Memorial Day ceremonies on May 28 at the Hill Aerospace Museum will feature two very different opportunities to remember those who served our country in war and peace. The Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah and Pioneer Flight, Order of Daedalians, will hold a memorial service at 9:30 a.m. at the Hill Aerospace Museum's Mazer Memorial Chapel. This year's program will speak to Utah's Warriors Along the Wasatch and will honor Utah's Medal of Honor and Military Order of the Purple Heart recipients. The theme is a variation of Hill Air Force Base's open house and air show to be held the same weekend on May 26 and 27, "Warrior's Over the Wasatch," which will honor Utah's aviators.
This will be followed at 11 a.m. by a Memorial Day induction of the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame's newest member in the Lindquist-Stewart Fighter Gallery at the museum. Capt. Harold A. Sweet, Utah aviation pioneer and a China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) senior pilot during World War II, will become the 26th member to have his name formally added to the museum's collection of aviators featured in the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame.
The Salt Lake City native was a self-taught pilot and barnstormer in Utah in the 1920s and went to the Philippines (then a U.S. colony) in 1929 to fly the U.S. mail. After eight years flying the mail, Sweet became a pilot with the joint Pan Am/Nationalist Chinese China National Aviation Corp. in Hong Kong and flew scheduled airline routes in China's interior.
With the advent of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937, CNAC became Generalissimo Chang Kai-shek's main source of airlift for his armies. Sweet became Madame Chang's personal pilot. Sweet also pioneered air routes over "The Hump" (the Himalayan Mountains) between India and China for the U.S. Army Air Forces when the Japanese closed the Burmese Road in early 1942.
Between 1942 and 1944 he ferried U.S. military aircraft between Natal, Brazil, and Dakar, Senega, and also across Africa's Sahara Desert to Cairo for Pan American's Africa operation. He flew alongside Gen. Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers and Air Transport Command's C-46, C-47 and C-54 transport aircraft. Never a military pilot, he nonetheless became a major contributor to America's war effort and victory in the China/Burma/India Theater.
Van Twelves of Glastonbury, Conn., son of the last year's inductee, Lt. Wendell V. Twelves, U.S. Naval Reserves, will be the featured speaker for the induction ceremony at the Hill Aerospace Museum. Col. (Ret.) Michael Sweet, U.S. Army, of St. Anthony, Idaho, a relative of Capt. Sweet, will also be a featured speaker.
Both ceremonies are free and open to the public.
For more information about the ceremony at the chapel, contact Col. (Ret.) Pete Miner at 801-390-5379 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, contact Maj. (Ret.) Pat Gilmore at 801-298-8597 or via email at email@example.com.