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Aviation's Past Celebrated In Dayton This Week

It’s shaping up to be a big week for aviation-history lovers in Dayton. Events kicked off Monday morning with a visit from the grandson of aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh to Hawthorn Hill. The Oakwood house was home to the Wright Brothers until the late 1940s.


In June of 1927, large crowds gathered at Hawthorn Hill to see transatlantic flight pioneer Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh made a surprise stop at the Wright family home just one month after his record-setting solo nonstop flight from New York to Paris.  


Lindbergh’s grandson Erik Lindbergh reenacted that historic moment by stepping out onto the second story balcony of Hawthorn Hill. This time there were no adoring crowds. Just members of the media.


Lindbergh says it’s important to recognize Ohio’s contribution to aviation history.  


“You know, especially today as we’re living forward into reusable spacecraft and electric airplanes and cars, you know looking at where we’ve been, the changes that happened in the last hundred and ten years. That’s extraordinary," said Lindbergh.


Erik Lindbergh, himself a pilot, will spend the next few days in the Miami Valley.

He plans to visit other aviation sites including the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park -- where the Wright Brother’s first airplane factory still stands.


Lindbergh also plans to tour the National Museum of the United States Air Force.


And he’ll be on hand for Tuesday’s observance of the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.

The anniversary marks the events of April 18, 1942. That’s when 80 men in 16 B-25 bombers took off on a secret mission to bomb Japan. They were led by James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle.


“It doesn’t really get any crazier than that, sacrificing yourself for your country. That’s incredibly poignant.”  

The bombing was in response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. The museum’s Memorial Park will commemorate the mission with a special memorial service and a flyover of 17 B-25 bombers.