WACO to host D-Day remembrance activities

For Miami Valley Today

TROY — This Thursday, June 6, marks the 75th anniversary of the attack made by the Western Allies of World War II on Normandy, France. The invasion was a combined naval, air and land operation. Gliders could put troops and equipment such as anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft guns and small vehicles, such as jeeps, in a concentrated area. Many American troops were delivered to Normandy on the evening of June 5 and the morning of June 6. The WACO CG-4A glider was designed by the WACO Aircraft Company in Troy and 1,074 of the gliders used in the assault were constructed at Troy’s WACO factory.

In an effort to honor veterans and inform the public of the role of the WACO Factory and of the CG-4A glider in World War II, WACO Air Museum will be having special events throughout the day. WACO Air Museum will have extend hours of operation on this day, staying open until 8:30 p.m.

Some of the special events include a full showing of “Silent Wings: The American Glider Pilots of World War II,” at both 10 a.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. (popcorn is provided,) The museum, in coordination with the Miami Valley Veteran’s Museum, will also highlight the WACO glider display.

WWII Veteran Bill Deam, a B-26 Marauder pilot, will be present from 1-3 p.m. to share his WWII experiences with museum guests between 1-3 p.m. Deam is credited with 65 combat missions and served in the 9th AAF in Europe, with the 394th Bomb Group, 587 Bomb Squadron. He participated in two D-Day missions.

At 2 p.m., WACO historian Val Dahlem will share a presentation on the development of the Waco glider. A brief description of the job the CG-4A did in Operation Overlord will be covered, as well as how the glider design was developed and how glider tactics evolved.

Museum admissions will be free for all veterans and accompanying family, active military with an ID, and former WACO employees for this special event. Admission for others is $6 per adult and $3 per student. WACO Air Museum is located at 1865 South County Road 25A in Troy. For questions, please call (937) 335-9226 or visit www.wacoairmuseum.org