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Flight Plans Newsletter

World War II Veteran Pilot Recalls Wartime Glider Operations

Maj. Bob Swenson talks about piloting "the flying coffins" of the War

SEATTLE, May 2, 2014--On May 10, World War II veteran pilot Bob Swenson will talk about his experiences flying troop-carrying gliders in massive airborne assaults over Europe in 1945. Swenson served with the 435th Troop Carrier Group during Operation Varsity, an Allied invasion of western Germany that consisted of over 3,000 gliders, fighters and transport aircraft.

After landing their gliders during this operation, Swenson and other glider pilots joined Allied troops in heroic combat while defeating their German attackers in what became known as the "Battle of Burp Gun Corner." Speaking with Swenson will be Patricia Overman, whose father E. Lee Whitmire also served in Swenon's glider Group. The 1 p.m. lecture is free with admission to the Museum.

Image: Hundreds of CG-4 troop-carrying gliders and C-47 towplanes prepare for takeoff during World War II.
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The independent, non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world, attracting more than 500,000 visitors annually. The Museum's collection includes more than 160 historically significant air- and spacecraft, the original manufacturing facility of The Boeing Co., and the world's only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer. The Museum's aviation and space library and archives are the largest on the West Coast. More than 100,000 individuals are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs. The Museum of Flight is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $19 for adults, $16 for seniors 65 and older, $16 for active military, $11 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. McCormick & Schmick's Wings Café is on site. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit

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