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for Lest We Forget Contact: Victoria Dunlop, Public Information Officer 269-468-5679, This Event Contact: Don Alsbro, Colonel US Army (Ret) 269-925-7176,

April 1, 2013

Lest We Forget presents WWII and Vietnam Re-Enactment and Korean Tribute May 17-19th
Lest We Forget will present its sixth tribute to veterans May 17-19, 2013 at the Southwest Michigan Regional Airport. This year will see many of the popular features of the past events return, plus some new additions. While we will not have the WWII beach landing re-enactments on Saturday, we will see more WWII battles at the airport, a Vietnam re-enactment featuring Huey helicopters, Vietnam vehicles and the 25th Infantry "Wolfhounds" and tributes to the Korean veterans. WWII landing craft will be providing rides on the St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting). To stage an event of this nature requires the assistance of many members of Lest We Forget. Don Alsbro, president and founder of Lest We Forget and Jim Brinkmann, LWF treasurer, are working on their sixth large-scale summer event. These events have ranged from four WWII re-enactments, a Vietnam Tribute and the Korean Tribute. While it was announced last year that this year there would not be a beach landing, the land re-enactments will continue and have been expanded. Alsbro, who is a retired Army Colonel and former Lake Michigan College physical education instructor, has assembled another all-star cast featuring several Medal of Honor recipients, Tuskegee airmen, WWII, Korea and Vietnam aircraft, WWII landing craft, a flame thrower, parachute jumps, over 300 re-enactors led by Bill and Jan Sheets of Indianapolis, IN, WWII music played by Paul Friday and the Moonlighters and much more. The monumental task of raising the money to undertake these events for the past six years has been the responsibility of Jim Brinkmann, Whirlpool retiree and Korean veteran. There are several activities that are still in need of sponsorship. If you would be interested in becoming a sponsor, give Jim a call at 269-277-2661. The Operations officer for this event will be Bill Womer, a member of Lest We Forget. Bill is a retired SGT MAJ from the MI National Guard and retired social studies teacher from St. Joseph High School. Bill will be assisted by members of Lest We Forget heading the various committees with support from the community. The event will be co-sponsored by Fairmount Minerals, Emergency Physicians Medical Group and Lakeland Regional Health Systems, Whirlpool, Meijer and JohnsonRauhoff. In addition to these sponsors, Lest We Forget couldn't function without the support of grants from the Upton Foundation, the Schalon Foundation and various service clubs. To stage this re-enactment, over $60,000 must be raised. There is no charge for the events at the airport and donations are gratefully accepted.

For several weeks prior to the event, both sides of the road leading into the airport will be lined with flags through the cooperation of the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph Exchange Club and Michigan Works Bridge Academy. Refreshments and light meals will be provided by the Experimental Aircraft Association. The theme for summer's public art display in St. Joseph is "Planes, Trains and Helicopters." Alexander Jefferson, WWII Tuskegee pilot and POW, will be honored by Lest We Forget, as Friday evening, the City of St. Joseph will unveil Lest We Forget's statute of a WWII P-51 Mustang dedicated in honor of LTC (Ret) Jefferson, who will be present during the re-enactment. FRIDAY 1. 1 pm-3 pm at Tiscornia Beach there will be several landing craft giving rides to the public. The rides will be $10 each, with WWII veterans and children 17 and under riding free. Rides depart from the the Benton Harbor DNR Boat Launch on Riverview Drive in Benton Harbor: Friday 1 pm-3 pm, Saturday 9 am-4 pm and Sunday from 10 am-2 pm. 2. 5:45 pm-7 pm there will be a military vehicle, motorcycle and classic car parade through Benton Harbor and St. Joseph. The parade will travel down Main Street in Benton Harbor, across the river, past the Berrien County Courthouse, down to the Arboretum, past the Silver Beach Carousel and Silver Beach. It will continue east up Park Street, north on Church Street and into the Courthouse parking lot for a stop from 6:30 pm-7pm after the Opening Ceremony of St. Joseph's "Planes, Trains and Helicopters" public art display. The route will be posted at This parade will be a repeat of the vehicle parade last year, which was highly successful. 3. 7:30 pm-9:30 pm there will be a reception and presentations by the Medal of Honor recipients and other distinguished guests at the Airport Hangar. SATURDAY 1. Two WWII re-enactments: one at 11 am and the other at 3 pm. 2. A Vietnam re-enactment complete with two Huey helicopters (Medevac and assault), troops, and military vehicles at 1 pm. During the event there will be a Vietnam compound set up. 3. Flame-throwing demonstrations will be conducted both Saturday and Sunday. The flame-throwing demonstration will be performed by Larry MacLean of Rochester Hills, MI. 4. Parachute drops by the Leap Dog Parachute team from South Carolina at 10 am and 2 pm. 5. Demonstration by Johnny Mayo, Vietnam dog handler and his trained dogs. Johnny is from Columbia, South Carolina. 6. Presentations by Korean Medal of Honor recipient Duane Dewey and Alexander Jefferson and other distinguished guests at 4pm-6 pm in the Hangar. 7. Korean Tribute 6 pm-8 pm. This event is sponsored by the Korean Embassy of Chicago. 8. 1940s, 50s and 60s Fashion Show staged by Kathy Pendergrass of Mendon from 8-8:30 pm. 9. Hangar Dance from 8:30 pm-10:30 pm. Dance will be a repeat of last year with The Moonlighters led by Paul Friday providing the music. Last year, this was enjoyed by the re-enactors and the public. 10. In the hangar will be the master modeler Jerry Lindquist with his display of military dioramas and military history, Weldon and Lorraine House with their display of the history of the USO, sale of LWF merchandise and a display of WWII fashions by Kathy Pendergrass of Mendon. 11. In the field will be the 20th Century at War Museum from Holland, MI. This is an interactive display of military field equipment featuring vehicles, signal and other military equipment. There will also be military aircraft from WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Two Vietnam Hueys (medevac and assault chopper) from Kokomo, IN will be providing rides to members, plus a Korean Bell helicopter and other aircraft will be onsite.

12. The Boy Scout Troops #623 and #624 and the Whirlpool Veterans Club will work together in recruiting and recording veteran stories. On Saturday and Sunday there will be a tent set up at the airfield to record these stories, many of which will be featured in the upcoming Book 4 published by Lest We Forget. On Saturday, the stories will be recorded from 9 am-4 pm and on Sunday from 10 am-3 pm. SUNDAY 1. Church service at 9 am led by WWII re-enactor and chaplain Steve Green from Pendleton, IN. 2. Presentations by Medal of Honor recipients and other distinguished guests from 9:30-10:30. 3. At 10:30 am, there will be a demonstration of WWII weapons, followed by Larry McCleans presentation on the history of the flame thrower at 11 am. At 11:30 am, the Leap Dogs will demonstrate the packing of a parachute. 4. At Noon, Gary Lulenski and Jim McCloughan, both Vietnam veterans involved in medical treatment, will talk about field medical treatment. 5. Patriotic parachute flag drop at 1 pm, followed by a flame thrower demonstration at 1:15 pm. 6. WWII Re-enactment at 1:30 PM The schedule is flexible and subject to change. For questions please call Don Alsbro at 269-921-7176, or online: and on facebook: