CAF Atlanta Warbird Weekend to Host AVG Flying Tigers 75th Anniversary

The Hells Angels over China. (Image via R.T.Smith)

AVG Flying Tigers in Formation on May 28, 1942_Photo taken by pilot R.T. Smith_Copyright by R.T.Smith WM

A squadron of World War II P-40 Warhawk fighter aircraft will descend on Dekalb-Peachtree Airport (KPDK) Sept.24-25, 2016 to celebrate the third annual Atlanta Warbird Weekend. The event at the Chamblee, Ga., airport is a community effort led by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing, the Georgia Chapter of the world’s largest WWII flying collection. 
 This year’s program will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the American Volunteer Group (AVG), nicknamed the Flying Tigers. AWW will host the largest gathering of P-40 Warhawks since the retirement of the aircraft type  in 1954, with at least nine of the historic planes at the airport.  The Curtiss P-40 was highly associated with the Flying Tigers and was the third- most- produced fighter plane of WWII.  Very few are still flying and the AWW event will be a rare opportunity to see these aircraft together.

“We can add to this collection of vintage fighters if we can raise additional funds before the event,” said Mo Aguiari, CAF Dixie Wing marketing officer and AWW co-chairman. “There are several other P-40 owners willing to bring their aircraft to this gathering if we can raise the money to cover their expenses,” Aguari said. “This will be even more spectacular if we can add to the group already scheduled to appear. The CAF is actively seeking sponsors or public donations to help bring more P-40s to AWW.” Anyone interested in supporting the event can find out more information here.

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The Flying Tigers were recruited under presidential authority and commanded by Claire Lee Chennault. The shark-faced nose art of the Flying Tigers remains among the most recognizable images of any individual combat aircraft or combat unit of World War II. The AVG Flying Tigers Association will celebrate its reunion in conjunction with the AWW. Presentations at AWW, and leading up to the event, will be organized to educate and connect the public with the historical significance of the American Volunteer Group. “We have chosen to honor the Flying Tigers and to support the AVG Flying Tigers Association mission to preserve, respect, inform, educate and keep alive the accurate history of the AVG,” said Aguiari. “In just seven months of intense aerial combat, the AVG earned a lasting niche in aviation history.”

“Atlanta Warbird Weekend in 2015 exceeded attendance and participation projections, “said Jay Bess, CAF Dixie Wing leader and AWW co-chairman. “Community support has been amazing and it really brought history alive in honor of our veterans. Aviation and veterans’ groups, museums, local municipalities and individuals are volunteering to help us share the story of World War II aviation history.” Atlanta Warbird Weekend will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day Sept. 24-25 at the Dekalb-Peachtree Airport.  For a complete schedule of activities, flight prices and reservations, or to purchase tickets to “Dinner with the Flying Tigers”, visit mission of the Texas-based CAF is to honor veterans and American military aviation through flight, education and remembrance.


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