History Brought to Life
In 2002, Connie Bowlin, a director of the EAA Warbirds of America, along with her husband, Ed, had an idea that literally brought history to life. Realizing that every year, EAA Air Venture Oshkosh, hosts the largest single gathering of flying World War II aircraft since the war ended, Connie and Ed decided to pair the planes with veterans who actually flew them in harm’s way. In forums, before live audiences, veterans would describe their wartime experiences in their own words. The owner/pilots who restore and maintain the aircraft would share their stories as well. In addition, those in attendance would ask direct questions.
Warbirds in Review was born. Since 2002, The presentations have proven to be historically significant – and popular – beyond the wildest expectations. During the week of AirVenture – two-per-day for six days they feature the meticulously restored and maintained flying national treasures, their owners and pilots and the veterans – including Medal of Honor recipients, General Officers, recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Combat Aces and celebrated authors, historians and journalists. In addition, Warbirds in Review has expanded to include the airplanes, veterans and stories of Korea, Vietnam and the Desert Wars.