In 1972 at the Fresno, California Chandler Executive Airport, two general aviation pilots who loved the sight and sounds of WWII aircraft came up with a plan to have a warbird fly-in and called it “The Gathering of Warbirds”. They invited a P51 Mustang, a B25 Mitchel, and a Grumman Hellcat. For the next 5 years, Chandler was the “Home of the Warbirds”. Then in 1977, the Gathering of Warbirds moved to Madera Municipal Airport. For the next 14 years, the event kept growing, until a change in management moved it to the Fresno Air Terminal. However, as time passed on, the Gathering was unable to sustain itself.
In August 2016, one of the principals of the Gathering during the Madera years came up with the idea for a reunion event, and called it the Gathering of the Warbirds Reunion. This fly-in would be a reunion of same type of aircraft that attended the original airshows throughout the 70’s and 80’s, along with some of the same pilots, their children, and grandchildren. Indeed, a Reunion!
The date was set for the second Saturday in May 2017, when two P51 Mustangs attended. The following year, the number of P51 Mustangs attending had doubled. Then, on May 11, 2019, two more show Mustangs show up for a total of six P51s on the deck, along with a P47 Thunderbolt. Along with additional warbirds and more than 60 vintage cars that showed up for the Classic Car Show, 2019 proved to be the best year yet!
At the Gathering of Warbirds Reunion, our mission is to build awareness of WWII aircraft, as well as the men and women who were involved during that Era in American History. We thank you for your support and participation, and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s Gathering of Warbirds Reunion. The Gathering of Warbirds Reunion, Inc.