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USAAF Reenacting

Discussion in 'Living History' started by Brayden Allen, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. Brayden Allen

    Brayden Allen Member

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    The more and more I that have learning and gotten into WW2 Reenacting I have had a growing question. I understand that most of the units actually firing the weapons and fighting are Army/Infantry Units. But I was wondering what to reenactors that represent members of the Army Air Force do at these events. Do that actually fly planes? I pretty sure some events have actual planes. I was wondering because I thought about doing a character in honor of my great-grandfather (the one in my signature below). He was a Bombardier and Navigator.
     
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  2. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    At the Planes of Fame Airshow in Chino California, they have a Korean war Reenactment with a Skyraider, Corsairs, P-51's, Yak's, Sea Fury's, F7F's, Bearcat's and so on. I have never seen or heard of a reenactment where a bomber was used, even a B-25 (Actually there was an A-26 Invader at Chino for the re-enactment 2 years ago) what aircraft was your grandfather assigned to?
     
  3. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Most historical aircraft operate solely at air shows rather than re-enactments. At airshows you will typically not find re-enactors in significant numbers, other than perhaps a few wandering around in uniform. It is unusual to find organized mock "battles" and the like.

    There are some exceptions to the above -- The D-Day event in Ohio comes to mind. This is a full ground re-enactment complete with and aerial element. For the most part aircraft are owned by museums or private individuals who participate in re-enactments at their own will and are limited solely to fly-bys (these typically do not participate in "static displays" on the ground as part of a re-enactment). At the majority of such events, the planes takeoff from an airport nearby, do their thing over the show, and return to the airport. Its a question of logistics and to a lesser extent security -- these planes are not cheap, and the owners will generally not want anyone other than well-trained ground and flight crew anywhere near them.

    Its a similar thing with vehicles. Jeeps are a dime a dozen -- many re-enactors have them and go all-out to put on a period vignette. For the bigger stuff, you'll often see that the owners are much more conservative when it comes to display, participation, and security. I do not leave my larger vehicles in an area where there is no security, and for safety reasons I will not operate in close proximity to re-enactors without having spotters on the ground. This precludes re-enactors participating in close proximity, with the end result being that the larger vehicles are often treated as independent from the main re-enactment.

    In short, if you're looking to ride in a bomber as a re-enactor of a bombadier/navigator it's unfortunately not going to happen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    The Victory Show, Leics, 2007.
    vic12.jpg
     
  5. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    Here is the POF Korea re-enactment
     
  6. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Is that the US Coast Guard showing off their new blue-water rescue craft?

    *Brace for impact by KoadiakBeer*
     
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    He just floated about for most of the day.
    Sort of pleasing, if a little strange.
    Hopefully he's perfected parachuting in by now...
     
  8. Brayden Allen

    Brayden Allen Member

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    JJWilson He was assigned to a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. He was in the Mighty Eighth Air Force and in the 95th Bombardment Group.
     
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  9. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    That's amazing! When I was at the Luke Days (Luke AFB) airshow back in February of 2016, they used the B-17 Sentimental Journey from Falcon Field Commemorative Air Force in the CAF "Tora Tora Tora" aerobatic routine, which is a basically a reencatment of the attack on Pearl Harbor with Pyrotechnics and everything. What kind of renactment are you talking about? Like a ground engagement where infantry and armor are used, or an aerial reenactment? You said you are in High School as well right? I'm a Senior
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I'll second what Alan said.

    At best USAAF reenactors are ground groups without aircraft. At Reading, PA, the WW2 Weekend has several "pilots" roaming around, one or two small groups, but most are singles, however, they are not associated with or part of the flying demonstrations. I have also seen USN pilot reenactors, again not with aircraft(but, the pilot of the F4F that was there did let one of them sit in the cockpit for a photo op. One year there was a Chinese 20-something that walked around dressed as a Japanese pilot(got some nice photos of him with the Japanese Tora Tora Tora Val.

    As for combining both, occasionally it happens. The ground battles have aircraft flying over them(usually artillery spotter types, but on occasion something with a little more oompf). And recently, the C-46 "Tinker Belle" has been dropping US PIR reenactors.

    Other than that...Get your gear together, shell out several hundred dollars for a bomber ride, and have some fun.
     

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