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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!
...

Think back to the first time you laid your hands on history…

Was it touching the aircraft that your father fought in during World War II? Was it seeing the tank you only read about in books come alive right before your eyes as it rolled past? Was it placing your hand on the controls of the P-51 Mustang and rolling it just like you have done in your dreams since you were a kid?

Some experiences change our lives. You are one of tens of thousands each year who have been touched by the living history programs of the Collings Foundation and the new American Heritage Museum. Wouldn’t you like to see these kinds of experiences continue well into the future? Further, we invite you to consider becoming an even more important part of our mission now, as a contributor.

There are many ways to make a lasting impact. Your generosity could have an immediate effect with an annual fund gift, or a donor advised fund (DAF) distribution. Please also consider a longer-term legacy, making the Collings Foundation and the American Heritage Museum an important part of your planned giving strategy. We would love to discuss how we can work together to connect your special passion with a program that preserves your legacy as part of our mission.

Your donation helps bring history back to America… and preserve it for future generations.
One of the most important missions undertaken by the Collings Foundation is the identification and repatriation of important historic artifacts back to the United States. Starting with the B-24 Liberator in 1984, continuing with the America’s last flying F-4 Phantom in 1999, and just this year adding the PBY-5A Catalina and L-4 “Rosie the Rocketer,” we are bringing critical American history home.

The new American Heritage Museum has transformed what was the Jacques M. Littlefield Collection, the largest private tank and military vehicle collection in the world, into a world-class public history museum that provides enormous educational opportunity. This mission could not be accomplished without our generous donors.

We don’t just dream, we do.
The Collings Foundation doesn’t just come up with dreams and ideas, we have a proven track record of accomplishment. Whether it is transforming the world’s largest private tank collection into a world-class museum, operating the longest-running and most extensive national warbird tour, or carrying out massive restoration projects of rare and historic artifacts from around the globe… we do it. Donors know that their contributions get enormous traction and impact when they give to the Collings Foundation.

There are many ways you can help, and we offer many options to add value to your donation. As a 501c3 Non-Profit Educational Foundation, all contributions may be eligible for corporate matching funds to stretch your contribution farther.

Give to the Collings Foundation and American Heritage Museum Annual Fund

Do you want to help the most pressing needs at the Collings Foundation and American Heritage Museum? Consider a donation to our Annual Fund. All donations to the Annual Fund help support year-end operations, maintenance, restorations, and development of our educational program planning for the next year.
Learn more about giving to the Collings Foundation Annual Fund at this link.

Become a Member of the Collings Foundation and the American Heritage Museum

Membership to the Collings Foundation is a fantastic way to contribute each year and become an active part of the Collings Foundation, American Heritage Museum, and the Wings of Freedom Tour. Membership is available for both individuals and families and includes great benefits such as free admission, discounts, and volunteer opportunities.
Click here to learn more about membership and purchase a membership online…

Become a Plane Sponsor or a member of the American Heritage Museum Founders Society

There is no better way to support your special aircraft, vehicle, or museum than to become a Plane Sponsor or a member of the American Heritage Museum Founders Society. Your donation goes right to the program that you are most dedicated to, and your directed support helps us fund new restoration or expansion. Corporate sponsorship is welcomed and strongly encouraged.
Click here to learn more about these programs and donate online…

Give to our educational field trip endowment…

An American Association of School Administrators survey found that 50% of schools did not plan field trips for the coming year. Budgetary crunches are partially to blame. We intend to develop an endowment to assist with admissions, and provide bus funding so that the American Heritage Museum can bring much needed history and STEM content to students.
Click to donate online to the educational field trip endowment…

How to Contribute

Contributions may be made through cash, check or money order, or Mastercard or Visa. Donations of appreciated stock are also accepted.

Monetary donations are essential and our greatest need. There are a variety of ways to support the Collings Foundation. Estate provisions, IRA payments, foundation grants and stock are always appreciated. Over ninety-five cents of every dollar donated goes directly to our programs including operations, maintenance, restoration and endowment for the future.

Employer Gift Matches
Did you know that many companies will match a portion of the charitable contributions by employees each year? Grow your gift and impact through an employer match – search for your company and matching gift instructions using our search engine at the link below.
Learn more about and search for employer matches at this link.

Corporate Sponsorship
Corporate Sponsors are crucial to the operation of the Collings Foundation. Their donations keep our aircraft flying and well equipped to operate for years to come.

Contact Us Today

Please contact our Development Office with any questions you may have about giving and sponsorship to help further our mission of living history for future generations!

Contact: Ryan Keough
Director of Donor Relations and Development
978-562-9182 office – rkeough@collingsfoundation.org

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