Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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May 12, 2013

AirSho enjoys great weather, crowds

Corsicana — The 15th Corsicana AirSho came off successfully overall, beneath brilliant blue skies and moderate temperatures.

The show opened its gates at 9:30 a.m., and the public was allowed to walk around the planes, and even tour some of them, until 11:30 a.m. when they closed the flight decks to allow the planes to taxi out and take off.

For former Air Force Sgt. John Ferrell, who trained B-17 crews during World War II out of Rosell Air Force base from 1942 to 1945, it was a particular pleasure as he sat just feet away from one of the big bombers Saturday morning.

“It makes me feel at home,” he said. “We trained pilots, gunners, co-pilots. We’d shoot landings all day long to give the pilots experience.”

The planes on display included the B-17; a B-25, similar to the one flown on the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo; P-51 Mustang fighters, a C-45, Vietnam era helicopters, and more.

The experience wasn’t just for those with memories flying either. Diane Farrar brought her small boys to the AirSho, and six-year-old Ethan was particularly taken with the larger crafts.

“It’s so big,” Ethan said, spreading his arms out to encompass the bomber. “It’s huge.”

Freeman Howard recalls seeing droves of the smaller fighters flying overhead during the end of World War II and he was delighted to see them up close and personal Saturday.

“It’s a real experience,” he said. “I’m seeing a lot of young people out there. I’m glad to see that.”

Gregg Peterson was on the crew of the B-25, “Devil Dog,” that flew in for the show from Georgetown.

“We like this show,” he said. “The people are very friendly and it’s a fun show to come up to.”

The Devil Dog’s crew attends about 30 shows a year, including all around Texas and as far north as Tennessee, Peterson said.

There are bigger shows with more planes, but Corsicana’s show is a good one, he said.

“For a small town, this is a wonderful turnout. You guys have done a great job. Out hat’s off to the organizers,” he said.

As with every festival, there are lessons learned. This year, the Coyote Squadron tested out remote parking with limited success, and there was a fender-bender with one of the shuttle buses early Saturday. Overall, though, organizers were pleased with the turnout. Volunteer surveyors moved through crowd, asking people where they were from, how they heard about the show, and if they would be shopping in Corsicana afterwards.

Guests came from as far away as Rockwall and Alvaredo, according to one of the surveyors.

—————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

 

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