Recap: 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration
May 25 – Welcome Home Banquet
In commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor hosted more than 600 Vietnam Veterans, POWs, Gold Star Families and supporters at a Welcome Home Banquet in the Museum’s Hangar 37 last night. The event is part of a Hawaii statewide week-long commemoration, honoring Vietnam Veterans and their families for their bravery and sacrifice in the name of freedom and democracy.
The Bob Hope – USO legacy themed event included remarks by Medal of Honor recipient Major General Patrick Brady, U.S. Army (retired); a guest appearance by actress Ann-Margret; a performance by Tony Orlando; and star-studded USO videos showcasing Hollywood celebrities and entertainers. A special viewing of 14 Vietnam-era aircraft fronting historic Hangar 79 took place prior to the start of the event.
May 27 – F-105 Dedication, Vietnam Symposium
Vietnam Veterans, including Medal of Honor recipient Major General Patrick Brady and Colonel William Reeder (the last U.S. Army POW) were on hand to help unveil a Republic F-105 Thunderchief at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s historic Hangar 79. The Republic F-105 Thunderchief was a supersonic fighter-bomber used by the U.S. military to conduct the majority of strike bombing missions during the early years of the Vietnam War.
Attendees gathered for the symposium in the Museum’s theater to hear personal recollections shared by Major General Brady, Colonel Reeder, South Vietnam Captain Nguyen Thanh Trung, and POW Navy Captain Jim Hickerson. The symposium was followed by a meet and greet and book signings with symposium participants.