Ray Fagen Memorial Airshow honors the "greatest generation."
June 20 it is possible for you to drive back into the 1940s. Be in Granite Falls at the Lenzen-Roe Memorial Airport at noon.
Available for your viewing pleasure will be over 40 WWII aircraft, ranging in size from a Stearman all the way up to a B-17. Rare fighters like the Japanese Zero, P-63 King Cobra, P-38, various WWII fighters and training aircraft, bombers, and related vehicles will be on the grounds as well.
A ground battle re-enactment takes place at 1 p.m. complete with live pyro and explosions. The airshow is from 3-7 p.m. At 8 p.m. Craig Morgan (singer, soldier, farmer, family man) will perform a concert. At 9:30, the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team will perform a night airshow.
How does an event of this magnitude come about?
"My grandpa was the inspiration," said Evan Fagen, grandson of Raymond Alva Fagen (1918-2010). "He was in WWII in the Army's 4th Infantry Division (known as the Ivy Division). He took part in the first wave of the invasion of Normandy on Utah Beach, fought through to the liberation of Paris, and into the Battle of the Bulge.
"He got his pilots license on the GI Bill when he got back from the war. He got his license in a Stearman. He flew for 60 plus years before he died. When he passed away, we all wanted to keep the flame going honoring WWII vets, and pass that history on to the younger generation.
The Ray Fagen Memorial Airshow is tailored to the WWII era. To enhance the authenticity of the WWII era, the airport will be closed to modern day general aviation aircraft.
General aviation air traffic will be routed to nearby Marshall where transportation to the airshow grounds will be provided. There is also a practical reason to close the airport to general aviation that day.
"It is going to take all of our ramp space to house the WWII era airplanes," said Fagen. "We want to make sure the remaining WWII veterans can come out to enjoy all the aircraft, vehicles, and re-enactors. The day belongs to the 40s. We want to honor grandpa and his generation, the greatest generation, so we're sticking with that."
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