NewsVoice for Veterans


Keeping history alive one plane at a time

B-29 Warbird
OY-1 Warbird
Posted at 5:19 PM, Jun 04, 2024

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Planes that were built and flown during World War II are touring around the Mid-Atlantic region at the WWII Warbird Showcase Tour.

Hagerstown Regional Airport is one stop on the list. It’s an event that brings forward some of the most historical airplanes to one spot.

Get ready engines are starting, it's the World War II Warbird Showcase.

At Hagerstown Regional Airport stop three airplanes take the stage.

"There's the bB29, our Fairchild Forwarder and the Hagerstown Aviation Museum has another open cockpit Fairchild,” said Peter Ballard who is the Capital Wing Warbird Rides Coordinator.

The three planes were created between 1942 and 1946. Ballard said showcases like this keep history alive and relevant for the younger generation.

"These warbirds flew in World War II and how that changed history and they're too young to remember it. So we feel it's part of our mission to educate them on the history of the warbirds that we have and why they're important,” said Ballard.

"This is our living history, this is basically you can think of it as a flying museum," said Thomas Ward who is the pilot for Fairchild UC-61.

"This plane was actually flown by the Civil Air Patrol in World War II and they did U-Boat patrols here on the East coast,” said Ward.

For Ward, flying the Fairchild Forwarder gives him a sense of adventure.

"I love to be flying all planes. This is so neat it's so gentle it is a smooth airplane. People ask me how hard it is to fly and I literally take my hands off the stick and say well see how it flies by itself,” said Ward.

Even though these planes are around 80 years old, you're safe in the hands of this group.

"We have an extensive program where we're always doing preventative maintenance on these airplanes,” said Ward.

Another headlining warbird, on display this time, is the OY-1. The only plane at the showcase that saw combat during World War II.

"It flew off the escort carrier White Plains and did combat observation mission for the US Marines in the Battle of Saipan exactly 80 years ago today,” said Ballard.

Ballard said this plane will be a ride flown in other shows. Allowing people to feel the thrill of being aboard a legacy airplane.

The planes will tour the Mid-Atlantic region this year. For dates and stops head here.