September 6, 2017 Edition

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Wings of Honor to host WWII
in Review program Saturday

A WWII in Review series will kick off on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wings of Honor Museum in Walnut Ridge.

Holly Hope, special projects historian, and Travis Ratermann, survey historian, with the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, will speak that morning in the conference room of the museum.

Hope's presentation, from 11-11:50 a.m., will be "Home-front Facilities in Arkansas in WWII." From noon to 12:50, Ratermann will discuss "WWII POWs in Arkansas."

For those attending the morning sessions, a sack lunch will be served at 1 p.m., with a question and answer time to follow.

The museum is honored to have Paul Calkin, a WWII aerial gunner, for the afternoon program, beginning at 2.

Now 93, Calkin had a birds-eye view of WWII from far above the action on the ground - but, there was more than enough action up in the deadly skies surrounding his, and others' heavy bombers. Deadly flack from German anti-aircraft guns and gunfire from skilled German fighter pilots didn't give crewmembers much time to look at the ground.

Calkin was based at Thorpe Abbotts airfield in England, where he served as a mechanic-gunner on a B-17 flying fortress. On one mission, their 13th, three engines were knocked out of commission before making it back to base, and they had to bail out - or ditch in the English Channel. Calkin completed his 30th mission four days before D-Day.

Following Mr. Calkin's presentation and a question and answer period, refreshments will be served.

There is no charge for either session, and everyone is welcome. Although admission is free, reservations would be helpful to assist with food preparations.

"Students, teachers and the general public will find these presentations very informative," Harold Johnson, president of the museum board, said.

This program is part of a WWII in Review series by the Wings of Honor Museum in celebration of the WWII Walnut Ridge Army Air Field's 75th anniversary.

The museum is located at 70 Beacon Road, on the Historic Walnut Ridge Army Air Field.

For more information, contact Johnson at harold@bscn.com or 1-800-584-5575.

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