WWII in Review program at Wings of Honor

WWII in Review program at Wings of Honor to be held on Saturday, September 9, 11:00-4:00 at the Wings of Honor Museum.

Holly Hope, Special Projects Historian and Travis Ratermann, Survey Historian with the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, A Division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage will kick-off a WWII in Review program on Saturday, September 9, at 11:00 in the conference room of the Wings of Honor Museum, 70 Beacon Road, on the Historic Walnut Ridge Army Air Field.

Holly’s presentation, from 11:00—11:50, will be about Home-front Facilities in Arkansas in WWII.  From 12:00—12:50, Travis will discuss the WWII POWs in Arkansas.For those attending the morning sessions, a sack lunch will be served at 1:00, 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 2:00.Now 93, Paul Calkin had a birds-eye view of WWII from far above the action on the ground—but,there was more than enough of action up in the deadly skies surrounding his, and others’ heavybombers. Deadly flack from German anti-aircraft guns and gunfire from skilled German fighter pilots didn’t give crew members much time to look at the ground.    Calkin was based at Thorpe Abbots airfield in England, where he served as a mechanic-gunner on aB-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. Paul completed his 30th mission 4 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.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.