Tom Rice (right) and Art Shaffer drop onto the beach at the Hotel Del Coronado. Photo by Chris Stone
WWI paratrooper Tom Rice (right) and Art Shaffer drop onto the beach at the Hotel del Coronado in 2021. Photo by Chris Stone

Tickets to opening night of Force-Con 2022, featuring a panel on military aviation including 101-year-old WWII Army Paratrooper Tom Rice, are now available.

The reception, movie and panel discussion Sept. 23 at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park open the three-day event.

Besides Rice, scheduled to celebrate 100 years of carrier aviation will be WWII U.S. Army Paratrooper Vincent J. Speranza, Legends of Aviation Capt. E. Royce Williams, Cmdr. Glenn Tierney, Lt. Willie Sharp, WWII POW Tom Crosby, Vietnam War POW Bill Arcuri and prior service members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights.

Following the red-carpet entrance and social hour celebrating legends of aviation and the Greatest Generation, guests will view a film presentation of “Into Flight Once More.”

The documentary highlights the D-Day Squadron and their 2019 mission to re-cross the Atlantic for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, which celebrated the end of WWII in Normandy, France.

The film is narrated by Academy Award-nominated actor and veterans advocate Gary Sinise.

After the screening, a panel of experts will discuss their experience, including Rice who parachuted into Normandy for the 2019 celebration (and dropped onto the Hotel Del beach last year on his 100th birthday).

The event is a fundraiser for Honor Flight San Diego, the nonprofit group that takes senior veterans on three-day trips to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials built for their service and sacrifice.

Force-Con 2022 will also include airborne operations on the North Beach of Hotel del Coronado and an art festival at Liberty Station.

For more information or to buy tickets to opening night, visit: www.Force-Con.com



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Ellen Bullock