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Veterans Table - The Presque Isle Air Museum & D-Day Anniversary

(WAGM)
Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 9:04 AM EDT
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Green: "Welcome to the Presque Isle Air Museum. I'm Craig Green, the President. And we're very pleased to have the public come in anytime. But one of our big displays here, is of course, World War II. And our efforts at Presque Isle put forth during that period of time, which was tremendous. And we had a big influence on the European Theater of War."

Robert: The long-standing history behind our local area's aviation and military involvement is chronicled at the Presque Isle Air Museum. The collection housed within the International Airport, further documents and details the years the facility operated as an Army Airfield, dating back to its opening in 1941.

Green: "The connection from Presque Isle, which started here, went to Goose Bay. And then up into Greenland and Iceland, then down into Europe. It was the main way that all of troops, ammunition, transport of planes, and everything that went over to the European Theater of War started and it came through Presque Isle. We were literally the last stop in the U.S. and the hub of transportation for that period of time."

Robert: In addition, with the anniversary of D-Day this past Saturday, we take a look back at the history and a group of particular planes that were involved past and present in remembering the event.

Green: "Last year we celebrated The 75th Anniversary, and this last weekend, The 76th Anniversary of D-Day. As far as planes that flew from here, the C-47 Skytrain -- these planes were used for paratroopers and for moving of cargo and goods. And they were a huge part of the invasion force that dropped the paratroopers behind the lines over on the beaches during that invasion. So we were very pleased last year, we had 12 of the 13 American planes that went over to participate in their event flew through Presque Isle and we hosted them here over the course of two weeks."

Robert: Back in 1944, our local involvement with the events surrounding D-Day ultimately culminated in caring for and healing a large number of those wounded returning home from war; --very much in line with our County's long-standing mission of always honoring and caring for our Veteran Heroes.

Green: "We ended up hosting a great number of the D-Day casualties here in Presque Isle. And the hospital was actually located on the grounds of where today we know the Northern Maine Community College is. There's actually a picture here in the museum, of them unloading the passengers on stretchers to come here to our hospital. And that was again a huge effort by the local population to help. You know that's all part of the things that go on with war, especially at that period of time. It was very difficult. So when we talk about D-Day, and we talk about all these veterans' events and things of this nature -- it still has a very close connection to many people here. And that's why we have this museum is to try to let people know about our history and the efforts of the local people that were both here and overseas."

Robert Grimm, News Source 8.

[Interview:

--Craig Green, President, Presque Isle Historical Society]

Aired: June 10, 2020

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