Celebrating the Navy in the IWV

Celebrating the Navy in the IWVBy TEX HOPPUS, president

Historical Society of the

Upper Mojave Desert

In November 1943 the U.S. Navy formally established the Naval Ordnance Test Station in the Indian Wells Valley. This coming November, if you do the math, will be the Navy’s 75th anniversary of being a part of our community. We will all mark a significant milestone in our collective history.

Many community events will lead up to the November celebration, and the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert will be the host of one of the first of these events on Saturday, June 16, in the Historic USO Building, 230 W. Ridgecrest Blvd. HSUMD will show many of the episodes of “Pictures of Us II,” the acclaimed series by Mark Pahuta and Leroy Doig that tells of the Navy’s beginnings here, including organizational, human, technical and humorous perspectives.

The showings will occur in the Historic USO Building in three sessions through the day on June 16. Attendance for all sessions will be free.

The first session will begin at 9 a.m. and will show a 30-minute compilation of the series called “And Now” along with Episode 1 (“A station, having for its primary function…”) and Episode 2 (“The Rocket Racket”). A continental breakfast will also be available for sale in our lobby and the two episodes will be for sale in our Gift Shop.

The second session at begin at 1 p.m. and will show Episode 3 (“Coming of Age”), Episode 8 (“Way Off Boresight”), and Episode 9 (“Sonic Boom Railway”). Bowls of chili with toppings will be for sale, as will snacks and drinks.

The third session will start at 6 p.m. and will show Episode 13 (“What’s So Special About That?”), Special Edition 1 (“1-63” [President John F. Kennedy’s visit to China Lake in 1963]), and Special Edition 3 (“That Was the Way Things Were”). During this session we will sell our famous all-beef Crumville hotdogs with toppings that include sauerkraut, relish and chili, along with snacks and drinks.

Come enjoy yourself, enjoy food and refreshments, buy an historical DVD or several, and help celebrate the Navy’s central role in the history of our community!

Story First Published: 2018-06-08