The momentous conclusion to World War II in 1945 will be celebrated 70 years later as the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing hosts the 12th annual “WWII Heritage Days” from 9am-4pm April 18-19, 2015. The history festival will take place at the Dixie Wing’s Historical Airpower Facility, Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field, Peachtree City, Ga.
Since its beginning as a small, one-day program in 2003, WWII Heritage Days has evolved into the largest annual World War II-theme event in Georgia. The weekend will again feature historic aircraft, antique cars, vintage military vehicles, education displays, demonstrations by re-enactors portraying Allied and Axis troops, and activities for school-age children.
A highlight planned for the weekend is a panel discussion series featuring World War II veterans.
Most historians consider the Second World War the pivotal event of the Twentieth Century, involving more than 30 countries and 100 million people from 1939 to 1945. The United States’ entry in the war in 1941 ultimately provided the Allies with decisive industrial and manpower resources. It is estimated that 50 million to 85 million people lost their lives before Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were defeated in 1945.
During the war, more than 16 million men and women served in the United States Armed Forces, however fewer than 1 million U.S. World War II veterans survive today.
“WWII Heritage Days is a living history classroom,” said Jim Buckley, CAF Dixie Wing leader. “More than 200 volunteers from 25 organizations join us in creating the weekend. We turn our flying museum into a classroom to preserve and teach the story of The Greatest Generation, the men and women who won the Second World War.”
Saturday evening will bring back the Big Band sound at “Keep ‘em Flying”, a 1940s theme hangar dance fundraiser featuring The Peachtree Jazz Edition. Proceeds from the dance help cover the cost of WWII Heritage Days, aircraft preservation and “Education through Living History”, the group’s free WWII history program for schools and youth groups.
The event draws World War II history enthusiasts to Peachtree City from throughout the southeast. Participating organizations include the Atlanta World War II Round Table, American Rosie the Riveters Association, Atlanta History Center, Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History & Holocaust Education, Marine Corps League, Museum of Aviation, the U.S. Army Signal Corps Museum, 1st Infantry Division (reenacted), 134th IR134 "Hoch und Deutschmeister", Five-oh-First, and Kelly’s Zeroes. Local civic organizations and schools are invited to create and display 1940s exhibits.
Suggested donation for WWII Heritage Days is $5. World War II veterans, active duty military in uniform and children 5 and under are admitted free. WWII Heritage Days will take place rain or shine. Please no pets. Tickets for “Keep ‘em Flying” are $55 before April 19th, $60 at the door. Reserved tables and group discounts available. All ticket sales final. For more information, please visit www.wwiidays.org or call 678-364-1110.