On Wednesday, May 23rd, we hosted the Official Opening of the Aleutians Campaign Exhibit. The completion of the exhibit marked the 75th Anniversary of the Campaign.
Jon Ambler, our Museum’s Programme Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, made the following introductory remarks:
” On behalf of Captain Barley, our Director, and Mr. Kevin Kinsella, President of the Comox Valley Air Force Museum Association, I would like to welcome our Guest of Honour, LCol Fraser, the Deputy Wing Commander, and her Branch Chief, Chief WO Sexstone.
Welcome also to the LCol Bryn Elliott, Commanding Officer of 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron. Remember, 442 Squadron started out its life as 14 (Fighter) Squadron in the Aleutians.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen.
My task is to introduce the Guest of Honour. She is here to officially open our new Aleutians Campaign Display. A Display of which we are very proud!
Just like everything we do here, the creation of that display was a team effort. Our Deputy Director, Sergeant Mike O’ Rourke, took on a leading role, while volunteers such as Mel Bernie, David Wilson, Mike Forbes, Carol Popkin, Mike Owen and others all found ways to contribute.
But what could easily get forgotten, and will be remedied here, are the huge contributions made by LCol Fraser. Since she first arrived at 19 Wing, and despite a daunting workload, she has been a consistent and positive supporter of the museum.
Her support, whether in the areas of administration, finance and budget, supply, personnel, or fighting for us at Branch Heads, has been essential to every success we have enjoyed.
It is for these reasons that she is the perfect guest of honour to open our new display… ”
Following this introduction, LCol Fraser commented on “drinking the kool-aid” that is our Museum, shared information about the Aleutian Campaign, and then officially opened the Exhibit.
The Aleutians Campaign is often referred to as “The Forgotten War” ~ small scale combat in an isolated part of our world, while at the same time, “huge war-winning actions were taking place elsewhere. However, for those men fighting the Japanese, dealing with the weather, terrain, and spartan living conditions, it was a very difficult war.
Lest we forget.
** Special thanks to Bobbi and Allison for the photos!