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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! ...

2 weeks ago

Collings Foundation

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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Past Events › 2019 Living History Events

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June 2015

$10 – $15

Wings and Wheels ~ American Elegance

June 20, 2015 - June 21, 2015
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July 2015

$10 – $15

Race of the Century

July 25, 2015 - July 26, 2015
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October 2015

Battle For The Airfield – WWII Re-enactment and Veteran Roundtable

October 10, 2015 @ 8:30 am - October 11, 2015 @ 4:30 pm
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June 2016

2016 BOMBER CAMP

June 1, 2016 @ 6:00 am - June 2, 2016 @ 7:00 pm
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May 2017

$4000

B-17 Flying Fortress Bomber Crew Training Program

May 30, 2017 @ 5:00 pm - June 1, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
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June 2017

$10 – $15

Wings and Wheels ~ American Elegance

June 17, 2017 - June 18, 2017
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July 2017

$10 – $15

Race of the Century

July 29, 2017 @ 8:30 am - July 30, 2017 @ 4:30 pm
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May 2018

$2200

B-17 Flying Fortress / B-24 Liberator Bomber Crew Training Program

May 30, 2018 @ 7:30 am - May 31, 2018 @ 7:00 pm
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June 2018

American Elegance / Wings & Wheels, Stow MA

June 16, 2018 @ 8:30 am - June 17, 2018 @ 4:30 pm
Unnamed Venue, 568 Main Street
Hudson, MA 01749 United States
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The Collings Foundation’s museum of rare automobiles, race cars, military equipment and classics is world-class. Few know the Foundation that operates the world’s most extensive national living history tour of WWII Aircraft is based here in Massachusetts. Three times a year the Foundation opens it’s doors to the public. Our first event captures early 1900s American automobile design and history through a unique living history program. American Elegance is an exquisite display of rare classic automobiles operating before your very…

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October 2018

$20 – $35

Battle for the Airfield / American Heritage Museum Preview Weekend

October 6, 2018 @ 8:30 am - October 7, 2018 @ 4:30 pm
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December 2018

AHM Speaker Series: Clarence Smoyer “Spearhead” with Author Adam Makos

December 2, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
American Heritage Museum, 568 Main Street
Hudson, MA 01749 United States
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In his new book, "Spearhead: The World War II Odyssey of an American Tank Gunner", Adam Makos (the New York Times bestselling author of "A Higher Call") chronicles the trek of American tank gunner Clarence Smoyer, driving with his compatriots in the 3rd Armored Division into the heart of Germany. Please join Clarence Smoyer with Adam Makos for an afternoon lecture and discussion at the new American Heritage Museum on Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 starting at 12:00 PM for a…

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June 2019

$15 – $25

2019 Tanks, Wings & Wheels

June 15 @ 8:30 am - June 16 @ 4:30 pm
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