The world of high-tech military jets and Civil War history are set to collide at the annual Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation annual fundraising gala on Friday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.

Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. and include dinner, activities and a program featuring historian and author Eddie Ellis.

Ellis, the former publisher of the Havelock News, has published two books on the history of Havelock and eastern Craven County. His presentation is expected to include some new discoveries about Craven and Carteret counties, with a focus on the Civil War era before Cherry Point was even constructed.

The Havelock area is rich in Civil War history. A Union amphibious landing took place on the shores of the Neuse River near Slocum Creek prior to the battle of New Bern in 1862, and a Union fort was located along the railroad tracks that crossed Slocum Creek in Havelock.

Today, Havelock is home to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, and the heritage foundation looks to preserve the history of the base that opened in 1942 as well as tell the stories of the people who served and worked there. The tourist center features the foundation’s displays of artifacts, information and aircraft.

Tickets for the event are $55 each or $100 for two people. Attendees at the event will have a chance to buy tickets for a historic walking tour of the area Ellis plans to lead on Saturday.

Proceeds from the event support the foundation’s efforts to preserve aviation heritage in the region, which includes the aircraft and other exhibits at the tourist center. Money also goes to support the foundation’s other mission, which is to support education in science, technology, engineering and math that will inspire the next generation of aviation enthusiasts, pilots and workers. Included in that mission is the foundation’s annual free Fly-In event that kicks off the summer as well as its annual summer camp.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go by the Havelock Tourist and Event Center, call 444-4348 or go online to