Shelby museum to host annual memorial service for ‘Dutch Fliers’

The Dutch Fliers were pilots from the Dutch East Indies who trained at the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School at the Jackson Army Air Base.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 9:31 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby is hosting an annual memorial service in Jackson on Friday, Sept. 16, for a group of brave servicemen from World War II.

However, they’re not Americans. Instead, they’re “Dutch Fliers,” men from the Netherlands who trained for combat in Mississippi.

More than 600 Dutch pilots and airmen trained in Jackson, and more than 30 are buried at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Jackson.

Friday’s service will honor those who were killed while training, those who died in combat and some who chose to be buried in Jackson with their comrades decades after the war.

“There’s a section of Cedar Lawn Cemetery that’s actually considered Dutch soil, so we will be placing a wreath there at the monument and at the grave site, and it’s something very important to our museum and, obviously, to the Mississippi Air National Guard and the Mississippi National Guard as well,” said Tommy Lofton, director of the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum.

The service at Cedar Lawn Cemetery begins at 10 a.m.

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