Saturday, March 23, 2013


Around Memorial Day in Ellie's class they had to do a report on a Veteran. Also, the kids were required to either interview this Veteran (if still living) or a relative (if deceased).
Ellie's teacher, Mr. Young, is also an amazing painter who has painted many murals on the walls of buildings in our downtown. Ellie's favorite painting of Mr. Young's is his mural of David Kingsley, of whom the Kingsley Field Air Force Base is named after. So she choose him!

If you don't know the story of David Kingsley it is just amazing and I was so glad she picked him to do her report on. Here is a quick run down of his story:

Second Lieutenant David R. Kingsley, an Oregon World War II hero killed in action on June 23, 1944, during a bombing mission over the oil fields at Ploesti, Rumania. Lieutenant Kingsley served as a bombardier on a B-17F aircraft which became severely damaged by intense flak during the bomb run and from attacks by German ME-109 enemy fighters during egress.

When his pilot commanded the crew to bail out, Lieutenant Kingsley immediately began assisting two wounded gunners into their parachute harnesses. The tail gunner's harness, believed to be damaged, could not be located. With disregard for his own means of escape, Lieutenant Kingsley put his own harness on the wounded tail gunner and aided the men in bailing out.

Lieutenant Kingsley's body was later found in the B-17 wreckage. Lieutenant Kingsley, directly responsible for saving the life of the wounded gunner, posthumously received the Medal of Honor award for his heroic, gallant action.

Because Mr. Kingsley was killed in action Ellie decided to contact family or friends of his. She discovered that 2 months earlier a woman was traveling through Klamath Falls and saw the Kingsley mural on the wall in our downtown. She immediately recognised the man in the painting as the "sweatheart" of her friend Harriett (Fox) Zalabak.

She pulled over and contacted the museum and told them that Kingsley had sent numerous letters in 1942-43 to his sweetheart, Harriett. 

To make a long story short, Harriett was contacted and brought to Klamath Falls to visit the Air Force Base that is named after him and see the mural.
(this is the mural Mr. Young painted, sorry so fuzzy)
On Oct. 18, 2012, Ms. Zalabak donated seven of Kingsley's letters, two post cards, and a Christmas card to the Klamath County Museum.

Ellie, contacted the friend of Harriett and we got some great info for her report.
 (Click HERE to see a video of Harriett's visit to the Klamath Museum)

Ellie even invited Harriett to a Hero party held at her school for all the hero's and/or their families to attend. Sadly she lives in California and wasn't able to come.

This was such a great project for Ellie and her class. She learned so much about serving our Country. I am so thankful for all those who bravely serve and for the fantastic teachers who keep their stories alive!

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