STOCKTON – The Stockton Field Aviation Museum is arranging a unique and special event for two World War III veterans, Pat Patteson of Danville and Don Long of Napa.
These two Naval Aviators will take to the skies again. They will be flying the Stockton Field Aviation Museum’s warbird, a 1945 Lockheed PV-2D Harpoon, the same type of aircraft that they flew 70 years ago. Their mission will take them to Reno, Nevada, on Sept. 11 for the Reno Air Races being held September 11-15 where the warbird has been invited to be on display.
Patteson and Long are both celebrated WWII veterans. Patteson flew two tours in PV-1’s and PV-2’s from the Aleutian Islands against the Japanese. Patteson went up against one of Japan’s most notable aces, pilot Hiroyoshi Nishizawa on June 15, 1944, in one of his many successful missions contributing to the Allied victory.
Long is a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, when he was a radio operator on a PBY patrol aircraft. He went on to be an instructor in the PV-2 and made extensive contributions to the Allied victory of WWII, and continued with the military for a long and illustrious career.
Patteson and Long recently met while observing the 1945 Lockheed PV-2D Harpoon on display at the Air Show at Travis Air Force Base. The good folks at the Stockton Field Aviation Museum took notice of the WWII pilots’ recent introduction and arranged for this flight with the two of them together.
This will be the first time these two WWII pilots fly together. It will also be the first time that Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Don Long, has flown a Lockheed PV-2D Harpoon since the monumental war.
The historic flight will be departing from the Stockton Metropolitan Airport.
The Stockton Field Aviation Museum has not received any grants or public money for this or any other mission; they operate on donations.
For more information on the museum go to www.stocktonfieldmusuem.org