The Dutch Flyers trained in Mississippi from 1942-1944. Photo credit WDAM.
CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) -
An expanded exhibit at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby honoring hundreds of Dutch pilots who trained in Jackson to fight in World War II was dedicated Friday.
Military and diplomatic representatives from the Netherlands joined museum staff and family members of the famed Dutch Flyers for a ribbon cutting.
The exhibit, which includes additional information and artifacts, is part of a renovated and redesigned World War II gallery that recently reopened.
The Dutch Flyers were pilots from the Dutch East Indies, who trained at the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School at the Jackson Army Air Base.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of that school, which closed in 1944.
"One of the things we want people to understand is that America didn't fight alone, we had valiant allies in the British and the Dutch that did what they could to help fight against the Axis Powers during World War Two," said Chad Daniels, museum director.
Most of the Dutch pilots fought in the Pacific against the Japanese.
Several flyers also married Mississippi women, and many of their descendants still live in the state.
"(The exhibit is) wonderful, it's beautiful and a great honor for my daddy," said Sunnye Streuding Forte, daughter of Fred Streuding, one of the Dutch Flyers.
Saturday, a memorial will be held in Jackson at Cedar Lawn Cemetery for nearly 30 Dutch Flyers who died in training accidents.