The Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum will commemorate Independence Day at its monthly fly-in breakfast Saturday, July 3, at Keystone Heights Airport (42J) in Florida.
Col. Phil Newman, World War II B-17 pilot, will give a short presentation titled “It’s All About Freedom” and be available for a Q&A session following his talk. Newman served in the 15th Air Force 99th Bomb Group in the European Theater that was credited for 395 combat missions. Newman himself flew a total of 50 combat missions between 1942 and 1945 and 25 search missions after the war. “It’s about freedom. You hardly hear anyone mention that word today and it’s something that’s not taught in school,” says Newman. In reference to schoolbooks, he says, “Nowhere does it mention freedom.”
Newman serves as a spokesman for the Decrepit Birdmen, a veterans’ group that visits more than 25 schools each year to educate students about World War II and to share wartime experiences. He was also instrumental in spearheading an oral history project, resulting in a collection of 90 recorded veteran interviews that have been disseminated to a number of high schools and public and community college libraries.
The June Fly-In/Fundraiser attracted a large variety of aircraft, including a P-51 Mustang, with about 200 people in attendance. “We are hoping for another good turnout and invite everyone to the airport to enjoy a breakfast buffet, see all the beautiful aircraft, immerse themselves in aviation and history, and learn a little about the mission of the Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum,” says Executive Director Bob Oehl. Each month Wings of Dreams will highlight a different aspect of aviation, airports, the space program, historical aviation or World War II history.
The fly-in breakfast buffet is $7 per adult and $4 per child (9 & under). World War II veterans are free. Proceeds will benefit the Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum, slated to open to the public this summer. For more information: WingsOfDreams.org