Moro, OR – Highway 97 World War II Veterans Historic Highway will be the subject of Dick Tobiason's presentation at the Sherman County Historical Society's annual fall meeting in Moro on Sunday, November 14.
Senate Bill 449 required Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to install WORLD WAR II VETERANS HISTORIC HIGHWAY signs near former WWII training sites on US Highway 97 and SR 126. Funding was provided by veterans, local governments, historical groups and individuals. The Bend-based World War II Veterans Historic Highway Committee, led by Tobiason, proposed the legislation.
The new sign program, the first of its kind in Oregon, honors WWII veterans and informs the traveling public about vital WWII training sites served by two major highways east of the Cascades: US 97 from the Columbia River to the Oregon/California border and State Route 126 from Redmond to Prineville. Part of US 97 is known as The Dalles-California Highway. Highway 97 is a Blue Star Memorial Highway. Those names are not changed by the new "honorary" designation.
This program honors the service of Oregon World War II troops, trainers, and the men and women preparing for battle during World War II, and the vital role of central Oregon communities where WW II military training sites were established: Camp Rufus (sign at Biggs), Madras Army Airfield, Redmond Army Airfield, Civilian Pilot Training at Bend and Prineville, Camp Abbot at Sunriver, and Marine Barracks and Naval Air Station at Klamath Falls. All military service branches were involved and these airfields are still in use as civilian airfields, some with scheduled airline service.
The program begins with a no-host luncheon at the Sherman County Senior and Community Center at 1 o'clock. There is no charge for the program. Reserve your no-host meal by calling Myrna Melzer at 541-565-3557 or contacting Kathleen Ahearn firstname.lastname@example.org by November 10.