Aero Club presentation draws another record turnout

Gary Vacin

Another record crowd turned out to hear how the U.S. won the Battle of Midway during a presentation at the Sun Lakes Aero Club (SLAC) at the Sun Lakes Country Club February 17.

Seventy-seven were in attendance as World War II historian Ted Kraver and Pearl Harbor survivor Jack Holder described the epic battle that became the renowned turning point of the War in the Pacific.

Kraver covered the history of Naval dive bombing beginning with the first deck arrested landing and take-off in 1911; the successful sinking of a surplus battleship in 1930; the politics involved in aircraft carriers replacing battleships as the workhorse of the Navy’s attack fleet; to the development of the SDB Douglas Dauntless dive bomber, a squadron which successfully attacked and sunk four Japanese aircraft carriers during the Midway Battle.

Holder, a Sun Lakes resident, told of the search and discovery of the Japanese fleet, leading to the successful destruction of the carriers. Holder was a flight engineer in one of the two PBY Catalina flying boats that first spotted the enemy armada consisting of four carriers, battleships, cruisers, destroyers, submarines and troop ships headed for Midway Island.

SLAC is open to Sun Lakes and other local pilots and anyone interested in any aspect of aviation. The club takes several fly-ins and field trips each year. More information on the club is available from Bob Walch at 895-8869 or Gary Vacin at 298-7017 or at the club’s website