Three of the most famous WWII bombers and fighter aircraft are visiting the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum as part of the 19th annual Airfest and the Wings of Freedom Tour Sept. 4 – 7.
Airfest is the museum’s largest annual fundraiser and this year will feature live musical entertainment, eclectic food trucks, a beer garden featuring Cape May Brewery, craft vendors, World War II exhibitors, children’s activities including games, face painting and the Jim Combs magic show and walk through tours of the WWII bombers.
The live music begins when Old School, a classic rock cover band, takes the hangar stage to welcome the bombers to the NASW Aviation Museum on Friday afternoon. The Romano Sister will be delighting Airfest audiences this year with the sounds of the singing sensations the Andrew Sisters on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday Bob Ferris and his three-piece orchestra will play the hits of the 1940s.
Ted Schwarz will be performing his 1940s radio show live throughout the historic hangar. Between the sounds of WWII bombers taking off on the runway and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” being sung in the hangar, guests may feel like they’ve stepped back in time.
Also new for 2015, The Delaware Valley Wing –CAF will be displaying their L-9, L-16 and a T-51 aircraft. Additionally, Flight Level Aviation will be hosting a General Aviation Fly-In over Airfest weekend.
But the highlight of the festival is the B-24 Liberator, B-17 Flying Fortress and P-51 Mustang. The aircraft will fly in Friday and be on display that afternoon and all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
The Collings Foundation’s 1944 vintage Consolidated B-24J Liberator is painted as “Witchcraft,” an 8th Air Force bomber that flew a record 130 missions over Europe as part of the 467th bombardment group. The Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress flies as “Nine-O-Nine”, an 8th Air Force, 91st BG heavy bomber. Although she was too late for combat, she did serve as part of the Air/Sea 1st Rescue Squadron and later in the Military Air Transport Service. Joining the bombers is a P-51C Mustang escort fighter “Betty Jane.”
The P-51 was developed by North American starting in early 1940 to satisfy a British need for a long range escort aircraft. The P-51 was affectionately nicknamed by the bomber crews as their “Little Friends” because they could stay with the bombers deep into enemy territory and return home again.
In addition to experiencing all that Airfest has to offer, guests can tour planes, talk to the veterans who come to visit the aircraft, and relive history by taking a once-in-a-lifetime flight on board the B-17, B-24 or the P-51. To book a flight call 1-800-568-8924. For a full schedule of events, please visit our website at www.usnasw.org.