GENESEO — The National Warplane Museum came to life over the weekend with an in-depth look into aviation history.
On July 14 several reenactors from all over the country came to bring World War II, Vietnam War, and the Korean War to life.
A reenactment group out of Toledo, Ohio participates in D-Day Conneaut.
Connor Kress, of OHIO Reenactment handled a lot to do with the World War II era.
“We have seen the actual Memphis Belle in Ohio, and we heard the Movie Memphis Belle was here. That is one of the reasons we wanted to come down,” he said. “We represent D-Day Conneaut. It is the largest World War II event in history.”
Kress was in Normandy last year, and had to get photos of certain things for his grandfather, who served in Normandy on D-Day.
“My grandfather was there on D-Day. He landed on Omaha. He is too old to go over there now, but he wanted us to take a lot of photos for him,” he said. “The people in Normandy were super friendly to us.”
Kress mentioned his grandfather doesn’t understand the appeal of reenactment.
"He wants to know why we wear the wool uniforms, because they hated them back then,” he said. “He wants to know why we act these events out.”
Kress added that the Geneseo Air Show offers something really unique to the area.
“You wouldn’t of seen this years ago,” he said. “You see all branches from all different parts of the world being represented by reenactors.”
The 82nd Airborne 505th D Company Reenactors were also representing D-Day at the Geneseo Air Show. They showed in detail on the June 6, 1944 map where the mission was for that group. Reenactors Paul DiBiaso, Kelly DiBiaso, Vince Gioscia, and Joe Potter have been doing this together for a long time. They come from Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Paul DiBiaso said that there is a chance that the group might be part of the background in a movie about this mission called “No Better Place To Die.”
“Anytime we can immerse ourselves into history and bring these first person experiences and stories to life we are very excited to do so,” Potter said. “We reflect the stories of the people that were actually there.”
DiBiaso added that keeping the memories of the Greatest Generation alive is an honor.
“These boys in high school, college, and work had to drop everything and go off to war,” he said. “They didn’t think they were doing anything heroic. They just had a purpose to do, and they did it in those days.”
Potter said that these soldier’s experiences went on untold for a long time.
“These people touched our lives. They changed the lives of everyone all around the world and in our country,” he said.
“No matter what their experience, and what they fought for they were all fighting for what they believed in. They all have a story to tell.”
There was a lot of young women and folks back at home sacrificing as well in those days, Potter added.
Finger Lakes Soaring Club of Dansville was part of the Geneseo Air Show. They had a 1940s glider available to show off to the crowd.
Cy Kastner, Finger Lakes Soaring Club member and pilot said that he took that 1940s glider from Dansville all the way to Martha’s Vineyard.
“We have three gliders in Dansville, and offer rides to people who are interested,” he said. “We have a great youth program, and we train people how to fly the gliders.”
Kastner said that you become a better pilot if you are trained on a glider.
“I have been a pilot since 1980 and I started with power planes, but I think gliders are a lot more fun,” he said. “We fixed up and rebuilt the (1940s) glider about five years ago. It is in mint condition now.”
The Finger Lakes Soaring Club meets on the weekends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dansville Municipal Airport. They can be reached at 585-335-5849 for rides, programs, and classes.