Date: September 11, 1972
Location: Stroudsburg, PA
Newspaper: The Pocono Record
LONG POND – Final preparations for the Wings of Hope Air Show at the Pocono International Raceway, Long Pond, on Sept. 17 are progressing smoothly, according to Rev. Philip DeRea, MSC, director of the project.
Wings of Hope, Inc., is a charitable, non-sectarian organization of businessmen headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. It is largely supported by persons in various phases of aviation and all funds and equipment donated to it are used to provide airplanes and their support services to any worthy missionary enterprise, regardless of church affiliation.
Missionaries are often the only persons in remote and poverty stricken areas of the world who are interested enough in the health care and life improvement of the people there to make use of the services offered by Wings of Hope.
By sponsoring this year’s air show for the flying Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in New Guinea, Wings of Hope hopes to obtain two new airplanes to replace the mission’s well-used planes and to provide extra funds for fuel and spare parts.
Since 1968, the advantages of fast air travel have been a reality in the northern wilds of New Guinea due to persistent efforts of one priest, Father Tony Gendusa, MSC, who was once a pilot himself but now uses the services of younger pilots because twenty-six years of foreign mission work have taken their toll of his health and strength.
Through fund-raising efforts in the U.S., including two air shows he inspired, he has obtained two planes for his Catholic mission diocese in Kavieng, New Ireland, which covers an island-dotted area of over 85,000 square miles in the northern part of New Guinea.
George E. Haddaway, board chairman of Wings of Hope, enlisted for the air show an advisory board of several men in aviation industry and operations.
Many other individuals and organizations, such as Jaycees, Chambers of Commerce, pilots’ clubs, advertising agencies, and news media in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York have volunteered to help the cause.
Rod Jocelyn, of Ottsville, Pa., Pan American captain and former aerobatic pilot, offered his services as technical director of the show. He has recruited a star-studded list of performers who will provide two and one-half hours of aerial entertainment for the thousands of expected visitors.
Mario Andretti, world-famous race car driver from Nazareth, Pa., will supply extra thrills by giving rides around the Pocono race track before the show.
Joseph Reichel, Northampton county coroner, is in charge of ground operations and has lined up, on a volunteer basis, the necessary security men, parking lot attendants, fire trucks, ambulances, and members of the Civil Air Patrol to ensure a safe and efficient operation.
Showtime is 2 p.m. on Sept. 17, and the Pocono Raceway gates will be open at 12 noon for early arrivals who want to ride with Mario Andretti before the show.
Pilots flying in for the show may land without charge at the Mt. Pocono airport, where transportation to the Raceway will be furnished until 1:30 p.m.