GWL Air Show starts Friday

Sixth annual Greenwood Lake Airshow is set to be the biggest yet


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  • Tuskegee Airman Eugene Richardson and American Air Forces Historical Association's Chris Hartney are seen here at the 2013 Greenwood Lake Air Show. 



— When these aging airmen look toward the skies at the Greenwood Lake Air Show on Aug. 15-17 in West Milford, their thoughts will likely flash back to the harrowing days when their nation fought for freedom and they played a key role in defeating segregation and racism in the military.

If you go
Greenwood Lake Air Show
Friday, Aug. 15 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20 adults;
$10 vets and seniors;
$5 children 4 to 12
Saturday, Aug. 16 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 17 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tickets: $25 adults;
$15 vets and seniors
$10 kids 4 to 12
Discount tickets available before Aug. 1
www.greenwoodlakeairshow.com

“We knew we had a job to do, but we’re all the more proud that as black aviators, we proved our worth in training and in battle,” said Eugene J. Richardson, Jr., 90, a Camden native, retired educator and P-40 Warhawk pilot.

“People expected us to fail, but we rose above it all and established a legacy for all to follow and embrace,” he said.

Richardson will be joined by fellow Tuskegee airmen Aaron Watkins and Julius Freeman for the three-day event that will honor their exploits. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first all-black fliers to enter combat during World War II in a service that had segregated blacks and whites. They set a stellar record in the air and many in their ranks paid the ultimate sacrifice.

It is their exploits that Star Wars director George Lucas helped capture in the much-hailed film “Red Tails.”

For young and old, these World War II veterans will be on hand to share their experiences and sign autographs, but their priority, they say, is to educate the nation’s youth.

On hand, too, will be the Commemorative Air Force’s traveling exhibit honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.

Air Show guests will enjoy the thrill of watching a P-51 Mustang roar through the skies and perform maneuvers that the pilots of World War II perfected.

“We were just kids doing our part in fighting a war,” said Richardson, “but we managed to defeat another enemy called prejudice, and for that we’re all the more proud.”

Entertainment for all

While there is much to learn from the Tuskegee Airmen at the air show, there are also lots of thrills and pure entertainment in store. The Indy Boys, Justin Lewis's microjet, and Paul Stender and his jet bus are a few of the headlining acts. Appearing for the first time at the show is the Lucas Oil Air Show Team. Mike Wiskus, a former national aerobatic team champion will also be on hand. There is a car show on Saturday and Sunday and live music on the field as well. And there's much more.

Saturday and Sunday admission to the air show is $25 for adults, $15 for veterans and seniors (65 and older), and $10 for children (ages 4 to 12). Children under age 4 are admitted free of charge. Admission on Friday is at a discounted rate. Gates will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Parking is ample and food vendors will be on hand for your dining pleasure.

Greenwood Lake Airport is located at 126 Airport Road in West Milford.

For more information on the air show and the airport, visit www.greenwoodlakeairshow.com.

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