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updated: Aug 18, 2012, 1:00 PM
By Nick Koonce
Residents of Santa Barbara may notice some unusual sights and sounds in the foothills above the San
Roque neighborhood this morning.
There will be a private memorial service for Elmer Koonce, a highly decorated WWII hero who piloted B-25 bombers through 50
combat missions in the South Pacific in 1943-1944.
John Blankenship, Founder of The Pierre
Claeyssen's Veteran's Museum and Library has arranged for an impressive display of military honors
for this memorial to include an Honor Guard and three volley gun salute by the U.S. Army, 425th Civil
Affairs Battalion, Taps by bugler Sgt. Al Terres of the U.S.M.C., and Command Sergeant Major Jonathan
Church will be presenting the next of kin with an internment flag on behalf of the United States
Department of Defense. In addition, there will be a fly over by WWII era fighter planes in missing man
formation. The rifles firing blanks, bugler and war birds will no doubt be heard and seen around town.
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