This year’s WWII Heritage Days, April 26-27, includes all the happenings that visitors have come to expect at this terrific annual event in Peachtree City. Hosted by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing and located in the Historical Airport Facility at Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field, the event will delight visitors with its historic aircraft, antique cars, and vintage military vehicles. There will be guest speakers, educational displays, and the always popular battle demonstrations by re-enactors portraying Allied and Axis troops. There are plenty of activities for school age kids as well as a 1940’s big band hangar dance for adults.
|Women Air Force Service Pilots and B-17 Flying Fortress|
As is traditional, the opening ceremony will recognize local WWII veterans. This year, however, special tribute is being paid to the Women of the Greatest Generation. From defense industry factory workers, known as Rosie the Riveters, to the nearly 400,000 women who served in or with the armed forces, American women did not hesitate to jump into the fray and made significant contributions to the total war effort.
When the United States entered WWII in 1941, 12 million women were working outside the home. Four years later when the war ended, the number was up to 18 million (one third of the workforce), including 3 million women who worked in war plants.
Numerous women served as secretaries and clerks to generals in the field. About 74,000 women served in the American Army and Navy Nurse Corps, many as nurses in battle zones. More than 1,000 women served as pilots associated with the US Air Force in the WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilots). They were considered civil service workers and were not recognized for their military service until the 1970s.
Key note speaker for the Saturday, 9:30am, opening program is Lt. Col. Nancy Dakin, pilot and Commander of the 116th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 116th Air Control Wing, Robins Air Force Base. Saturday at noon, visitors can meet Betty Bishop, who helped assemble Bell P-63 King Cobras, and Gisela Titman and Myrtle Faye Edwards, who both volunteered in the Women’s Army Corps.
For numerous reasons, this two-day event in Peachtree City is well worth the suggested donation of $5. Active duty military in uniform and Children 5 and under are free. “WWII Heritage Days” will be held rain or shine. No pets please. Advance tickets for the Saturday night hangar dance, “Keep ‘em Flying,” are $50, $60 at the door. Reserved tables and group discounts are available. All ticket sales are final. For tickets, call 678-654-2464.