Story and Photos by Jeff Serpa: Klamath Falls, Oregon June 25th, 2022
The Sentry Eagle 2022 Open House returned to Kingsley Field, in Klamath Falls, Oregon on June 25th. Home to the 173rd Fighter Wing, the Sentry Eagle open house featured multiple aerial demonstrations, static display aircraft, flight line operations viewing opportunities, as well as recruiting events, and local vendors.
The highlight of the aerial demonstrations was the home base F-15 jets performance, featuring the 173rd Fighter Wing’s flagship F-15, painted in the likeness of a B-17 Flying Fortress. The aircraft’s paint job proudly displays a portrait of Second Lieutenant David R. Kingsley on its tail, black and white “invasion stripes” along the wings and a mottled green and brown camouflage pattern, modeled after the B-17. The word “Sandman” is stenciled on the nose, a reference to the B-17 that Kingsley was piloting on the day he made the ultimate sacrifice, more then 75 years ago. Kingsley Field, aka “Land of No Slack” is named after Second Lieutenant David R. Kingsley, an Oregon World War II hero who was killed in action during a bombing mission on a B-17 Flying Fortress, June 23, 1944. This paint scheme has to be one of the best paint schemes to ever be displayed on an F-15.
The A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team from Davis Monthan Air Force Base provided an aerial demonstration, as well as a heritage flight with the P-51 Mustang Val-Halla. There was also a B-17 Flying Fortress flying in the demonstrations, along with other historical warbirds flying. This B-17 is the same type of aircraft Second Lieutenant David R.Kingsley flew in during World War II. And for the hard core aviation fan, the B-17 was offering rides in the plane after the air show for a fee.
In addition to aircraft flying, a BMX aerial bike show was going on throughout the day. Crowds for Sentry Eagle historically been between 8,000 to 12,000. This year security forces at the based estimate it was higher than usual, surpassing the previous high. Aviation fans travelled from across the country for this one day event, held every other year. This is definitely an event you don’t want to miss if you have to opportunity.