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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!
...

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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