Warbird Roundup 2019 adds another high point to a special year for the Warhawk Air Museum of Nampa, Idaho.
The annual gathering of warbirds at the museum on Aug. 24-25 attracted a crowd of about 4,000. Warm sunny days favored those who came to watch a variety of warbirds fly throughout the day.
The crowd also came to hear guest speakers Bud Anderson and Christina Olds.
It was standing room only in the museum as more than 500 visitors leaned in to hear the World War II exploits of retired Col. Clarence “Bud” Anderson. With detailed animations of his World War II dogfights on a large screen behind him, Anderson gave the crowd details of those actions, often with wry observations. A triple ace over Europe, Anderson went on to a distinguished career as an Air Force test pilot after the war.
When asked if he had any preference when he engaged German Bf-109 and Fw-190 fighters, Anderson said the two types of fighters were equal foes — the pilot made the difference.
Anderson made it through combat with almost no battle damage to his Mustang, but he acknowledged his ground crew found one small hole after a mission that they patched with a coin.
Christina Olds, the daughter of another triple ace of two wars, Brig. Gen. Robin Olds, brought stories about her swashbuckling fighter pilot father, known for brilliant tactics over Southeast Asia.
The warbirds gathered for the roundup included a number from Idaho, as well as a rare P-51A, P-47G, and B-25J from the Planes of Fame Air Museum at Chino, California.
Also on hand from California were the P-47D “Dottie Mae” and the only flying P-51H version of the Mustang.
Mark Ranz flew the F7F-3 Tigercat that spends part of the year in Idaho and part of the year in California.
The layout of the Warhawk Air Museum on the Nampa Airport allows the warbirds to park parallel to the crowd behind a rope barrier, where the spectacle of starting the big inline and radial engines is a thrill that never grows old.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Warhawk Air Museum, an Idaho institution that recently earned The Boise Statesman newspaper’s title of Best Museum/Attraction for 2019 in the Treasure Valley.