|By Carmelo Turdo|
The most important part of the airshow schedule, the noon hour ceremony honoring the veterans lost in past and current conflicts and those veterans with local ties who could be present, was held at show center following a performance by the University of Missouri Joint Service Drill Team. Among those honored were Vietnam War Ace of Aces USAF Colonel (Ret.) Charles DeBellevue; USAF Lt. Col. Maura George, combat veteran as a U.S. Army Blackhawk medevac pilot and USAFR C-130 pilot; and USAF Colonel (Ret.) Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman and USAF career officer, among others.
Static display aircraft were available for the visitors to examine and in some cases climb aboard. Many of the aircraft were from the World War II-era, and others were current military aircraft like the A-10 Thunderbolt II and P-3C Orion. A great moment in the static aircraft area occurred when Tuskegee Airman Colonel Charles McGee posed with pilot Rod Hightower near the autographed tail of his Stearman trainer.
The warbirds flying in the airshow included Kansas City Dawn Patrol World War I aircraft replicas, Friends of Jenny, Michael Kennedy's Valiant Echoes BT-13, MO CAF Wing B-25 Show Me, John Lohmar's T-6 Texan Radial Velocity and Chip Lamb with the T-28 from the Trojan Phlyers Team.
Two military parachute teams performed - The Canadian Forces Skyhawks and U.S. Army Golden Knights. Each team brought their own style of leading-edge parachute formations and maneuvers that kept the crowd's eyes to the skies.
And then there were the jets - Jerry Conley in the DeHavilland Vampire, the Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornet and the U.S. Navy Super Hornet Demo Team.