Warbirds take over the skies during clinic at Southern Heritage Air Foundation

Published 2:37 pm Tuesday, October 17, 2023

MOUND, La. — The roar of radial and Merlin engines filled the skies over Vicksburg and Warren County and Madison Parish over the weekend at the Southern Heritage Air Foundation and Museum held its 17th formation clinic at the Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport in Mound.

A total of 42 planes were involved in the five-day clinic that began Wednesday and continued through the weekend as pilots in AT-6 and other propeller-driven training aircraft and P-51 Mustangs worked in teams to become certified to fly in formations with other pilots.

“That’s the most we’ve ever had,” Foundation president Patty Mekus said. “The most we had before that was 30. They flew a total of 52 sorties, which is huge. And when the four ships go up, they usually burn about 80 gallons each.”

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The Commemorative Air Force’s Rise Above program honoring the Tuskegee Airman and the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPS, was featured in conjunction with the clinic and told the stories of both groups and the challenges they faced. The CAF’s red-tailed Tuskegee Airmen P-51 was at the clinic and flew a series of passes at the airport Saturday.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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