On Saturday, October 22, Matt, Eric and Cody headed up to Ft. Atkinson for an early morning photo shoot focused on our growing U.S. Army Air Force impressions. We got some fantastic lighting from a beautiful sunrise and were happy about the cooler temperatures which is favorable when wearing layers of wool and leather jackets. Matt and Eric started the morning with their B-17 bomber impressions with Matt as a pilot and Eric as a navigator. Cody is building an excellent crew chief impression so it was fun to have him join in the fun! Later on, we went up the the Sutler cabin at the fort and took some photos of Matt in his later war uniform consisting of a B-10 Jacket with A-10 Trousers. Eric introduced his P-47 fighter pilot uniform complete with 1936 RAF Flying Boots and a RAF Life Preserver. It was a quick little photo shoot but we all had a great time with our imaginations in the clouds.
On the weekend of September 3-4, the World War 2 Guys were back in action for one of our favorite events of the year. The 8th Annual Timeline Weekend at Fort Atkinson has become one of the best events we do to display a huge variety of time periods and impression. Joe, Will, and Jeff were at the fort on Saturday displaying lots of great pieces from the Civil War up through Vietnam. The fort once again hosted a much-appreciated picnic dinner Saturday night for all of the reenactors which is always a great time. Then later Saturday evening, several of us sat and talked over drinks and music out in front of our unit's new U.S. Small Wall Tent. It was a really fun night and it felt so great to be among so many friends. Sunday morning there was hot coffee and donuts provided by Eric and Matt who were portraying two B-24 bomber crewmen from the 93rd Bomb Group. There were a lot of visitors throughout the weekend and the weather was exceptionally nice for this time of year in Nebraska. We are already eagerly awaiting our return to this event next year!
On Saturday, September 5, the World War 2 Guys took part in our 6th annual Ft. Atkinson Timeline Day. This year we had Matt portraying an airman of the 10th Air Force, Nate portraying a WWII US Marine, Jeff portraying a US Army infantryman, Cody portraying a member of No. 3 Commando, and Eric portraying a Green Beret from the 5th Special Forces Group. The morning weather was really nice and we had quite a few visitors to our display. But by the afternoon temps got pretty toasty and it was a little uncomfortable. Nevertheless, it was a great day to get out and interact with the public during a year when we haven't had as many chances.
On Saturday, March 16, the World War 2 Guys helped out with the SAC Aerospace Museum's Aircraft Adventures Day focused on the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Eric and Jeff set up a small table display dedicated to U.S. Army Air Force equipment, uniforms, manuals, and personal items. Jeff wore his HBT Coveralls and an A3 Mechanic's Cap to portray a B-17 mechanic and Eric dressed in an A-4 Flight Suit, Mae West, and Service Cap to honor the B-17 aircrews. The morning started with an excellent presentation by a SAC Museum curator covering the history and role of the B-17 in World War II. Then visitors were allowed to get close up views of the B-17 at it's nose, front hatch, bomb bay, and rear waist door. Jeff and I took turns hanging out on the bomb bay catwalk talking with visitors as they passed underneath us. It was a great day and an amazing chance to get inside one of the most iconic airplanes of all time.
On Saturday, April 7 the World War 2 Guys took part in our first ever B-29 Living History Crew at the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum. In attendance were our pilot, Matt, our Bombardier, Will, our Navigator, Eric, our Flight Engineer, Jeff, our Side Gunners, Chris and Jon, and our Tail Gunner, Cody. We had an excellent display of U.S. Army Air Force uniforms, flight equipment, books, manuals, and personal effects. We had great interactions with lots of interested museum visitors, many of whom praised our efforts and the quality of our display. The highlight of our day was undoubtedly meeting Lt. Wesley "Bob" Reisser, a B-17 pilot from the 8th Air Force's 452nd Bomb Group. Bob flew 28 missions from January 15 through April 16, 1945 along with three food drop missions on May 2, 3, and 6. Bob is 96 years old but spoke with a youthful exuberance about his flying days in World War II. As always, it's an incredible honor to speak with a World War II veteran like Bob. Our group will return to the SAC Museum on June 9 for a D-Day Airborne themed exhibit and then bring our Living History Crew back to the museum next year.
On Sunday, March 25, the World War 2 Guys held our first training day as our new B-29 Living History Crew. Working in conjunction with the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum, we will be conducting living history displays with the museum's B-29 Superfortress "Lucky Lady" a few times each year. Our first event with the public will be April 7 in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the United States Air Force. Our Sunday meeting topics included unit events, recruiting news, HRS news, a unit weapons update, and an indepth study of U.S. Army Air Force uniforms and equipment. We ended the day's activities with a walk through the museum, spending some time with the B-29, the B-17 Flying Fortress, and the B-25 Mitchell.
Read all about the great events that the World War 2 Guys take part in throughout the year.