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‘Night at the Museum’

Museum presents evening with famous past aviators

Submitted Photo Chance Fraze, of Stanley, portrays World War II pilot Oswin “Moose” Elker, of Surrey, for the “Night at the Museum” hangar dance set for Oct. 26 at the Dakota Territory Air Museum’s Flying Legends Hangar in Minot. Photo from Dakota Territory Air Museum.

Famous aviators and others in aviation of the past are back for the second annual “Night at the Museum” hangar dance set for Oct. 26 in the Dakota Territory Air Museum’s Flying Legends Hangar in Minot. The dance will be from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Robin Brekhus, air museum events coordinator, said skits will be done every hour. The skits will be on Florence Lowe “Poncho” Barnes, Oswin “Moose” Elker, and Don Lopez Sr. and his plane “Lope’s Hope.” There will also be a skit about Elker and Lopez, who were close friends and flew together in the 75th Fighter Squadron in China.

Barnes was a pioneer aviator and founder of the first movie stunt pilots’ union.

Elker, of Surrey, served in World War II with the 75th Fighter Squadron of the Flying Tigers in the 14th Air Force Division in China and India. Because he was a major benefactor of the air museum, the Oswin Elker Wing was named in his honor.

Lopez was a World War II fighter pilot ace who later became deputy director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Submitted Photo Chance Fraze, of Stanley, portrays World War II pilot Oswin “Moose” Elker, of Surrey and McKayla Brekhus, of Minot, portrays “his (Elker’s) girl.” They will be among re-enactors during the Oct. 26 “Night at the Museum” hangar dance on Oct. 26 at the Dakota Territory Air Museum, Minot. Photo from Dakota Territory Air Museum.

“Lope’s Hope 3rd,” a P-51C, and a P-40 are displayed in the air museum. Both Elker and Lopez flew planes like these in World War II.

Other people who will be portrayed during the evening include Rosie the Riveter, an icon of World War II who represented the women who worked in factories and shipyards during World War II, and Orville and Wilbur Wright, aviation pioneers.

Those attending are encouraged to dress in golden age costumes or any era of flight, Brekhus said. The golden age was in the 1920s and 1930s between the two wars when Americans were very enthused about aviation and that time period became known as the Golden Age of Flight. A prize will be awarded for the best men’s and women’s costumes.

“They don’t have to dress like an aviator but could portray another person such as Howard Hughes,” Brekhus added. Hughes was an American businessman, pilot and film director.

Brekhus said anyone who prefers not to dress in flight-era costumes and/or prefers not to dance are welcome to attend as well. Those attending must be 21 or older.

Music will be provided by DJ Steve Geller of Minot. There will be a silent auction. Food and refreshments will be available by Little Chicago Pub District and Monty’s Barbecue.

Tickets are $20 for singles and $35 for couples.

Tickets are available at the door or at www.dakotaterritoryairmuseum.com. Tickets are also available by calling Brekhus at 520-234-3901 or emailing her at dtamevents@gmail.com.

For all attending, she said, “Just enjoy the evening.”

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