PEACHTREE CITY, Georgia — Three World War II veterans of the legendary American Volunteer Group “Flying Tigers” will share their experiences at the Atlanta Warbird Weekend (AWW) “Dinner with the Tigers,” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at the 57th Fighter Group restaurant at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear first-hand about from some of the dwindling number of heroes who operated aircraft during the early days of World War II, according to organizers.
Speakers at “Dinner with the Tigers” include Frank Losonsky (3rd Squadron crew chief), who is president of the American Volunteer Group Flying Tigers Association; and vice presidents Chuck Baisden (3rd Squadron armorer) and Dr. Carl Brown (1st Squadron flight leader).
Tickets are $125 for this limited-seating event, which has sold out the past two years.
This year AWW is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the AVG Flying Tigers. Over the weekend AWW will host the largest gathering of P-40 Warhawks in 50 years, with at least nine of the historic planes anticipated at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport in Chamblee, Ga.
Painted with a distinctive shark mouth motif, the Curtiss P-40 is associated with the Flying Tigers and was the third-most-produced fighter plane of World War II. Very few are still flying and the AWW event will be a rare opportunity to see these aircraft together.
Several vintage aircraft are joining the fleet of P-40 Warhawks that will be on display for the Third Annual Atlanta Warbird Weekend, which is a community effort led by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing, the Georgia chapter of the world’s largest flying collection of World War II aircraft. Visitors will see P-51 Mustangs, FG-1D Corsair, several trainers and liaison aircraft, a DC-3 and other significant World War II aircraft, including a Curtiss C-46 Command, nicknamed “Tinker Belle.” The C-46 Commando was a workhorse in flying over “The Hump” (as the Himalaya Mountains were nicknamed by Allied airmen), transporting desperately needed supplies to troops in China from bases in India.
Atlanta Warbird Weekend is open free to the public from 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. Parking will be available for $10 per car.
Rides will be available in the Dixie Wing’s P-51, Douglas SBD-5 dive bomber and an LT-6 Mosquito. Rides on the CAF aircraft can be purchased in advance.
To purchase tickets to “Dinner with the Tigers” or a ride in a warbird, visit Atlantawarbirdweekend.com