Franklin County to honor WWII Navy bomber pilot

From staff reportsMarch 14, 2014 

— Franklin County flight and military enthusiasts will honor a former local resident and World War II Naval dive-bomber pilot Saturday by dedicating an airport flag pole in his name.

Former Lt. Col. George Lumpkin, born in Youngsville in 1918, served in the N.C. National Guard for three years before joining the U.S. Navy Reserve in July 1941. He was trained as an aviator and was sent to Midway Island in 1942, where one of his training flights was filmed and later used in an opening scene of the move “Battle of Midway.”

Lumpkin was one of several dive-bomber pilots who flew out to help repel the Japanese attack of Midway on June 4, 1942. He later served on the Solomon Islands and continued to fly bomber runs through late 1943 before returning to the United States.

After leaving active duty, Lumpkin continued to serve in the reserves. He settled in Louisburg, where he was living at the time of his death in 1991.

A cadet color guard from the Franklin County Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, will present flags in a dedication ceremony to begin at noon Saturday at the Triangle North Executive Airport near Louisburg. The N.C. Wing of the Civil Air Patrol will have two gliders and three powered aircraft flying in an out of the airport on Saturday. The public is invited.

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