Dakota Territory Air Museum Commemorates the Beginning and End of World War II in the Pacific with Special Event
The Dakota Territory Air Museum (DTAM) had a large presence at the 2021 EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, WI, with a total of six of the museum’s warbird fleet flying out to the week-long event. The Hawker Hurricane Mk. XII, Supermarine Spitfire Mk. IXc “Half Stork”, FM-2P Wildcat, P-51C Mustang “Lopes Hope 3rd”, P-51D Mustang “Miss Kitty III”, and B-25J Mitchell “Betty’s Dream” all made an appearance. The Hurricane, Spitfire, P-51C, and P-51D were all featured on ‘Warbirds in Review,’ which gives a detailed history on each aircraft through interviews with current pilots, historians, mechanics, owners, and, in the case of “Miss Kitty III”, Lavinia “Kitty” Rosenbaum, the surviving wife of John Rosenbaum who flew the original “Miss Kitty III”. You can watch those interviews either on the DTAM Facebook page or on the EAA Warbirds of America Facebook page.
On August 14, 2021, the DTAM marked the 80th anniversary of the beginning of World War II in the Pacific and the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific with a celebration and commemoration event at the museum. Despite the heat that day, approximately 300 people came out to the event. The Minot Air Force Base provided the museum with a Huey Helicopter for static display, the DTAM flew its FM-2P Wildcat and its C-53 Skytrooper during the event, Lyle Torno of the North Dakota Military Vehicle Collectors Association provided three jeeps for static display, one from World War II, one from Korea, and one from Vietnam, and couple of food trucks were set up. The DTAM welcomed World War II veterans Col. Joe McPhail, Lynn Aas, John Sinn, and Ed Zilly as guests of honor. The evening prior to the event, the DTAM hosted a private dinner and Q&A session with these extraordinary individuals where they spoke on their World War II experiences. Joe McPhail spoke at the event the next day during a public Q&A session. The DTAM also drew the grand prize winner for its 25th annual sweepstakes during the event. The grand prize was either a J-3 Piper Cub or $20,000 cash, winner’s choice. The lucky winner for 2021 is Ralph Serdahl of Minot, ND. To finish the event, one of the museum’s P-51 Mustangs, “Little Horse”, was outfitted with custom under-wing barrels and cold drinks were served from those barrels, in partnership with Atypical Brewing here in Minot.