, 2022-12-25 15:02:10,
FREDERICK — Some come from military backgrounds, some come from families with legacies of service and some come seeking a thrill. But all who come to the former Frederick Army Airfield want to keep history alive, high in the sky.
Near this small southwest Oklahoma town stands a large yellow airplane hangar built in 1942 as the United States was propelled into World War II. Today, the hangar houses a former U.S. Army Air Corps cargo plane, and twice a year, it’s filled with men and women donning World War II paratrooper uniforms.
The hangar is the home of the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team, a group of servicemembers, veterans and civilians who conduct parachuting schools and aim to educate the public about military paratroopers.
“It’s keeping the legacy alive,” said Brad O’Connor, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel who serves as the group’s chief pilot. “We want to keep that knowledge base out there.”
Popularity of ‘Band of Brothers’ propelled interest in airborne demonstration team
In the mid-1990s, years after the Commemorative Air Force was established and military reenactment rose in popularity, a Vietnam veteran in McAlester teamed up with some friends to start a paratrooper school in his backyard. The World War II Airborne Demonstration Team was born.
The group camped in military tents and even dug holes for an outhouse. Students for so-called “jump school” classes were relatively few in number, but that changed when Hollywood…
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