Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

CONTACTS: Holly Milledge, 816-268-8245 , Media Relations or
Carol Briley, 816-268-8206 , Archivists.
Truman Presidential Museum & Library


(Independence, MO.) The Truman Presidential Museum & Library announced the schedule for its second annual "Patriots of War" speakers series honoring American veterans and their stories on selected Saturdays, beginning May 17 running through August 16. The series will feature a current B-2 Pilot, named Air Forces Exceptional Pilot of the Year; an OSS (precursor to the CIA) Jedburgh team member from World War II; veterans with psychological warfare experience from Korea; and the first Medal of Honor winner from Vietnam.

Presented in cooperation with the Offices of Congresswoman Karen McCarthy (D MO), the Library of Congress Veterans History Project and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Miller Nichols Library. The programs will feature:

May 17, 2003 at 10:00 a.m
Major Melvin G. Deaile-
"The B-2 Bomber and the Evolution of Strategic Bombardment"

Major Mel Deaile is a B-2 Instructor Pilot currently attending the Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelors of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering. He initially flew the B-52 bomber. He flew nine bombing missions from the island of Diego Garcia in support of Operation Desert Storm. In 1998, he gained acceptance into the B-2 program and helped plan the first B-2 combat strikes in support of Operation Allied Force in Kosovo. In response to the homeland terrorist attacks, Major Deaile led a formation of B-2s on an historic mission to Afghanistan. His 44-hour mission was the longest combat mission in aviation history. Major Deaile holds a Masters in Business Administration and will earn his Masters in Military Art and Science next month. Major Deaile is also a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School, and last May the Air Force named him their Exceptional Pilot of the Year.

June 7, 2003 at 10:00 a.m
William T. Thompson -
"The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and Jedburgh Radio Operations in World War II"

Bill Thompson served in France with the French resistance. He was then sent to China to work behind Japanese lines. In 1945 his base in Kunming, China was overrun by Chinese War Lords. While in France, Thompson was a member of one of the Jedburgh teams, groups of three uniformed men--in this case, an Englishman, an American, and a Frenchman--dropped into France at the time of the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, and for the following ten weeks. Jedburgh Team members were selected from OSS and SOE (Special Operations Executive-a British secret service intended to promote subversive warfare in occupied territory) and acted as staff for local French resistance units. They helped to ensure that the French resistance was coordinated in the interest of Allied strategy. Each team comprised two officers and one sergeant wireless operator, who were trained leaders in guerrilla tactics and demolition.

July 19, 2003 at 10:00 a.m.
Paul A. Wolfgeher & Vern Scott
"Air Force Intelligence and Psychological Warfare in Korea"

Both Wolfgeher and Scott served in Korea from the fall of 1952 until February 1954. Wolfgeher was a Sergeant in the 1st Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company. Part of Wolfgeher's collection of propaganda leaflets will be displayed during the talk. Vern Scott served in Korea and attained the rank of Staff Sargeant (E-5). He received training as a radio traffic analyst and a crypto analyst. Mr. Scott will discuss flyovers, reconnaissance, couriers, and ferret missions. (The word "ferret" refers to a vehicle, usually an aircraft, used to investigate foreign radar systems by approaching the enemy radar system so as to cause the radar system to be activated thereby enabling the systems identification and the collection of additional intelligence.)

August 16, 2003 at 10:00 a.m
Retired Colonel Roger H. C. Donlon, M.H. -
"Family, Faith & Freedom"

Colonel Donlon, United States Army (Retired) was the first recipient of the Medal of Honor for Valor for Vietnam, and a current member of the National Council of the Vietnam Project. He is the author of the book, Beyond Nam Dong. His book describes the battle that he and his twelve-man Special Forces Team fought and his return to Vietnam in later years. Now Donlon is dedicated to fostering harmony between the people of the US and the Vietnamese people. Donlon was wounded four separate times in the Nam Dong battle. The following is quoted from the citation of award of his Medal of Honor. "Captain Donlon was serving as the Commanding Officer of the United States Army Special Forces Detachment A-726 at Camp Nam Dong, when a reinforced Viet Cong battalion launched a full-scale, predawn attack on the Camp. During the violent battle that ensued, lasting 5 hours and resulting in heavy casualties on both sides, Captain Donlon directed the defense operations in the midst of an enemy barrage of mortal shells, falling grenades and extremely heavy gunfire.

"His dynamic leadership, fortitude, and valiant efforts inspired not only the American personnel but the friendly Vietnamese defenders as well and resulted in the successful defense of Camp."

All presentations will be held at 10:00 am in the Truman Presidential Museum & Library's Whistle Stop Room and light refreshments will be served. Patrons should arrive through the Main Museum Entrance. The programs are free with museum admission, but seating is limited. For reservations, call the Central Ticket Office at 816-235-6222. For more information on the series visit www.trumanlibrary.org.

The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is one of ten Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence, Missouri. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Sunday from noon - 5:00 pm. The Museum is also open until 9:00 pm on Thursdays. For more information on the Museum and programs, call 816-268-8200 or visit www.trumanlibrary.org.


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