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Warbirds touching down in Aurora


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Vintage aircraft of all kinds, along with plenty more to see, will be at the Aurora Airport June 13-15 for the Warbirds over the West show.Vintage aircraft and a passion for all things World War II will be available June 13-15 at the Aurora Airport.

Warbirds Over the West will touch down in Aurora for three days, offering a vintage aircraft fly-in and car show, as well as retail vendors, kids zone, raffles, war bird rides, ground tours, guest speakers and more.

The event is hosted by Aurora Aviation and the B-17 Alliance Group in Milwaukie, Ore., an organization dedicated to “honoring all who served in World War II, both at home and abroad. Our mission is to bring World War II to life through increased community awareness and education,” it says on its website.

It also explains that “We want to archive the stories of the B-17 and preserve the great legacy of being an American. Remembering the history of WWII and the B-17 bomber reminds us of the brave men and women who guarded our nation with their own lives.”

The group has a museum in Milwaukie and is in the process of restoring a B-17, the Lacey Lady, back to flying condition. The June visit to Aurora is part of that fundraising process.

B-17 Alliance Group restoration team will be there with the ball turret and the cockpit of the Lacey Lady on display.

From the very beginning of its design process in 1934, the B-17 Flying Fortress was intended to be a rugged aircraft with exceptional endurance and easy to manufacture in large volume. It was readily adaptable to changes to its defensive armament. The result was an aircraft with the ability to absorb brutal punishment and often still come home with its crew. These Flying Fortresses played significant roles in America winning WWII.

Due to the need for military ground reinforcement, effective air strikes by the B-17 and its 8,000 pound bomb load capacity, speed of 295 miles per hour, ability to fly higher as a long-range bomber, and 12.50 caliber machine guns proved effective in the battlefield.

There were 12,731 Flying Fortresses built from 1939 to 1945, with B-17G (like the Lacey Lady) being the most numerous and heavily armed model.

On its website at http://www.b17alliancegroup.com/ the group has video commentary from World War II pilots.

Cost for the June 14-15 event is $10 for daily admission, $15 for two-day admission and a $10 registration fee for aircraft or vehicles.

Schedule of events are:

Friday, June 13 – Dinner with the pilots. RSVP required ($25)

Saturday, June 14 – 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. open to the public.

Saturday, April 14 – Awards dinner. $15 advance tickets, $17 at the door.

Sunday, April 15 – 9-11 a.m. pancake breakfast.