Strickland honored on Airsho poster

World War II naval aviator and retired Presbyterian minister J. Arthur (Art) Strickland was honored with his likeness on the official poster for the 26th anniversary Confederate Air Force Highland Lakes Airsho, held Saturday, Sept. 9, at Burnet Municipal Airport's Kate Craddock Field.

Strickland obtained his private pilot's license while at Schreiner Institute in Kerville and enrolled in the U.S. Navy V-5 program as a naval aviation cadet in November 1942. He attended pre-flight school at the University of Georgia and primary flight training in Millington, Tennessee, prior to being assigned to the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida. On Nov. 30, 1943, he received his wings as a naval aviator and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.

After attending Navy Photography School in early 1944, he was transferred to the Marine Air Station in Cherry Point, North Carolina, and assigned to the Photography Squadron, flying an Army B-24. A few months later, he was assigned to the Service Squadron, where he flew a Martin Marauder JM-1 for target towing for Marine anti-aircraft practice and also flew the JM-1, the SNJ and SBD on a tracking route for radar trainees. He was promoted to first lieutenant in May 1945.

In June 1945, Strickland went to Ewa Marine Air Base in Oahu and Barking Sands Army Air Base in Kauai, Hawaii, where he again was flying JM-1 missions for anti-aircraft practice. In October 1945, he was transferred to the Naval Air Base in Agana, Guam, and assigned to the VMR-353 4th Marine Air Wing Transport Squadron, flying R5C Curtis Commando twin-engine transports throughout China, Japan, Okinawa, Philippines, Australia, Iwo Jima, Tinian, Saipan, Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Majuro, Wake, Peleliu, Manus, Midway and 
Hawaii.

Strickland was discharged from active duty on Jan. 18, 1947, and remained in Marine Corps Reserves until November 1957 when he resigned his commission, having attained the rank of captain 
in 1950.

After discharge, in addition to being a flight instructor in Kerrville, he enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a bachelor of business administration degree in August 1949. He then enrolled at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary later that year, earning his bachelor of divinity degree in 1952. He served as an ordained Presbyterian minister for 35 years at various churches in Louisiana and Texas before retiring at the end of 1987.

The Airsho will be open to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9. Static aircraft displays to the public will be available from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The program begins at noon. Airsho performances start at 12:30 p.m. and finish around 4 p.m.

For more information, see bluebonnetairshow.com.

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