For two unforgettable days, WWII Prisoners of War will re-open their traumatic pasts and make history books come to life as part of Fantasy of Flight‘s final installation of this year’s Legends & Legacies Symposium Series. “The Great Escape: Heroes Underground” features former WWII POWs willing to share their inspiring stories of courage over catastrophe. The attraction will host this POW-focused symposium for the second time as part of its incredibly popular series, now in its third year.
Worldwide, only a small fraction of the nearly 100,000 World War II POWs are alive today. Taking the stage at Fantasy of Flight’s Officers’ Club, several of these American heroes will field questions about piloting B-24s and other World War II aircraft, surviving flying trauma and the days and weeks that followed their captures. While their stories may disturb, perhaps even shock, they will offer a realistic depiction of what these fierce young pilots faced as they overcame a psychological battlefield of interrogation, isolation and perilous conditions.
Fantasy of Flight will host this riveting symposium on Friday, Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15.
“More than 60 years ago, these men were young pilots who risked not only their lives for our country, but had their psychological boundaries tested to unimaginable limits as they were held captive behind enemy lines.” said Kim Long, General Manager of Fantasy of Flight. “We’re confident our guests will be inspired by the stories they hear.”
The event will feature the decorated POW heroes in an open-forum/question-and-answer session, each day at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and each will be followed by an autograph-signing session with the American heroes. Fantasy of Flight guests can purchase items from the attraction’s gift shop offering a plethora of aviation-themed gifts, books, apparel and more or may bring items to be signed. Guests are asked to limit items to be autographed to two per person per hero.
In the meantime, the attraction is lining up the “2012 Legends & Legacies Symposium Series“ which will bring a bounty of new and exciting events including: “They Dared to Fly” Featuring Tuskegee Airmen, Thursday, Feb. 9 – Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012; “Breaking all Barriers: Amazing Women in American History” Featuring WWII WASP (Women Air Force Service Pilots), Friday, March 2 – Saturday, March 3, 2012; “Unspoken Valor: The Bomber Crews of World War II,“ Friday, April 13 – Saturday, April 14, 2012; “D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy,” Friday, May 11 – Saturday, May 12, 2011; “Reflections of Vietnam,” Friday, June 8 – Saturday, June 9, 2012 and “Letters Home: Love, Courage & Survival,” Friday, Oct. 12 – Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012.
But there are even more stories to be told and more lives to be touched. Fantasy of Flight is committed to finding more war heroes and bringing them to Central Florida’s premiere aviation attraction. WWII Pilots, Soldiers, Flight Nurses, WASP and even Rosie the Riveters are encouraged to contact Fantasy of Flight for upcoming “Legends & Legacies Symposium Series.” If interested, please contact Stephanie Conner at 863-984-3500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cost of each Legends & Legacies Symposium Series is included with Fantasy of Flight admission, which is $28.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages 6-15, plus 7 percent sales tax. Children 5 and younger are free. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Annual passes are available for $69.95 for adults, $39.95 for children ages 6-15, plus 7 percent sales tax, and are good for one year from the date of purchase.
Fantasy of Flight also hosts a number of other special events throughout the year. Remaining events include Roar n’ Soar, which takes place Sat., Nov. 12 and Sun., Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (gates open at 9 a.m.) at the attraction’s spacious lakefront grounds and airfield in Polk City, Fla., midway between Orlando and Tampa.
For more information, call 863-984-3500 or visit www.fantasyofflight.com.