The first weekend of October is going to be a big one for our community, with many fantastic events at the Prescott Regional Airport (PRC). We are excited for the annual Wings Out West Airshow on Saturday, Oct. 5.
Residents and visitors of all ages will be able to enjoy aerial performances, static displays, food vendors, flight simulation and much more from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., along the Embry-Riddle Flight Line at PRC. This event represents the ongoing partnership between the City of Prescott and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, this year’s event will also play host to Guest of Honor Lt. Colonel (RET) Dave Hamilton. He is the last living Pathfinder pilot who flew on D-Day, and we are incredibly privileged to have him joining us for this year’s festivities.
Lt. Colonel Hamilton enlisted in the Army Airforce on Dec. 8, 1941, and trained as a C-47 pilot. After being assigned to the 436th Troop Carrier Group, 9th Air Force, the Lt. Colonel was sent to Bottesford Base in England. Following his Pathfinder Pilot training and assignment to that Unit, Lt. Colonel Hamilton dropped pathfinder paratroopers into Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944, during his first mission.
He is highly respected and admired for his service to our nation, having been honored with four Air Medals, two Presidential Unit Citations and the French Legion Medal of Honor.
What a wonderful opportunity the Wings Out West Airshow will provide for Arizona’s Patriotic City to pay homage not only to Lt. Colonel Hamilton, but to the many veterans in our community. This year, given the D-Day Anniversary, we will pay particular respect to World War II Veterans.
Prescott has the highest number of veterans per capita in the state, and showing how grateful we are for their service is a part of the fabric of our community in every way.
The fact that this family-friendly event is free to the public is one of the many reasons it is such a crowd pleaser. This is the third year that the event has been open to the public, and for the last two years it has been a great success, and we are sure this year will be no different.
In keeping with the World War II focus, this year’s event will feature a wide assortment of World War II Aircraft, on both static display and in the aerial presentations. In particular, attendees will have the opportunity to see the historic C-74 “D-Day Doll” flying in the aerial performance. The event will also include a reenactment of a combat parachute drop by the Liberty Jump Team, and attendees may also purchase a ride on a historic aircraft.
So, mark your calendars for Saturday, Oct. 5, and bring the family out to PRC for this memorable event. Gates will open to the public at 9 a.m. QCBN
For additional information about the airshow, please visit prcairport.com/wings-out-west-air-show/. We look forward to seeing you there.
By Greg Mengarelli
Greg L. Mengarelli is the mayor of the City of Prescott.