Whidbey Naval Air Station marks 100 years of naval aviation

OAK HARBOR — A celebration of 100 years of naval aviation is planned at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

The largest part of the event that began Thursday is Saturday’s Centennial of Naval Aviation Heritage Fly-In. The free event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Ault Field and Seaplane Base.

On Ault Field, following the 5K Flightline Run at 9 a.m., visitors can walk through static displays of World War II vintage military aircraft, modern Navy jets, patrol aircraft and helicopters. Navy Search and Rescue will demonstrate both overland and overwater rescues and the Whidbey Island Remote Control Society is expected to be on hand.

A highlight of the day, according to public affairs officer Kimberly Martin, is sure to be hearing from eight “hometown heroes” who were invited to speak on the Tales of Naval Aviation stage in Hangar 1.

Speakers are scheduled from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Topics are expected to include accounts of what it was like to fly off “straight deck” carriers, survive the Battle of Midway, and conduct combat operations during the Vietnam and Korean wars.

“These people have a lot of history,” Martin said. “To me, it’s fascinating. It’s almost an automatic going back in history to see it through the eyes of someone who was there. It’s that kind of recollection that brings history to life.”

Several of the speakers are also authors, Martin added.

Food and concessions are planned on Ault Field while both locations are set to host several classic car groups. A Kids Zone in Haviland Hangar is set to include balloon clowns, bouncy toys, face painting, the Museum of Flight’s Flying Gizmos traveling show and a Predators of the Heart show with reptiles and birds. Squadrons also plan to sell memorabilia throughout the day.

Amy Daybert, 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

If you go

The Centennial of Naval Aviation Heritage Fly In is planned for Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Ault Field and Seaplane Base at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

For more information about the celebration. go to:

www.cnic.navy.mil/whidbey

www.navylifepnw.com

www.facebook.com/NASWICoNA

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