Licking County News

Veterans Day events will include flyover

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Pataskala's Veterans Day celebration will include a flyover by a World War II veteran in a vintage airplane.

The celebration begins at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at the Veterans Memorial on Main Street.

The World War II-era single-engine aircraft will be a Stinson L-5 Sentinel, said Mayor Steve Butcher.

The Stinson L-5 was a liaison aircraft used in World War II for many purposes, including "medical evacuation and VIP transporting of generals," said Kip Kelsey, a member of the Historical Air Squadron, which is a museum at the Fairfield County Airport in Lancaster where the plane is on display.

"It was a utilitarian-type of air craft designed specifically for war use and had no other function outside of military use," Kelsey said. "It was known as the flying Jeep and was the predecessor of the Jeep in function, transporting wounded, getting VIP people around, things such as that. It had a lot of use in the war."

Kelsey said the plane is privately owned and will be flown by Ramiro "Speedy" Gonzalez, a U.S. Army paratrooper in World War II.

Kelsey said a restored World War II Jeep owned by Pat Ferguson also will be on display at the memorial.

During the Nov. 11 ceremony, members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 21 will perform taps, Butcher said, and he hopes local school children can walk to the site from Pataskala Elementary School and lead community members in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Two members of American Legion Post 107 will assist the Boy Scouts in the taps ceremony, said Donald Vocca, post commander.

Also, Vocca said, Post 107 will conduct a flag ceremony and a 21-gun salute at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at Tri-Village Christian Church, 7509 E. Broad St. SW.

The Mead-Needham Museum, which opened in May at 300 S. Main St., will have military history exhibits on display during the celebration.

The museum was renovated by six local families who are associated with the West Licking Historical Society.

In addition, Butcher said free meals will be offered to veterans from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at his restaurant, the Nutcracker Family Restaurant on Broad Street. The restaurant also will donate 10 percent from other meals to the USO.

lwince@thisweeknews.com

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