Thursday, June 08, 2006

16th Annual WW2 Weekend at Mid Atlantic Air Museum

The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum has honored the veterans of WW2 for the past 16 years by hosting an annual display of vintage WW2 memorbelia, reenactors, vintage vehicles, aircraft and lots of entertainment. We have been attending the event for 3 years. It's the most anticipated event for WW2 reenactors. It's HUGE. The set up is amazing. There's a Pacific area and also an European area. Almost all countries that were part of WW2 are represented here.
This was our 'home base' this weekend. This display was set up by Larry, Wendy & Fred. It's a blood donation center with a field aid station attached. Wendy contributed her WW2 Messenger Pigeon display.
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My husband portrays a 101st Airborne Field Surgeon.
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While out in French Village, he came upon a soldier wounded in the recent battle. The Germans have just taken over this quaint French Village, they'd better bandage up and get the heck out of there!!!
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While back at our the aid station, we were visited by General Douglas MacArthur!
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We had such a great time speaking with actual WW2 Veterans. It's such a rewarding feeling when they walk by and stop and comment on our display or our set up or our uniforms. These 2 guys were a RIOT!!! They were so much fun! Clarence and John; Best friends for more than 60 years, pictured below, stopped by to tell us of their War-Time experiences. Clarence (dark blue jacket) is SUCH a comedian!! We thoroughly enjoyed their visit and hope to see them again soon!
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There are lots of guest speakers and appearances at these events. Most of them are by WW2 vets who served in the war and have a story to tell. The hangar is filled with booths where the vets are giving autographs, selling books or photos, posters or prints. We met the Tuskeegee Airmen, Shifty Powers from the 101st Airborne Easy Company. We were also fortunate enough to meet WW2 photographer, Frank Errigo, who was one of the very 1st to photograph WW2 in COLOUR. For eleven months in 1943 and 1944, Errigo led a color photographic team in combat from Algiers to Rome. Here's Frank with my hubby:
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This year I was excited to see, on the guest list, The GUNNY! R. Lee. Ermey! I absolutely LOVE this guy! He is probably most famous for his drill sergeant portrayal in the film, "Full Metal Jacket" but also is the star of a show on the History Channel called, "Mail Call" I can't say enough good stuff about him. He was scheduled for Saturday to do meet and greets with the public and sign autographs. He not only stayed for ALL of Saturday but he realized that there were SO MANY people at the event who wanted to meet him that he stayed SUNDAY as well. He stayed well after the event was over to sign autographs and also meet us, the event reenactors. He is such a genuine, down to earth guy. He stayed and hung out for a while with the Civil Air Patrol kids (who worked their BUTTS OFF at the event doing security & parking detail. Of course, I couldn't let an opportunity to meet the "GUNNY" pass me by!
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That's me above, with "The Gunny" himself. I am dressed as a field nurse. I am all dissheveled and a mess but I didn't care. Thanks, Gunny! You sure made a LOT of reenactors happy this past weekend!


Loreluca said...

Wow, Gab, these are great pictures and great memories, I'm sure! Did your girls go with you? What a cool way for them to learn history!I love history, too, but it never occured to me that you can actually reenact it... the concept! I like this guys from mail call, but I think my favorite of his rolls is when he played that freaky coronel on Saving Silverman!!!
Keep posting, my friend!

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

I tried posting a reply yesterday, but must have had a glitch.
I love old guys like that. Full of charm, history and life!
Sounds like you had an amazing time!

Tracie said...

Waaaay cooool Gabz!!! Those pictures are sure great and it's so neat that you all try to really set things up like it was all those years ago. I so wish I was closer and can see things like this.

I LOVE R.Lee!! He is a hoot! Dh loves him too (he is a real war buff). That rocks you got to meet him.

firstborn said...

ditto what everyone has said...

love how you captured your day!!! i know what you mean about listening to the war stories of ww2 vets...i have a few on my caseload right now...& they are a hoot!

:) mary ann xo