Special Guests and Speakers

The following roster of our scheduled Special Guests and Speakers is updated as guests are confirmed. Each Guest is scheduled to appear on the days noted in their details. WWII Weekend Special Guest speakers’ schedules are posted at each speaker’s venue at the show. At other times, many of these veterans will be available to meet and sign autographs at tables in the main hangar. Autograph fees may be charged by the Special Guest. 

Appearing All 3 Days

B-25 Radioman/Tail Gunner

38 Combat Missions and 27 Non-Combat Missions

Pacific Theater of Operations

Quentin Stambaugh

TSgt

345th Bomb Group

5th Air Force

Appearing All 3 Days

B-17 Pilot/Lead Crew

Distinguished Flying Cross

25 Missions over Europe

European Theater of Operations

Ray Firmani

1Lt USAAF

835th Squadron

486th Bomb Group

8th Air Force

Appearing Saturday  

Awarded Two Bronze Stars

Battle of the Bulge, Siegfried Line and Leipzig

European Theater of Operations

John M. Fleming

SSgt. USA, 271st Regt.

69th Div., 2nd Army

Combat Infantryman, Mechanic

Appearing Saturday  

Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations

Victor Friscia

Gunner’s Mate 1st Class

USN, USS LST-341

Appearing Friday      

B-17 and B-24 Mechanic in Foggia, Italy

European Theater of Operations

George Focht, Jr.

Sergeant, USA

49th Bomb Sqdn

2nd Bomb Group

15th Air Force

    Appearing Saturday and Sunday   

Launched Amphibious Assaults, Combated Kamikaze Attacks, Invasions of Lingayen Gulf and Okinawa

Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations

Arthur Grabiner

Yeoman 2nd Class, USN

USS Laurens (APA-153)

  Appearing Saturday   

Crewmember on General MacArthur’s Command Ship

Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations

Chuck Kline

BM3, USN

USS Wasatch (AGC-9)

     Appearing All 3 Days     

Responsible for Preparation of Information Required for Bombing Missions

Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations

Norris Jernigan

Corporal, USAAF

393rd Bomb Sqdn.

(VH) 509th Composite Grp.

       Appearing Friday      

Served with the Occupational Forces in Japan, post-war

Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations

William Myers

Corporal, USA

114th Combat Engineer Bn.

32nd Infantry Div.

1777 Engineering Construction Bn, Philippines

   Appearing Sunday    

Landed at Normandy on D-Day +22

Battle of the Bulge Veteran

European Theater of Operations

Ben Berry

Corporal (Tech 5), USA

78th Quartermaster Bn.

3rd Army

     Saturday Only    

20mm Gunner on a Fletcher Class Destroyer with 16 Battle Stars

Awarded the Silver Star for Shooting Down a Kamikaze Before it Could Hit His Ship

Pacific Theater of Operations

Edward Czechowski

Coxswain, USN

USS Safely (DD465)

     Appearing Saturday      

Manufactured Parts for Aircraft and Other Weapons

Home Front

Dorothy Trate

“Rosie the Riveter”

Punch Press Operator

   Appearing All 3 Days    

Born in Germany in 1934, at Age 9, he Became a Member of the “Deutsches Jungvolk” (DJ) a Hitler Youth Group Mandatory for Boys Aged 10-14

Hermann Pfisterer

Deutsches Jungvolk

    Guest Speakers

Jim Belcher Jr is a retired Director of Quality for military defense systems.  He is an “Honorary Survivor of the USS Indianapolis” and an “Honorary Colonel 116th Infantry Regiment 29th Division”.  He served four years in the US Air Force at Hanscom AFB, MA, in Systems Command R&D.  Jim teaches and speaks frequently at DOD and veterans’ events, public & private schools, universities and defense contractor facilities. He has authored numerous magazine articles, a book chapter, hosted a newspaper column and appeared in international history documentaries, YouTube videos, radio and news stories. He hosts two Facebook history education groups…WWII History School & Public Presentations, and USS Indianapolis CA-35 Artifacts, Memorabilia and Collectibles. 

