Restore history

The Lake Superior Squadron 101 Commemorative Air Force is set to launch a benefit dinner and silent auction to benefit the restoration of a World War II PBY Catalina aircraft.
The event will be at West Duluth Legion Post 71 on Grand Avenue on March 15. Social hour will begin at 5 p.m. with dinner to follow at 6.

One guest speaker, Wayne Johnson of Silver Bay, already has been lined up to share his experience as a Flying Tiger in China during World War II.

The PBY Catalina served many functions during the war. Known as an amphibian, the aircraft was able to take off and land on water. Catalinas were used for scouting and, during the battle of Midway, were responsible for locating the Japanese Carrier group.
The squadron hopes to raise about $500,000 to fully restore the PBY, a project that has been in the works for nearly six years. The PBY restoration is the first aircraft restoration taken on by the Lake Superior Squadron 101 Commemorative Air Force.

Tickets for the dinner depend on food preference: For steak or shrimp, tickets are $20; for lasagna, tickets are $15.

To buy a ticket, call Kevin Parks at (218) 384-4593.

Run for Veterans’ Memorial Hall

Speaking of the St. Louis County Historical Society: Here’s a decidedly present-tense event. The group is hosting the VMH 5K Fun Run, a fundraiser for its Veterans’ Memorial Hall Program.

The race is at 9 a.m. May 17 and starts at the Twig Bakery, 3930 E. Calvary Road.
Registration is $20 before May 1; $25 after May 1. Entry forms are available at the Depot or Tempo Tickets.

Runners get a race T-shirt and awards will be given for the top races in each age group.

Nolan to honor vets

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan will be visiting the Hoyt Lakes VFW Post 8144 on Saturday.

To mark the 72nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which propelled the United States into World War II, Nolan will make a presentation honoring Arleigh Birk, who was a 21-year-old Boatswain’s Mate First Class aboard the USS Honolulu on Dec. 7, 1941.

After Pearl Harbor, Birk was reassigned to the USS Denver, where he remained in the Pacific Theatre until his discharge in February 1946.

Birk and Marion, his wife of 67 years, still live in their family home in Hoyt Lakes.

Write now, kids

Children of military veterans are invited to crack open their craniums and let their imaginations spill out in the form of ink on paper.

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Higher Education Veteran Program and the Brekke/Langhorst Memorial Scholarship Fund are hosting a writing workshop from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday at Lake Superior Community College’s Veterans Center.

Children of veterans are asked to bring a pen and notebook to explore their inner landscapes. Using writing prompts, the program aims to illuminate parts of personal histories to craft them into personal art.

The workshop will focus on process, not necessarily product, so all levels of writing experience — including none at all — are welcome.

For more information, call Jeanette Cox at (218) 404-0578 or email

Forests: Now open

The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites over the Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 9-11.

“We wholeheartedly salute the men and women who represent the nearly
22 million American veterans who have served their country in the military,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “As we do throughout the year, we encourage veterans and their families to take advantage of their national forests and grasslands to enjoy all the benefits the outdoors provide.”

The Forest Service also honors active duty military members year-round with the free Interagency Annual Military Pass honored at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or amenity fees.

Magazine calls UWS military-friendly

The University of Wisconsin-Superior has been named a “military-friendly school” for 2014 by G.I. Jobs magazine.

The ranking is for the university’s efforts to assist veterans and their family members in completing a college education, and places it in the top 15 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide for services offered to veterans, according to the magazine

. UWS added a new Veteran and Nontraditional Student Center office a year ago. To be named, institutions are evaluated on areas including flexibility in class scheduling and requirements, transferring academic credits, providing support for veterans and academic accreditation.

Minnesota soldiers don’t get credit

If you served in a combat zone in 2009, you might be missing out on some money.

More than 2,300 Minnesota soldiers still have not claimed their 2009 military credit, the state Department of Revenue reports. The credit is $120 for every month served. There’s no catch, except that you do have to file by Oct. 15.

To receive the credit, soldiers must file Form M99, “Credit for Military Service in a Combat Zone,” and attach corresponding Form DD-214. If still on active duty, soldiers can attach leave and earnings statements for each month of qualifying service. They must have been a Minnesota resident during the time of service to qualify.

Military families wanted for study

The University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development is looking for military families to participate in a study.

The Adapt program aims to learn from military parents on how to best support National Guard, Reserve and active-duty families through the deployment cycle. Participants can earn between $385 and $595 through the course of the study and will be asked to take part in four sets of interviews and surveys over a two-year period.

You qualify if you have at least one child ages 5 to 12 and at least one parent in the household has been deployed since 2001. Call (612) 624-4830 for more information.

Fundraiser in Oliver

The El Dorado Bar in Oliver is holding a fundraiser Saturday for MACV Duluth, which works to help homeless veterans, and for the Gary-New Duluth Veterans Memorial.

The event begins at 11 a.m. with a horseshoes tournament, dunk tank with local celebrities, meat raffle and a live auction. There’ll be a pig roast with not just some of the fixings but in fact all the fixings at 4 p.m.

The nonprofit Gary-New Duluth Veterans Memorial is selling pavers for the memorial plaza. Pavers can be personalized up to 12 letters and space on three lines, cost $25 each and can be purchased at Park State Bank, 2630 W. Superior St. or (218) 722-3500.

It’s a plane!

The Commemorative Air Force will be in full force when it makes its way to Duluth next week.

The AirPower History Tour lands Monday through Aug. 7 with a fleet of World War II-era planes.

Wanna do more than look? Sign up for a flight at or the, CAF Minnesota Wing website. Flights can be booked during the event, too, based on availability.

Nine wartime planes and simulators will be present and available to tour at the Commemorative Air Force Lake Superior Squadron 101 hangar and grounds, 4931 Airport Road in Hermantown, not far from Cirrus.

The event runs 2-6:30 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Tickets are $10 per person, $20 per family.

Call the Commemorative Air Force Duluth office at (218) 733-0639 or (218) 348-1306 to volunteer, contribute or get more info.

The planes featured at the show are the B-29 Superfortress “Fifi,” B-24 Liberator “Diamond Lil,” B-25 “Miss Mitchell,” C-45 Expediter “Bucket of Bolts,” T-6 Texan (Navy SNJ), PT-17 Boeing-Stearman, B-13 Valiant, L-5 Sentinel and P-22 Recruit.