Naval Air Station Wildwood (NASW) Aviation Museum will be celebrating the 25th anniversary AirFest over Labor Day weekend. AirFest returns to a four-day format, September 3-6, 2021, 10 AM to 4 PM daily. This year’s event will feature aircraft from the Military Aviation Museum & Fighter Factory in Virginia Beach, VA. The Military Aviation Museum is home to one of the largest private collections of World War I and World War II era military aircraft in the world. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see these aircraft in Cape May County.
The PBY Catalina was an American flying boat of 1930’s design that was used in multiple roles during World War II. Uses include observation, night attack, maritime patrol, bomber, air-sea rescue, and anti-submarine aircraft. Catalinas fought on all the world’s oceans and were instrumental in denying the Axis forces the use of the sea.
The German Junkers Ju-52 is the only of its type flying in North America and is one of seven that are still flyable today. Uses for this aircraft during WWII included troop transport, cargo, bomber, and paratroop platform. Adolf Hitler used a Ju-52 as his personal transport plane. It was named Immelmann II after the World War I ace Max Immelmann.
The Grumman FM-2 Wildcat was an American carrier-based fight that entered service in 1940 with the U.S. Navy and British Royal Navy. It had a 6:1 kill ratio in the first year of the war. Lessons learned from the Wildcat led to the development of the Grumman Hellcat (on display at NASW) also known as the “ACE Maker.”
Do not miss this rare opportunity to explore and learn about these unique aircraft and support NASW Aviation Museum. The 25th Anniversary AirFest includes these aircraft along with the museum’s collection of over 27 planes and helicopters, a presentation by Tuskegee Airman Dr. Eugene Richardson Jr. and Cadet Nurse Alma Bailey. Additional highlights include NJ War Bird jet aircraft, a US Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter performing a lifesaving demo, Coast Guard helicopter, live entertainment daily, classic cars, vendors, exhibitors, beer garden, food, and even free face painting! By visiting, you will also help NASW work toward its mission of memorializing the 42 men who perished training at the site, restoring Hangar #1 and educating the public.
Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum is located inside historic Hangar #1 at the Cape May Airport. The site was formerly Naval Air Station Wildwood, which served as a World War II dive-bomber training center. The museum is dedicated to the 42 airmen who perished while training at Naval Air Station Wildwood between 1943 and 1945. Current museum hours are 10am-4pm, 7 days a week. For more information about AirFest or NASW, or for the event’s agenda, visit www.usnasw.org or call (609) 886-8787.