Billed as the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration”, the annual EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Fly-In and Convention will take place this July in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. For the 64th year, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), will host the iconic air show for over 500,000 aviation enthusiasts at Wittman Regional Airport from July 25-31, 2016. The EAA boasts a community of more than 180,000 members worldwide who promote and support recreational flying.

Oshkosh Airshow Partners with  U.S. WWI Centennial Commission

For 2016, the EAA has formalized a partnership between the Oshkosh Airshow, known as OSH16, and the World War One Centennial Commission (WWICC). As the 100th anniversary of American mobilization in WWI approaches in 2017, the partnership reflects the World War One theme while increasing awareness and recognition of the 4.7 million young U.S. men and women who served in uniform during World War One. The United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars has been tasked with commemorating the historical role of the United States during World War One. Considered “The Great War” at the time, it has become “the forgotten war” for many.

Pershing Park in the District of Columbia has been designated as a national World War One Memorial to further honor the service of members of the United States Armed Forces in World War One. Executive Director of the WWICC, Dan Dayton, added that “OSH16 attracts
passionate, patriotic people from all over the country and we are
thrilled to partner with them as we engage the American people in the
100th anniversary of World War One.”

Military Aircraft Comes of Age During WWI

Military aircraft was in its infancy as much of Europe entered World War One in 1914. As the first major conflict to see widespread use of powered aircraft – invented barely more than a decade before the fighting began – fighter pilots faced extreme challenges and dangers. Often flying armed only with pistols, if armed at all, pilots were vulnerable to enemy fire. Flying new, often experimental aircraft, and at the mercy of the weather, crashes were commonplace and lives were lost. By 1918, fighter planes and massive bombers were in use, armed with multiple machine guns and devastating explosive payloads. 

“World War 1 was the first time aviation attracted the interest and
investment by governments as military resources, moving from individual
inventors, with remarkable advancements in technology within a short
period of time,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities
and member benefits. “The World War One Centennial Commission brings
context and depth to our commemoration of aviation at that time, and
we’re excited to have them as part of the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”

Special Events Scheduled in Recognition of WWI Centennial Celebration

Airplanes participating at the centennial celebration in Oshkosh will
come from museums and collections throughout the U.S. including vintage
aircraft and replicas from names such as Sopwith, Fokker and Spad,
legendary in the 1914-1918 era.  In addition to vintage aircraft, historical re-enactors and other WWI displays will be on-site at Oshkosh. Historians and authors from the WWI Centennial Commission will also be present at speaking venues throughout the air show. Attendees can visit the WWI camp and access educational materials, complimentary packets of Flanders Poppy Seeds, and take a WWI helmet selfie. Activities also include four flying demonstrations on select mornings and
afternoons, with a display available throughout the week near the
Vintage Aircraft Association “Red Barn” headquarters.

Collaboration Between C. Forbes, Inc. and WWICC in Oshkosh

In collaboration with Roger Fisk, Director of Development at the WWICC, and the EAA, C. Forbes, Inc. is proud to support the efforts in Oshkosh with the design and production of commemorative items, and will be on-site to assist in this endeavor to further increase awareness of the contributions and sacrifices made a century ago.  In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to place orders for limited edition merchandise designed specifically for this event. 

As the Official Licensee for the U.S. World War One Centennial merchandise program, C. Forbes, Inc. has an extensive variety of commemorative items available at worldwar1-shop.com and www.cforbesinc.com. We also invite you to visit www.ww1cc.org to learn more about the WWICC and how you can support the efforts. From 2017 through 2019, the World War One Centennial Commission will coordinate events and activities commemorating the U.S. Centennial of The Great War.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of all merchandise will go towards funding the memorial.  

Please contact us for more information about our products and customization process. Our mission is to design, produce and present quality, custom items that tell your story. We welcome the opportunity to combine your goals with our expertise to properly commemorate your unique anniversary, event or organization.