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63rd AAF-FTD World War II veterans to return to Douglas

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2016 63rd Reunion photo - Cadets with local officials, Mayor Paulk, and guest speaker, Lt. Col. Christine Mau. Submitted photo 2016 63rd Reunion photo - Cadets with local officials, Mayor Paulk, and guest speaker, Lt. Col. Christine Mau.

The City of Douglas, 63rd Preservation Society, and Airbase Preservation Committee are proud to announce that the cadets from the 63rd Army-Air Force Flight Training Detachment will return to Douglas for their reunion, October 15–19, 2017. Plans are underway to create another memorable reunion for these cadets and their families.

During World War II, the Raymond Richardson Aviation Company, established the 63rd Army Air Force Flight Training Pilot School which trained approximately 8,000 cadets on combative flight skills and experiences. The historic base is located in the Douglas Municpal Gene Chambers Airport and is the most intact World War II civilian primary flying training center in the United States. Many of the buildings, the field, and hangars are the same as
they were during World War II. The instructor barracks is now home to the World War II Flight Training Museum and exhibits artifacts from the 63rd’s training days.

Many activities are planned during their stay beginning with a Welcome to Douglas meet and greet from Mayor Pro Tem Bob Moore on Sunday, October 15, 2017. The American Legion Post 515 will host a southern style dinner for the cadets on Tuesday with
entertainment provided by CHS Show Choir Sound F/X. On Wednesday, October 18, cadets will enjoy flying over Douglas with PT-17 flights complimentary of the 63rd Preservation Society. To close the day and Reunion, cadets and their families will be treated to a private luncheon hosted by the 63rd Preservation Society with entertainment provided by Mr. Fred Hand followed by more PT-17 flights, if weather and time permits.

Local businesses are encourage to show support during the Reunion in Douglas by displaying the following message on their marquee sign during the week of October 15 – 19, 2017: “Welcome 63rd A.A.F. – F.T.D.”

Special thanks to event sponsors: City of Douglas, 63rd Preservation Society, Airbase Preservation Committee, and the American Legion Post 515. For more information on the 63rd AAF-FTD Reunion or to help sponsor this event, please contact the Public Information Department at (912) 383-0277. For more information on the World War II Flight Training Museum, please contact (912) 383-9111 or visit their website at http://wwiiflighttraining.org.

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