EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wisconsin — (May 30, 2014) — The 70th anniversary of the massive D-Day invasion of World War II will be commemorated at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh on June 6-7, including programs with veterans of the Allied offensive that began on June 6, 1944.
Friday, June 6, marks 70 years after 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. According to the U.S. Army archives, General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foothold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high: More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded, but more than 100,000 soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.
“We feel it’s important to honor these veterans for their service at Normandy and throughout the war,” said Bob Campbell, EAA AirVenture Museum director. “Time is taking these members of ‘The Greatest Generation’ from our midst, so this anniversary is a fitting time to mark this historic moment in our history.”
The June 6 activities will begin at 11 a.m. in EAA AirVenture Museum’s Eagle Hangar, which honors the men and women who served and the aircraft of the World War II era. Included in the event are:
11 a.m.: Brief program commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion
12:30-3 p.m.: Various D-Day and World War II veterans at Eagle Hangar to recall their wartime experiences. Visitors may also climb inside the cockpits of several World War II-era aircraft
7 p.m.: Free presentation in the Eagle Hangar with World War II veteran Eugene Schultz of Milwaukee, a member of Gen. George Patton’s Third Army headquarters staff
On Saturday, June 7, World War II-era aircraft, military vehicles, and re-enactors will be on display outside the museum and its Pioneer Airport. These activities include a 1 p.m. flyover by an iconic P-51 Mustang fighter aircraft.
All activities are included with regular museum admission, except the free Eagle Hangar presentation on Friday evening, June 6.