On heels of deadly plane crash, Collings Foundation hosts WWII re-enactment

On heels of deadly plane crash, Collings Foundation hosts WWII re-enactment

“It’s been a really long week for all of us,” said Collings Foundation’s Director of Marketing Hunter Chaney, choking up during its Battle for the Airfield living history event on Saturday. Following the deadly vintage plane crash, taking the lives of seven associated with the foundation, over 200 attended the World War II re-enactment, featuring two veterans sharing their stories from oversees. STOW – “Do you like guns?” Seventeen-year-old Milford resident Alfred Consigli was asked this by a military officer after passing his physical before being drafted into World War II. Enthusiastically, he said “yes.” “That was a huge mistake,” says Consigli now, more than seven decades later as an Upton resident, wearing a “WWII Veteran” cap during a veteran roundtable at the Battle for the Airfield – a World War II re-enactment – hosted by the Collings Foundation. Consigli served in the 774th Black Cat Tank Battalion as a sharpshooter on a tank nicknamed Blood-N-Guts, serving for more than a year until he was honorably discharged. He was 17 when he was drafted in 1943, joining seven of his brothers who all served at once. Of all nine of his brothers, he has just one left. While in Belgium, Consigli recounted the time an infantrymen asked him to drive his tank up another route, over a different hill. Upon crossing that hill, he was met with hundreds of dead American and German soldiers sprayed across the road. “Our tank had to run over the American soldiers’ legs,” he said, driving further up only to be met with more bodies, many stacked on top of one another in trenches. “I can still see them,” he said. An hour before Consigli spoke, along with fellow veteran Fred McKenna, a much milder version of their experience was re-created outside by more […]

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