The Stuart Air Show is thrilled to debut a new, rare, and never seen before military performance this year, an authentic World War II airborne parachute drop portraying U.S. Military units uniting to secure and hold a key bridge from German invasion, complete with large 8mm anti-aircraft guns, bombs and tanks.
Early in World War II, the German army unleashed a new weapon in the form of Airborne Assault-the delivery of highly trained forces by parachute and glider that proved extremely effective in the defeat of France in May 1940. The U.S. Military counteracted by training and equipping two divisions of airborne and glider troops, which after two years of training, were thrust into action in North Africa, then Italy, and finally in France where these elite forces cracked the bastions of the Nazi strongholds in mainland Europe.
"The express purpose of airborne and glider infantry was to seize and hold key positions until the arrival of the main forces. These critical objectives included dams, canal systems and locks, railroad junctions, but most of all bridges. An intact bridge that could bear the weight of heavy armor, was essential for a rapid thrust inland and expansion of the invasion area. The airborne fought hard to take these bridges, the Germans fought just as fiercely to take them back," explains Steve "Doc" Jones, Road to Victory Military Museum Board Member and an amateur historian. "What folks will see this year is an authentic airborne parachute drop encompassing 12 parachutists jumping in replica WWII round canopies from the jump platform of the Ticco Belle, a C-47. Once the soldiers reach the ground, they will join glider borne forces to secure and hold a key bridge, until arriving armored forces and infantry can overwhelm any counter attack."
From 40 to 60 re-enactors between the ages of 16 and 65 will be involved in the re-enactment on both Saturday, Nov. 5, and Sunday, Nov. 6 at 11:25 a.m., coming from as far away as Alabama to the north, across the state from Tampa and south from Miami. Participants will be dressed in full WWII 101 st uniforms and regalia and carry all types of small arms used in WWII from .30 caliber semi-automatic M1 Garands and M1 Carbines, and German Mauser rifles to Thompson's Tank (Tommy Gun) submachine guns and anti-tank rifles.
"The airborne parachute jump re-enactment is a first ever for the show. It is very rare in the re-enactment world and very challenging to control. Our goal with this jump, matches with our Air Show theme of 'Honoring the past, inspiring the future," said Michael Roberts, Stuart Air Show board president. "Our WWII veterans made huge sacrifices and these re-enactments help keep their memories alive and incite interest from our youth in both learning more about history and possibly serving their country in the military."
The 2016 Stuart Air Show takes to the air Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 6, 2016. Advance tickets for both the Dirty Flight Suit Party (Nov. 4) and general admission, with tickets starting at $5 for children and veterans (military identification required) are available for purchase at www.StuartAirshow.com .
The Stuart Air Show, presented this year by Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company, and Pratt & Whitey, a United Technologies Company, with Ace sponsors Martin County Airport Witham Field and TCPalm, and Air Chief Marshall sponsors Audi Stuart, Infiniti Stuart, TDBank, and Alpha Zeta, is committed to honoring the past and inspiring the future. The three-day event draws 40,000 spectators annually and is the largest air show in southern Florida.