World War I and World War II impacted every American, from rationing to victory gardens to knowing someone who served. Those stories will be shared through local experiences as part of a daylong program Saturday and Sunday at Oatlands.
The former owners of the Leesburg-area estate, the Eustis family and other families in the surrounding Gleedsville community sent young men to serve and experienced tragedy with the loss of loved ones in the wars. William Corcoran Eustis, the owner of Oatlands, served as an aide and interpreter on General Pershing’s staff during World War I. During World War II, their son, Morton Eustis, served in the 82nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Armored Division, under General George S. Patton. Morton was killed in France in August 1944.
The program begins Saturday at 11 a.m. with Eric Larson’s talk on training of black soldiers to serve as U.S. Army Air Force ground crews at Chanute Field 1941. At noon, Carl Johnson, the final cadet to graduate as a Tuskegee Airman in 1946 will speak.
Other speakers during the weekend include John Heckman on ”Rats, Cooties and Mud: Life in the WWI Trenches;” Loudoun Now senior writer Margaret Morton on her reminiscences as a child during World War II; and Laura Cantor Zelman discussing letters from her father, a World War II Army doctor.
There also will be jeep rides, displays of military vehicles, vintage cars, a World War II-era singing performance, living history interpreters and re-enactors, service dog training, and activities for children. Also, on Sunday, a mobile studio will be available to record oral histories from veterans of all wars.
The event will be held Saturday, July 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, July 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food and beverage concessions will be available for purchase. Free walk-through tours of the mansion. No dogs or outside food are permitted.
The cost is $20 per family or $10 per individual. Active duty personnel and veterans are admitted free with ID.
For more the full schedule and other details go to oatlands.org/oatlands-events.