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Press Release
May 22, 2002
Portland Air Base keeps "Forgotten War" alive
 
Portland, Ore. - A Korean War commemorative event will be held at the Portland Air Base on Friday, May 24, at 10 a.m., to honor military members from the Oregon Air National Guard's 142 Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron and 123 Fighter Squadron who served military duty from 1950-1953. The ceremony will include an F-15 flyover, a memorial stone dedication symbolizing the Republic of Korea (ROK) and testimonies by two honored guests, Lt. Ernie Wakehouse and Chief Master Sgt. Jack Klein (ret.).

Approximately 40 members from the Portland Air Base, who served in the military during the Korean War, are expected to attend the event. Maj. Gen. Alexander Burgin, Oregon's adjutant general, will also be in attendance.
 
Lt. Wakehouse is one of only nine pilots from the Portland Air Base's 123 FS who flew combat missions in Korea and provided close air support for ground forces. In total, he flew 100 combat missions in the F-51D "Mustang" from September to December 1951 and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and six air medals for his courage and skill. Of the nine pilots who served from the 123 FS, only five of them are still alive and all reside in the northwest.
 
Approximately 230 people from the 142 AC&W Squadron, also part of the Portland Air Base, served at remote outposts in Alaska's western arctic region for 12-20 months during the Korean War. Some members helped in the new construction of critically needed radar surveillance sites while others served as radar operators and maintainers at existing stations. Military service of this nature in Alaska was significant during the early 1950s since the threat of a Stalin-led invasion was thought to be very high at that time.
 
Since the war ended in 1953, 49 of the 230 members who deployed to Alaska during the Korean War have passed away.
 
Part of the Korean commemorative ceremony on Friday will include the dedication of a memorial stone weighing up to three tons and measuring four feet wide at its base. The Camas-gray basalt, which stands four feet tall and resembles the contour of Mt. Hood, was shaped and polished by local artist Mark McLean, owner of Sculptural Stone Design. The stone is a memorial to the men and women who served in the ROK and will function as a daily reminder to never forget their dedication and sacrifice to this great nation.
 
ALL MEDIA ARE INVITED TO THIS EVENT. THE PORTLAND AIR BASE IS LOCATED ON CORNFOOT RD. IN PORTLAND. IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO ATTEND, PLEASE CONTACT LT. MISTI OYLER AT 503-860-0303 or 503-335-4104
 
(EMAIL misti.oyler@orport.ang.af.mil).
 
For more information contact:
 
Lt. Misti Oyler
(503) 860-0303
(503) 335-4101