By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Special Interest | Issue: October 2011
CAF pilots will fly the squadron’s Fairchild PT-19 at the 10th annual Wings Over Tulsa event, held at Jones Airport and Tulsa Tech – Riverside Campus.
November 12, 2011 is the date set for the 10th annual Wings Over Tulsa and the World War II-style, 1940s swing hangar dance. Both events are sponsored by the Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) Spirit of Tulsa Squadron and will be held at R.L. Jones Airport and Tulsa Tech – Riverside Campus, located between 81st and 91st Streets just east of Elwood.
The Commemorative Air Force is a non-profit organization, and its purposes are patriotic, educational and civic. Their primary mission is to preserve history and teach lessons from the past to protect the future and inspire today’s young people. The CAF was founded by WWII veterans when they realized that historical aircraft and other military equipment was disappearing, much of it being turned into scrap metal.
Spirit of Tulsa Squadron member Jim Dagg explains, “We accomplish our mission by restoring, flying and maintaining the military aircraft that flew and fought in World War II and beyond. We are devoted to honoring our heritage and our veterans.”
Two current projects of the Spirit of Tulsa Squadron include the restoration of a Fairchild PT-19 primary training plane and the rebuild of an Aeronca L-3 Defender liaison plane. Both aircraft are wood and fabric-covered, crafted from skilled as well as novice workers.
Karen and Jim Dagg, members of Commemorative Air Force’s Spirit of Tulsa Squadron, are actively involved with coordinating Wings Over Tulsa and the WWII-style swing hangar dance.
Squadron Leader Bob Prater is the event coordinator. Along with a large group of squadron members, Jim and his wife Karen have been actively putting the finishing touches on events scheduled for the 2011 Veterans Day weekend. Wings Over Tulsa will commence Saturday, November 12 at 9 a.m. and will conclude at 3 p.m. The event will feature historical aircraft flights and displays, vintage cars and military vehicles, military exhibits, and re-enactments. Airplane rides will be for sale in some of the featured planes. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and military, and children under 12 are admitted free. You may visit www.caftulsa.org or call for additional information or reservations.
The hangar dance will be held at the Tulsa Tech – Riverside Campus, located at 801 E. 91st St., on November 12 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission to the dance is $20, or you may get a table for 10 for $175. Dance admission plus dinner will be $35 per person. Additional concessions will be available throughout the evening.
Wings Over Tulsa and the hangar dance are tobacco and alcohol free. Adults and children are encouraged to attend both events. Dinner will be served from 5 to 6 p.m., and swing dance lessons will be available from 6 to 7 p.m. Music is furnished by live big band “Sounds of Music” from 7 to 10 p.m., with dancing throughout the evening.
Other attractions scheduled for the weekend include an appearance by Honor Flight, a group that flies WWII veterans to Washington, DC to visit the WWII Memorial. Veterans will be able to sign up for future flights. Blue Star Mothers will have an exhibit, and ROTC and Civil Air Patrol groups have volunteered to guard the historical aircraft on exhibit and assist with other duties. Local swing dance clubs will also be exhibiting their skills at the hangar dance, where all ages participate in the excitement.
A silent auction will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., with approximately 100 items up for bid. Many aircraft will fly in for static display during Wings Over Tulsa, and Tulsa Tech will be firing up two engines, a Rolls Royce Merlin and a WWII B-29 engine. Warning: they make a lot of noise. Earplugs will be available.
If you’re interested in volunteering for either event, please call (918) 794-4182 and leave a message. Your call will be returned.
Purchase tickets for your entire family today and be a part of the exciting activities honoring American veterans and a vital part of our country’s history.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.