GENESEO – The National Warplane Museum in Geneseo launched The Living History Experience and school field trip program on Friday with a ribbon cutting at its new WWII briefing room.
The program will put visitors directly into the seats of soldiers briefing for harrowing missions on D-Day, June 6, 1944, in Normandy, France. Reenactors with H Company 505th 82nd Airborne in full WWII gear will brief participants on the mission, the gear and the history, and then visitors can march to the museum’s flying C-47, Whiskey 7, which itself dropped paratroopers over Normandy on D-Day. The museum hopes to instill firsthand appreciation of the danger and sacrifice that was necessary for American military personnel to survive and succeed in the war.
“We are excited to have this program available to all of our visitors but especially to our school students,” said Museum President Austin Wadsworth. “The ability to experience even a small part of what their friends or family members from generations ago helps to bring those stories to the forefront of the younger generation.”
The museum wasted no time bringing in visitors for The Living History Experience. After Friday morning’s ribbon cutting, over 40 students from Rochester arrived at the museum to participate in the full program.
The reenactors are looking forward to doing what they do best in the shadow of the museum’s historic aircraft and artifacts, like Whiskey 7. The Movie Memphis Belle, the B-17 bomber which portrayed the legendary Memphis Belle, will be a stone’s throw away.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the National Warplane Museum,” said Scott Clark with H Company 505th 82nd Airborne. “This gives us the opportunity to remember the history and sacrifices of our WWII soldiers.”
The Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce and Livingston County Tourism congratulated the National Warplane Museum for continuing to make itself a regional destination.
“Tourism is a major industry in Livingston County, we recognize that, and we appreciate that you’re not only contributing to tourism but adding exhibits so that people will come and stay longer, and spend more money in the community,” said Elissa Leuer with the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.
Congressman Chris Collins issued a Congressional Certificate in recognition for the opening of the new exhibit.
The Living History Experience is available to individuals, families, groups and schools, by appointment. You can call the museum at (585) 243-2100 or email NationalWarplaneMuseum@gmail.com.