Aviation history coming to Peachtree City

Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers over the Pacific during 1943.

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing will present a series of six Aviation Living History events in 2017 to share the history of notable aviation events and aircraft through the eyes of  pilots, veterans and historians. All events will begin at 11 a.m. at the Dixie Wing headquarters and museum, 1200 Echo Ct., Peachtree City, Ga., adjacent to Atlanta Regional Airport – Falcon Field. The series of two-hour presentations will run from February through December, with a $10 admission fee. Military retirees will be admitted free.

The series begins Feb 18 with “Flying the U-2 Dragon Lady,” presented by former U.S. Air Force pilot Bob Heath. The second presentation March 18 will highlight the Flying Tigers, presented by two authors and descendants of Flying Tigers pilots, Susan Clotfelter Jimison and Billy McDonald. On May 20, historian Zellie Orr will present “The Tuskegee Airmen’s Heritage in U.S. Military Aviation,” featuring a panel of original Tuskegee Airmen and successors.

The second half of the series will open Oct. 21 with pilot Bruce Connors discussing “Flying the F-111 Aardvark.” Retired CIA officer and U.S. Navy submariner Rick Ector will present “The SBD Dauntless and the Battle of Midway” on Nov. 18. (A original SBD Dauntless dive bomber is based at the Dixie Wing.) Racing pilot Thom Richards will close the 2017 series Dec. 16 with “The History of Air Racing – from Warbirds to Racers.”

“This is the second year for our Aviation Living History Days program, which we designed to fulfill our mission of aviation education,” said Dixie Wing Leader Jay Bess. We are grateful that so many of our members and other aviation experts are willing to share their experiences and knowledge about WWII and beyond. Also, the public is invited to visit our museum and hangar on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by special appointment.”

For more information about Aviation Living History Days or the CAF Dixie Wing, please go to www.dixiewing.org.