Lake Life

     
Clubs
& Such

Boy Scout Troop #398 meets at the Cedar Creek Bible Church from 7-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday. For more information, call (903) 498-5725 or (903) 498-3830.
Cedar Creek Art Society meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. A $3 donation per artist is asked.
Cedar Creek Domino Club meets each week on Wednesday at the Mabank Volunteer Fire Department. For more info, call (903) 498-4351.
Cedar Creek NAR-ANON meets at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points.
Cedar Creek Narcotics Anonymous meets at 8 p.m., Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 715 S. Hwy. 274, Ste. D in Seven Points.
Cedar Creek 49ers Club meets every Thursday and fourth Saturday for fellowship and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. The club is located off Arnold Hill Road in Seven Points. Call for more information, (903) 432-3552.
Cedar Creek Lake Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Wednesday at The Jalapeno Tree in Gun Barrel City, except the second week of the month, when the club meets Thursday in conjunction with the area chamber of commerce luncheon.
Cedar Creek Optimist Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Dairy Queen in Seven Points. For more information please call Danny Hampel at (903) 778-4508.
Cedar Creek Republican Club meets every fourth Thursday. For more information call (903) 887-4867.
Cedar Creek Rotary Club meets at noon each Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant. For more information, call Dee Ann Owens at (903) 340-2415.
Cub Scout Pack #333 meets at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For information, call Mary Harris at (903) 451-5280 or Tonya Capley at (903) 498-4725.
Girl Scout Troop #112 meets at the First United Methodist Church in Mabank the second and fourth Monday at 7 p.m. For more info, call GeriLeigh Stotts at (469) 323-7943 or Malisa Bilberry at (903) 340-7451, or email glbstotts@hotmail.com
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 101 meets the second Monday of each month at the Senior Citizens Center on Hwy. 31 in Athens.
Girl Scout Troop 2667 meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Aley United Methodist Church. For more information, please call Suzann Smith at (903) 887-3889.
Gun Barrel Quilter’s Guild meets from 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. For more information, please call (903) 451-4221.
Kaufman County Republican Women’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month at the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, located at 2477 N. Hwy. 34 in Kaufman. For more info, call (972) 287-1239 or (903) 880-6770.
Kemp Kiwanis Club meets at noon each Tuesday at the Nutrition Center in Kemp. For more information, please call Dr. Jim Collinsworth at (903) 887-7486.
Lake Area Council of the Blind meets at 6 p.m. on the second Saturday of the month at West Athens Baptist Church.
Lake Area Democrats Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at Dairy Queen in Seven Points. Everyone is welcome. Email bhanstrom@embarqmail.com  for more information.
Mabank/Cedar Creek Area Lions Club meets at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Tri-County Library in Mabank. Call (903) 887-5252 for info.
Mabank Garden Club meets at 2:45 p.m. at the Tri-County Library on the third Tuesday of every month (different times in May and December).
Oak Harbor/Tanglewood Crime Watch meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at the R.T. Beamguard Community Center in Oak Harbor.
Roddy Masonic Lodge meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Monday each month. Call (903) 887-6201 for info.
RootSeekers meet at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month in the Tri-County Library in downtown Mabank. The public is welcome to attend.
Southeast Kaufman County Senior Citizens Center Board of Directors meets at 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month at the center, located at 300 N. Dallas Street in Kemp. For more info, call (903) 498-2140.
SUICIDE SURVIVORS GROUP for those grieving the loss of someone by suicide, meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mabank.
TAMARACK LADIES CLUB meets at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the TLC Hall.
TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meet at 6 p.m. each Monday at the First Baptist Church of Mabank. Contact Gaye Ward at (903) 887-5913 for more info.
TVCC Singles meet at 7 p.m. each Monday in the Nutrition Center at TVCC, located off Park Street near the Athens Country Club. This is a support group for singles of all ages and is supported by TVCC. For more info, call Hilda Anding at (903) 489-2259.
   

 


WWII planes display, flights arriving in Athens
Cedar Creek Veterans Foundation sponsors airshow
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–A piece of aviation history is going on public display the first weekend in May – and you won’t want to miss it!
Two aircraft that played pivotal roles in World War II – the historic B-25 Mitchell Bomber, used in the famous Doolittle Raid on Japan, our first military response following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the C-47 Skytrain, used to transport troops and supplies into every WWII theater – are coming to the Athens Municipal Airport, Athens Jet Center, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3.

Courtesy Photo/Hugh Montgomery
The Pacific Prowler is one of 10 B-25 Mitchell bombers still flying today.

