Millville Army Air Field Museum

Museum Cancels Millville Airshow 2020 Amidst National COVID-19 State of Emergency

In light of the national COVID-19 pandemic and citing State of New Jersey and national guidelines for social distancing, the Millville Army Air Field Museum (MAAFM) has made the essential decision to cancel the 2020 Millville Wheels & Wings Airshow which was scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

“Cancelling our Millville Airshow event was an extremely difficult decision and not one taken ightly,” announced Chuck Wyble, museum president. “The MAAFM board of trustees, along with airshow director Lisa Jester, kept a positive focus on presenting this event for as long as possible. However, with the current status of COVID-19, and projections through the month of May, a decision was made that in the best interests of public safety, we must cancel our popular community fundraising event.”

The Millville Airshow was to take place on May 23 and 24, 2020, at Millville Executive Airport, with headline performers the United States Air Force F-22 Raptor Jet Demonstration Team, the US Army SOC Black Daggers parachute team, and a host of other military aircraft, aerobatics, and ground displays.

“Certainly this is not an easy decision and will require the museum to cancel numerous contracts and negotiate others,” notes Wyble. “But ultimately it is ‘safety first’ when it comes to an event of this magnitude. These are difficult times and unforeseen circumstances.” Lisa Jester, MAAFM executive director and Millville Airshow coordinator, supports these sentiments and looks toward 2021 for rescheduling the event.

“Obviously we are disappointed to have to cancel the Airshow this year,” says Jester, “plans were made many months in advance of the event. We are thankful to our event partner the SJ Cruisers Association, the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA), New Jersey Motorsports Park, area businesses that already have offered their support, and the man community security and first-responder groups who, in advance, committed time and talent for the benefit of the Millville Army Air Field Museum and its mission.

“On a brighter note, we look forward to planning a Millville Wheels & Wings Airshow for next year — at a time when the confinements of COVID-19 are lifted and people can comfortably and safely enjoy our Airshow,” continues Jester. “Enthusiasts, families, museum members, visitors and volunteers all look forward to our ‘salute to aviation’ that helps us remember the important history that took place at Millville Airport during WWII and supports the museum ongoing. The MAAFM is proud to host this great community event where we recognize history, America’s veterans and military, and promote aviation.”

In a statement from Millville Airshow producer David Schultz Airshows, LLC: “As producers of the Millville Wheels & Wings Airshow at Millville Executive Airport, we fully support the museum’s decision to cancel the event for 2020,” says David Schultz, president/ airshow coordinator.

“The Millville Airshow is recognized as a premiere aviation venue not only in the greater Philadelphia area, but also on the entire east coast. This decision was not taken lightly as we expected a very large crowd to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend at the airport and we had to weigh several factors in cancelling this event. Safety of our patrons, our performers, and the airshow staff were our paramount concern. Also the viability of the museum had to be considered.

This event is the major fundraiser for the museum. If the museum were to greatly suffer due to lack of attendance and the event’s ticket sales, then the likelihood of another event at the airport would be very small. The Millville Army Air Field Museum is a vital part of the history of southern New Jersey and of our World War II heroes. Having been a part of nearly 20 years of Millville Airport events, we support this decision by the museum for 2020 which will ensure that the Museum can remain functioning for the foreseeable future so that we can start planning for another exciting Millville Airshow in May 2021.”

About David Schultz Airshows

David Schultz Airshows LLC has been coordinating and producing airshows and aviation events for more than 25 years. They are the operations team that makes what the public sees in the air and on the ground entertaining as well as educational.

About the Millville Army Air Field Museum

The Millville Army Air Field Museum (MAAFM) preserves the history of the Millville Army Air Field, which was “America’s First Defense Airport,” dedicated by the United States War Department in 1941. Located in the original WWII Base Headquarters Building, the museum displays a large collection of WWII aviation artifacts of local and national interest. It recognizes the more than 10,000 men and women who served at Millville during WWII, including 1,500 pilots who received advanced fighter training in P-47 Thunderbolt and P-40 Warhawk fighter planes. The museum recognizes all aspects of aviation history through its displays, community events, and educational programs.

For more information please call (856) 327-2347, or e-mail ljester@p47millville.org.

The MAAFM is temporarily closed to the public until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The museum will monitor the threat regulations to determine when it is safe to re-open.