Tifton Gazette

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May 31, 2014

Local event to mark D-Day’s 70th anniversary

ADEL —  Area veterans and military history preservationists are planning special events on June 6 and 7 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, the turning point of World War II.

The activities held at Horse Creek Winery in Sparks will feature displays of World War II-era vehicles and weapons, such as Sherman tanks, jeeps and rifles, and performances each evening by Michael Allman and his band from Atlanta. Michael is the son of the legendary rock musician Gregg Allman.

Business sponsorships are still being sought for the D-Day commemoration, said Tom Skinner, an organizer of the event. Skinner said the D-Day anniversary should bring international recognition to Sparks and Cook County. An episode of a television reality show featuring military preservationist Russell Deese of Bold Springs, near Cairo, will be filmed at the Horse Creek Winery event. Deese locates and restores military vehicles from all over the world.

The TV show is expected to air in September. The production company works for the History and Discovery channels. Segments also are expected to be filmed involving the pre-Civil War McDermid House near Sparks and local preservationist Alton Holloway’s collection of military vehicles, Skinner said.

Area collectors expected to provide vehicles, memorabilia and equipment for the D-Day anniversary event include Buddy Bryan of Tifton, who will bring two World War II tanks; Don Brooks of Douglas, who will bring a jeep and half-track with four .50-caliber machine guns (Quad 50s); Mark Stinnett of Gainesville; Bill Hines of Jacksonville, Fla.; Tim Oliver of Valdosta; a Waycross collector of British memorabilia from World War II; Holloway; and Skinner. Some re-enactors will be dressed in WWII era uniforms.

The schedule of events will be:

- June 6 - opening of event at 8 a.m.; presentation of colors, ceremony honoring living and deceased World War II veterans conducted by the Military Vehicle Preservation Association and Vietnam Veterans of America at 11 a.m.; firing of cannons (blanks) on tanks across field at 2 p.m.; and performance by Michael Allman and his band at 6 p.m. On display will be 100 weapons, equipment and medical supplies. The VVA will hold their drawing for an M1 carbine formerly used by a Vietnam veteran.

- June 7 - opening of event at 8 a.m. and performance by Michael Allman and his band at 6 p.m.

Contact Skinner at 848-1536 for more information.

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