24th Annual Salute to Veterans Airshow coming this weekend

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | 5:19 p.m. CDT; updated 8:58 a.m. CDT, Saturday, May 26, 2012
Pilot Clyde Zellers of Springfield, Ill., will fly his World War II era SNJ-5 Texan Warbird, pictured here on May 28, 2011, during the annual Salute to Veterans Airshow at Columbia Regional Airport over the Memorial Day weekend.

COLUMBIA­­ — As it draws closer to the end of May, it’s time for the Memorial Day Weekend Salute to Veterans Celebration. The 2012 Salute to Veterans Airshow this weekend is free and open to the public. Here is the schedule for this weekend, including some new performances, and some tips for enjoying the event:

Wednesday to Friday


  • There has been an entrance change for the show this year. Construction at the U.S. 63/Route H intersection will require drivers to enter at Angel Lane and then take an immediate left on South Hardwick Lane. See the map for driving instructions.
  • Shuttle buses will leave from the MU Hearnes Center on Stadium Boulevard, or the Jefferson City Airport beginning at 9:15 a.m.  Tickets are $3 per person round trip. Folding chairs and collapsible strollers are permitted . 
  • Parking is free.

  • No bikes, tricycles, scooters or roller blades are allowed. No smoking inside. No pets are allowed.

  • Visitors are asked to bring folding chairs sunscreen. Hearing protection, especially for small children, is suggested, as well.

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  • The Living History Program begins. It is an opportunity for veterans to visit classrooms, school assemblies, civic clubs, scout troops, local organizations, veterans’ and nursing homes and hospitals to share their experiences.


  • At 10 a.m., the United States Army 101stAirborne “Screaming Eagles” Parachute Demonstration Team will jump from a WWII C-47 Dakota at the Smith-Cotton Junior High School Band Field in Sedalia.


  • The 24th Annual Salute to Veterans Airshow is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Columbia Regional Airport. Admission is free. More than 40 vintage and active duty military aircraft will be either in the air and/or on display. Click here to view all the demonstration teams.
  • The Honored Guests and Volunteers Banquet will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Mizzou Arena. Dwayne O’Brien, singer with Little Texas will perform his song “We Remember." Tickets are $40 a person; call 449-0018 or email for reservations.


  • The air show is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


  • The 24th Annual Salute to Veterans Parade will begin at 9:55 a.m. in downtown Columbia. The USA 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” will parachute into five intersections on Broadway, and all of the aircraft from the airshow will fly overhead as a tribute to fallen soldiers.
  • A military ceremony will take place at the Boone County Courthouse Veterans Memorial at 11 a.m. The Columbia Community band and the Boone County Fire Protection District bagpipe band will play. There will also be a 21-gun salute, followed by Echo Taps.

New highlights of the 2012 Airshow:

  • The United States Navy VFA-122 Super Hornet TACDEMO Team, also known as "The Flying Eagles" from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., will perform high and low speed maneuvering, rapid rolls and performance climbs and descents.
  • WWII BT-13 Vultee “Valiant Echoes” will fly during a 22-minute demonstration. 
  • WWII T-6 "Radial Velocity" Reno Racing Plane is a plane owned and flown by John Lohmar of St. Louis. He has raced the past four years in The Reno Air Races.
  • The Hawker Beechcraft Defense Company T-6 Texan II Demonstration Team is from Wichita, Kan. At the end of their performance, they will be a part of a "before and after" formation flight with Clyde Zellers in his SNJ Texan; and Lohmar in his WWII T-6 “Radial Velocity” Reno Racer.
  • USN C-2A Greyhound logistics aircraft, which is used to transport high-priority cargo, mail and passengers, will perform. 
  • The MU Pershing Rifles Drill Team will be performing both days of the Airshow during the Salute to the Nation Ceremony. They are the only Tri-Service Pershing Rifle Drill Team with Army, Navy and Air Force cadets and midshipmen as members.

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