Wednesday, April 10, 2013

CGCC to receive Williams Air Force Base memorial class plaque

From 1941 to 1993, Williams Air Force Base — affectionately known as "Willie" — played a vital part in local history. Thousands of pilots, military personnel and civilians lived, trained and worked at the base. After World War II, Willie brought new business and hundreds of families into the area, helping it grow into the region it is today. Many former trainees have returned to the area in their retirement years.

On Saturday, April 27, the Chandler Downtown Library will host a presentation from General Carl Schneider, a 1948 graduate of Willie who flew more than 100 missions in Korea and Vietnam. At the close of his presentation, General Schneider will present a plaque in honor of the U.S. Air Force Pilot Class 48-B to the Chandler Museum and a duplicate plaque to Chandler-Gilbert Community College for its collection of Williams Air Force Base memorabilia.

The cases of Willie memorabilia including yearbooks, magazine and news articles, model planes flown at the base, photos and other items can be viewed in Bluford Hall on the Williams Campus.

Long-time Chandler resident Marie Haggarton will also speak at the event, sharing her memories of working as a Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph operator at the base in the 1940s. The event begins at 10:30 a.m.

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