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Whidbey celebrates 100 years of naval aviation

Whidbey Island Naval Air Station invites its Northwest neighbors to the air station’s celebration of 100 years of Naval Aviation July 28 to 30.

The premiere event of the 3-day celebration is the Centennial of Naval Aviation Heritage Fly In on Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It's free to the public. Events will be held on both Ault Field and Seaplane Base.

On Ault Field, following the 5K Flightline Run at 9 a.m., visitors will enjoy the day walking through static displays of WWII vintage military aircraft, modern Navy jets, patrol aircraft and helicopters. Navy SAR will demonstrate an overland rescue. Whidbey Island Remote Control Association will also be on hand for flight ops.

The highlight of the day is sure to be listening to eight local “hometown” heroes on the "Tales of Naval Aviation" stage in Hangar 1. They’ll talk about what it was like to fly off “straight deck” carriers, survive the Battle of Midway and conduct combat operations during Vietnam and Korea. There are also several authors coming who have written about WWII battles in the Arctic, the Pacific, in the A-6 Intruder and about the Navy in Puget Sound.

For the children, or if you’re just young at heart, head on over to the Kids Zone in Haviland Hangar where they’ll have the Museum of Flight’s Flying Gizmos traveling show and Predators of the Heart show with reptiles, birds, etc., along with balloon clowns, face painting and ever-popular bouncy toys.

Several aviation and patriotic themed quilts from the Navy Quilt Challenge and local quilting guilds will be on display. And for aviation enthusiasts, squadrons will be selling patches, hats, mugs, etc.

Food and concessions will be available on Ault Field only.

On the Seaplane Base, visitors will enjoy watching as the PBY Catalina splashes down in Crescent Harbor and as SAR conducts an overwater rescue. Both locations will host several classic car groups.

A special section covering NAS Whidbey's aviation celebration will appear in the July 27 edition of the Whidbey News-Times and the July 29 edition of Crosswind.

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