Photo above – De Havilland DH.98 Mosquito. (Military Aviation Museum photos)
Four flying aircraft from one of the largest flying warbird collections in the world will be coming to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022, as the Military Aviation Museum of Virginia Beach, Virginia brings World War II-era airplanes to participate in this year’s event. The 69th annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention is July 25-31 at Wittman Regional Airport.
The four airplanes – a de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, and North American P-51 Mustang – will be flown to Oshkosh and exhibited in the warbirds area. Several of these aircraft from the collection will also make appearances on Boeing Plaza, with the schedule to be determined. The appearance is part of the museum’s celebration of its founder, Jerry Yagen, and his aviation achievements. Yagen is scheduled to attend as well.
“Jerry Yagen’s passion for warbird aircraft has through the years evolved into one of most magnificent airworthy collections in the world,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “To have these airplanes as part of the world’s largest annual gathering of warbirds that occurs at Oshkosh every summer makes this year’s event even more special, both in the air and on the ground.”
Each aircraft brings a unique story:
· De Havilland DH.98 Mosquito – This airplane was sold surplus to a Canadian farmer in 1948, where it sat until a Canadian museum acquired it in 1978. The Military Aviation Museum obtained it in 2004 and shipped it to New Zealand for restoration. It made its first flight in 2012 and at the time was the only flying example of the type in the world. The aircraft previously attended AirVenture in 2015.
· Curtiss P-40 Warhawk – This aircraft is painted in the markings of David Lee “Tex” Hill of the famed “Flying Tigers” American Volunteer Group based in China. The aircraft was built in 1941 and sent to Great Britain as part of the lend-lease program, then on to the Soviet Union, where it was lost in action and not recovered for a half-century. The P-40 was the aircraft that established the Military Aviation Museum collection.
· Goodyear FG-1D Corsair – Delivered in May 1945, the Corsair spent much of its military career in storage, thus being one of the lowest time Corsairs known. The “Skull and Bones” livery honors a hometown hero, Norfolk, Virginia-born Ray Beacham, who flew with the famous VF-17 unit in the South Pacific.
· North American P-51D Mustang – Arguably the most iconic American fighter of WWII, the Mustang is a testament to American ingenuity and industrial capability. The Mustang was designed in 1940 with the first flying prototype built in just 120 days. The Military Aviation Museum’s example was built in 1945 and wears the markings of the 353rd Fighter Group.
Yagen will also bring his soon-to-be-published book to AirVenture and speak at Warbirds in Review sessions and other venues about building the warbird collection. The aircraft committed to Oshkosh are some of his favorite airplanes, as each played a key role in building the collection. More details will be announced as they are finalized.