Relive the bygone days of World War II aviation

| 30 Sep 2011 | 08:26

    Greenwood Lake Airport Airshow and World War II Showcase is Sept. 10 to 12 WEST MILFORD, N.J. — The Greenwood Lake Airport in West Milford, N.J. will host the second annual Airport Airshow and World War II Showcase the weekend of Sept. 10 to 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The airshow will feature aerobatics and recalls the days when barnstorming fliers took to the skies to showcase their skills through thrills and daredevil excitement. This year’s event features aerobatic champions Dan Marcotte, Mike Wiskus, Kendal Simpson and Kirk Wicker, all putting their high-performance biplanes through rolls, spins and inverted flight. Barnstormer Jane Wicker will also be on hand, as well as Dan Buchanan, demonstrating the magic of powerless flight through hang gliding. Buchanan, his legs paralyzed in an accident in the 1980s, refused to let disability get in the way of his passion for flight and his mastery of hang gliding serves as an inspiration to us all. This year’s special guests include Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk, the navigator aboard the famed Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that carried the atomic bomb to Hiroshima in August, 1945 and helped bring the devastating war with Japan to a close. He is the last survivor of the famed aircrew. Tuskegee Airmen Eugene Richardson and John Harrison, members of the World War II all-black fighter group who through their courage and determination, set a standard and broke the color barrier for the nation’s armed forces flying P-51 Mustangs will also be in attendance. On field, courtesy of the American Airpower Museum in Long Island, will be a P-40 Warhawk, the aircraft made famous by the Flying Tigers in China before America’s entry into the war; a Marine Corsair fighter, the type used by air ace Pappy Boyington flying with the renowned Black Sheep Squadron; a B-25 Mitchell bomber, the type used by aviation legend Jimmy Doolittle in the first attack against Tokyo flown from the deck of the U.S.S. Hornet in the dark days just months after the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor; a C-47 transport in D-Day marking that carried airborne troops to Normandy and beyond; and a German Stuka dive bomber that brought fear to those on the ground during the invasion of Poland in 1939. On permanent display at the airport is a Lockheed Constellation, one of the few remaining four-engine passenger liners of its type that helped usher in cross-country and global service. This plane’s history includes being the personal aircraft of its chief designer, aviation legend and pioneer Howard Hughes. In the main hangar, veterans from the Army Air Forces Historical Association, will tell the tales and recall moments of the war years through an extensive, interactive exhibit that includes the only working Norden bombsight on the East Coast. Visitors will be able to fly a combat mission and drop their bombs “right into a pickle barrel” with a bit of coaching from an experienced WWII veteran, according to organizers. Living historians in period World War II uniforms will be on the grounds and attendees can visit their campsites and inspect their vehicles, from motorcycles to Jeeps and vintage 1930s autos. LARA — the Luftwaffee Aircrew Reenactors Association — will offer insight on what life entailed from the enemy’s point of view during the London Blitz. Additionally, Bill Riley and Joe Ziegler, the duo who bring the comedy team of Abbott & Costello to life with their Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show, featuring all the classic routines that baby boomers grew up on. Organizers said there will also be vendor booths featuring WWII memorabilia. Event parking is free and shuttle buses will be on hand to take visitors to the airfield.Gates open each day at 10 a.m. and the show runs through 5 p.m. Ticket prices $20 for adults; $15 for seniors; $10 for children aged 5-12 and children under 5 are admitted free. For further information and Tickets, visit or call 973-728-7721.