The National Warplane Museum, located in Geneseo, New York, presents an annual air show dedicated to the aircraft of WWI and WWII. Called ‘The Greatest Show on Turf‘, the show is different in that, as the name implies, it takes place on an all grass (turf) airfield. This makes for a very unique setting for the show and provides a ground surface that many of these planes were very used to dealing with back when they were state of the art aircraft.
This was my first time attending this show and I did so with my son, FlyBoyz Corey O’Neill. We both had a great time! The action was non-stop with a constant stream of planes taking off, performing airborne displays, then landing to make room for the next flight of planes. The announcer did a great job describing the airplanes and their historical significance, the pilots, and the flight action. When not flying, all the planes were on static display with spectators being able to go right up to the planes and even go inside several of them.
The show also featured interesting displays of historical automobiles and military ground vehicles, as well as a ‘camp’ area with WWII military re-enactors ‘dug-in’ and ready to explain their equipment to spectators.
During the show. particular emphasis was the placed on military veterans and the roles they played during the world wars. A special tent and seating area was set up for veterans to watch the show from and at lunch time, a VETS Salute was held on the airfield with a special ‘Missing Man’ flight performed overhead. Several veterans related organizations were set up at vendor tables raising money to support various veteran causes.
The show this year featured a special attraction…’Whiskey 7′, the National Warplane Museums flagship Douglas C-47. Whiskey 7 is truly a WWII veteran. This aircraft originally served with the 12th Air Force in the Mediterranean Theater in 1943 and the 9th Air Force in England 1944-1945 as part of the 316th Troop Carrier Group. It was one of the lead aircraft of the first strike of the D-Day invasion on June 6th, 1944 over Ste. Mere Eglise, Normandy. It transported paratroopers for the 82nd Airborne Division as part of Operation NEPTUNE. Flak was very heavy during these missions but this C-47 managed to survive it all. Whiskey 7 is now part of the National Warplane Museum, in Geneseo. This year, Whiskey 7 was successfully involved in a mission to return it to the skies over France for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Whiskey 7 participated in the 70th anniversary commemorations by dropping members of the Liberty Jump Team over the original D-Day drop zones. This D-Day drop was re-enacted in part over the skies of Geneseo during the airshow!
If you ever get a chance to be in western New York during mid-July, I’d highly recommend you try to fit this air show into your itinerary as it is well worth a day visit!
I have presented a select sampling of photos that show some of the planes and action from our day at the air show. The air show photos are displayed in both a ‘Gallery’ format (above) for quickly scanning thru them and also in a captioned ‘Lightbox’ format (below) which allows for zooming in on individual pictures by clicking on them. Enjoy!