Letters to the Editor

PBY fly-in was a thrill

The PBY Catalina fly-in to the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Seaplane Base on Friday, Sept. 18, was a thrill to many who had never seen such an aircraft fly except in movies or on the History Channel. This plane and the crews that served her are the stuff of history.

The PBY Memorial Foundation required a great deal of effort to bring this plane to Whidbey Island. With gratitude the PBYMF thanks the U.S. Navy Command at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island for all of the help and cooperation given by the Navy as well as naval contractors who made this fly-in possible.

Of special note is the herculean effort given by the firefighters of Oak Harbor and NAS Whidbey. Their contributions were many, including site preparation, displays of equipment, wash-down of the aircraft (salt water corrodes aluminum), locational and advertising signage and a great deal more.

Our local firefighters volunteer to put their health and lives on the line to protect us and the things we value. Many people do not think about them until they need them … and then, they really need them!

We hated to see the PBY leave, but it has places to go and things to do while the fire season continues. We hope to see it back here soon.

The firefighters will not be leaving, and we can thank God for that. They are such an invisible (usually) part of our community that we often take them for granted.

The PBYMF and the City of Oak Harbor owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

Jim Siggens

Oak Harbor

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