Library Presentation Focuses on Famous WWII Pilots, Aircraft

For several years, Tony Krizan’s summer presentations at the Oakhurst Branch Library have focused on his hiking experiences in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Krizan, a local adventurer, author, photographer and aviation buff, will diverge from his usual hiking stories to discuss famous WWII pilots and their aircraft.

His slide show will feature pilots and aircraft from allied nations as well as our adversaries in the European and Pacific theaters. The presentation is scheduled from 1 – 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 in the library’s Community Room, 49044 Civic Circle Drive, Oakhurst.

“My goal is to enlighten those in the audience about the history our nation experienced during WWII and how young men ranging from 19 to 25 years old defended our country against the aggressor. Not only were they skilled at their craft, they flew the aircraft designed and built by those who believed in the same cause,” he said in a news release.

Krizan said he will present a pilot’s history of victories on both the allied and opposing forces and a history of each pilot and the aircraft they flew. He explained that a “victory” was tallied each time a pilot shot an aircraft down.

Krizan’s fascination for flying machines began when he was around eight years old and living next to his home town airport in Ohio.

“By the time I was 12 years old I was cleaning and polishing planes for different pilots or aircraft owners at the airport and by the time I was 15, I had flown in more than 40 different aircraft due to the generosity of the pilots or owners who kept their machines at the airport,” he said.

While living in California, curiosity and aircraft led Krizan to search for forgotten WWII aircraft that had crashed in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Since he was a teenager, hiking has also been a passion for Krizan who has spent more than 34 years hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Born in Ohio, Krizan moved to Southern California where he said Lockheed Aircraft, General Motors, theater arts, music and Real Estate “seasoned” his life skills.”

“During my productive working years, I always allocated time to hike in the Sierra Mountains. Writing for the Sierra Star newspaper helped hone those skills so I could share my private hiking moments in our California Mountains,” he continued.

The free presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library. For more information, call the library at 559-683-4838 or visit www.oakhurstfobl.com.