Cherry Point general pilots a piece of history

Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 06:50 PM.

“In 1944 as a sergeant, it is a little different than being here now,” he said. “Where I am sitting here was full of airplanes. We had four or five squadrons of B-25s here as well as C-118s, so there were a lot of planes here, of course no jets in those days but it was a fantastic place to be. We did a lot of training.”

Bartlett flew to Cherry Point with the plane to share the message of the Disabled American Veterans and share information about the organization’s programs that benefit veterans and their families.

Hedelund said much effort has gone into preserving the aircraft.

“We deeply appreciate the hard work,” he said. “I know that it is a labor of love for them. We are really the beneficiaries. I hope that many of the young folks that are going to see the aircraft this weekend take the time to shake their hand and tell them how much we appreciate the work that they’ve done. The amount of work that keeps these airplanes flying is not cheap. For them to come out and donate some of these rides to wounded Marines and the disabled veterans is just fantastic.”

The plane, nicknamed “Panchito,” is scheduled to take to the sky around 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday as part of the air show. Other times, the plane will be on static display.

The air show is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Cherry Point. Parking and admission to the air show are free, though upgrades to bleacher, box or chalet seating do cost varying on the day.

Gates open for the Friday Night Show at 5 p.m., with performances scheduled for 6:45 p.m., culminating in a fireworks show at 10 p.m.



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