The Beverly Belles of Denver joined the Midwest Honor Flight to make the Hangar Dance a success.
The evening included dance lessons for the Dordt College dance team, a concert with the Beverly's, dance, a taste of wine, costume contest, and a silent auction. Benefits from the bank funded one last flight of honor with the Midwest Honor Flight and the air museum educational programs.
Raymond Hansen Knudsen, Grandfather of museum intern Eamon Adamson, served in the 69th infantry division of the U.S. Army from 1943-1945. He was born in Buffalo Center, Iowa in 1924 eventually moving to New Jersey. He grew up during the Great Depression, which caused him to be very resourceful and creative, one of his trademarks. Drafted in July 1943, following his graduation from high school, Raymond was given the nickname "the Swede" because of his Scandinavian heritage. He was actually Danish but didn't mind "the Swede" nickname.
He originally trained to be a pilot but before finishing his training he was called to serve in the infantry due to immediate need of men. He arrived in South Hampton, England by way of the troop transport ship MS John Ericsson. It was Christmas Day 1944 700 men from his division were sent to the Belgium front helping the German offensive. The German army attacked in mid December 1944 creating a bulge in the American lines. The battle for this area would be called "The Battle of the Bulge."
Raymond arrived in Le Havre, France where 810 replacements brought to re-fortify the division and make ready for combat. He specifically remembered the snow being deep and the wind very cold. His regiment, the 272nd went into action along the Siegfried Line. The troops lived in log-covered dugouts for protection against enemy artillery. Raymond was part of the telephone section, in an interview with Raymond Knudsen, "Our main tasks were to find and repair breaks in wire. Repairing the wire breaks was tough because we had to do so in all kinds of weather and at night. To keep up with the infantry units, we were moving all the time."
He had many stories of "close calls". Among them was a time while driving his jeep, German artillery punctured several cans of juice. Ray remembered the bubbling sound as the juice ran over the floor of the jeep. The shrapnel missed Ray by mere inches.
One other time Ray and his men were surprised by a German tank. The tank fired point blank at Ray and his crew and missed hitting a brick wall instead. For some reason the tank didn't fire again but left. Had that tank tried one more fire the outcome for Raymond could have been very different.
Raymond survived the war to return to his family eventually marrying Mary Ann Shull and having 5 daughters. One of those daughters is Audrey Adamson mother of intern Eamon Adamson. Raymond worked for Bell Telephone Company for many years in New Jersey. He died in 2013 but lived long enough for Eamon to spend time with him and hear first hand some of his stories. Raymond's other trademark was his thankfulness. He never took anything he received for granted. He loved God, family and country. Veteran's Day meant a lot to Raymond and I can't help but remember him on this day.
The Experimental Aircraft Association, local Chapter 291, has awarded 14-year-old Kevin Farias with a $4,000 "Matching Funds Award". This award will pay not only to attend group school but will pay for his aircraft rental and instructor expenses. This award is given to those who truly desire to pursue a career in aviation. Kevin's interest in aviation began after his father spent 11 years as a pilot in in the US Navy. Farias said, "I feel encouraged so that maybe in the future I can get my pilots license and then maybe one day I can apply for Naval Academy in Annapolis."
On behalf of everyone at the Mid America Museum of Aviation and Transportation we wish you good luck, Kevin!
Check out the link below to see the video:
Where are you from? Sioux City, Iowa
What is your major? Advertising major with a minor in Photography and Graphic Design
What is your favorite display? Flight 232 display
Why did you become an intern? I wanted to gain work experience as an intern. Plus I enjoy going to museums so it seemed like the perfect fit!
Where are you from? I'm from Crofton, Nebraska
What is your major? I am a Business Accounting Major/ Agribusiness Minor
What is your favorite display? My favorite display is the UH-1M Iroquois Helicopter from the Vietnam War (pictured behind me)
Why did you become an intern? I became an intern to grown in my understanding of the operations of a business and to aid the museum in grant requesting.
Where are you from? I am from Kansas City, Missouri
What is your major? My major is Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.
What is your favorite display? My favorite display is the Flight 232 area because it gives the area some pride in what they accomplished.
Why did you become an intern? I became an intern because I wanted to get started in marketing and really enjoy history.
David Kaplan’s 1983 DeLorean was the center of attention this past October due to the Hollywood blockbuster Back to the Future II. In the movie, Doc and Marty travel forward in time to October 21, 2015 in a DeLorean. Reporters from around the area came down to the museum to get a story for what is now known as “Back to the Future Day.”
Thanks to April Tidwell at Leadership Siouxland for her initiative in developing a new QR code virtual tour at the Mid America Museum of Aviation & Transportation. This new QR code virtual tour enhances the visitors’ experience by giving them more insight on the particular exhibit as they tour the museum. The virtual tour works by either checking out a tablet from the front desk or using the QR code reader app on your smart device and scanning the codes attached to many exhibits located around the museum. It will then take you to a link which provides addition information about the exhibit in which you scanned. Thank you to Electronic Innovations for donating six tablets. Also thank you to Mary Honomichl (Siouxland Community Health),Robert Gries (Per Mar Security), Eric Hoak (United Real-Estate Solutions), Karen Hodges (Electronic Innovations) and April Tidwell (Sioux City Community Schools).
The 1971 Camaro Z28 on display at the museum has quite an interesting story behind it. It all started when Richard and Rosemary Alter spent $3,337.75 on a brand new 1971 Camaro Z28. This car was considered to be the “ Best All-Around” car of its time. The Z28 Camaro was no ordinary muscle car. It came with an impressive 350 cubic inch, V8 engine that produced 275 hp.
A few years after the purchase of the car was made, Rick was stationed in Italy for the Air Force, and he brought his family and his baby with him. In 1975 Rick and the rest of his family decided to pack into the Camaro and road trip around the European Continent. The journey started in Italy and led the family through Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.
This Camaro has seen good times, but it has also seen some bad times. It has been an omen of bad luck to Rick since the very first day that he has had it. It all started on that first day that he purchased the vehicle. While driving it around Omaha, it suffered an accident as someone ran into it. The Camaro sustained some damage but was able to be restored. Then in 1998, another vehicle ran a red light and crashed into the Camaro. The vehicle was totalled. Hoping that would be the last time something bad happened to his car, Rick spent the money and fixed it once again. After it was fixed he would keep it in his garage for safekeeping but that did not stop the local neighborhood kids from getting to it. They lit his garage on fire with the car still in there. Rick did not give up hope on his car just yet and decided to repair it once again. In September 2014, there was a 100+ mph windstorm that did major damage to the car. With the expert help from John Harbeck, the 1971 Camaro has been restored to better than new condition in only four months time. The Camaro was up and running by that following March.
Although the car and the owners have been through so much, we are honored to have it here at the Mid America Museum of Aviation & Transportation. The vehicle is in immaculate condition and we encourage you to stop by and take a look.
Thank you to the Junior League of Sioux City for a STEM grant written to build a partnership between Morningside Elementary and the museum. New STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) programming will strive to increase community awareness of the Mid American Air Museum. It will also offer unique educational opportunities to the students of Morningside Elementary in relation to their STEM programming. In addition, Junior League members will be trained as volunteers at the museum. Amy Letchenberg is the STEM Grant Coordiantor for JL. She has a committee being trained to volunteer.