 8th, 351 Bomb Group, during WWII. Lt. Maggini is 103 years of age today. Lt. Maggini shook my hand and stated, “I will be 104 in September, if I make it.” I can assure you that if his firm handshake was any indication, Lt. Maggini will make it to 104, and beyond.

The 351st Bomb Group is the same unit Clark Gabel was in, but not at the same time, recalls Lt. Maggini.

Lt. Maggini enter service in 1944, completing 35 missions and returning home in just prior to the end of the war in 1945. Lt Maggini earned the Air Medal and five clusters. Lt. Maggini was to be awarded the Flying Cross for extending his enlistment, but decided returning to his darling wife was award enough!

Lt. Maggini recalled being “Hit” and losing the #1 engine, and significant damage to the #2 engine. The option was to ditch the plane in the North Sea or try to land in Brussels. Brussels it was, “We would not have survived ditching in the North Sea,” recalls Lt Maggini! He laughingly stated; “some of the men wanted to stay because of all the women,” but he had no part in that! Lt. Maggini said the crew was picked up two days before the Germans took Brussels.

Lt. Maggini stated the worst “flack” he encountered was over the oil refineries, indicated they lost approximately 9 out of 36, B17 aircraft during each raid. After returning from a bombing run over Cologne, Lt. Maggini was presented with a piece of flack discovered lodged in his Navigator’s desk, by a ground crew member that inspected the aircraft upon its return. Lt. Maggini carries that fragment today (see pic).

Lt Maggini flew in the B17, named “Black Magic.” Lt. Maggini reported that some time later, “Black Magic” was lost during a crash landing in Belgium!

Lt. Maggini is a true hero and inspiration. I am honored and pleased to introduce him to you today! Thank you for your service sir!
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Battle For The Airfield – WWII Re-enactment

October 12 @ 8:30 am - October 13 @ 5:00 pm

The Collings Foundation is hosting a WWII re-enactment, WWII Veterans round-table discussion, historic artifact demonstrations, and all three Museums will be open: The Classic Car Barn, The Hangar and The American Heritage Museum. Fully restored military equipment of all kinds will be on display and operating in a captivating living history event. Allied and Axis camps will be set up with authentic materials and appearance. An incredible battle takes place with many effects. Over 300 Re-enactors act as docents who share a wealth of information about life as a WWII military person. WWII Veterans from all ranks and branches of service will participate in a round-table discussion. The new American Heritage Museum will be open for the weekend during the Battle for the Airfield! The American Heritage Museum features one of the largest collection of tanks and armor in the United States. Over 85 artifacts will be on display, including the rare WWII German Panther tank, a combat veteran Russian IS-2 tank, an Iraqi SCUD missile and the only publicly displayed M1A1 Abrams tank in the world.

The Battle for the Airfield WWII reenactment takes place October 12th and 13th. There will be two battles per day; 11:00 AM and again at 3:00 PM. Veterans round-table discussion will start at 1:00 PM. Battle outcomes may change from one day to the next.

Admission:
$35 for Adults and $20 for Children 5 to 12 years.

Details

Start:
October 12 @ 8:30 am
End:
October 13 @ 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
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