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Two WWII Coast Guard airplanes to fly at Culpeper showcase event

Fairchild UC-61 Forwarder
Fairchild UC-61. Photo by James Euverard.

Two iconic WWII Coast Guard aircraft will take to the skies over Culpeper for the first time ever.

The Capital Wing of the Commemorative Air Force has brought together a Fairchild UC-61 Forwarder and a Boeing PT-17 Stearman originally used by the US Coast Guard and fly them during the CAF Capital Wing Warbird Showcase on July 11 and again on Aug. 15.

The Warbird Showcase at the Culpeper Regional Airport will occur from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and provide the public the rare opportunity to not only see these two warbirds but other iconic WWII aircraft as well.

The high wing Fairchild UC-61 Forwarder was built locally in Hagerstown, Md., in 1946 and flew various missions for the US Coast Guard. The Boeing PT-17 Stearman bi-plane is a vintage 1942 airplane and was used as a primary flight trainer by all the armed services throughout WWII.

The public can ride in either of these airplanes during the Warbird Showcase. Tickets can be purchased in advance by contacting Active duty or retired US Coast Guard personnel will receive $20 discounts for rides in either the Fairchild Forwarder or Boeing Stearman. Warbird rides are also available in the Stinson L-5 Sentinel, North American T-6/SNJ and General Motors TBM Avenger starting at just $69.

The Capital Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is kicking-off the airshow season with its own “Warbird Showcase” event at the Culpeper Regional Airport in Culpeper.

The event will be held in accordance with coronavirus pandemic guidelines of the CDC, State of Virginia and local health authorities in effect at that time.

“Our members are just as tired of being in the house as everyone else,” said Pete Ballard, Assistant Adjutant of the Capital Wing. “To mark the beginning of the much delayed 2020 airshow season, we have put together a family-oriented event with something for everyone,” he said. Parking and attendance are free for the public, although a donation to the non-profit Capital Wing will be appreciated on entry.

In addition to the vintage aircraft on display outside and inside the Capital Wing hangar, the Warbird Showcase will have attractions for everyone in the family including STEM activities for the kids, a WWII museum and a 50-caliber machine gun turret. A food truck will be onsite to provide lunch and refreshments.

There will be plenty of airplanes in the skies over the Culpeper Airport during the Warbird Showcase. Five WWII aircraft are scheduled for warbird rides throughout the day: a Stinson L-5 Sentinel forward air controller plane, a Fairchild UC-61 Forwarder built in Hagerstown MD, a Boeing PT-17 Stearman biplane, a North American T-6/SNJ fighter trainer, and General Motors TBM Avenger, the largest single-engine bomber of WWII.

The public can get more details on the Warbird Showcase event and buy Warbird Ride tickets by sending an email to

augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press

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