People are invited to learn more about the Pendleton Air Museum during a pair of March events, including a meet-and-greet and an open house.
Oregon Grain Growers Brand Distillery will host the museum’s annual membership meeting. The meet-and-greet event provides the public with a chance to meet museum volunteers. In addition, people will have an opportunity to browse military displays and view a documentary about the Doolittle Raiders.
The free event is Thursday from 6-9 p.m. at Oregon Grain Growers Brand Distillery, 511 S.E. Court Ave., Pendleton. A documentary created for the 2013 National History Day contest will be screened at 7 p.m.
As Griswold High School juniors, Willie Wood and Jarred Cope created a 10-minute film about the Doolittle Raiders for the 2013 National History Day contest. With a theme of “Turning Points in History,” Wood said they tackled the project that highlighted the historic role of Pendleton during World War II.
Gen. James (aka Jimmy) H. Doolittle was the leader of a daring daylight bombing raid over Japan. The Doolittle’s Raiders trained with their B-25 bombers at Pendleton Field beginning in 1941 after the infamous bombing of Pearl Harbor.
The documentary created by Wood and Cope, which placed first in the state contest, features a mixture of archival film and photos. In addition, the duo conducted a phone interview with then 96-year-old Lt. Col. Richard Cole, the mission’s co-pilot.
In a column by Jeff Mapes, a former political reporter for The Oregonian, the journalist referred to the Helix students as “a farm team for the History Channel.”
Denise Brock, education director at the Oregon History Society, echoed Mapes’ assessment. During a 2013 interview with the East Oregonian, Brock said that the young documentary filmmakers received a glowing response during the Oregon contest.
“The judges said they were very impressive,” Brock said. “It was like watching the History Channel.”
Wood, who will be at the meet-and-greet event, is now a farmer in the Helix area. While the duo didn’t place at the national contest, Wood said it was a fun and educational experience.
“It was neat to learn more about the history of World War II and the local connection with Pendleton,” Wood said.
Becky Dunlap, coordinator of the Pendleton Air Museum, is excited to have the documentary as part of the museum’s meet-and-greet. A lot of people, she said, aren’t familiar with the Doolittle Raiders.
“It’s very gratifying to be a part of preserving the history of the area,” she said.
Dunlap also invites people to attend an open house at the museum. Held in conjunction with National Vietnam War Veterans Day, the public is invited to drop by the museum Friday, March 29 between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 21 S.W. Emigrant Ave.
In addition to coffee and cookies, veterans will be on hand throughout the day to visit with people.
Other Pendleton Air Museum events on the horizon include the Bombs Away Ball, which is Saturday, May 11 from 5:30-10 p.m. at the National Guard Armory, 2100 N.W. 56th St., Pendleton. Tickets are $40 each, which includes dinner, live music and dancing. A celebration is planned for the first anniversary of the museum’s downtown Pendleton location. That event is Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum.