Two Events To Honor Aviation Legends

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Coming up next week, the Living Legends of Aviation, a group of famous pilots, astronauts, entrepreneurs, and others involved in the world of flight, holds its 7th annual event to honor those who have made significant contributions to aviation. On Jan. 22, in Beverly Hills, Calif., John Travolta will present awards to actor Tom Cruise and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Cruise, an accomplished aerobatic pilot, owns a P-51 Mustang, and inspired generations of moviegoers with his work in Top Gun, the highest-grossing aviation movie ever. Aldrin is one of the 12 humans who have walked on the moon. The ceremony is open to the public, but be prepared to dig deep -- tickets go for $800 each, or just $250 for the after-party only. Click here for more info. Also coming up is a one-of-a-kind event honoring the crews of the B-25s that delivered the first bombing raid on Japan in 1942. Only eight of those crew members remain, and about 40 of the airplanes are still flying. This April, seven of those survivors and 25 of the airplanes will meet in a one-time event to be held in Dayton, Ohio, to honor the Doolittle Raiders.

The B-25s will rendezvous on April 15 in Urbana, Ohio, where the crew members will be guests of the Champaign Aviation Museum. The fleet then will fly to Wright Field on Saturday, April 17, for a ceremony and public viewing. The organizers are seeking sponsors to defray expenses; contact Larry Kelley, b25driver@aol.com, for more info.