WATCH VIDEO: Rick Poppitz, kcvideo.com
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner Historical Museum hosted an afternoon of conversation and socializing for veterans of area bases. The museum had memorabilia from NAS Olathe, Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant and Nike missile base on display.
Veterans in attendance represented the US Army, Navy & Air Force. In the accompanying video, several vets recall memories of their service in the 1940’s -50’s & 60’s.
David Zimmerman of Paola, KS was stationed at NAS Olathe. He recalls the early days when the base had short runway and wooden sidewalks. David also reminded us that Astronaut John Glenn did his first training flights at NAS Olathe in the early 1940’s.
William Shields of Wellsville, KS is one of three brothers who once were all stationed at NAS Olathe at the same time. Mr. Shields spent 22 years in the US Navy and retired in 1967.
Dale Anderson started active duty with the US Navy in 1954 and served aboard the USS San Joaquin County (LST-1122). Cruises took him to Korea, as well as Okinawa and Iwo Jima in Japan.
Current Gardner resident Chesley Jones went to NAS Olathe to enlist in June of 1962 immediately after high school. He was later assigned to VAH-10 squadron and cruised on the aircraft carrier, the USS Constellation. Chesley was an air crewman who flew in the 3rd seat of RA-3 aircraft launched from the carrier.
Eldon Rothwell of Gardner served in the Army as a radio tech, was discharged and then joined the Air Force. He spent much of his Air Force time just across the Missouri state line at Richards-Gebauer Air Force base. From Richards-Gebauer he would fly to many other countries for short term assignments.
Truly Schlup of Wellsville, KS was the youngest of 4 brothers who were drafted into the Army. Truly entered the Army in 1953 and served in Germany and France. Truly says with a smile that he “was just helping out Uncle Sam”.