Combat aircrafts that were everyday companions to airmen in the World War II generation have become extraordinary treasures to many in the next generations. The United States produced more than 300,000 airplanes in WWII.
Museums across the country have preserved and display these airplanes; some are exhibited in public spaces like Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, where a solitary F4F Wildcat honors Navy Medal of Honor winner Butch O’Hare.
This year, the 70th anniversary of Allied victory in World War II, warbirds are flying demonstrations in towns and cities across the country, including a flyover of the National Mall in Washington D.C. on May 8. If you’ve never heard a Merlin engine growl or seen a B-17 fly a stately pass across an airfield, this is the summer to do it.