Letter to the Editor

Support air base effort

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Dear Editor,

During 1945 and the start of 1946, I was stationed at McCook air base as a mechanic working on B29's , helping to train flight crews.

These crews were then sent overseas to the war zones. If you can enjoy being away from home, and living with strangers, not knowing when you may be sent in to the war zones, I can say that I enjoyed my time in McCook.

I recently had the time to revisit McCook and spent  and spent a weekend there during your Harvest Festival, parade, and open house at the closed air base. I could not believe that it was 57 years since I left the base.  What a change I found in the town.

I frankly could not recognize anything. The town has spread out, the main street is getting widened, and there are fast food outlets serving the people. The only thing that I did not find changed were the people.

The friendliness was still there, the pride in your town as evidenced by the condition of you homes, and infrastructure. It felt great to walk your streets and strangers say hello, how are you.

I must comment on a family there who deserve your citizen of the year awards, if you have one.

I met the Cottons on arrival, and there were great ambassadors. I was amazed at what they have done to help keep all of the old air base from disappearing altogether. A tear or two came to my eyes as I walked onto the base, and into one of the old hangars.

Many of my old buddies who served there with me have already gone to their final reward, but I have not lost the memories. I beg the community to fully support the efforts of the few who are striving to keep some semblance of the base there for all to see and show the efforts made during World War II to keep this country safe and free.

Gloria and Dale Cotton need the help of many, with financial support and physical labor support. You indeed have a treasure in the old base.

Do not let it fade away.

Christian Jahrling   

New Columbia, Pa.

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