In the century since the first warbirds took to the air, our brave military pilots have had a common mission. To preserve our freedom at all costs on the vast and daunting battlefield of the sky. This is the Lewis Air Legends mission: to preserve their memory while honoring their bravery and sacrifice. To bring the thrill of their incredible flying machines – and those they fought against – to as many people as possible in a truly international display of historic airpower. Especially to young people. Our pioneer aviators and heroes inspired Rod Lewis in his boyhood passion for flight, patriotism and love of American history. So it is for future generations that Lewis Air Legends will be a living, flying tribute to those who dreamed, built, supported and flew our brilliant birds of war.
Son of an Air Force pilot, Rod Lewis was an amateur airplane mechanic long before he was an oilman. From his first plane, an old hand-cranked Aeronca Chief purchased in 1981, his collection would grow over 30 years to include 24 aircraft, most of them the classic WWII warbirds that fly as the Lewis Air Legends. He may fly a Cessna Sovereign on business trips, but the old fighters and bombers are his favorites. Like Glacier Girl, a P-38 Lightning rescued after 50 years from 268 feet of Greenland ice, the only survivor of the Lost Squadron, restored to near-factory condition.
Rod Lewis is the founder, president and CEO of Lewis Energy Group.
To Rise and Fly Again
They fly out of the sun, the supercharged engines splitting the air. You can almost hear the big guns hammering and feel the sights trained on your tail. Rod Lewis was not out to start a cozy, static air museum when he purchased his first WWII vintage airplane in 1995. Instead that first warbird inspired him to recreate the thrill of the aerial battlefield on which our freedom was defended, while paying tribute to the brave fliers and crews who fought, died and endured. Rescued from corn fields, barns, bottoms of lakes – even the bottom of a glacier – these 24 noble aircraft rise from the ashes, don their war paint and keep history flying.