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Welcome to 

   Florida Warbird Squadron 24 lAKELAND, FL




The time has come to address the future of the Squadron.  Over the last few years we have seen a dramatic reduction in members who actively support the Squadron and our activities.  The COVID-19 pandemic only made the situation more dire.

Objectively, we have to accept that we are an aging community.  To remain viable, active Squadron members must pull together in all of our Warbird efforts and commit itself to supporting our fly-in, fund raising and outreach activities.This is an outstanding group of individuals consisting of Warbird owners, operators, pilots, ground personnel and enthusiasts.  As a statewide organization one of our greatest challenges is maintaining the connections that define us as Florida’s Warbird community.  To better serve the Squadron membership and keep our community connected, we will implement the following measures:

1.  The Calendar of Events has been met with wide-spread acclaim and will soon resume publication.

2.  Squadron communication will be reworked as a member benefit  to those who continue to support our existence through membership. 
3.  To encourage greater event participation, we are moving the Squadron Headquarters to the centrally located Warbirds of America Building on the Sun ‘n Fun Campus in Lakeland.  We will also suspend monthly meetings and, to make our gatherings more valuable, either adopt quarterly meetings or, alternatively, sponsor meetings that are combined with fly-in events/cookouts.

The following individuals have proudly  volunteered to step up and continue Wabird Squadron 24.  It is essential that we have active Board members to continue operations.  Your new Board is as follows:

Doug Freeman - President
Matt Lazar - Vice President
Mike Daughtry - Secretary
Steve Ritzi - Treasurer
Tom Carlin - Membership
Gary Donovan - Board Member
Dennis O'Keefe - Board Member

Finally, Lynn and I have commitments beyond the Squadron and frankly, we are exhausted after so many years at the helm.  My current duties as Warbirds of America National President require my attention.  We believe in the Squadron, its mission, and will continue to support and participate as often as we can but will no longer carry the mantle.  We have enjoyed being a part of this vibrant and enthusiastic group.

Steve Ritzi has been a big help in managing the organization and will be communicating with the reduced membership list regarding the reconfiguration.

A big thank you to all of you that have paid their dues and been supportive over the long haul. You are what keeps us connected.


Jim "Zack" Olzacki, President (former)

MEETING DATES            


Florida Warbirds EAA Warbird Squadron 24

Squadron Gathering & Meeting

Saturday, August 14, 2021  10:30 AM
Warbirds of America Building
Sun 'n  Fun Campus
Lakeland-Linder International Airport (KLAL)

On Saturday, August 14th  - Squadron 24 will be holding its first combined  Fly-In Gathering & Membership Meeting at the Warbirds of America Building on the Sun 'n Fun Campus, Lakeland-Linder International Airport (KLAL).  For those flying in, there will be plenty of ramp space on the Warbird Ramp and acres of parking for those driving in. 

If you will be attending, please RSVP by clicking the following link.


In response to the COVID-19 Delta outbreak, the Warbird Building will be sanitized for the August 14th meeting. Masks will be available but not mandatory. Sanitizers will be placed for your convenience. We strive to make everyone comfortable giving all the opportunity of personal choice.

Hope all went well for those who went to Oshkosh. See you August 14th, 10:30 AM at KLAL.

If  you have any questions, please contact Doug Freeman, Squadron President at wbsquadron24@gmail.com


JULY 2021

Squadron News July 2021

New Squadron Officers & Board Members

We are pleased to announce Squadron 24 Officers and Board Members for 2021.  They are:
  • Doug Freeman, President
  • Matt Lazar, Vice President
  • Mike Daughtry, Secretary
  • Steve Ritzi, Treasurer
  • Gary Donovan, Director
  • Dennis O'Keefe, Director
  • Tom Carlin, Membership Coordinator

President's Message

As your new President I am looking forward to helping grow the Squadron. Many of you know me as the Sun 'n Fun Warbird Line Chief. When Zack asked me if I would be the Commander/President I was honored.  I have a great rapport with Lakeland Linder International Airport, the Control Tower and Sun 'n Fun.  They are all on board to assist with anything we decide to do.

