The Empire State Aerosciences Museum in Glenville will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the attack on Pearl Harbor, at a daylong event Saturday, June 23, offering rare opportunities to tour open cockpits with former pilots.
This event has wide applicability. It's very visual and will focus on naval aviation in honor of the Midway, said Kevin Millington, president of the Empire State Aerosciences Museum.
The day will start off with the museum's 10 a.m. monthly pancake breakfast. At 11 a.m. admiral and museum trustee Jim Oxford will speak at a rededication ceremony for the aircraft carrier Akagi, which was one of the six Japanese aircraft carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor.
The Akagi sank at the Battle of Midway and was acquired by the museum a few years ago.
From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Admiral Paul Czesak and Millington will give a presentation on the Battle of Midway's Strategy and Aircraft. Congressman Michael McNulty, D-21st District, will also speak at the ceremony.
"This is an important event that commemorates one of our most important events in American history," said McNulty.
Millington said many people remember the fighter planes from the famous Tom Cruise movie "Top Gun." Millington said the two-seat F-7 planes are now retired and opening them up to the public is a rare opportunity.
"These planes were retired last year. They fly twice the speed of sound and are really spectacular to see in person," said Millington.
For some local residents, attending a commemoration such as this one is a way of honoring those in their family who served during the 1942 battle. Bridget Stoddard of Clifton Park said her brother is now serving in the U.S. Army, as did her grandfather. She said she thinks it's a great opportunity to honor those who served in World War II, as well those who serve now.
"I have never been to the museum before, but I read about this event and thought what a great way to spend a Saturday," said Stoddard.
The museum provides a firsthand look into aerosciences.
The museum can be reached at 377-2191. Prices are $6 for adults, with discounts given to children, seniors and veterans. The cost for the pancake breakfast is $5 per plate. The museum is located at 250 Rudy Chase Drive in Glenville.