Photo contributed by Becky Dunlap
A group from Veterans of Foreign Wars Let ’er Buck Post 922 will be on hand to share about their experiences during a Pearl Harbor Day event.
Representing several wars and conflicts, those who have confirmed for the event include Anthony Brown, Sean Degan, Mark Jaeger and Bob Stangier. Veterans & You is Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pendleton Air Museum, 21 S.W. Emigrant Ave. The public is invited to drop in for cookies, coffee and to share stories. There is no admission charge.
“We would love to have you come down and learn a little history too,” said Becky Dunlap, air museum board member.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is Dec. 7, 1941. It honors those who lost their lives when the Japanese bombed the United States naval base. President Franklin D. Roosevelt referred to it as “a date which will live in infamy.”
The Pendleton Air Field was constructed prior to the 1941 bombing at Pearl Harbor. The Corps of Engineers expanded the existing airport with new runways, hangars and housing to support military personnel who would train to fly.
Several months later, led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle, a group of soldiers stationed in Pendleton — 80 members of the Army Air Corps’ 17th Bombardment Squadron, aka the Doolittle Raiders — flew a bombing mission to Japan in response to the Pearl Harbor attacks. According to historical accounts, of the 80 crewmen who took off, three died during the mission and eight were captured in China by the Japanese Army. None of the planes returned to the U.S.
In 2001, a small group interested in preserving and sharing the history of aviation and military history founded the Pendleton Air Museum. The nonprofit foundation’s mission is to highlight the history of the Pendleton Army Air Base, early predecessors of the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport and its role in regional development.
The group aims to commemorate the regional history of military and civilian commercial aviation and to memorialize the sacrifices of local military personnel. In preserving its heritage, Pendleton Air Museum educates residents, visitors and future generations.
Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4539