The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania hosted their annual World War Two Weekend on June 7th to 9th, 2013. What an event! Despite inclement weather leading into the weekend it turned out pretty nice and plenty of flying was able to happen with many classic Warbirds from that era taking to the skies. On top of this was an incredible array of military reenactors who had set up a huge base camp complete with uniforms, weaponry and vehicles. A very impressive show! This blog is part 1 of an overview of the event specifically for the bigger aircraft that flew or were on static display during the weekend along with the vast number of military reenactors on the ground. A number of these aircraft were giving joy flights throughout the day if you had the cash!
I had specifically come to see two World War Two era bombers. “Fifi” which is the worlds only flying Boeing B-29 Superfortress and also a Consolidated B-24 Liberator. Alas the latter had engine mechanical problems and did not arrive at the show but “Fifi” flew all day taking passengers on warbird flights and also completed a fantastic air show display. It was fantastic to see this large yet so streamlined bomber flying low to the ground and giving us a great top view! Almost a work of art if it wasn’t for it’s intended destructive role!
The absence of the B-24 was ably taken up by the presence of one of the USAAF other prominent World War Two bombers the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. In this case “Yankee Lady“.
A number of other large combat Warbirds were also present such as 5 North American B-25 Mitchell bombers all with fantastic nose art (“Panchito“, “Briefing Time“, “Take Off Time“, “Yankee Warrior” and “Georgie’s Gal“) and a Lockheed P-2 Neptune maritime patrol aircraft.
Transport aircraft included a Beech C-45 Expediter called “Bucket of Bolts“(!), 2 Douglas C-47 Skytrains, a Curtiss C-46 Commando and a Douglas C-54 Skymaster. The majority of these took to the sky for various flight displays during the day.
The military reenactors covered a number of nations. I noted American, British, German and Chinese Nationalist forces out there. These men and women take this very seriously and their level of detail and attention in regards to uniforms, equipment, weapons and vehicles is impressive to say the least!
In addition to the military reenactors there were also veterans giving presentations and signing books and the like. There was even some comedy with an Abbott and Costello routine!
All in all the World War Two Weekend was a great event that was well-organized and very entertaining. If you are ever in Pennsylvania in June I thoroughly recommend attending this weekend event. Part 2 of this blog features the fighters and other smaller aircraft that flew or took part as a static display at the air show.