I am looking forward to meeting all at our first meeting in August.  If you are going to Oshkosh, "Blue Skies"!

Best Regards,
Doug Freeman

Next Squadron Meeting Saturday, August 14, 2021

With COVID-19 restrictions decreasing and life returning to something that looks like normal, planning is underway for a combined flying event and meeting on Saturday, August 14, 2021.  The event will be held at the EAA Warbirds of America Building and Warbird Ramp on the Sun 'n Fun Campus at KLAL.  Stay tuned for additional details!

New Meeting Format

In an effort to make meetings more valuable, the Squadron will be combining future meetings with a flying event.  While the format is still being formulated, it is anticipated that a combination of a fly-in cookout, formation practice, and coordinating demonstration "hops" in Squadron member aircraft will be part of the mix. 

Also, based on our experience with Zoom Meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working to keep them part of the meeting format.  We hope this will allow our members from across the State and around the Country the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of Squadron events when they unable to join in person.

Squadron Headquarters Relocation

The Squadron has relocated operations to the EAA Warbird of America Building on the Sun 'n Fun campus in Lakeland.  This Central Florida location will make meetings and events accessible to more of the Squadron's statewide membership.  The adjacent Warbird ramp also provides plenty of room for aircraft of all sizes for fly-in activities and meetings.  

Thank You Zack, Lynn & Board Members

Join us in extending out thanks to Zack and Lynn Olzacki for their leadership and efforts in running the Squadron for the last twelve years.  Zack's leadership as President and Lynn's work as our Secretary, Membership Chair and Social Media Editor kept the organization on firm footing and ushered in an era of tremendous growth for the Squadron.  We appreciate all you have done.  Although Zack has turned over the reins of the organization, we continue to benefit from his leadership as he now serves as the President of Warbirds of America, our national organization.

We also recognize the efforts and contribution of our outgoing officers and board members Joe Fouth, John Strickland and Jim Lyons.  Their guidance and counsel in Squadron affairs over the years has been invaluable.  Thank you for your service to the Squadron, it is greatly appreciated!

Florida Wardbirds Seeks Social Media Editor

If you have an interest in supporting the Squadron through volunteer activities, we have an opening for a Social Media Editor.  If you enjoy working with people, have a knack for content creation and experience with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, SnapChat, TikTok, and other social media platforms, we'd like to hear from you!  For more information please feel free to contact us at wbsquadron24@gmail.com

Items for Squadron News?

Do you have any news you'd like to share with the Squadron?  Please feel free to email warbird news, photos or stories to steve@ritzi.com

Support the Squadron with Amazon Smile

If you are an Amazon member, its easy to support the Squadron by shopping at www.smile.amazon.com .   A portion of every purchase made will will go to the Squadron when you select Florida Warbirds EAA Warbird Squadron 24, Inc. as your preferred charity!
Amazon Smile
A Publication of Florida Warbirds EAA Warbird Squadron 24, Inc.
4175 Medulla Rd. Lakeland,Florida. 33811 USA

**If you haven't sent in your dues for 2021, please do so ASAP.**
    Thank you.

Support Florida Warbirds Squadron 24 through Amazon Smile
Click the above link for more information.

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Check out what we've been doing and upcoming events on the EVENTS tab on the left (above).

EAA Warbirds of America:  
Keep 'Em Flying!

Why do our members restore and fly ex-military aircraft? Why do our members go to great lengths to save one aircraft from extinction?

Quite simply, it's about the preservation of military aviation history and to tell a story. To see a warbird displayed in a museum brings a sense of wonder. But to experience the presence of a warbird with all of the senses is awe-inspiring. To touch it, to see it in flight, to experience flight, to hear the roar of the engine is nothing short of exhilarating.

That experience reminds us of the sacrifices made by veterans who flew these aircraft in combat in order for us to enjoy the freedoms  and these aircraft we take for granted today. Those freedoms are not without cost.

Doug Freeman