What’s News – Militarily Speaking  

By Paula Green  

A commemorative military celebration took place on Sunday, March 27, at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum when it held its annual Joseph A. Dugan, Hall of Valor induction ceremony. This commemorative program recognizes Pennsylvania veterans who have received medals for bravery and heroism during times of military conflict. Nine Pittsburgh-area military members who served in branches of the service were honored.  

Those that were recognized include US Air Corps – SSG Theodore Bluey, Distinguished Flying Cross, WWII, US Air Force; MSG William Homer, Distinguished Flying Cross, Korea; COL Robert Sawhill, Silver Star, WWII; US Army; PVT George Huser, Silver Star, WWII; 1SG John Kraemer, Silver Star, Korea; PFC John Krchnavy, Silver Star, WWII; CPT Dennis Mielke, Distinguished Flying  Cross, Vietnam; PVT Victor Sempr, Silver Star, WWII; TSGT Angelo Speggen, Silver Star, WWII. 

Another military celebration was held on Thursday, February 24. Hosanna House Inc. and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh celebrated the grand opening of the Center for Aviation Technology and Training (CATT) and the Tuskegee Airmen Museum. The updated space creates an opportunity for the Greater Pittsburgh region’s youth to explore the field of aviation and aeronautics through hands-on, informal learning opportunities rooted in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

The collaboration has led to the creation of a new museum that is focused on the Tuskegee Airmen. The entire museum is centered on the contributions of black and brown pioneers and leaders in aviation. The opening exhibit Black Wings, American Dreams of Flight, was organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. The exhibit is supplemented by the Tuskegee Airmen Museum’s growing collection of World War II and aviation artifacts, including a pilot’s flight suit and gear, a real propeller and nose cone, autographed items owned by Tuskegee airmen, and other objects and ephemera. 

Over in the South Hills, a rededication of the former Bethel Park VFW flagpole was recently held. The pole was originally installed in 1961. It was located to the right side of Saint Valentine Catholic School. The school is closed, but the Bethel Park Historical Society saved and donated the VFW Flagpole. On Veteran’s Day 2021, the 45-foot flagpole was removed and transported one block away to Bethel Park’s first town high school, built-in 1905. On December 18, 2021, a rededication and complete restoration of the flagpole was held with the Vietnam Veteran’s Inc. Honor Guard and the Marine Honor Guard in attendance. It is now the legal property of Bethel Park Historical Society. 

Escape USS Requin comes to the Carnegie Science Center this spring. Visitors can immerse themselves in a submarine encounter. From 5-7:30 p.m. beginning Friday, April 28, and running thru May 28, the attraction is a new, immersive escape room experience. Between four and eight guests have 60 minutes to work collaboratively to use their deductive reasoning skills to escape the historic USS Requin (SS 481) Radar Picket submarine through puzzles and games. For more information, visit carnegiesciencecenter.org/ or call (412) 237-1641.