The 2014 American Air Day offered visitors the opportunity for a close look at some excellent examples of American WWII military hardware. With mostly pleasant weather throughout the day the museum site was very busy, as in addition to the flying displays, on the ground were numerous motorbikes visiting the annual Buell bike meet.
Always staunch supporters of events at East Kirkby, Hardwick Warbirds brought their beautifully restored P-51 Mustangs Marinell and Janie into East Kirkby, flown by Maurice Hammond and Rob Davies respectively. The two Mustangs were accompanied by Hardwick’s AT-6 Texan and 1944 built former Royal Air Force Auster Mk.V. A number of authentically dressed and equipped living history re-enactors also hugely added to the atmosphere of the day with their manned display areas.
Making a welcome return to East Kirkby was Sally B, the only airworthy B-17 Flying Fortress on this side of the Atlantic. The Duxford based aircraft was making only its second appearance at East Kirkby since 1993 (see HERE for her 2013 visit) and gracefully thundered through a thrilling display with its four Wright R-18200-97 Cyclone radial engines presenting a very different sound in the airspace over East Kirkby to the Merlin types we are often more accustomed to.
Joining the flying display was resident C-47 Dakota Drag ‘em oot, the USAAF D-Day combat veteran displaying twice for the crowds. Completing the busy flying display schedule was the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Spitfire Mk.XVI TE311.
With the US Armed Forces operating at East Kirkby post WWII, the American Air Day event can be regarded as a very suitable commemoration of both wartime & post war service by the USAAF/USAF and equally a thoroughly entertaining day out that should be on everyone’s calendar.
My sincere gratitude is extended to Maurice Hammond and Hardwick Warbirds for their generous assitance with the living history photography featured below.