OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN – A total of 109 P-51 Mustang aircraft has been confirmed to attend the Gathering of Mustangs & Legends. The Gathering, to be hosted at Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio from September 27-30, will provide the opportunity to share the history of the P-51 Mustang aircraft and honor the heroes of World War II.
The Mustang played a major role in the Allied campaign to achieve air supremacy in Europe during World War II leading to a successful ground-forces invasion and the defeat of Germany. At the Gathering of Mustangs & Legends World War II heroes such as Lee Archer and Donald Strait will be mingling with P-51 aircraft such as Moonbeam McSwine, Big Beautiful Doll and Flying Dutchman.
"We're honored that the majority of P-51 aircraft still flying today will join us at this once-in-a-lifetime celebration to honor the contributions of the many World War II heroes," said Lee Lauderback, President of Stallion 51 which is presenting the event.
About 15,868 P-51 aircraft were originally built and only about 130 of the planes are still flying today. The aircraft are now privately owned with the owners taking great care to restore the P-51s to their original glory.
"When you hear the Merlin engines of a P-51 roll overhead you know you’re hearing a piece of history," said Jim Hagedorn, who owns the beautifully restored P-51 named Old Crow. Hagedorn is also Chairman & CEO of Scott's Miracle-Gro Company which is a major sponsor of the event. "These aircraft are a testament to the American spirit and a fitting tribute to the heroes of World War II who sacrificed to make America the free country it is today."
The pilots of World War II often named their P-51 aircraft. From Excalibur to Miracle Maker to Worry Bird, all of these aircraft will be on display and flying throughout the four-day event which will also feature other World War II fighters and bombers, top civilian airshow performers and the Air Force Thunderbirds. Visit www.GML2007.com for a complete listing of all 109 P-51 aircraft and their owners who will be taking part in the September festivities.