History Museum exhibit features Sheridan Troop photos, B-17 model plane

Sixty-seven years ago, Tyrone residents gathered along Pennsylvania Avenue to show support and say their farewells to a group of men setting out to answer their country’s call. These men were a part of the Sheridan Troop, Troop B, 104th Cavalry.
Once again, residents will gather on Wednesday, September 24 as the 69 soldiers from Det. 1 Charlie Company 2-112th Infantry (SBCT) march through town from the Tyrone Armory to Gray-Veterans Field where a short ceremony will take place. The following day, these local National Guard troops will be deployed for training and then to the Middle East.
Following the parade and ceremony, everyone is invited to stop by the Tyrone History Museum where an exhibit has been set up this weekend featuring photographs of the Sheridan Troop’s farewell march, as well as a model B-17 plane.
The exhibit features over a dozen photographs of the troops marching through town. These photos were recently donated to the Tyrone Area Historical Society by Dr. Robert Barnes, son of Dr. Russel Barnes.
Tyrone Area Historical Society president Nancy Smith thought tomorrow’s send-off would be a great opportunity to unveil this exhibit. The museum is open Wednesdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.
The Sheridan Troop’s journey 67 years ago began on January 14, 1941 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt placed all federally recognized National Guard on active duty for military training for a period of one year. The order provided for prompt mobilization of all units involved.
Troop B was ordered into active federal military service on February 17, 1941.
In the early morning on March 1, 1941, the troops marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, amid the crowd of onlookers, making their way to the train station. There they boarded two coaches, one baggage car and three horse cars, taking all of their horses and equipment.
The men were on their way to the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation.
Along with the photographs, there is also a model of a B-17 “Flying Fortress” from World War II which was constructed from a kit by Davidlee J. Kelley.
Kelley, who currently resides at Epworth Manor, said he chose to put together the B-17 for some other gentlemen living at the home.
According to Kelley, Wallace Burkett piloted a B-17 for over 50 missions while serving in WWII and Robert Keatley was a gunner on a B-17.
“I built the B-17 because Wallace flew over 50 missions in one of those,” said Kelley, adding Keatley also spent a lot of time on this type of plane.
“These guys spent a lot of time in those planes for our country, and I thought they would enjoy seeing one,” said Kelley.
All three veterans are residents of Epworth Manor, Tyrone.
Kelley, who is a veteran of the Korean War, was stationed in Alaska. He enjoys building model planes and created the B-17 out of Balsa wood and paper.
The B-17 on loan to the museum took about three and a half months to complete.
Kelley also makes wooden airplanes and a five-car train which he donates to Toys for Tots each year.

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