Jim was a duel citizen at birth, born at Yokosuka Naval Hospital, Japan, the oldest son of retired US Navy Chief Petty Officer James Belcher of Abbeville, Alabama, and Toyoko Inoue of Sasebo, Japan.  His father was one of 1195 men on the final voyage of the famous but ill-fated WWII heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis. Chief Belcher served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, retired in 1969 and passed away 3 May 2001.  Jim’s mother Toyoko is a WWII survivor and war bride, his grandfather a Nagasaki bomb survivor and uncle a sergeant in the Imperial Japanese Army. Jim is the only Japanese-born son of a USS Indianapolis Survivor.

John Cappello, Halyard Mission Foundation

The goal of the Foundation is to educate, commemorate, and increase awareness of the Halyard Mission, the rescue of over 500 US airmen during WWII, and the role the Serbs played in the success of the mission. 

Speaking all 3 days

Ritchie History Museum

The Ritchie History Museum educates its visitors about the long history of Camp and Fort Ritchie, including the efforts of the Ritchie Boys and the role they played in defeating Hitler and Nazism. 

Jim Klein, will speak about his father, who was a Camp Ritchie-trained intelligence officer. he interrogated Erich Kempis, Adolf Hitler’s chauffeur, shortly after Hitler’s suicide. He also interacted with Oskar Schindler, and debriefed Ernest Hemingway, who had captured some German soldiers. 

Speaking Sunday

IN MEMORY OF OUR SPECIAL GUESTS WHO HAVE ANSWERED THE LAST BUGLE CALL IN THE PAST YEAR

Richard “Dick” Schimmel

1923-2/3/2024

SSgt, USA, Radio Operator

580th Signal Aircraft Warning Company

Pearl Harbor Survivor

Robert Thompson

10/17/1924-12/27/2023

SSgt. USA, Co. A

23rd Infantry Regt

2nd Infantry Division

Combat Infantryman

Normandy, Brittany, and Ardennes Campaigns

POW at Stalags in Hammelburg, Nuremberg and Moosburg

Bertram Winzer

9/17/1922-10/24/2023

1st Special Service Force

101st Airborne Division

Aleutian Islands Campaign, Naples-Foggia Italy, Rome-Arno, Southern France, and Rhineland

Awarded Purple Heart

Victor Marulli

12/1/1925 – 9/29/2023

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class, USN, Underwater Demolition Team #3 (UDT-3)

Bell Diver/ Combat Swimmer/ Frogman (forerunner of US Navy Seals)

Guam, Phillippines, Japan

Richard Deverter

6/1926-9/28/2023

PFC, USA, 4th Battalion, 49th Armored Infantry Regiment, 8th Armored Division, 3rd Army

Half Track Driver

Fought in France, Holland, and Czechoslovakia and helped liberate two concentration camps. 

Frank McCullough

11/12/1924-7/23/2023

Tech Sgt. USAAF, 391st Bomb Sqdn., 34th Bombardment Group, 8th AF

B-17 Engineer/ Top Turret Gunner

34 Missions over Europe

Distinguished Flying Cross

Ralph Foulks

10/24/1924-7/11/2023

United States Navy

USS Hornet

SB2C Helldiver Radio Op/Gunner

Distinguished Flying Cross

If you are interested in being a Special Guest at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum’s World War II Weekend next year, please contact the museum via email, no later than October 1st for consideration at the following June event. Special Guests are considered for autographs, book or print signings, and as speakers regarding their military or War effort experiences. 

WWII Weekend Special Guests and WWII Aircraft are scheduled to attend in the best of faith by all parties. Unfortunately, last minute health concerns, weather factors, and other unexpected issues may prevent attendance. Scheduled times and venues are subject to change because of these possibilities. We apologize should this occur, however we offer no refunds or reductions.