D-Day flyover remembrance begins at noon June 6

June 5, 2014

NEW — 4:35 p.m. June 5, 2014

The community is invited to gather June 6 to remember the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Community members and World War II veterans will come to watch a rare “Diamond Four” formation of World War II P-51 Mustangs fly over Veterans’ Memorial Field.

Refreshments will be provided in the Eagle Room at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

The event will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. The planes are expected to fly over Issaquah at 12:40 p.m., although the exact time depends on air traffic control.

The Issaquah Singers will also perform at the event.

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Passionate for the past

June 3, 2014

History Day competitors make it to nationals

Contributed Liberty High School students (from left) Sally Rim, Lauryn Hepp and Carlyn Schmidgall accept an award for their project about the Vietnam draft at the regional History Day competition. The trio qualified for the national competition held at the University of Maryland in June.

Contributed
Liberty High School students (from left) Sally Rim, Lauryn Hepp and Carlyn Schmidgall accept an award for their project about the Vietnam draft at the regional History Day competition. The trio qualified for the national competition held at the University of Maryland in June.

 

Liberty High School student Lorrin Johnson is almost at a loss for words when asked to describe her love of history.

It’s not because she can’t find the words, it’s just that she has so many things to say about her favorite subject, it’s hard to whittle them down to a few coherent sentences.

“Don’t get me started,” she joked. “I’ve gone on rants about it before.”

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German POW earned freedom, three degrees

May 21, 2014

Col. William Geil has a great memory — though he says it’s hard to forget getting captured by Germans behind enemy lines.

The 89-year-old Squak Mountain resident has seen his fair share of service in a career spanning more than three decades. He served overseas in World War II and two tours in Vietnam. His time in the United States Air Force is only made more impressive by the three degrees he earned outside the military. Still, he plays it humble.

“I don’t like bragging,” Geil said about his time as a prisoner of war. Speaking plainly, he said he didn’t find it anything worth bragging about. “I had a cousin that finished 25 missions, while I finished my time in the war in a prison camp.”

William Geil

William Geil

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Marine Corps, Vietnam shaped Jerry Pearson’s servant nature

May 21, 2014

In a small box that’s usually tucked away in his home library, Issaquah attorney Jerry Pearson has several keepsakes from his three-year stint in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Among the items are a set of dog tags made to commemorate three of his fellow Marines; a brass dragon head he found in a village; and the two Purple Hearts he was awarded for combat-related wounds in Vietnam.

The dragon head, in particular, brings back a flood of memories for Pearson, who was born in Seattle before moving to Issaquah as a small child in 1951. He associates it with Ron Dexter and Lester Bell, two members of the Fifth Marine Division who were shipped to the jungles of Southeast Asia and never came home.

By Neil Pierson Issaquah native Jerry Pearson, surrounded by legal texts at his Pearson Law Firm office, is more than 40 years removed from his duties as a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

By Neil Pierson
Issaquah native Jerry Pearson, surrounded by legal texts at his Pearson Law Firm office, is more than 40 years removed from his duties as a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

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Issaquah veteran recalls the sacrifices

May 21, 2014

Dag Garrett knew he wanted to fly.

It’s why during the tail end of World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps as a fresh-faced 18-year-old.

Over the course of a year, Garrett transformed into a well-versed navigator, more than eager to hit the skies in support of his country.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Dag Garrett holds a poster of newspaper clippings and photographs from his stranded-at-sea ordeal in 1947.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Dag Garrett holds a poster of newspaper clippings and photographs from his stranded-at-sea ordeal in 1947.

He would have to wait though, because just as he was about to deploy, the war came to an end.

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Brave ship remembered by brave man

May 21, 2014

World War II veteran Hugh Preston was in the U.S. Navy well before he should have been.

“He went behind his father’s back and enlisted and came back and said, ‘I’m gone,’” his daughter Isabella Tobiason said. “He wanted to serve. He wanted to fight for his country.”

He was just 17.

Photos contributed The Aaron Ward III is shown in photos before it was bombed (above) and after (right).

Photos contributed
The Aaron Ward III is shown in photos before it was bombed (above) and after (right).

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Remember D-Day at flyover

May 13, 2014

Four P-51 Mustangs from the Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field will do a flyover of Issaquah’s Veterans Memorial Field on June 6, the anniversary of D-Day.

Thirty cities in Washington will get up-close looks at the planes as they fly over.

A time hasn’t yet been set, because the flight plan isn’t finished.

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Flyboy folklore

December 10, 2013

B-25 gunner Ed McKee kept the skies clear on WWII European bombing missions

In 1937, Ed McKee was a sophomore in high school, with not enough spending money in his pockets to spread around his hometown of Albany, Ore.

By David Hayes Ed McKee, 91, talks about mates from his air squadron during World War II from the office in his Timber Ridge apartment in Talus.

By David Hayes
Ed McKee, 91, talks about mates from his air squadron during World War II from the office in his Timber Ridge apartment in Talus.

Just seven years later, how he chose to augment his income would eventually take him over the skies of Europe on bombing raids of Axis targets.

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It looks a lot like a ‘White Christmas’ at Issaquah High

December 3, 2013

For the cast and crew putting the final touches on this month’s “White Christmas” musical at Issaquah High School, one of the most enjoyable parts is creating a performance that can be enjoyed by all age groups.

“The thing that makes it so engaging for so many people is everybody knows these songs,” said Holly Whiting, who’s directing her ninth musical at IHS. “These songs are old enough that every generation that’s going to be attending this program is going to be familiar with the music.

By Neil Pierson Issaquah High School drama students (from left) Caroline Hamblin, Kylie Fletcher and Ashley Young, rehearse a scene from ‘White Christmas.’

By Neil Pierson
Issaquah High School drama students (from left) Caroline Hamblin, Kylie Fletcher and Ashley Young, rehearse a scene from ‘White Christmas.’

“And I think we all have pretty good, happy memories attached to a lot of these songs.”

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Piloting pandemonium

July 16, 2013

Timber Ridge veteran shares his WWII adventures

As the former pilot of a B-17 bomber named “Pandemonium Reigns” during World War II, Robert Ploss has had his fair share of adventures.

By Greg Farrar Above, Bob Ploss enjoys sharing the stories of the lifelong friendships he made with the men of the B-17 bomber crew he served with during World War II. Below, Ploss (front row, left) and his World War II B-17 crew pose in December 1944 at Drew Field in Tampa, Fla.

By Greg Farrar
Above, Bob Ploss enjoys sharing the stories of the lifelong friendships he made with the men of the B-17 bomber crew he served with during World War II.

The 91-year-old veteran and resident of Timber Ridge recalls his adventures and experiences through life with captivating style, and a knack for storytelling led him to start a monthly newsletter at Timber Ridge, which he calls “The Splinter.” In the newsletter, Ploss shares stories, jokes and poems.

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