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Silent Wings Museum honoring glider pilots for 78th anniversary of D-Day

Commemoration on Saturday, Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Published: Jun. 4, 2022 at 5:52 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - June 6, 1944 is known as D-Day, the beginning of the end of the German occupation in Europe, thanks to the efforts of allied forces and the accomplishments of airborne operations conducted by United States gliders.

Silent Wings Museum is hosting a D-Day commemoration on Saturday and Sunday. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Curator at the museum, Sharon McCullar, says they do this to remember the war.

“This weekend we will be honoring the service of the United States Army Air Force glider pilots who were carrying in tens of thousands of men, ten thousand pounds of equipment,” McCullar said.

McCullar says D-Day is a story of teamwork, effort, and cooperation by allies that can’t be forgotten. She will be teaching museum-goers about D-Day and what these gliders lives were like by showing artifacts that are still used today.

“For a lot of people it’s the technology,” McCullar said. “It’s the fact that they get to see something that’s still working after 78 years.”

McCullar says it’s still important to remember their contribution, all these years later.

“Even though this happened 78 years ago today, that it’s a symbol for things that can be accomplished today,” McCullar said. “Not necessarily, not just militarily but just as a nation.”

While technology has advanced, McCullar says it’s important to remember where we came from.

“We’re all building on the work of others and we’re all building on the accomplishments of others,” McCullar said.

One of the artifacts that are still in great condition today is the SNJ4 aircraft, also known as the pilot maker, used to train pilots for World War II. Pilot Tom Vaughn says it was used as a stepping stone to learn because, in most cases, you had to learn how to fly this one first.

“You had to master this aircraft before you could go to the fleet or out into the field and into combat and fly the P51, the P40, any of the fighters, any of the frontline equipment,” Vaughn said.

McCullar says she hopes this will help people understand more about D-Day and World War II.

“Physical displays of living history materials really helps people make a connection to that service and connection to that sacrifice, even if they don’t have a World War II aero relative,” McCullar said.

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