Historic World War II plane returns to Geneseo Airshow

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Geneseo Airshow is back this weekend at the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo.

News10NBC’s Bekka Fifield got an extra special preview.

She got to board Whiskey 7, a famous World War II plane, to see Rochester from 1,000 feet above!

Whiskey 7 is an original World War II airplane that flew over the beaches of Normandy and will be featured at this weekend’s Geneseo Airshow.

The plane was built in 1943 and was the lead plane in the second wave of the invasion of Normandy.

“On that second wave there was approximately 20 some odd paratroopers that jumped that day. Among all of the jumpers was this gentleman, his name was Les Cruise,” Cabin Safety Officer Doug Huck said.

(Note: When we searched Leslie’s name online, it was spelled Cruz. However, the way his name is written on the plane is Cruise)

Les Cruise was the last surviving man who jumped from Whiskey 7 to the beach that day.

“Particularly in 2014, we took him to Normandy where he did his initial jump and we were very honored to get to know him. He unfortunately passed away within the last year,” Huck said.

After the war, the plane came back to the U.S. and was used as an airliner and cargo plane. Now they’re trying to restore her to what she once was.

“We’re continuing to operate her but because she was a cargo plane, all the military equipment from the war was stripped out. So we are looking for, purchasing, and installing as we go,” Volunteer and Pilot with the National War Plane Museum Craig Wadsworth said.

The volunteers who board the flight with you will also try to make it as authentic as possible.

“This is the summer issue uniform for the Women’s Army Corp or WAC- Specifically Air WAC. Women who serviced the 9th Airforce when they were stationed in Sicily and England. Whiskey 7 was part of the 9th Airforce,” Volunteer at the National War Plane Museum Bevin Lynn said.