Ken Jernstedt adds new flying sortie


Ken Jernstedt waves from the cockpit from a P-40 during the 1999 Hood River Fly-In. The Hood River airport has since been named for him, and next month the Flying Tiger ace will join the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor.

Long-time Hood River resident, ace fighter pilot and politician Ken Jernstedt has been named to the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville. The newly-established Hall of Honor will recognize individuals in the state of Oregon who have made significant contributions to aviation and aerospace in all fields, including military, civilian, engineering, business, education and government.

“I was dumbfounded,” said Jernstedt about receiving notification of the recognition earlier this month. “It is really quite an honor.” Jernstedt, for whom the Hood River airport is named, earned the Distinguished Flying Cross as a member of the elite Flying Tigers during World War II. 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 them.

After his military career, Jernstedt went on to a life of public service, serving as 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 will be officially inducted into the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor at a ceremony at the Evergreen Aviation Museum next month. He will be honored along with eight other distinguished fellow-inductees — some of whom are now dead — including Major General Gordon Doolittle, Major General Marion Carl, Colonel Rex Barber and General Merrill “Tony” McPeak.

“I’m certainly honored to be associated with that group,” said Jernstedt, who added that he’s known every one of the other inductees except one.

“I’d met or had some dealings with all of them one way or another,” he said.

Jernstedt, who is blind, will attend the Oct. 26 ceremony with his seeing-eye dog, Driscoll, and his wife, Gen. “It really is an honor,” Jernstedt said. “I’m glad to be here to take it.”

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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