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WWII Vets to Share Experiences Saturday at AirVenture Museum

September 29, 2011 – Hear the personal stories of heroism firsthand as a panel of World War II veterans share their recollections of service and sacrifice during a special forum on Saturday, October 1, at EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh. The moderated forum, which runs from 2-3 p.m., is included with regular museum admission and will feature several veterans sharing their own personal stories from combat in the war-torn sky over Europe.

Among the confirmed panelists are:

  • William Bergner, who was a B-17 Flying Fortress radar operator and technician with the 327th Bomb Squadron of the 92nd Bomb Group, 8th Air Force. Grounded by the squadron flight surgeon while in England, Bergner spent the duration of his overseas tour installing and repairing radar sets in B-17s. 
  • William Hartshorn, who was a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group, 8th Air Force. He was shot down on his 26th mission on Sept. 18, 1944, while flying in support of Operation Market Garden.
  • Victor Bast, who also flew P-47s with the 61st Fighter Squadron of the 56th Fighter Group.
  • William Meier, who was a B-17 Flying Fortress bombardier assigned to the 413th Bomb Squadron of the 96th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force.Chet Gardeski was a B-17 flight engineer with the 305th Bomb Group.
  • John Rosenberg, who was a B-24 tail gunner with the 392nd Bomb Group
  • John Gibbons, who was a B-17 pilot with the "Bloody Hundredth" 100th Bomb Group.

The forum will be held in conjunction with the inaugural EAA ScaleVenture static model contest, which will feature plastic scale model builders showcasing scaled, detailed replications of aircraft as well as automobile, ship, and armor models.

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