Hood River flying ace makes honor roll

Hood River’s flying fighter ace Ken Jernstedt has been chosen as one of the first nine inductees into the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor.

A special ceremony to recognize the achievements of Jernstedt and other distinguished pilots was held on Sunday afternoon at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville. About 370 dignitaries gathered under the monolithic wings of the Spruce Goose, the world’s largest plane, for the special ceremony. Jernstedt, who is legally blind, said his guide dog, Driscoll, garnered the most attention — and more than a few nibbles of the gourmet hors d’oeuvres.

“Everyone likes my dog so some of it gets rubbed off on me — he’s the most popular one at most of the places I go,” said Jernstedt.

However, he also received plenty of accolodes as one of the first pilots to be formally recognized in Oregon for making significant contributions to aviation and aerospace. The collective accomplishments of the inductees covered all fields, including military, civilian, engineering, business, education and government. During a videotape that chronicled his career as one of the elite Flying Tigers during World War II, Jernstedt was described as a “legendary figure.” He was one of 100 volunteers recruited from the U.S. Marine Air Corps in 1941 to protect the Burma Road — a vital supply route into China — from Japanese attack. Over a six-month period, the Flying Tigers destroyed 296 enemy planes and Jernstedt is credited with shooting down more than 10 of these craft. Following his military duties, Jernstedt went on to a life of public service, taking on the role of an Oregon state representative for two years before being elected to the state Senate, where he served for 20 years. He also served as mayor of Hood River in 1959-60 and again in 1989-90.

Jernstedt kept his Oct. 26 acceptance speech on a light note, sharing a humorous story about Master of Ceremonies Gerry Frank, a long-time friend. After accepting his award from former Gov. Victor Atiyeh, Jernstedt took a moment to personally thank his wife Gen for her strong support, a remark that drew applause from the audience.

“I still can’t quite get over the honor of it, they just went all out and I’m very pleased to be recognized with this group of fine people,” said Jernstedt, who personally knew all but one of his celebrated peers, several of whom are now deceased.

Jernstedt’s name will be listed on a memorial wall, along with that of Colonel Rex T. Barber, Major General Marion Carl, Major General Gordon L. Doolittle, Second Lieutenant David R. Kingsley, General Merrill A. “Tony” McPeak, Melvin Jack Murdock, John G. “Tex” Rankin, and Jack G. Real.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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