When the Utah Wing of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) got together with the Arizona Wing to organize the third annual Warbird Round Up at the Ogden Hinckley Airport, plans were for at least 11 types of historic aircraft to be on display.
Among guests scheduled to arrive were Alden Rigby, World War II veteran fighter pilot, and members of the Rexburg Legacy Flight Museum in Idaho who flew down three P-51 Mustangs, the Mormon Mustang, the Section Eight and Old Yeller.
John Bagley, a co-founder of the museum, said if it weren't for the P-51 Mustang, the Germans would have won the war.
"It's a part of history. When you fly (the P-51) you feel like you're tied in with history," said Bagley. "It honors our veterans who fought and died and fought and lived for us. I think every time we fly them it honors them."
Brad Devow, another member of the Rexburg group, loves the historic aircraft. He said they take particular care to consult previous pilots and get photos in order to match paint schemes.
"We are a city nonprofit entity," said Devow. The museum is leased to the city of Rexburg for $1 and the city runs it with volunteers.
The majority of the airplanes in the museum are flight worthy.
John Hammans, Utah wing commander of the CAF, said July 21, that ever since he was a kid and his dad was a flight instructor, he has been around airplanes.
He served in the Air Force and always dreamed of being a fighter pilot. He's found a way to fulfill his dream through the CAF and his own restoration work with Ultimate Aviation which works on historic aircraft such as the C-45 Expeditor, on display at the airport as part of the event. "That's been a labor of love, getting that taken care of and back up and airworthy," said Hammans.
He's excited about a B-26 Marauder the company is working on which isn't ready for flight yet.
"We are doing a ground up restoration on that," said Hammans.
"We rebuild, restore and maintain these airplanes," he said. With military specific numbers for the paints it's easy to find matches for most of the colors, but parts are another matter. Occasionally they have to manufacture their own.
"Most of our (mechanics) are fairly experienced; they started in general aviation or something of that sort," said Hammans. "It is a joy to rub elbows with them. You can learn a lot of interesting things that they did in the 1940s."
He said the planes were created to be fairly simple to fly because they were taking 19-year-olds and 18-year-olds from the farms and teaching them how to operate the machines during World War II.
"It's funny, you get a bunch of us young guys together and we're trying to figure something out and one of these old-timers walks up and says, 'You kids, you need to be doing it this way,' and he does it in two seconds, versus us spending all day on it," said Hammans.
Ultimately, the number of aircraft on display during the Warbirds Round Up varied from day to day, but vintage aircraft and experienced pilots were around to show off their aircraft and talk to folks from July 19 through 23.
Flights were available for a fee, but admission itself was no charge.
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is focused on the education of future generations regarding the history of the aircraft and the sacrifices of honored World War II veterans. The CAF owned aircraft are maintained and operated as an all-volunteer non-profit flying museum.
For more for other show locations, dates, times and costs, contact information contact Michelle Lee, at (801) 837-1084.