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Salute of Remembrance set for air station firehall
ARLINGTON Captain Thomas A. Tack will speak on behalf of the United States Navy at the decommissioning of the old firehall at the Arlington Airport, Saturday, March 31.
The firehall is scheduled for demolition along with two other airport buildings later this year. The demolition will make space for new commercial development at the airport, said airport manager Rob Putnam, but no specific projects are proposed.
Tack was invited by Retired USMC MSgt. Richard L Logg Sr., a life-long resident of the Arlington area who just happened to live in the old firehall from 1949 to 1953 with his family after the Air Station was decommissioned by the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II and returned to the city of Arlington in 1947.
Logg read about the impending demolition of the building in the Arlington Airport newsletter earlier this year and immediately rallied to the cause. He has taken it upon himself to see that the old building is honored properly.
They decommission flags, why not buildings, Logg said.
I love that building and all of the airport will all my heart, Logg told Arlington City Council when he announced his plans to organize an event honoring the building before its demolition.
Loggs father, Lester Logg, was employed as a body and fender man for Backstrom Ford Motor Co. and other businesses during that time. Backstrom was active with the Arlington Lions Club and the Arlington Commercial Club, which were both instrumental in creating the airport. He arranged for his employee to live in the old firehall and use it for a shop.
An abandoned Navy air facility, complete with ops tower and bunkers, is a great place to raise children, Logg said.
It was an adventure a minute.
Logg is coordinating with the Arlington Airport Commission in planning a Salute of Remembrance set for 1 p.m., March 31, at the Old Firehall, at 18615 59th Ave., behind The Point Church (formerly Weston High School), at the intersection of 188th Street and 59th Avenue on the east side of the Arlington Airport.
I saw this as an opportunity to learn and share with others about the significant contributions our small airport made to the country in World War II and to naval aviation history, Logg said.
Arlington Airport served as a U.S. Naval Auxiliary Air Station during World War II. More than 3.000 Navy and Marine Corps pilots came to this small airfield and learned to fly, Logg said.
After completing their training they became combat veterans of the Pacific theater and were instrumental in the successful conclusion of the war, he added.
One Arlington resident who was posted at the local auxiliary air station is Harry Yost who was posted there for 14 months after returning from his service in Guadalcanal.
His fondest memory of the Arlington Airport firehall was one night when he was off duty.
I was taking Ruth [his future wife] to the 10 cent movie and saw a red flare over the airport, Yost said. I dropped her off and took off to the airport, and the guys at the firehouse hadnt noticed anything, Yost said. It turned out to be a Canadian B-24 Liberator that was running out of gas.
He had 15 minutes of gas and thought we looked like a nice little lake for a good soft landing, Yost said. Yost doesnt regret the planned demolition.
Thats progress, he said.
Along with guest speaker Capt. Thomas A. Tack, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, who is coming from Naval Station Whidbey, the ceremony will also include a U.S. Navy Color Guard Unit, a special fly-over by the famous Blackjack Squadron if weather permits and speakers from the city of Arlington as well as informational displays.
The program will close with the playing of Taps and refreshments will follow.
For information about the event, see the city of Arlington Web site at www.ci.arlington.wa.us or call Richard L Logg Sr. at 360-435-1892.