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     Dolly Ozols 808 209 4444

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor hosted Vietnam Veterans, POWs,  Gold Star Families and supporters at a Welcome Home Banquet in the Museum’s Hangar 37  Other events included Vietnam 50 Years Memorial Parade in Waikiki  at Fort DeRussy, Kalakaua Avenue and Kapiolani Park, featuring guest speakers, the Marine Forces Pacific Band, along with marching bands.  Kalakaua Avenue is regularly closed for parades, special events. This area is ground zero Waikiki.  A memorial service was held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) included a missing man flyover followed by the 21-gun memorial salute with full military honors.  Hawaii was the primary R&R location for the Vietnam War. U.S. POWs returned home to Hickam Air Force Base.  Hawaii is the home of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and home to the U.S. Pacific Command, with major installations from all five component military branches.  These events were part of the state of Hawaii “Welcome Home Vietnam War 50 Years” War Commemoration. City, national and international groups events planned the state’s 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam a week-long celebration, honoring Vietnam Veterans.

Vietnam Veterans, including Medal of Honor recipient Major General Patrick Brady and Colonel William Reeder (the last U.S. Army POW) were on hand to help unveil a Republic F-105 Thunderchief at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s historic Hangar 79. The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was a supersonic fighter-bomber used by the U.S. military to conduct the majority of strike bombing missions during the early years of the Vietnam War.

Attendees gathered for the symposium in the Museum’s theater to hear personal recollections shared by Major General Brady, Colonel Reeder, South Vietnam Captain Nguyen Thanh Trung, and POW Navy Captain Jim Hickerson. The symposium was followed by a meet and greet and book signings with symposium participants.

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