Red River Thunder Air Show Teaches Kids History

Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 11:15 AM CDT
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ALTUS, Okla. (KSWO) - The Altus Air Force Base opened their gates and flew historical aircraft for the public for the first time in five years on Saturday, at the Red River Thunder Air Show.

“I’ve seen movies, I’ve heard all the things about some of those planes and so it’s really neat to see them in action,” air show attendee Jaymi Slater said.

The event celebrated the last 75 years of the Air Force, since its establishment in 1947, by showing off aircraft throughout the decades.

Families experienced history firsthand by touring planes and talking to the pilots and crew members.

“Trying to tap into their imagination and what it was like to fly in this thing, and to do what these guys did, it’s really about that,” A-26 ‘Lady Liberty’ Squadron Leader Henry Klempan said.

One plane’s pilot said air shows are a more engaging way to teach kids about the Air Force.

“The history of World War II in the history books is maybe four pages and they don’t talk anything about air power. We know that air power was the deciding factor,” A-26 ‘Lady Liberty’ Pilot Mark Novak said.

One parent said she could see her kids become more invested in the history of the Air Force as they saw the planes and heard the airmen’s stories.

“It’s like a whole ‘nother level of learning,” Slater said.

The A-26 squadron said by teaching lessons about history and how the Air Force has grown and influenced the United States, they are contributing to a better future.

“We don’t want to have to experience those things and put the world really through that kind of thing again. So, part of the education is this is, what they had to do, this is how the country came together to fight evil,” Klempan said.