To all WASP and Volunteer Pilots:
We are finishing up the WASP/aircraft assignments today. This information will be mailed to the WASP no later than Saturday.
We would like to thank Lana Kraeszig for spearheading the pilot recruitment efforts. She has done an incredible job and we give her a BIG THANKS for helping make Operation Fifinella “fly” … pun intended!
A BIG THANKS to all the volunteer pilots who have come forward to make this ”historic flight” possible. Lana will be in touch with all the pilots regarding WASP/aircraft assignments and continued flight briefings. More information on this will be posted on the website next week.
Also, so important to making Operation Fifinella possible – our SPONSORS and DONORS! Although we continue to update our Sponsor and Donor list, I want to recognize these individuals, organizations and companies again.
- Lisa Renshaw, through her company Blu Dove Design, stepped forward at the beginning of our planning of Operation Fifinella to donate her services to design and host this beautiful website, design our advertising and become a committee member. She will be travelling to Texas to help us organize Operation Fifinella and attend the Reunion in Irving.
- Caroline Collings and the Collings Foundation (thanks Rob!) – The Collings Foundation has flown more than 50 WASP over the years in the “Wings of Freedom Tour” WWII bombers. Caroline, the only ”typed” female B-24 pilot in history, was the first to come forward with a very generous financial contribution from the Collings Foundation to help kick-start our efforts with Operation Fifinella. Due to scheduling conflicts (her best friend is getting married in Sweden), she is unable to participate in this flight, but she will be with us in spirit and sends her love to the WASP.
-Trade-a-Plane publisher, Carolyn Flick, – Carolyn donated 2 months of advertising in Trade-a-Plane, an internationally distributed aviation publication, to help us recruit pilots and raise awareness of WASP and Operation Fifinella. Much thanks also to Rachel C Hill, Display Advertising Manager, who has been our liaison and helped us with the advertising.
- Michael Potapow, Wings of Dreams Founding Director – Mike’s first “close encounter” with WASP was at the Wings of Freedom Tour that Wings of Dreams hosted at Keystone Heights Airport (Florida). He was one of the volunteer pilots who flew WASP Bee Haydu and Helen Snapp so they could attend our event. Through Mike’s contribution and fuel sponsorship we now have the 20-seat DC-3 to transport WASP, escorts and volunteers to Avenger Field. Thanks so much Mike!
-Pace Family - Mr. J. C. Pace Sr. has a close connection and historical link with the WASP and Avenger Field that dates back to 1940s, where he served as one of WASP instructors. Thanks to the entire Pace family for your support of the WASP and Operation Fifinella.
- National WASP WWII Museum and Museum Director Marianne Wood – Our host at Avenger Field! We are excited to have our luncheon, program and presentations at the museum. Thank you, Marianne and your board, for all your support and helping us bring our WASP “home” again.
Thank you Donors! Your financial assistance is helping us make this happen!
Piper Aircraft (More to come on Piper Aircraft’s role in the “original Operation Fifinella” in the 1945)
Mary Jane & Raymond Finnegan
We still need financial assistance through Sponsorships and Donations. Please click on our “Donate” link and help support Operation Fifinella!
Susan King, Co-organizer – Operation Fifinella