The Cedar Creek Veteran’s Foundation (CCVF) has commissioned the Pacific Prowler and its crew to bring a part of the World War II aviation history to life in a salute to the veterans of Henderson, Kaufman and Van Zandt counties. Entrance fee is $20 per car and makes for a nice family outing.
“It’s an inexpensive couple of hours for the family to see planes that helped win the war,” CCVF president Bob O’Neil said.
The Pacific Prowler is one of only 10 of the B-25 Mitchell bombers left flying in the world. And what’s more, besides getting to view this magnificent plane and hear some of its history, many will get the chance to actually go up in it.
Those who do may very well imagine what it might have been like for those brave aviators and crewmembers to fly the dangerous mission to strike back at Japan within her borders, as it struck the United States at Pearl Harbor.
Those who take the flight will feel the power of the twin 14-cylinder Wright Cyclone radials, as they rev up one at a time, turning the 13-foot propellers, and then the sound of the first bark from one of the engines, generating 1,700 horsepower each.
Passengers are given headsets to protect their hearing from the noise of those heart-pounding engines – noise one can feel in your very bones. And as you do, you are added to a very select club of those who have ever ridden in this “Hero of the Pacific.”
The whole experience will last between 45 to 55 minutes, costing $450 per person. Once airborne, passengers will get to tour the inside of the plane and sit in the left, right and rear gunner’s station, imagining what it must have been like to line up a Zero in your sights.
Lastly, a view from the bombardier’s seat looking straight down with nothing but a piece of ¼ inch glass between you and the ground as you attempt to line up the assigned target as Doolittle’s Raiders did over Japan, sending the Emperor a little taste of Pearl Harbor.
Once the flight comes to an end, those aboard step out and help secure the plane.
A pause of respectful silence follows for those 80 Raiders who completed their mission – some dying, some treated shamefully as prisoners of war, all counting the cost not too great to win back needed morale for their fellow Americans by giving Japan an embarrassing black eye.
The two-day event is being held, pending flyable weather and mechanical breakdown, as a fund-raiser to assist returning wounded military personnel and their families in East Texas regain their pre-service lives. This is one of two fund-raising events the CCVF has on tap that weekend.
The second fund-raiser is a gourmet Italian dinner and dancing event held at the Tara Vineyard and Winery 6-8 p.m. Saturday, May 2. Tickets are $125 with reservations made by calling (903) 675-7023 or by e-mail at sipoftexas@tarawinery.com.
The CCVF, made up of local residents, is also completing the details of a spectacular Fourth of July airshow titled “Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake,” off the shores of the Pinnacle Club. A static aircraft display and several heart-stopping surprises are planned.

Doolittle’s Raid on Japan came 132 days after Pearl Harbor
The Doolittle Raid, April 18, 1942, on Japan home island (Honshu) demonstrated that Japan itself was vulnerable to Allied air attack and provided a U.S. military response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.
The raid was planned and led by Lt. Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle. Doolittle would later recount in his autobiography that the raid was intended to cause the Japanese to doubt their leadership and to raise American morale.
Sixteen B-25 Mitchell bombers were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet deep within enemy waters.
The plan called for them to hit military targets in Japan, and land in China, although one B-25 landed in Soviet territory and the crew was interned in the Soviet Union for more than a year.

Courtesy Photo/Hugh Montgomery
The Doolittle Raid, April 18, 1942, was the first time a bomber was flown from the deck of a ship. All 16 bombers successfully launched from the USS Hornet, using 467 feet of runway.

All 16 aircraft were lost and 11 crewmen were either killed or captured. The crews of 14 aircraft, in their entirety, returned safely to the United States or to Allied control.
The B-25s were modified removing some of its armament to decrease its weight and installing additional fuel tanks. Modifications also included two wooden simulated gun barrels mounted in the tail cones to discourage air attacks from the rear, which Doolittle cited as “being particularly effective.”
A Japanese picket boat No. 23 Nitto Maru sighted the task force while it was still 650 miles off the coast of Japan and radioed an attack warning before being destroyed by gunfire from the cruiser USS Nashville.
The incident prompted Doolittle to launch the B-25s immediately, 10 hours and 170 miles away from the planned launch point. Though trained in simulation takeoffs, none of the B-25 pilots, including Doolittle, had ever taken off from a carrier before. All 16 aircraft launched safely within the 467 feet of runway.
The bombers flew in groups of two to four before changing to single-file just above the waves to avoid detection, arriving over Japan six hours after launch.
The group bombed 10 military and industrial targets in Tokyo, two in Yokohama, and one each in Yokosuka, Nagoya, Kobe and Osaka. No bomber was shot down, though some encountered light anti-aircraft fire and a few Zeros over Japan.
Raiders faced several unforeseen challenges during their flight to China, after completing their mission over Japan.
Low on fuel and in rapidly deteriorating weather, none would have reached China if it weren’t for a tailwind that increased their ground speed by 25 knots for seven hours.
Even then, the pilots were unable to reach their intended landing, with several ditching in the China Sea, just off the coast and the rest crashed.
One crew flew to nearer Russia, where their B-25 was confiscated and the crew interned until they managed to escape through Iran in 1943.
Doolittle’s Raid was the longest combat mission ever flown by the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber, averaging 2,250 miles.
Crewmembers parachuting into China received assistance from Chinese soldiers and civilians as well as John Birch, an American missionary in China. These suffered heavy reprisals from Japan, killing and injuring 250,000 Chinese.
Doolittle thought the raid a terrible failure, because the aircraft were lost and expected to be court-martialed upon his return. Instead, President Franklin D. Roosevelt promoted him two grades to brigadier general, skipping the rank of colonel and awarded him the Medal of Honor.
Doolittle went on to command the 12th Air Force in North Africa, the 15th Air Force in the Mediterranean and the Eighth Air Force in England.
 


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